Saturday, November 12, 2011

Advent Series

How intentional are you about Advent?  Do you take time to stop, breathe and pray during a season when the world tells you to go, buy, do?  As a mom of three whose birthday falls in December, I'll be the first to admit that Advent can be crazy.  But I'm convinced it doesn't have to be that way.

So I've started planning early this year:

  • Instead of a Christmas card, we'll continue a tradition started a few years ago and mail a Thanksgiving card and letter.  
  • My semi-annual birthday party will be held the weekend before my birthday, when we have fewer Nutcracker conflicts.  
  • The homeschool schedule will be cleared of history, science and grammar.  We'll carry on with math and learn about the feast day of Isaiah and saints like Thomas Merton, St. Nicholas, St. Lucia and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We'll wrap up auto-biographies and biographies for literature, and spend time reading The Gift of the Magi, Kringle, The Glorious Impossible and other words that help focus our thoughts and minds on Advent.
  • Catalogs are pouring into our home.  Many of them go straight into the recycling, but this year I'm holding on to ones from Soles 4 Souls, The Heifer Project and Samaritan's Purse.  My daughters will get a gift allotment each week of Advent and then they'll choose an organization (or two) to bless.

I'm hopeful that advance planning and a willing heart will make this an Advent to remember.  Even more importantly, I hope this will be an Advent that lays a foundation for building future Decembers and everyday faith.  I hope this Advent will be one that keeps us focused on others and eagerly anticipating not just the celebration of Christ's birth, but his return.

Would you like to join us?  Many of the activities we're doing are easily adaptable for your homeschooled children, your preschoolers or as after school activities for school aged children.  In the past Fun Jar has been largely about getting your children out of the house during the heat of summer.  For Advent, it will be about using the time you have with your children during this season to turn their hearts (and your own) toward Christ.  You can join us if you live in Nashville.  Or anywhere else.  For families that are local, we may have an opportunity or two to get together.  Stay tuned.  And let me know if you're interested.

Here's my plan:  I'll post our Advent plan the Friday before each week of Advent.  Use what you want.  Add your own twists.  Participate only on the days that work for you.  Do Tuesday's activity on Thursday.  This experiment is not about following the rules.  It's about listening to your heart.

3 comments:

Amy Blazer said...

Shannon, I am very interested in the activities that you have planned. I'll definitely be staying tuned and hopefully I can join with you in spirit from Houston as we focus our minds on Christ this Advent season.

WordGirl said...

Thanks, Amy. You're so crafty - you'll have to let me know what activities you do to go along with the framework I provide!

Susan R said...

I can't wait to see all of your activity ideas!! I think you are a truly remarkable, beautiful 9 and I admire you so much!