By the time you read this, December will be a reality. And some of you will have presents wrapped, decorations up, and sugar cookies in the freezer. Others of you will still have pumpkins and an inflatable turkey on your front porch. Regardless, the official season of Advent will have already started because it starts in November this year, which always catches me a little off guard.
I fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. My Christmas decorations appeared much earlier than I meant them to, but I just got too excited and couldn't stop myself once that first box was opened. On the other hand, our advent treat boxes only have candy in them because we somehow missed a few days in 2014 and six years olds don't seem to mind stale chocolate kisses.
Advent-- a season of anticipation, of expectation, of longing and waiting for. We anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth and we anticipate His coming return.
I really want to slow down, to enjoy and savor and focus on Jesus each Christmas. But each year it's a battle to not be consumed by the choir concert cookies, missing address labels, the angel who suddenly doesn't light up, the fun of Christmas gatherings, piles of friends-and-family-shoes in the entry way, and finding a good coupon code for Cyber Monday (which you will have also already missed by the time you read this).
Every year, we look for special ways to enjoy a season of advent with our children. We've read through books, made crafts, enjoyed service opportunities, set aside evenings for prayer and praise and I am so thankful for the ways those little moments of pause redirect my heart alongside theirs.
This year, I let our six year old set up the nativity scene for me. Then I "fixed" it. And then a few days later, she actually fixed it.
Shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph and even the animals were all turned back to Christ, facing Him, looking and focused on what was worth holding their gaze. That's where I want my eyes and heart focused during this season of advent anticipation as well.
Last Christmas, our church was in the middle of a commitment to write out Scripture.
And last Christmas was different for me as far as staying focused and not losing sight of what Christmas is really about. The daily pause each morning of writing out God's Word kept my heart aligned with His purpose, His priorities, and His Son.
This year, Lord willing, I plan to write out a passage each morning as well. And I wondered if you'd like to join me in this Mom's Advent Pause? There is something about the physical slowness of pen or pencil on paper that leads to lingering, abiding, meditating, mulling over, and sinking in. I invite you to join me each morning leading up to Christmas for a purposeful advent pause spent writing out God's Word, finding rest in who God is...and in the peace that comes to us through the arrival of the Christ Child.
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” --Mark 6:31
So, if you'd like to join in... grab your Bible, a pen or pencil and a small journal. I'm purposefully not going to list dates, so whenever you read this, whatever day it is, that is the exact perfect day for you to begin.
May God Bless you and your family this Christmas and may your Advent be one of true anticipation as we look forward and give thanks for the gift of God's Son, Jesus.