Before this Advent Season began, I tried to make a plan – I wanted to be more aware, calmer and focused on the Season and the preparation for Jesus – I wanted to have a much slower pace – this has been happening in my running without me planning it! – but I wanted this slower pace in my spiritual life during this Advent Season.
This is one of my favorite times of the year – not the Christmas part, but the preparing part – the being alert to the Christmas story – to imagining what Mary was feeling – to wonder how John the Baptist made it as far as he did when he lived such an austere and crazy life. I often wonder what was going through Joseph’s mind and heart – what were the neighbors saying? – and why did Mary feel compelled to make that long trip to be with Elizabeth, a woman of wisdom and support for her. What did they talk about during the 3 months they were together? This Season gives me time to pray and reflect on these questions and more – if I slow down my pace and take the time to be quiet and listen.
I love this Advent Season as we prepare for Christmas love. I can’t help but get a smile on my face as I think about the sights, the smells, the sounds, and the songs of preparation. And I know exactly what I want out of Christmas. Very simply, I want to feel joy and peace with the people that I love – to enjoy their laughs, their stories, and their smiles.
It really is not that complicated, but still I manage to over complicate this every single year. I get caught up on when are we going to do the cookies, decorate the house, buy the tree? When am I going to write my cards? When am I going to wrap my presents?
This year I am consciously trying to take a deep breath because when I slow down, I realize that this wonderful Season of Advent is speaking to me – telling me to prepare, to listen – to relive the stories of Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist – to make ready my heart for the coming of Jesus. Happy Advent!