The holiday season is probably my favorite time of year. I love Christmas music, Christmas cookies, Christmas lights, Christmas presents, Christmas movies... you get the idea. I am guilty of being the person who says, "It's Christmas!" the moment I'm done eating Thanksgiving dinner.
This year I’m challenging myself to not rush into Christmas. Don’t fret, I’m still listening to Christmas music and will gladly accept any cookies, but this year I want to live into practicing Advent.
Advent, that little season that happens the four Sundays before Christmas, the historically penitential time to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s more than counting down the days to presents and celebrations but it’s a time for reflection, prayer, and stillness.
Most of you know that I do not do still very well. Even when I do manage to be physically still, my mind still races at a million thoughts a second, and the holiday season does not aid in helping me slow down. With everything from schedules and checklists to choir practice and party schedules floating around my head, there isn't much room for serenity.
That’s where my challenge comes into play. This Advent devotional was shared with me just a few days ago. Written by Forma and The Diocese of Virginia, it offers a weekly guide to examining how we prepare for Jesus to come into our worlds. It also mentions the app, Reimagining the Examen as a guide to the ancient daily practice. The Examen is a way to notice and call attention to all the ways God is working in your life and simply pray on it before the close of your day.
So that’s where I’m going to begin. With an app and the longing to slow down a little bit and notice God more. I'm looking forward to DIY-ing my own Advent wreath and reflecting on what the season is truly about. I want to invite you to join me on this journey and see how prayerfully preparing for the coming Christ changes how we see Christmas.
With love always,
P.S. I love coffee and talking about God, so please let me know if you’re interested and we can dig into Advent together over a cup of coffee or peppermint cocoa.