Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent 2010.

Advent has just sort of happened this year. My mom and I went to the little parish church in Podunk, NH, on Saturday morning; I fed the baby and coped with severe back pain while she hung up her astonishingly beautiful banners. Then it was suddenly Sunday evening, and we were lighting our first candle on the wreath. I blinked, and it was Wednesday. So, the girls and I started on our Jesse Tree ("In the beginning...").

Now it is Friday, and the first week is almost over. Time to reflect for a moment while the baby sleeps, Miriam gathers firewood, and Bella sits on her potty.

Dear Little Six-Pound, Seven-Ounce Baby Jesus,


What I want for Christmas This Year and How to Get It

1. The self-pity party must stop. It's been quite a busy 18 months here in the Philosophical Family. And still, crises keep piling on. As the days grow shorter and colder, I find my little introvert soul turning in on itself and looking behind: "So, cold, so sad, poor little stay-at-home mom." We've been listening to the ingenius Pooh Audio Books (you must get a hold of these), and I realized with a laugh that I sound exactly like Eyeore: "Well, why not? We can't all have houses now, can we?" I want all the crises to stop. But they're only crises insofar as I sit and moan about them. St. Paul tells me, "Look not behind, but only ahead to the prize which is to come." Or something like that. Advent calls me to look forward, to be free from all that came last year or last Spring or even last night. Looking ahead, not behind.

2. Get back to the Scripture. Speaking of St. Paul, I've been totally lax on praying the Divine Office. Advent resolution: Start each day with one psalm, and rest each afternoon with one Psalm. Waiting for the Christ child to arrive should mean praying with our Jewish brothers and sisters, going back to be with them in their waiting. I want so much to get back to the Psalms, which cry out for the Savior to come.

3. Go to Confession. 'Nuff said. At a time of life when my brain can hardly engage in meditation, I need the Sacraments so much. I don't often feel contrition or consolation or rejoicing, whether due to sleep deprivation or just a long day with Little People. But "there's an app for that." It's called objective absolution, and it's available in the Sacrament of Penance.

4. Say: It's okay to play Christmas Music during Advent. Miriam and Bella said this.

5. Use that Bread Machine with Pride! A lot of people will be getting bread for Christmas from us. There's no need to add to the list of to-do's by insisting on "handmade." "Home-made-in-a-bread-machine" tastes just as good. What does this have to do with Advent? Well, I'm hoping it will leave more time for quiet-ness, reflection, and play with the kids. At the very least, it will smell like Christmas.

Onward! Behold, He comes...


LP said...

thank you for the chuckle at #4, and the act of "submission" to your little ones :) I like the bread machine resolution too. Simple is simple, no need for adding pressure when the world offers quite enough!

had the same experience of "blinking" and it being Wednesday - then Friday. Sad that the grown up world goes like that sometimes!

Anonymous said...

I needed to hear this, especially what you said about going forward, not back. It's been one crisis after another here, too, and my mind has wandered oh so very far away from God, my husband and my daughter. We haven't even set up our Advent wreath! Eek!

Maica Kozak said...

Great resolutions!
And, I always count bread machine bread as home-made. Really!

claire said...

You have had several posts about feeling overwhelmed and inadequate since the birth of your third. I can relate to all of this. Two seemed like a handful, but manageable and three just showed me how much I need to give up my need to control it all!
Your attitude, especially in this post, reminds me how motherhood is a privileged opportunity to sit with the weak Infant Christ and His even weaker Mother. This Advent I will meditate on the nature of such a radical gift of Love.