Yet, I've come to learn that I need to start thinking and planning ahead for our family Advent to be meaningful. Each year, I desire more and more that Advent be simple, spiritual, and enjoyable, not just for my family but for me as well. As much as I try to simplify each year, there is still a lot to do when preparing for Christmas, hence stress creeps in on Mama! Ultimately, if there's one thing I have learned, it's that planning ahead is worth every minute of invested time, even if Thanksgiving isn't here yet. These are a few things I wish someone would have suggested as I was introducing more faith-based Advent activities to our family. I definitely could have used an Advent for Dummies post!
Jen from Forever For Always No Matter What is also offering a free printable planning sheet right now. Thank you, Jen:)
6. Get ourselves in spiritual order.
It's so much easier for me to quiet myself when I have frequented the Sacraments…(Ahem) Most specifically, Reconciliation. Clearing the slate and being in a better state of grace works wonders. Not to mention keeping prayer and the Eucharist (Mass and Adoration) as priorities...We owe this to our families. These things don't make the world go away but they sure help me cope a whole let better with the world! I love this quote:
"Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is not noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be there in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart."~Unknown
7. Lastly, be flexible…Things don't always go as planned!
With all of this talk of planning, this is probably my biggest "note to self." We all know that things don't always go according to plan. It is my hope that by reminding myself of this, maybe I won't be so disappointed when things don't work out how I had hoped. Things happen, whether it be financial difficulty, illness, new baby, or other. When this happens it's important not to look over at anyone else's paper, so to speak. Don't beat yourself up because your house doesn't look like somebody else's. My friend, Ann Marie, once said this about homeschooling and it's so wise:) God has the ultimate plan, not us.
In today's homily, Father M. reminded us all to live each day well and we will be prepared. By our perseverance, our lives will be secure according to the Gospel. (Lk 21:5-19) His bottom line was that we shouldn't fret over things that don't go our way or that we don't have control of. God's got that covered and He gives us the grace to live for today. We should not be people of gloom and doom but people of hope.
What a wonderful message as we prepare our hearts and homes for Advent!