A repost for Throwback Thursday…
Since this post, Theresa has had another girl and a boy and is now expecting #6! She has just spent several weeks on her couch (extreme morning sickness) and is starting to emerge to enjoy this Advent season! What an appreciation for life, for busy-ness, for hard work and for mayhem she will have in the coming weeks!
I love this time of the year…the smells, the lights, the getting ready for His coming!
Since I was a child, Advent has always started with going outdoors, into the fields and creeks, searching for bark, stones, moss and any unique berries or native grass, to make our Christmas stable.
We looked forward to this day, as kids, for many reasons….a day off school, time outside gathering neat things from nature, but most of all the tradition of putting together our stable, in readiness for the birth of our King!
The stable was a focus in our home growing up and each year we tried to outdo last year’s creation. With ponds, fences, valleys and hills in our scene, it got to where it covered an eight-foot table!
Now that I am married and we have our own home, we carry on the stable tradition, just in a smaller four-foot version.
Another thing we did when we were kids was go searching for our Advent wreath, which had been in hiding for almost a year. The first Sunday of Advent we would light the first candle. We took turns every night lighting it for Rosary time.
I am married to a carpenter, so our Advent wreath has a different look. We call it our “Advent Block”. It is made from a leftover post, trimmed to size by my husband, decorated and holes drilled in the top, where our candles stand, purple and pink.
Usually and by now we would have made a manger for the kids. They put their straws in it for each sacrifice they make…..providing a safe and warm place for the Child Jesus to lie.
I would be organizing and getting the house ready for the great Feast Day.
We would have cookies baked and stored…Christmas cards ready to send.
My children and I would have started wrapping a few gifts, in the evenings, for cousins, grandparents and friends.
We would look forward to the week of Christmas when we decorate the house…a splash of poinsettias, lights and garlands would make their appearance!
Christmas Eve, sometimes the day before, we put on the Christmas music, haul in the tree and decorate it! Devin does the lights, the kids and I finish it off with golds, reds and greens!
This year has been very different. I am pregnant with my fourth child and very sick. This is my third pregnancy that has started this time of year.
I am overjoyed with a new soul, a new baby, growing inside me, but truth be told, it is hard on me to let go and lay sick, while I want to be up and preparing for Christmas!
I have had my times of tears, in my big chair where I am planted, knowing everyone else is preparing….baking, excited!
From a mom who loves making traditions, enjoying everything from the lights, the smells, the carols….to a mom laid out, that can’t handle the smells, can’t move to make traditions happen, sits and watches as her husband take over the house, the kids, the cooking….yes, it has been hard.
Then, the other night, it hit me! In my mind’s eye, I saw Our Lady traveling and very pregnant.
At the end of her months, with no thoughts of herself she followed her husband to Bethlehem.
I am sure the long journey was bumpy and cold. Being due to have her Child, Our Lady must have been very weary.
Her answer was, “Yes” from the time the Angel appeared and asked her to be the Mother of God to the time her Son hung on the cross for our sins…..
She wasn’t able to prepare her own home for the coming of her Child. In fact, she didn’t even know where her Baby would be born. But she still said, “Yes.”
And then, as we all know, in a drafty stable, surrounded by the sounds and smells of the animals, our Savior was born.
Our salvation was made possible because of a humble, holy Mother that said, “Yes.”
I still have my times of tears and it hasn’t gotten easier being so sick, but these thoughts have helped me and I pray to be given the grace, this Advent, to more often utter that word….”Yes.”
“Let us not forget that in true womanliness is our strength, and that the end of our being is to comfort and bless and love…” – Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1893
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To the modern mind, the concept of poverty is often confused with destitution. But destitution emphatically is not the Gospel ideal. A love-filled sharing frugality is the message, and Happy Are You Poor explains the meaning of this beatitude lived and taught by Jesus himself. But isn’t simplicity in lifestyle meant only for nuns and priests? Are not all of us to enjoy the goodness and beauties of our magnificent creation? Are parents to be frugal with the children they love so much?
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Congrats on number 6! The kids love advent too, and I mean a real advent thanks to the readings Leanne posts. Our advent as a kid was more of a “Christmas” but without candy. The ones now have so much more meaning! Thank you ever so much!
You’re welcome Mary Anne. ☺️🙏🏻