Advent Reflections {Week 1}

{I'm being featured on Beautifully Rooted today!
Blessed and honoured to have my story on this wonderful site.}

There is a lot of talk about Advent on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Pinterest right now. Some people are wondering why Advent has become such a big deal, and others have never really heard of it until now.

I think it's wonderful that many people are hearing about Advent or being encouraged to start an Advent tradition because of these social media networks. Of course, if Advent is just another way that we're trying to keep up with the Joneses, we have lost the entire meaning of Christmas and the hope and anticipation that Advent brings. For me, this is not the case. I have always known about Advent, but have never participated, and this year my husband and I are jumping on the Advent train in a big, big way.

Here are some ways that we are celebrating the birth of Christ, anticipating his "birthday", and remembering and reflecting on what it all means.

>> trying out best to keep up with my DIY advent calendar, and giving ourselves grace when we skip a day, or two.
>> we just started reading Good News of Great Joy, available free from Desiring God.
>> I've read and meditated on both Gospel accounts of the birth of Christ, and have now started reading the Gospel of John for this month.
>> I'm also reading an amazing book called Christmas Stories for the Heart compiled by Alice Gray. It includes stories by Max Lucado, Chuck Swindoll, Ruth Graham, James & Shirley Dobson, etc. I'd recommend looking for this at your library, it's like a way cooler Christmas version of Chicken Soup.
>> We are listening to Christian Christmas music most of the time, and really enjoying feeling the Holy Spirit stirring in our heart as we belt out "Joy To The World, The Lord Has Come!"
>> We are also hoping to start some Christmas traditions as a family. This year Daniel and I are going to see Handel's Messiah in Toronto, and will hopefully be able to continue going every few years (it's expensive, so likely not a yearly event!)

I know that is a long list, but I know personally that if I don't surround myself with the beauty of Christmas and what Christ's birth represents, my heart and mind will become polluted with what the world is telling me the "Holidays" are about. I'll become greedy and selfish and anxious, and I really want my first Christmas as a mother to be something that I can cherish for years to come, and not regret because I got lost in greed.

Check back next week for more specifics on what I'm learning!

How about you? How are you anticipating and preparing your heart for Christmas?

ps: thanks to my hubby Daniel for creating the images in this post for me! love you!

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