January 1 has come and gone and a new year has dawned.
New year, new you posts are popping up everywhere and encouragement to set goals for the new year is a big part of our newsfeed.
I am not looking to adopt a list of innovative things to satisfy the many new year mantras. Instead, I hope to continue to make space for Advent living all year.
If you know my story of the last five to six years, you understand my desire to make space for advent living all year. It is not just words I wrote about, but a way of living I long to adopt.
The hope is that the expectancy of all that is to come doesn’t end when Christmas arrives each year.
What is Advent Living?
Six years ago, God called me to look at Advent as so much more than the four weeks leading up to Christmas. The invitation was a clear call to action to develop an understanding of what Advent is all about.
I love it when the liturgical calendar transitions out of ordinary time so I was up for the challenge. The most significant mind shift was learning that Advent encompasses more than four weeks. It is the period of time between when Jesus arrived and when He comes again or when we go home to see Him.
Advent living spans the time of our lives from birth to death. It is not just the four weeks listed on the calendar as “Advent.” This new knowledge excited me to recognize that all of the pieces I love about Advent are ongoing.
Themes of waiting, wilderness living, hope, joy, anticipation, and celebrating the arrival weave throughout our lives. Each of these plays integral parts in my own life and I wonder if that is the case for you too?
The Themes of Advent Living
Let’s consider what messages we hear when celebrating the Advent season.
Advent mirrors our lives. It is the beginning of our stories. At some point in our lives, we intersect with Jesus and His story becomes one with ours. This takes us on a journey of highs and lows, seasons of waiting, celebrations of joy, and all the varied events that happen in between.
Our lives are beautiful, wild, and ever-changing. Advent is the same because it reflects what Jesus wrote for us in our stories.
One of the biggest themes throughout the season of Advent or our lives is “Preparation.” If we choose to move forward into a new job, a new family, or a new location, we will take time to prepare for what is next. It is a natural expected step.
A second theme that occurs is “expectation or anticipation.” When was the last time you looked forward to something? I looked forward to a “Jack and Mimi sleepover” last week. I also am leaning into all that 2023 will bring. Expectation is a key theme in our daily lives. It also intertwines throughout our spiritual lives as we look forward to the second coming of Jesus.
The third theme prominent in Advent is the idea of waiting and living seasons in the wilderness. If we are living in a time between when Jesus was born and when He will come again, we have experienced what it looks like to wait. Are we waiting well knowing that Jesus is always with us?
Finally, there is joy and adoration. The baby Jesus arrives and the shepherds and angels sing “glory to God in the highest.” Adoration is as simple as thanking God daily for all He has done for you. Joy is the gift we receive when we became believers.
Looking at Advent as a Legacy we Leave
I began looking at Advent as a legacy I can leave with my kids and grandkids this year. It falls into place with making space for Advent living all year round because it is ongoing.
Legacy grows over time. Peter Strople, a business strategist, describes legacy like this:
Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.
Leaving your people with the gift of how to live well during a wilderness season is Advent living.
Leaving a sense of expectant joy when facing each day is Advent living.
Knowing how to prepare well for ordinary life as well as living with eternal life in mind is Advent living.
Growing who you are as a child of God is Advent living.God holds the timeline of our lives, but we have the choice to make each day as to whether we keep our focus on God to grow our legacy or travel off-road. Making Space for Advent Living All Year Click To Tweet
How will you make space for advent living all year as we begin 2023?
Empowering women to leave a legacy that is God-honoring and soul-filling!
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Mary this is such a wonderful message. My soul is warm with joy and excitement as I anticipatedly wait in this wilderness season.
“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” I love how that is said! Hopefully what I leave is a sense of inner peace (even through the struggles of life) and it’s never too late to learn something new. When I think of this, I realize, if I want to leave that behind, I need to also be living it out better!
The quote is one that I can’t get out of my mind. It makes more sense than the tangible things we try to leave behind. I think inner peace is beautiful to leave and I agree that how we live our lives teaches more than we know. Thanks for being here.
I love this idea of making space for Advent all year long, Mary. Advent really does mirror our lives day by day. I love that definition of legacy, too! Thank you for this encouragement! Love and blessings to you!
I’m glad we are kindred souls. There are many things that we box into a certain timeframe and we don’t give them the space that they are due. I love that definition of legacy too. Happy New Year!
Advent is one of my favourite times and I agree, there are so many features we can carry through the year as we wait for Jesus to come again and as we live with a mixture of joy and longing.
The idea of living with both joy and longing describes life very well. May we learn and embrace the tension of sitting with both. Happy New Year!
I do want to carry the wonder, the anticipation, and the resiliency of Advent into the coming year. Jesus has come. Jesus will come. We are people of the wilderness who await deliverance, but we wait in hope and with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Thankful that we stand together in this liminal space.
You always leave such encouraging comments. I also love that you get me and my love of Advent. I pray we find such comfort in living out Advent throughout the year.