Sunday, December 03, 2006

1st Sunday of Advent

As Advent unfolds and as Christmas approaches, our life gets busier - plain and simple.

Most days we have two or three or (four) extra things on.

Highlights of this last week include the parish BBQ ( Gerry and the kids and I did some of the work involved), Kumon meetings, Group Learning, several medical appointments, Thomas' birthday with a party in the morning and a dinner in the evening, a flying visit from son Greg, Gerry in Canberra, the Advent programme at our parish, shelving at Kumon on the weekend, an early Christmas party, Thomas and Anthony's piano concert today, a staff meeting today, Advent preparations.

It doesn't slow down this coming week, either.

Dh ~Gerry ~ says that I am known for my tendency to fit a 36 hour day into 12 hours.

This tendency magnifies during Advent and Christmas.

I like to be busy. Truly. I like to both be and do.

However, as the busyness increases, I am aware of my need for peace. Of my family's need for peace.

I am taking time each day for me - my workout time. I am working out harder to make up for all the extra eating occasions that occur at this time!

I also resolve not to give in to the temptation to match my busyness with a corresponding increase in short temperedness with dh and the kids.

I resolve to be peaceful in my interactions with my dh and children. At peace but not necessarily quiet ~ I wouldn't want to shock them!

I resolve to be peaceful in my interior life, to continue with my Advent reading ( C.S. Lewis this year).

And so I am adopting this prayer for Advent:

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury,pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


We have this prayer on a plaque and today I rescued the plaque from the depths of our hall cupboard. The plaque is going to live in our sitting room during the Advent season.


Fr. Benedict M. said...

It sounds as though you are taking my advice re "New Year" resolutions to heart... good on you!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Leonie! Great reminders there!

Happy Advent to you and yours!

Alice said...

May you and your family have a peaceful and holy Advent!

Leonie said...

Yes, Fr - your homily was very timely.

Happy Advent Maria and Alice - hope to catch up with your blogs and Advent ideas this week.

Mb said...

One of my most favorite prayers in the world. We use to say it everyday after lunch in 8th grade. Happy memories!
Blessed Advent to you Leonie!

Anonymous said...

Blessed Advent to you, Leonie! Thanks for the beautiful reflection.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear that you can have peaceful preparation during Advent whilst still being busy. I often wondered how the SuperCatholicHomeschoolMums managed to 'slow down' and have their family quietly reflect for Advent. Try as I may we seem to have extra stuff that wont be avoided.

Not commercial Christmasy stuff, or even shopping - just trying to fit Advent prep (adding to our Christmas scrapbooks, readings, craft for the Jesse tree etc) amongst daily life things that come up - and yes, they do include making/buying presents.

Pat is off to 'Embrace the Grace'(JPII Theology of the body and water fights), for five days, and every thing we are involved with (Church, Community, dance, music etc) has a end of year party, concert, event of some sort. We also have a barage of immunisation (two to three needles every week for eight weeks) before we head off for Kenya. (Oh and preperation for that trip..... So the gentle flow has to squeeze in between the not so gentle Christmas rush that we homeschooler often claim to be imune too.

Your honestly, and plain telling it how it is in your home always reassures me Leonie!!!

We have been at the farm for five days (with six extra workers)so our usual begining of Advent was quite different (although prayerful). The work we were doing meant stories and making little St Nich gifts wont actually happen until today - St Nich's day.

One of the many things that you have taught me Leonie is to work with what we have and not wait for the perfect setting and circumstances. So rather than fight against the tide of intrusions - we are embracing them as part of the Christmas lead up.

Wasn't it so much easier to do all of this when they were all small, their whole world was contained within our home and we could spend the day making Christmas cookies and reading the 263rd Christmas book in the box.....

Please let me know if you have a word limit to your replies - I tend to write as I talk - rambling.....

Leonie said...

No word limit - and I love hearing about your days. Is Pat's copnference with the Disciples of Jesus?
Wow, Kenya - you'll have to share all your experiences at the end.

I know what you mena about all the end of year thigns - and you know I'm no Super Cath HS Mum. lol! Your family is always so interested and interesting and you are all involved in many things - it is easier I guess when they are small but you all sound like your busyness is productive busyness.

Glad you got to back at the farm - Happy St Nicholas' day! We all text messaged ds Nick today for his feast day..

Genevieve said...

This is a lovely reflective post. I had planned on a lot of activities, decorations, music and food. Reality has set in and as you said, being busy and festive shouldn't replace being loving and gentle with my children and husband. I've already scaled back a lot for the sake of a peaceful atmospherre and I know my preparation is not to waste; There is always another year to try another tradition. *smilez*

Leonie said...

Very wise, Genevieve. :-)