Monday, November 23, 2020

Advent 2020

Download Calendar Here 
I’ve been sorting through Advent calendars and devotionals to send out for families to use at home. As I look through all the possibilities, I am getting overwhelmed and think that perhaps the best thing we can do for ourselves this year is to keep things simple.  We are zoomed out. We are frustrated with having to print this document, download that, and log in there.  As we approach Advent this year, I am personally drawn into the idea of slowing things down and participating in the waiting. I am going to revisit the book called “Learning to Walk in the Dark” by Barbara Brown Taylor and embrace the darkness.   

There are also two phrases I have been thinking about recently that I will try to use as a guide during this Advent season, and maybe they will be meaningful for your family as well.

Take your time.

What works?

Both sentences come from my friend and former first-grade teacher, Mr. Nyswaner.  “Take your time!” was his mantra to the class as we were practicing reading and writing.  I hear him say that often in my head when realizing I have been making silly mistakes and forgetting things because I am in a hurry to get something done.  (Side note: I also remember that he would promise us that if we were good listeners and were taking our time with our work, he would reward us by doing a headstand on Fridays.)  Over the years I have called Mr. Nyswaner for guidance on working with kids and parents.  In one extremely helpful conversation about managing disruptive behavior, he told me to stop asking parents what they “do” at home and start asking parents what “works” at home. Always focus on what works, he said.  

This year I am sending out a choose your own adventure-themed Advent calendar. The idea is to light a candle together with your family on the Sundays in Advent and then chose from a list of suggested ideas throughout the week or create your own. Or not! The idea is to take your time this advent season and focus and embrace what is working. What is bringing your family joy and comfort? When you identify those things focus on them – and do more of that!  

For those of you that may want to lean into Advent a little more, I am also sending a weekly Advent devotional and coloring sheets (for kids and grownups!) created by Illustrated Ministry. Due to copyright restrictions, they are now available for us to post and download. If you haven't received an Advent calendar or devotional in the mail please let me know if you would like one or additional copies of the coloring sheets or the devotional to share. I will mail them out! 

Peace and Blessings to you all as we end this crazy year. I can’t wait until we can all be safely worshiping together again!

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