It’s the first week of Advent, and though it may appear that we are off to a slow start with our Advent preparations, I believe it is the best first week we have ever had. Our Jesse Tree isn’t set up, no internet still means no Holy Heroes, our traveling Wise Men have yet to appear, and only a handful of our ten (or more) Nativities have been located and set up. However, here is a peak at the special things that have been happening. How’s your Advent going?
Buddy was so excited that the new house has a very large pine tree. He locked himself in the workshop for a half an hour and created a special gift for me. He made this entirely by himself. He used barbberrries because he knows they are edible and so I wouldn’t have to worry about Little Man trying to eat anything off the wreath.
I had to break it to him that it might not survive another three weeks of forced hot air heat, but it is still looking good and there are plenty of supplies right in our backyard.
Recently, our parish was gifted with a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Families get the opportunity to keep Our Lady for one week at a time, with the promise to pray the Rosary each night before the statue. Back in September, I signed our family up but promptly forgot for which week with moving, etc. Thankfully, the Church office kept track and called me with a friendly reminder.
I’m so thankful we have this beautiful mantle for Our Lady, I’m very nervous about little hands loving Our Lady a bit too fiercely. Every time Little Man walks into the living room, he says, “Baby Jesus Mom Mom.” He has been just as excited as the rest of us to have our fair Lady in our home. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Although we have had some very late nights, and a nasty head cold making the rounds, our nighttime prayers before Our Lady have really filled our fist week of Advent with lovely focus on the reason for the season and a gentle reminder of peace.
Buddy is a funny little boy. While we were cleaning out my parents’ and grandmother’s homes this year, he chose some very random things to keep as mementos. However, two of his favorite treasures are Grandma’s nativity and Mama’s (his great-grandmother) rosary from Nazareth. He has been using it every night for prayers.
Buddy was so excited about the nativty that it went up even before Thanksgiving. He also has the antlers that the previous owner of our house left for him. He so sweetly asked if the antlers came with the house, and the man couldn’t resist. They are from the first buck Mr. L ever shot, when he was only 10. An interesting collection of decorations for sure.
What is also funny is that we found about the nativity is that for a few years, my mom’s nativity kept going “missing.” So, she would go out and buy a new one. When we cleaned out the house, we found at least five! Buddy liked this one best because it had a stable included.
With all that is going on in the world lately, it is difficult to feel peace, even in the deepest prayer, sometimes. I have been praying and trusting, and trying very hard not to worry, as Padre Pio instructed–but I am human and fail from time to time, mostly in the middle of the night. I recently asked Hubby, “How are you supposed to build security for your family with economic pressures, continually changing laws about what you can do with your land, so much uncertainty?”
He replied, “Just pray. We are fitting our family for Heaven, not here. We aren’t striving to succeed here, but live forever there.” Ahh–what I needed to hear but not the revelation I hoped him to share.
Yesterday, Little Man’s Godmother texted that she had a candle that was lit from the flame of the Peace Flame from Bethlehem. A teacher at her children’s school had driven hours to light her own candle and was spreading the light to everyone in the school. The goal is to get the flame across the country–do we ever need such a blessing! So, I drove over with my little candle and took a flame of peace back to our home. What a special and unexpected gift! Yes, we haven’t done all the items that we usually do. St Nicholas Day is in two days and I still have nothing planned, but our first week of Advent has been just as it should, full of prayer and the promise of peace, keeping our minds and hearts focused on the coming Kingdom, not just the promise of presents.