I've been seeing all over blog world, signs and hopes of slowing down, having a stress-free Advent, a slower, almost time-stopping era before Christmas comes. Take away all the extra things we mothers do during Advent to prepare for Christmas. We take out decorations, decorate the house, go get trees, or put them up, decorate them, (some of us twice) we plan our gifts, buy them and wrap them. We plan and make special meals and bake special treats. Take away all that and think about what we already do. Alot. That "alot" still has to be done, taking care of our families.
Time is not going to stop for us. It's not going to be as peaceful as we want it to be. We will be busy, no matter how hard we try for it to not be busy. We put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve that "perfect" Advent.
I really think the only way to make Advent count is to add those little things that bring us closer to God. Stay close to the Sacraments. Frequent Confession. Extra Masses. Adoration. Novenas. Teaching our children about Jesus and why we have Advent to help us prepare our hearts for Him. How preparing that heart is our gift to God and in return we are given more grace.
If Jesus were physically, actually coming to our home on December 25th, wouldn't we be cleaning, baking, decorating and sending invitations (Christmas cards), to everyone? I would be. I'm such a Martha.
I love the season of Advent. I love the busy-ness of it. I love the preparations and all that goes with it all. I don't necessary love the crowded stores, but it does give me an opportunity to give lots of smiles to lots of people. It gives me an opportunity to hopefully let Christ shine through me, while standing in line with others, or letting someone go ahead of me, just because. Waiting in lines give me the opportunity to rest and see the beauty of it all.
There is so much more to Advent than what I've touched here, like giving to the poor, the lonely, comforting the sick. There are so many opportunities. Opportunities that are always there, not only in Advent.
Lord, help me to stay close to the Sacraments this Advent season. Help me to teach my children all that You want me to. Bring me closer to You. Help me prepare my heart for You.
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception Everyone!! It's snowing here, symbolizing Mary's pure perfection!