How are you today?
It's beautiful here in Fort Worth. Cool but not cold... the rollercoaster of "winter" is about to start... high 60's and low 70's later this week, but by mid-week, next week, we may see our first flurry. Gotta love it.
Are you enjoying Advent? We really are. Marque has been home for a week or so and it's been nice doing the family readings and lighting the candles with him home. Yesterday, in the Advent Calendar, the card said, make homemade hot chocolate and watch Polar Express. That was a great way to end our weekend.
I have to be honest, this has been a hard year for me personally. Lots of loss, friends sick with cancer, and other health-related things. I've been doing so much for others, I haven't had time to blog or craft or anything. To top it off, Marque's travel schedule is so thick right now, we are not going anywhere for Christmas (we didn't for Thanksgiving either). And so - it's kind of a bummer. So I have found several sources to remind me throughout the day, what Advent is about. I need to take stock and be uplifted. You know?
I am really enjoying several Advent Readings this year.
- The Dynamic Catholic's Best Advent Ever
- Heart of Mary Women's Fellowship
- Magnificat Advent Companion (book)
- Live Advent At Home (book)
- Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift (FaceBook)
Advent is a time for family, for re-assessing your heart and making sure you are moving in the right direction... for readying yourself for Christ. Last night our conversation as a family was about being ready all the time, you know "but mom, aren't we always supposed to be ready?" Yes, yes we are. And during Advent we concentrate even harder on weeding out what we've not gotten right and working on things.
One of the first Devotions on the Best Advent Ever, there was a bonus video by Jen Fulwiller (I don't really know her, but I call her Jen because you know, I know her "in my mind"). Anyway.. she talks about striving for perfection, and she is describing what I have been going through "in my mind" about my conversion, about never being good enough, etc. I had not been able to put it into words. And I'm so happy I listened to this clip. Day 4, Best Advent Ever. So now you know, I have been beating myself up, comparing myself to others... not "getting" everything about our Faith, and really struggling. But I could never put it into words because I was too busy stressing over it. HA
I am really enjoying this Advent because I have let that go. I don't feel like I have to do everything everyone else is doing. I'm no longer confused about what Catholicsm is (yes, I was confused by the people, not the teachings). I also realize that I am not "good enough" for God. None of us are, but HE loves us, imperfections and all. And people - no one can take that away from you (or me). Thank you Jesus.
In 2012 or before, I honestly can't remember... I created cards for our Advent Calendar. Specific things I knew we did and some I knew that we needed to do. I've seen many people selling them online and though I don't mind the entrepreneurial spirit, I say, get some business cards (Avery, but be careful of the glossed ones because your ink won't stick to them if you have a laser jet printer (ask me how I know - ha!)) add art or a border, and print them out for yourselves!! I just redid ours (he's 12 now) and here are the kinds of things that are on our cards:
These cards make our Advent Calendar so much more meaningful than a little chocolate or a toy in the calendar. I am not shaming people who do that. Just sharing ideas. Later this week, I will share some resources for explaining Advent to a child.
We are really enjoying 6th Grade. Today is Monday, and since we go-go-go all weekend, I let him sleep in, when I can, on Mondays. I actually have pictures of science to share, but I think I will save it for a separate post. I'm going to tell you about the science curriculum we are using. We LOVE IT!
Christopher is a natural at editing. He does well, instinctively in English. Like me, that makes it harder to learn. No seriously. It's like, I GET IT, MOVE ON. But we have to know the names of the nouns, etc. lol Poor us, we are learning together. HA
We are really enjoying our Parish. As converts, we really struggled to find our home. The first Parish was love filled. But their Religious Ed and other things left a lot to be desired. The second Parish was very spirit-filled and Pious, but not friendly. But this Parish seems to be the right amount of both and we are thrilled. I feel like I am telling the Goldilocks story. HA
Well, we never did get our home painted. Sigh. And I am glad we didn't. We ended up needing to replace our appliances (microwave and stove/oven did a tandem die, so we replaced the whole suite).
I may have already told ya'll. SO if I am duplicating, forgive me. But here is a picture of our kitchen all decked out in stainless steel:
We had Thanksgiving here, just us three... and we loved these new appliances. Truly blessed.
I hope to blog more. I really do have a lot to say, but I'm perpetually behind and frankly, in this season, the blog is not my priority. I am working on a plan. Thank you for your patience.
Love, hugs & blessings,