As I sit in the dark with the light of the freshly lit (but not decorated-yet) tree I want to remember this Advent for a few reasons. We were pretty diligent about our daily Jesse tree readings this year which makes me happy. Our Advent Activities of service and sacrifice were completed - but not nearly as spaced out or emphasized as I would have liked; maybe that's just because they are now knitted into the normal of our Advent that I don't need to make a big deal about them. We did just barely squeeze our praying at the graveyards yesterday but we did it. Thank goodness God loves those just the same who come at the 1st hour and the 11th : )
As for me, this Advent I really have been drawn to 2 things.
The first is that God is showing me that I am a hypocrite. I tell my kids to tie their shoes and won't let them leave the house until they are tied and then I turn around and wear my shoes untied ALL DAY LONG. Now when I look down at my shoes I have a much different perspective - am I modeling the words that are coming out of my mouth for my kids, or am I saying 'do as I say, not as I do'. Same thing with yelling and correcting the kids. I can sit here and raise my voice and use harsh words but when they turn around and do the same, I get upset. Oh the hypocrisy of it all. I have to believe God is showing me this to change my heart so I can change my ways so to be a better mama to all these kids He has given us. I'm working on it.
The second thing that has really struck me this Advent came twice in the form of songs the kids were singing at their programs. In one "He is the Christ, God's baby boy, let the people rejoice and sing for joy." In M's program "Moo moo says the cow, bah bah says the sheep, how in the world did God's baby sleep?" Having a baby at Christmas time really hits home and I've sat with C thinking about Mary looking down at Jesus and thinking, God's baby boy. The liturgical years flies through Jesus' childhood because not much is known about it. But when you take the time to sit down and think about God's baby boy and how awesome that is, it is pretty incredible.