This time of year is an odd time. I’m all happy and cheery about the hot cocoa and Christmas lights, but school is getting busier. In fact, it’s even more busy for me because I’m just starting to do school work again after being so sick.
Advent is about waiting for God to come into our lives, but I also find it to be a reminder that He already IS here.
Some need the reminder that He is coming again, like a thief in the night. So we must be prepared! (This is when I encourage us go to confession if it’s been awhile, or if you feel a little tug to go.)
I have found that though I need this reminder, I also need to be reminded that He is here with me now through all this garbage in my life. I’ve been stressed about making sure I can get a lot of school work done, but I also need to not overexert, otherwise my eyes twitch, my head thumps, and the next day is typical a relapse day, and a day wasted.
One side is saying to get this done! The other side is saying to take it easy.
I have to be honest, I’ve been really sick of being in my apartment so much these last three months. It’s been feeling like a cell, when in reality, it should be a sanctuary and my new home with my husband and child. It was tough to be able to look at only the ceiling fan and cross in our bedroom without needing to crane my neck. Luckily now I’ve been able to walk to the living room on my own and look out the window from the couch, but my lack of getting out of the building has been driving me nuts.
I’ve been really passionate about being outside these last few years when I work with children. As a Totus Tuus Missionary, I would “sneak” my kids out of the classroom and have class outside. It was summer and a classroom is literally the last place they (and I) wanted to be. As a camp counselor, when there was free time to be in the cabin, I often opted for our free time to be by sunset beach where we could skip rocks, hang out, and be free.
Freedom. I usually think of red, white, and blue when I see that word. Lately, I’ve been seeing green when I think of that word. I think of grass between my toes, a flower behind my ear, and all the different trees that flood the world with life.
Now that we’ve had our first big snowfall, the green is officially gone. The world is white and brown, and as winter goes on, it will continue to be brown. I am one in the winter to gain weight in my face and have my depression grow. I’m stuck inside because of the harsh winds and bites of cold.
I was stuck inside for the end of summer and most of fall. I spent my time in prayer saying “Pleasem anything but this.” I knew that I should have been more aware of what was happening to me. I was learning more about my body and really learning about love by becoming pretty dependent on Peter. (He makes a great nurse by the way.)
I am not made for comfort, but for greatness, and in that greatness, I am free. I still believe that I am called to spread the joy of the Gospel through our Lord’s creation, but right now, not the creation of all that is outdoors, but very deep inside me in my womb.
So though the stress around Christmastime is impossible to avoid, there is peace to be found. I find myself blessed that I too wait for my baby to come just like Mary waited for Jesus to come into the world.
I’ve been learning to simplify my life literally to only eat, sleep, and poop. Slowly but surely, when God thought I was ready, I could take on more. It was good for me to learn that I didn’t need to go to all the events on campus and that school actually isn’t the most important thing in the world. (Side rant: as important as college is, it is way overrated.) Oddly, God even cut my prayer time that I was finally getting good at doing on a daily basis. He was actually cutting out my pride. I wasn’t giving my time to Him. I was showing off. So my life was becoming simpler, which I think is important for mothers, because things will get complicated at times and we need to know how to take things simply.
I think we all need to simplify our lives, especially as Christmas and finals come closer. We should ask ourselves what things on our calendar are actually necessary. Maybe we should visit the chapel more, or work a little harder on that study guide, or get coffee with our roommate, or even go to bed earlier that night. Now is a great time to get out the planner (or buy a planner?) and see what should get cut, and maybe see what should be added.
Advent is short for adventure!
Take a look at this time of year as an opportunity to make someone proud, your mom, Jesus, me, yourself, whoever.
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