Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thoughts on Advent {and being humbled in the process} ...

It's been a long time since this little Mama wrote an actual blog post (other than Liv's updates).  I was starting to feel like blogging was taking up the precious time that I had to be Mama the Memory Keeper, to be in the moment with my babies.  I was starting to feel pressure (self-inflicted of course) to keep up with blogging, even though I was completely stretched thin for time and creative energy. I also didn't want to be that Mama who appeared to have it ALL together, when so much of the time I'm humbly feeling like a hot mess. So I've been spending my time getting the hang of being Mama to two and trying to enjoy the little moments with those sweet girls.

I knew that I wanted to implement an Advent calendar with Miss Hannah this year. She may only be two and a half, but she walks, talks, and acts like a 5 year old most of the time. I thought that if I kept things simple, she could certainly understand the main concepts and that it would keep our entire family's focus on the true meaning of this special season. I found an adorable printable kit, and knew that I wanted something to decorate our kitchen wall with anyway.

God often uses the everyday experiences, and many times my children, to humble me... to bring me back to him and to remind me what's REALLY important. As I sat down to put together the Advent calendar/bunting, I was s-t-r-e-s-s-i-n-g. The printer was out of ink, my activities needed to be organized, I ran to the craft store for supplies, but they were now scattered everywhere... Liv was of course crying while Hannah begged to dig in to the supplies. I was trying to wrap my mind around how to make our bunting, organize the days, include Hannah, and all I could here was "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!!" and a fussing baby. Cue Mama-melt down... laid my head on the table and almost cried.

In all my over-dramatic glory, I looked over and saw the Jesus Story Book Bible that we'd be using for the Advent and quickly remembered that this was NOT about a perfectly crafted display. It was not about me being an organized super-mom.  It was about showing my girl what this IS all about. I quickly grabbed some Christmas-y scrapbook paper, stickers and crayons from my box for her to create with. I took a deep breath, and I opened up the Bible to read the first story. I was instantly humbled and amazed by how intently she was listening.

I'm learning--more and more each day-- that in every situation, she is watching. As her Mama, I set the tone for the day and often the direction that our attitudes and moods will go. That is why our family is  taking time during this special season, each day, to read a piece of THE story...that will lead our girl to Jesus. We will also do an activity--nothing fancy or difficult,  that helps me to pause and spend precious moments with her, and make sweet memories. THAT above all else is what matters... NOT perfect crafts, or Pinterest-worthy decorations, shiny floors or squeaky-clean bathrooms. Amen? I pray that each of you pause to spend this kind of quality time together with your family this Christmas.

In case you're interested...

The printable kit is found HERE, by Heather at Life Made Lovely.
Inside each craft paper envelope is the Bible Story for the day from The Jesus Storybook Bible.
On the back of each piece of scrapbook paper is that day's activity. Some days it's just coloring, and some days there is no activity due to a busy weekend. Here are some of the things we're doing...

Put up/decorate the Christmas tree
String popcorn for the tree
Make paper snowflakes
Color a Christmas Coloring sheet
Surprise- a new special book
Surprise- a new Christmas movie
Hot Cocoa, Popcorn and family movie night
Bake sugar cookies
Write a list to take to Santa
Go visit Santa
Make a peg-people nativity
Paint Ceramic Christmas ornaments
Make a hand-print ornament with Sissy
Go see Christmas in the Park (Christmas lights)
Make a gingerbread house
Go shopping for a small gift for Sissy
Sing Christmas songs

HERE's another post about how we keep Christmas simple around here.

I hope to be back soon!