Living the Seasons of the Church is new to us. Neither Mike nor I grew up knowing anything about Advent or its meaning. My family had an advent calendar growing up but I just thought it was a candy countdown to presents. I still have that one… however I don’t use it any longer. I used to put a candy in it when it was just Isabella, then Quinn came along and doesn’t like a lot of candy so Isabella would eat his too. Then I just got frustrated that we had just finished our bowl of Halloween candy and this was not about candy and I didn’t like counting down to presents anyway. It seemed so hollow. Over the past couple of years we have learned about the Seasons more. We are still newbies but love the intentionality of it. I love the history and that we are participating in something that believers have used for centuries. Mike likes the non ritualistic aspect of Advent. He is enjoying the tool of the remembering. He has always been averse to the Christmas holiday being so over rated. We don’t have the traditional wreath with the pastel colors. We have a 5 candle stand with 4 white and 1 red. It sits on Kadins royal blue Superman cape. It reminds us not only that Jesus satisfies tradition but is constant with the times too…plus he is Superman!
Our family hasn’t been able to get the tempo of doing our readings in the morning. Our daughter leaves for school before our youngest is even up. So our daily rhythm begins with Mike taking her to the bus stop and praying with her individually. As the boys get up, our days go many directions but we know we will be together in the evenings.
My favorite thing is the anticipation of knowing that we will sit down as a family. Just last night our big girl said “Daddy during our bible study will you rub my neck?” Kadin our 4 year old not only lit the candle by himself at 11:00 am (I know! SCARY… we had a talk!) but also asked if we would pray for his cut finger at our night prayer time. Quinn is our most scheduled and loves that he is the candle lighter each time.
We are not rigid people. We find ritual restricting. We don’t eat at scheduled times, we don’t hardly ever show up anywhere on time, we don’t have strict timetables for work as we work for ourselves. But learning to live this season is breath to our lungs. Our family has struggled through some very hard times recently and the anticipation that tonight I will sit with my most beloved people and Jesus will be there too makes me smile.