Advent is one of my favorite times of the year. Growing up I paused each Sunday in Advent with my family. We lit the Advent candle on the wreath and said a prayer. However, the deeper meaning of Advent was lost on me.

In the last few years, I made a change in how I approach Advent. I dig in deeper rather than hold onto the surface of checking off my Sunday obligation. Preparing for Christmas looks like leaning into God rather than hurtling through the season without purpose. I am taking time to open my heart to God with expectant hope and joy for the beautiful gift of His son, Jesus.

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In this time of waiting, I press pause on the overwhelming busyness of the holidays. I let go of striving for “too much” and embrace the One who is “just enough”. I intentionally invite God into my time of preparation and reflection and discover the gift is always there if I only open my eyes to see it.

Advent is a time of resting and breathing in the joy of the season. Advent is a call to slow down while the world beckons us to hurry up. It is when we choose quiet stillness over the loud voices urging us to “do more”. Advent is saying “yes” to God and “no” to a Homes and Garden perfection displayed throughout our home. It is remembering that presence is the best present this season.

This Advent I am seeking simplicity. A chance to deepen relationships. Intentional quiet time with God. Waiting expectantly with hope for new life that comes with the birth of Jesus. Seeking a restful spirit and a hope-filled heart in a season where neither is the automatic response.

In the time of waiting, God sits in the quiet and matches our heartbeats to His in a union of love. He hears each silent cry and gathers up our brokenness in the process of making us whole again. God works with us to create a future that we seek with our whole being. He cherishes the invitation we extend when we choose Him before the holiday craziness.

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In the pulling back we make room for God to prepare our hearts. He takes the shadows of darkness that cloud our vision and shines His light, scattering the dark corners that invade our mind. When we make time to seek God’s truth, our focus becomes clear. Our Advent walk aligns our Advent heart with God’s in a deep inhale of grace for every misstep. Redemption finds us and allows us to exhale praise to our Father.

1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
3-5 Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out. John 1:1-5 MSG

Seek the present of God’s Word and ready yourself for new life bathed in eternal light. May you find the gift of presence as you await the birth of Jesus.

Waiting expectantly,

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