I’ve learned Advent comes at just the right time.
In the midst of busy minds and twinkle lights and overfilled calendars, it’s easy to give way to heavy hearts instead of peace. Our weary bodies cry out for peace, for rest, for justice - not just in our circumstances, but in our world. This inward longing is points us toward the shalom only Jesus, the Prince of Peace provides.
I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. My childhood church homes didn’t really recognize or celebrate Advent per-se, but in recent years I’ve found such joy in the practice of Advent. It’s brought the focus to this season I always felt was missing in my life but could never articulate. Yes, I knew Christmas was about Jesus and celebrating His birth, but still, most of my life, deep down, I knew there was more.
Practicing Advent has brought purpose and wonder to Christmas I’ll never outgrow (and neither will my children).
It’s a time to pause, to reflect, to remember the coming of Christ. He is called Immanuel, God with us, because Jesus put skin on and came here - to this broken world - to rescue us from sin and death. Our souls long for more - for His second coming when all will be made right once and for all. Advent moves this inward longing outward through both the celebration and the tension of worshipful waiting.
I’ve moved from a personal celebration of Advent to celebrating Advent with my family.
Yesterday was the official start of Advent, but you haven’t missed your chance to jump in! I’m all about simplicity. I’m a working momma with two very active kiddos. Like you, our days are full, and I cannot handle anything that adds extra craziness to my schedule. So in case you fear introducing Advent will be like a second job, let me just put those fears to rest.
Here are my 4 favorite go-to Advent resources:
The Advent Guide by the Village Church in Dallas. I LOVE this resource, and it’s FREE. I used it last year, and I’m using it again. I’m using the Personal Study portion in my Bible study time once a week, and our family will follow the Family Discipleship time on Monday nights.
Advent Table Cards by She Reads Truth. Our girls couldn’t wait to pull these out! They sit on our table and we use them as part of our dinner conversation. They are great for kids of all ages!
For All by Sacred Holidays. I did this personal Bible study last year and it was excellent. If you are looking for something to take your own daily time in scripture a little deeper during Advent, this is for you.
Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Calendar. This FREE resource provides a calendar for using The Jesus Storybook Bible during Advent. I haven’t used this, but I think we will give it a try next year. If your household doesn’t have The Jesus Storybook Bible, you should! I often read it without my kids, so if you live in a kid-free household, it’s for you too!
You don’t have to use all of these (or any of these, for that matter), but I can’t encourage you enough to take one step toward incorporating Advent into this season.
I want to hear your thoughts - please comment below! Do you have a go-to resource? Tell us about it! Planning to use one of the resources I’ve shared as a next step? Let me know!