I don’t know about all of you, but I have been major struggs this Advent.
I love Advent and my Catholic faith…and I love the fact that every time I get on facebook or social media, my feeds are filled with “Catholicy” things and cute pictures of all the Christmas decor, cooking, Advent calendars, Advent candle wreaths, Jesse trees, etc.
However, when I see all of these things I sort of feel like a fail…..anyone else out there completely behind on Christmas, school, projects,…LIFE??
I’m just barely getting through my finals week, and stressing about Christmas gifts, and working extra shifts, that I feel like I’m completely behind on everything Advent related. I even participated in a Jesse tree ornament exchange, but have I started the tree or put any ornaments on it?? Nope.
Once you have a kid, there’s this desire to really make Church seasons meaningful. I want to have the Advent wreath, the calendar, and the Jesse tree, so that my daughter can really learn about Christmas. Not just he secularized, Santa, present-filled, candy overloaded Christmas you can buy at Target, but the real authentic, selfless, Christ-centered Christmas that you buy with time, love, and faith.
But, what I’m learning…is that creating a God-centered culture at home takes a lot of time. No wonder so many people struggle with keeping up their faith as they get older. Time gets away from us. We are busy. Suddenly last minute papers or extra hours at work become more important than making those cookies and taking them to the neighbors.
Suddenly we’re too tired to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. We start to get every gift at Walmart in one shot instead of taking the time to find a meaningful gift.
Preparing a Jesse tree or Advent calendar takes time. Then it takes time to do the reading or activity each day. Then it takes time to explain what you’re doing to your kid (luckily I have 1 more year til this really takes effect), then, YOU as a parent have to really participate in the season of Advent……cuz kids are way too smart. They can see if you’re faking it.
Heck my daughter just turned 1 and she already knows which remotes have the batteries in them and work and which ones don’t.
So what is all this rambling for?
Just to say….I failed this Advent, and even though I suck, I’m so so grateful for the Church for these seasons that remind me what is important in life. And how I need to prepare for those important things…..you know…Jesus being one of those important things. But, I didn’t prepare, because I didn’t take the time to do so.
Luckily…it’s not over! So I can still prepare for Christmas. And not just by making the cutesy Advent calendars that are pinterest worthy, but by actually creating a culture of preparation in my home. Not being so busy. Reading a Christmas story to AvaMarie. At night. Playing with her instead of giving her things to play with. Cleaning the house, organizing….those things you do when you’re expecting company (or a Savior). And of course…prayer. It’s one thing to prepare a house, it’s another to prepare a heart.
That’s the one that really takes the time. So just suck it up and do it! (I’m speaking to myself here).
Anyways….join me in the culture of Advent? In the little things….