How does one hold on to the liturgical season and rest in it, even dig in deeper, when our life season finds us hustling? This is the question that has floated around in my mind this Advent, but perhaps even weeks prior.
What I’ve come down to realizing is that sometimes a season looks different than what it had in the past and that change is what makes me feel the restlessness of it not feeling “just right” or worth being “good enough.” Truthfully, where I am spiritually, especially if plodding through a dry spiritual journey, also decides how well or fruitfully I feel I am living that season.
A recent messaging conversation with a social media friend had us both admitting that all the feast day/holy day celebrations we had each done with our first couple of children looked vastly different from what we are taking on these days. It was in that conversation though, that we both decided that our life seasons (each of us with several more children now) and the other plans God has directed us toward has influenced the shift. We both ended the conversation recognizing that this too is still a beautiful season in our family lives, even if it is not what it once was on the liturgical celebration front.
All those beautiful feast days throughout the year, and especially during the Advent season, are the frosting on the cake. If my daily schedule and season in life allow for me to bake Mexican Wedding Cake cookies for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe or St. Lucy Rolls on her feast day, and if I remember to get the chocolate coins to fill my children’s shoes on the feast of St. Nicholas, those are the extras on the cake.
Maybe this Advent has looked a bit different for you, too? I’ve found that releasing myself from the “have-to’s” in order to find peace has helped me take inventory of where God is putting me each day to serve Him in this season. By releasing myself from the inner lists that I feel must be accomplished, it allowed me to be open to others helping me and to experience new ways to serve others in Advent, rather than merely following through with my own detailed plans. Sometimes the deterrents to my list of things I feel I must do are the ways He shows me I need the rest of my physical body in order to maintain good mental health too.
Let not our hearts or homes be troubled as we finish our Advent journey preparing for His birth. Let us be ready to greet Him, just as we are, humbly approaching Him without concern for the pressure the world or we ourselves lay upon us in this beautiful season.