Monday, December 22, 2014

Keeping It Simple: Advent

I had the perfect family Advent all planned out: a beautiful calendar with scriptures, reflections, and activities, a devotional for Shawn and I to read together daily and map out our thoughts and hopes and dreams, and a calendar full of dates with friends and every single Christmas activity I could find within a 50 mile radius.

But December 1st came and went and I instantly knew that this year was just not going to be like that. This has been our year of devotion, our year of settling in, slowing down, and simplifying in every way.  This year will not be the year of the Pinterest worthy Advent.  This year will be the year of taking each day one step at a time, less activities and more prayers, family over hustle and bustle. We'll keep that pretty Advent calendar up just for inspiration but no stressing ourselves out over what day we're on or where we're supposed to be.  This year, we're going to spend more time focusing on the whole point of this magical time instead of getting overwhelmed by the energy that surrounds it.

This year, for Advent, we've been to the lighting of the Christmas tree in our little town's courthouse square.  We've been to the holiday light safari at the zoo with our friends, made gingerbread cookies, watched fireworks on a blanket by the bayou.  And we've prayed.  And spent a lot of time together as a family, reading about the birth of Jesus and what this holiday really means to us: Jesus is the light of the world and He was born so that we may live.  Our kids have enjoyed the simple nights in the kitchen, the fun trips out to see all of the twinkly lights, and the time that we are spending together all in the name of Christmas.  To me, this is the greatest gift that I could have received this holiday season: the gift of dying to myself and my unrealistic parental expectations, the gift of loving where I am right here and right now, of saying no to more and embracing the here and now.

This is our way of preparing Him room.

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1 comment:

Sara said...

I think at the end of the day we all appreciate the holidays more the simpler we keep them. A little hustle and bustle can be fun in it's own way for a day or two, but taking the time to really be present together is so much more fulfilling than a calendar full of to-dos. Merry Christmas to you and yours Liv. I hope it continues to be so simple and full of love. <3