Monday, December 2, 2013

Peace Making {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

On the first day of Advent, we ate pizza for dinner - the meal of a mom who is just plumb worn out from the holiday weekend and in need of a break.  We didn't get our tree this weekend and are still debating just where on earth we will fit it this year - our first as a family of 8 now in this packed little house.

Still, I love this season.  The brass ring in the middle of the table with four candles standing tall.  The readings and the quiet moments in the dark with just one candle lit - then two, then three, and finally a triumphant four when we celebrate the most dramatic act of love humankind has ever witnessed.

Advent has become a bit of a trend lately.  In our LCMS community it has always been celebrated, but in recent years I am noticing more and more families participating.  This is a good thing.  The not so great aspect is what is true of most of our religious holidays - they tend to become commercialized.  Pinterested.  And then suddenly, instead of being a sacred, meditative time of prayer and reflection, we start to get infected with guilt that we aren't doing it a certain way.  We scroll through our social networks and are bombarded with all sorts of decorations and activities to make it special - as if the celebration of Advent really came down to what style wreath to buy or coloring sheets for the kids.

I've had Advent guilt.  Last year I just couldn't seem to get going with it.  The thing is, making too much of Advent itself misses the mark completely.  When we lose sight of the point of it all by worrying ourselves with making memories with the kids or an activity for every night, with trying to keep a gaggle of wiggly kids still and contemplative at the end of a long day.  When we miss a few days of our special devotionals because we are too tired, or the kids are sick, or it's just the one thing that had to slide on a hard day - we get frustrated.  This is supposed to be a peaceful time, so why does it feel anything but?

I need to make peace with family-style Advent.  Because mine isn't all hushed tones and murmured prayers.  There are sticky kid finger prints decorating Advent this year, and the last, and probably the next as well.  As we start off this Advent season with the theme of Peace leading the way, I wonder what it means to truly be at peace with who I am.  Where in life I am.  What life looks like from here.

A family gathered in peaceful harmony around an advent wreath is not doing a better job of Advent-ing than the Mom who put the kids to bed early and whispers quiet and desperate prayers into the dark.  We're all looking toward the light in this dark world - me, from my cluttered living room.  Someone else, from a prison cell.  Or a hotel room.  Or a coffee shop.  Or a meticulously decorated home that takes my breath away.  We are celebrating His coming, and looking expectantly to when He comes back again.

Ordinary people living ordinary lives. Imperfect Advent might just be the point after all - He came because we needed Him.  We still do.

So I'll aim for quiet and calm and it will end up a knotted mess as usual, loud and crazy the way our days usually are.  I'm making peace with Advent and with my kids and with my life - and offering it up to that sweet Christ child who says - No, it's not enough.  But that's ok, I'll take it and turn it into something beautiful anyway.  Because He's like that.

Fiona tells me she can't close her eyes as we say our prayers because she's looking at Jesus.  "Mom, you said Jesus is the light.  I'm looking toward the light."

Me too, baby.  Me too.


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


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  1. Thank you for your posts, as always. My post today was about Advent Guilt as well... sigh. And I love your "Pinterested" point - advent sometimes seems to get squished into the "make it cute and warm and fuzzy" kinda Target commercials type of thing... Sigh. Thank you for the reminder to stay mindful!

  2. Lydia,
    Thank you! I was just talking about this with my husband--my frustration over feeling like "not enough" with my Advent preparations. You, as always, articulated it so well! Such encouragement and truth, thank you!!


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