Advent 2014

I have obviously not kept up very well with blogging this fall. While we as a family seem to be getting acclimated to our new home and life, I have found myself still feeling very much in transition. That’s why I am so happy that it is now Advent. I have known that Advent starts the new church year for quite awhile, but this year, I am especially eager to start a new year. I need the chance to refocus my thoughts away from the transition of the last year and on to what good things are yet to come.

One of the challenges I keep facing over and over is “not getting enough done” as a stay at home mom. The days fly by, and it seems like my to-do list at best stays the same length and at worst gets longer. I also find myself focusing too much on the to-do list and not enough on time with the kids, or even concentrating on whatever task I am currently working at. So to get ready for this Advent, I went ahead and made a huge, multi-page to-do list for the next year or so. I divided up the things I wanted to get done into categories (for example, crafts I wanted to make, household chores that needed to get done) and then I tried to choose just a few of the major things to focus on right now: celebrating Advent/getting ready for Christmas, and trying to complete “moving into” our new house. These are two fairly large items, and there are of course other small things that have cropped up and will continue to do so, but I’m hopeful that by focusing on a few things, I can feel less adrift and frenzied. I’m also hoping that this approach will help me to look at the different seasons in the year and in life, and recognize what tasks are appropriate to focus on in this season–and which ones to drop for now.

I do hope to get back into blogging, but right now, that’s not one of my top priorities, so I’m going to limit it to book posts for now. In the meantime, I will be trying to enjoy and do the work of this Advent season.

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Advent 2013

Whew, it’s hard to believe it’s already Advent, and even harder to believe that Christmas is in just 3 weeks. It feels like Advent is short this year, but I looked up the earliest and latest start dates (November 27 and December 3, if you’re interested), so it’s really just average. It must be the whole “life going faster as you get older” effect.

I love Advent. I’ve always loved the feeling of anticipation that just fills the month of December, but I used to kind of lump Advent together with Christmas in my mind. Obviously, the two are linked, but it’s become more important to me to observe Advent separately before pulling out all the Christmas stops. Along with that, it’s become more important to celebrate the whole season of Christmas, right up through Epiphany. I know lots of people are ready to take their trees down on the 26th or, at the latest, on the 1st or 2nd, but I think continuing the Christmas celebration for all 12 days is one way to separate the Christian celebration of Christmas from the commercial one.

Along those lines, I’m also trying (once again) to recommit to prayer time and quiet time, and I’m using this resource: http://www.piercedhands.com/advent-boot-camp/. I’m not a huge fan of the name, nor am I Catholic (full disclosure), but I enjoy this blog and Advent seems a short enough chunk of time to reasonably manage setting aside extra time for prayer. And you never know, if a habit develops, all the better.

We will still be doing lots of fun Christmas preparations (we’ve already partially decorated and written letters to Santa, and we still have cookie baking, tree trimming and present shopping ahead of us), but now I’m going to sign off and try to get my quiet time in before school pick-up.