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.
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.
[Tweet “Our Advent walk aligns with an Advent heart when we inhale God’s grace and find His redemption.”]
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.
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.
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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.” I so appreciate this today Mary. Christmas can also be a season of forced happiness, walling the darkness to only get darker. Your message of being still in these Advent days is needed also to allow God to work His light in a time that can also evoke a natural grieving.
Your words mean so much to me. There is a sense of staying within myself instead of reaching out in love to others. I know part of that is due to the season of grieving that I am experiencing. You speak with wisdom and always take time to encourage. I appreciate you Lynn.
There is peace here. Tranquility. The quietness in your spirit shows through your intentional choices, friend.
What a soothing start to this week’s advent ponderings …
Thank you for recognizing what my soul so desperately craves. It takes a lot of intentionality to choose Advent stillness over and over each day. Your gentle spirit is soothing here in this space.
I’m right there with you seeking His presence this Advent. Though the world presses on the accelerator, I’m trying to push on the brake. I want to slow down, make simple, and allow the Spirit of God to really move in me this Advent. I’ve been taking measured steps in letting some things go so that I can let more of Him in. Beautiful!!
I would love to hear about what you are letting go of. I am intrigued by how others dig deeper during the season of Advent. I know that I did not really understand the meaning behind it until a few years ago. I am still discovering and learning. Blessed that you joined me here and shared your words of encouragement.
Inspiring words, Mary! I love this, “Advent is a call to slow down while the world beckons us to hurry up.” What a great way to look at it. I’m joining with you in waiting expectantly, my friend.
Thank you Beth! The call to slow down is a daily struggle and one that I need to be intentional with consistently. I am a definite work in progress as I walk this journey through the season of Advent to Christmas. So glad you stopped by today.
Resting and breathing in the JOY of the season – yes, and Amen! Waiting expectantly with you, my friend!
Thank you for your affirmation. It is a daily choice I need to make because I can too easily go a different direction. Thank you for being here!
Leaning rather than hurtling.
Yes, yes, yes.
Even with the squares of my calendar, I’m trying to be more intentional about leaving white space for the quiet contemplation. It’s such a challenge, and I’m so thankful for your encouragement on the way.
I pray the white spaces on your calendar stay white. It can be hard to do but so worth it. I imagine you still have a number of commitments because of the sons who still live with you.
Blessed as always to have you here. I hope the challenge is one I can embrace fully too.
Hi Mary – praying for God to bring me to the Advent you describe in your message. That is the quiet celebration my heart is seeking this year. May our Lord bless you with His love and perfect peace this Advent and in the coming year.
I will pray for that you for you too Karen. You have a lot of things happening this month. Treasure the family time and the presence of being together, Love you friend!
Love Advent! So much THIS: “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”
Thank you Tara! I love Advent too. I pray this season is a time of slowing down for you.
Beautiful. While I’m finding it hard to slow down, my heart yearns to come to that place. He keeps calling me, and I keep inching closer.
I can sense you getting closer Barbie! You have had quite the ride the last year but you have persevered. I pray you feel God calling you to peace in this season. Love you friend!