Approaching Advent

Advent: Time of Expectant Waiting and Preparation for the celebration of the Christ child.

As we move into the holiday season, polishing off the last of the turkey and sweet potatoes and start pulling out the storage bins of Christmas decor, I hope we can slow down.

I’ve been busy lately.  Not just on my calendar but in my brain.  Moving 100 miles an hour or more.  Lots of exciting projects at work & at church, a new job for the Beau, a sick toddler who is now on the mend and in the into-everything-not-listening-doesn’t-know-the-meaning-of-no phase.  Oh yeah, and the holidays.

I’ve been thinking and swirling on this for the past week prompted by a friend who posed the question on Facebook about thoughts on Cell Phones.

As I processed my response and wrote back (95% sure from my iPhone), this idea of waiting and preparing came to mind.

Cell phone useage is something I’m constantly trying to improve upon. Not using it when in the presence of another person is my goal but so much easier said than done.
I struggled this year teaching and telling my students not to use it when I was updating attendance and following along with my powerpoints on my phone as I walked around the room.
It’s all about time and place and function. Too often all are abused. (Preaching to the choir here!)

I also think it’s easy when someone brings out their phone to do the same. We’ve lost the art of sitting in the silence. Thinking. Being still. We don’t ALWAYS have to know the latest or what is going on in the lives of others. There’s something to just being single minded and paying attention FULLY to what’s going on right in front of your eyes in your own life. ~My thoughts on cell phones.

How many of us are comfortable with silence? We constantly have TV or music or both going. So when we are really waiting and preparing for something big–say, the coming of the Christ-child–would we really be glued to our phones? Modern society has changed this for sure, but for those of you who have had babies–particularly speaking to the support person–did you have your phone in your hand or were you focused on supporting your wife, daughter, BFF as she labored to bring a child earthside? We don’t want to miss those big moments, but yet every moment we are given on this earth is big and we’re choosing to miss them because we’re more entranced with what’s going on on the other side of that phone.

I know that connections to other humans are important and loneliness can be paralyzing and oh so isolating. I totally get it. Our phones can give so much rich connection, but not at the expense of paying attention to what’s right in front of us–or inside us.  We must be attentive to caring for our souls, connecting with our creator and making space for that silence which can be enlightening (and also terrifying).

As I mentioned, in sharing about my recent car accident that totaled our second vehicle in just as many years, we live distracted lives. Minds buzzing with all those things mentioned above. And now that we’re approaching the holidays, the list continues.  Literally in the past hour, I’ve looked at our calendar and the already scheduled things and then added a post-it to our white board of the “bucket list” things that I hope will happen–Visiting Santa, seeing the lights at the Zoo, our family Christmas date, Christmas shopping for the less fortunate….

But instead of being overwhelmed or look at what might not get checked off the list, I’m going to joyfully add things to our calendar with gratitude–even if it’s just one or two of those things.

I’m not going to be glued to my phone looking at everyone’s gorgeous holiday pics knowing ours have been pushed back a few times due to scheduling conflicts and sick babies.

I’m not going to compare someone else’s decor or meal or girls night out.  JOMO, right?

I’m not going to watch the holiday season pass by by staring at my phone when we are celebrating the arrival and birth of Jesus.

So, how am I gonna do this?

  1. Accountability–sharing these goals with you, my lovely friends whom I hope will join me, or at least call me out if you see me with my nose in my phone.
  2. Purchasing this-going to dock my phone once I come home.  Turn the ringer on (it’s constantly off) and respond to the urgent. Because when the ringer is off, I’m more apt to check it to see what I missed that I didn’t hear a notification for.
  3. Go to bed early. I’ve been feeling ick for a while and I know lots of it has to do with lack of sleep.  I constantly feel like there’s more to be done.  Guess what? There always will be. I get to choose however if I want to take care of me or have an empty sink and clean dishes.  I need to choose me.
  4. Using one of these wall-papers (NSFYM)- Enough said (scroll down to the second set of wallpapers)
  5. Doing more things where I can’t have my phone in hand. Meet up with a friend for coffee and talk to rather than stare at my phone. Be present with June.  Play. Run around the house. Clean. Cook. Do the dishes. Not watch TV. Schedule Zoom catch up with friends. Read a book. Decorate. Work on Holiday cards and gifts.

Advent begins in a week.  I’m desperately wanting a slow December. My body and soul and mind and spirit need it. I know it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse–it feels that way even writing these days–but this is just where I am and I know I’m not the only one. Think about joining me. Let me know if you wanna meet up for coffee–in real life or virtually. December is busy, sure, but my home is always open for a cup of tea under the twinkle lights….



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