Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent and Celebrating Mary~Ideas to Share!

This was our Immaculate Conception treat after morning Mass…Not exactly fancy or original!  Over the years, I have heard of other families treating themselves to white powdered donuts (or other white food) on this feast day to remind them of Mary's purity from the moment of her conception.  Most importantly for us, it's always a great discussion as inevitably there's a child or two who has forgotten that big word and what it means!  

I love the special Advent Masses…True peace of the season:)  Today Fr. M. reminded us in his homily that God chose Mary to model the relationship with Christ that we should all strive for…Complete trust and love.  Through her intercession she is always there to help us get better at this.  Leading us to the manger is what she does best.  Advent is such a wonderful time to reflect on all of this!
It is my greatest desire to be close to the manger and help my kids do the same.  I can only imagine this feeling magnified a million times for Mary…Her desire to bring all of her children close to the manger must be enough to make her Immaculate Heart swell.

  This is year is special for our family because it marks about the 10th year since we've started celebrating the Advent feast days in the home.  I've enjoyed each year so very much!  As I look back, I have fond memories of introducing new traditions, prayers, stories, and activities.  I've come to realize that it's the simple things that really matter.   For me and our family it boils down to simple... Otherwise I would never do anything at all.  After all, the manger was simple, wasn't it? No matter what we do, it's the priority of thought and prayer that counts.  There is just too much to do this time of year not to keep things simple, at least at my house.  I have learned that with one simple step at a time, we can bring new meaning to our lives and our homes.  Most importantly, this looks differently for each of us as we move forward on our individual journeys. What a blessing to share this with one another as we are families on the journey together!

I close my eyes and try to remember that like the Holy Family's journey to Bethlehem, Mary brought God into the world with simple and steady steps.  We can do the same…One small step at a time.  

That being said, the two Advent Marian feast days are my absolute favorites…The Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  No matter what else is going on, we stop what we are doing and make these days a priority.  I've also come to realize that we never regret making these special days a priority.

We put out a few visual reminders for the feast day…a couple are crafts from days gone by:)  
{Candle links below}
Out of all of the books about Our Lady of Guadalupe, these are my 2 favorites.  In the beginning, I learned right a long with my kids by reading faith-filled story books!
This is a new one I bought this year and it quickly made it to my "favorite" list:)
We will definitely be eating Mexican food this week!
 This year I also had a "lightbulb" ornament idea that I wanted to try…Well, let's just say that it looked a lot cuter in my head.  It didn't exactly turn out how I envisioned but it was a worthy try.!?!
It's just a lightbulb painted with acrylic paint and a gold sharpie.
My oldest daughter is finally at an age to be a wonderful helper and she is patient with my ideas:)
Mary, Mother of God AND Mother to us all, never ceases to fill my heart and soul with wonder…She beckons me to quiet myself and be filled with a simple message...the miracle of her baby…A baby that she delivered to deliver us all.
+Gentle woman, please lead us to the manger.+

Mantle Lantern link (Our Lady of Guadalupe and Immaculate Conception)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Candle Craft


  1. Oh my goodness! All of a sudden (and I'm sorry to say this to you), but little Angel baby looks like a big girl now. When did that happen? You know how much I love books and we may need to add that one to our collection. Thanks for the tip on that ;) I really need to slow down in December with the Amazon orders. I could so easily get carried away! Your arts and crafts are perfect and quite appropriate. Thank you, again, for sharing with us ;) Thinking of you as you count down the days to see your oldest son:)

    1. Thank you for the Advent visit, my friend! Hoping to get around to your place before Christmas…It's almost here:) Enjoying each and every moment with all of my children around the table!

  2. Amen to a simple life, Tiffany! God and family are all that matter, Advent has gone by so fast for us. Troubles of life have been getting us down (and given me gray hair). So Advent has not been as spiritual as I had planned. Thank you for your beautiful words! They have giving me hope that the rest of Advent can be better! Have a blessed feast of our Lady of Guadalupe!

    1. Thank you for your visit, Jennifer. I have been praying for you in hopes that peace might find a way to your kind and most generous heart...You have graced so many people with your awesome blog! God be with you, sweet sister in Christ!

  3. Hi Tiffany, your daughter is a sweetheart and takes after her mother. Your crafts are so cute. I so enjoy coming to your blog to be inspired. Your reflection on how our Blessed Mother is heart warming. Her Immaculate Heart must sweet with love for her children. God bless you and your family this Advent.

    1. Advent blessings right back to you, dear Noreen...Thanks for popping over! I hope to stop by your place for a visit soon:) It's almost time to wish you a wonderful Christmas!


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