Sunday, December 1, 2019

Advent 2019

Advent!  It's my favorite time of year- life has slowed down in the Aneed home and we are awaiting the coming of Christmas with anticipation.

I am surprised as my children grow older how many of my advent activities they still look forward to.  Tradition and Nostalgia, it seems, trump feelings of being "too old" or "too mature".  They have been talking for the past weeks about the days they know are coming.  They each have favorites.  I had planned to do more "new" things at this stage in their lives; I assumed they'd outgrow Christmas Baths and Window Cling Day, but I was wrong.  They love the memories: Christmas brings out the youngest parts of them.  They even refuse to let me get rid of our Little People Nativity set!  We are long past the Little People stage for every day play, but today they still set up their toddler nativity set, still wanted fresh batteries so the angel could glow as "Away in the Manger" played, still wanted to give voice to the chubby little wisemen.

I watched them today as they eagerly embraced wonder and couldn't help but think about how to pull more of this wonder into our every day.  I could not help but ponder how I can provide more opportunities for them to throw their age and the expectations that come with getting older by the wayside and give them opportunities to just innocently worry about nothing but play and laugther.  I thought of Jesus words, "Let the children come to me" and  I wondered how often I push my children to move past the very childlikeness he embraced.  How often I am too independent myself, to caught up with cares and worries and 'to do' lists, to just run joyfully into my Saviors lap?  Children teach us so much!

I am aware as I type of all the mamas who are stages ahead of me in life; I know many a friend who would be quick to remind me how young my children still are!  Yes, we have made it past diapers and potty training.  We have four kids who can ride bikes and read.  Those foundational physical skills have been accomplished, but how much more is yet to be done in nuturing and growing their hearts.  Each day the weight of parenting is apparent; the passage of time ever swift.  Days like today carry a lightness, a freedom of childhood that my heart craves.  I sit and savor.  Perhaps the nostalgia of the day pushed me back into the world of blogging, afterall so many precious memories are held here.  Perhaps I sit to type to stay in these moments just a bit longer, to cherish a little deeper, to make a record to look back upon with fondness.  This blog is a permanent time capsule I can always dig up and I am grateful for the record of my teeny children that is kept here.  So I return to record more in THIS blissful life stage of children who are capable of so much and yet still have hearts full of innocence and joy.    God has given us much and as we focus on him this month, I will record again the joy and peace this focusing on him brings us each year.

This year our Advent season will be a bit compressed.  Moving cross country has made us renege on our vow to always spend Christmas at home.  (School vacation is limited and the distance from grandparents is far.)  This year we will spend Christmas with Marc's family in Colorado.  Packing up all our gifts becomes difficult when we have six people and all our winter gear.  We will just do Christmas stockings on Christmas day and open up presents early on 12/20 before we leave.  This has made advent planning a bit compressed.  I had to pull back on outings to fit in all the my children's "must have days";)

Advent Day 1:

Advent is a word taken from the Latin language that means "the coming".

We are eargerly waitng for Christmas, now just 25 days away.  The jewish people were eagerly waiting for the coming of the Messiah for hundreds of years!  As we anticipate Christmas, lets make sure to focus on what it is really about- not presents and wish lists, not chocolate lollipops and cookie making, not even family and friends.  Christmas is about Jesus.  Jesus came many years ago as a baby.  Let's not forget as we anticipate the day celebrating his first coming, that Jesus is COMING AGAIN!!!!  Many missed his first arrival, they were looking for the wrong things; they had their own ideas about who the Messiah "should be".  Let's make sure we are focusing on Jesus and learning about who HE tells us he is.  Let's make sure we are honoring him in our hearts and by our actions.

Today, along with out box of Christmas books and nativity, we will get out our manger, reminding us of the humble way Jesus came.  Every time we honor him with hearts of humility and service, we will add hay to the manger as a symbol of hearts that welcome him.  Today we will also remember that Jesus came to earth to die....came to be payment for our sin.  We will set up our Christmas tree, evergreen and full of life because our Saviors death upon a tree gave us life eternal.

Each year the kids get an ornament that represents something they are into at that age.  It's funny now for Phin to hang his Elmo ornament and for Ava to hang her Disney Princess heart.  I tell them they may laugh in five years at this years ornament.  They never believe me....Ava is geeking out to Dr. Who so she has a Tardis Ornament (It looks like a phone booth but I am told it is not...I don't ask too many questions- SCI-FI is she and Marc's thang;)  Phin chose a Thor bobble head looking thing, Christian chose Blank Panther.  Chloe chose a gittery pink bottle of nail polish.

Our tree is far too small, and crowded with ornaments.  Each ornament on our tree holds a memory- one for each trip we've taken since marriage, one for each year of each childs life, a few precious gifts...the tree a reminder that God is life and love and the abundance of ornaments a reminder of the abundance of blessings he bestows.

What has not changed, whether is has been recorded on a blog or not, is my love for playing with food.  What would Christmas Tree day be without a little food fun?;) 

Christmas Tree day is Chloe's favorite advent day.  She decked herself out in Christmas attire and she is always my sous chef in the kitchen.  Christmas tree waffles were the menu tonight and she helped every step of the way;)

We recieved  The Advent Book from our mentors 14 years ago when I was pregnant with Ava.  It is a nightly treasure to this day.

1 comment: