The posts talked about the stress of Advent, the rush and bustle and they lamented the demands that we do all these things so that our children might be holy and the pressure that, if we don't do all of these activities in all of their pinterest-ly glory we'll have botched a chance at drawing them closer to God and it will be, quite certainly, the end of the world.
And while I don't think any of the posts I read were directed at this little blog, because frankly, I never assume that anyone other than my Mom reads it (Hi Mom!), I thought I'd talk about these worries and why I do blog about our Advent activities.
Every year Advent in our house looks different. Some years I've been motivated to go out and find activities and attempt to get my kids to participate in them and it's ended with a flop. Other years I've done nothing crafty and the world has not come to a screeching stop and my kids still got that Jesus was the reason for the celebration on Christmas day. I've noticed, in general, the ebb and flow of activities from year to year in our little home directly relates to how pregnant I am, or whether or not there's a brand new baby in the house, which is to say, it is directly related to my energy level, which makes absolute perfect sense (at least around here!).
|This is kind of what school|
with her is actually like...
She's quite serious about it.
It's also helpful that this month Patch is actually sleeping pretty well, which means that I'm at a point in the child raising cycle where I have a little more time and a little more energy than I have had in other years and more than I'll likely have in the future.
All of these factors have conspired to give me time to craft the Advent activities of my dreams this year, in the midst of what has been a rather stressful time.
Of course, as I said above, it's not always like this. Some years have been frustrating. The first year I made my Jesse Tree and I was excited about it, but the reality was that my kids were too little to take anything away from it. Now that Sadie's old enough to be excited about our activities the reward of each little activity that I plan is pretty motivating for me.
It was especially interesting for me to read the posts I saw yesterday, because my reaction to all the pinterest posts is the absolute opposite reaction I've found myself reading about so frequently. I love seeking out beautiful pictures on pinterest and blogs for ideas. Blogs like Charlotte's and Melody's regularly inspire me. They're words and pictures are just so beautiful.
And I love seeing the Advent pictures that my friends have pinned and have pretty much been using pinterest for that purpose exclusively for the past few weeks.
I know that it's likely my home won't turn out looking like a page out of a home decorating magazine (it will more likely look like a toy factory exploded), but I still like to scroll and dream and be inspired to do a little something extra. Or I pin the idea and tuck it away for another day (or year) when I have more time and energy and, depending on the project, resources. I don't tend to think that other people are posting these pictures at me. I like to think they're posting them as inspiration.
Advent is here. It will be gone before we know it. Push away the things that are cluttering your mind and filling it with stress. If you're one of those people (like me!) who actually find their minds growing quiet when they craft, then craft away. If the idea of crafts makes you feel like having a panic attack, then think of activities that do fill you with peace. After all, craftiness is not synonymous with holiness. And Advent shouldn't make you feel like having a panic attack.
It's the season of preparation and anticipation and that's going to look different for different people. So throw away the idea of some cookie cutter image and create the Advent that will draw you, and by extension the people around you, closer to the little baby whose birth we are eagerly awaiting.