Snow, Sickness, Ugly Sweaters, and Prayer–It’s Advent time.

Snow, Sickness, Ugly Sweaters, and Prayer–It’s Advent time. December 9, 2013

Good Morning Readers!

Last week was a wild one around here.  Sick kids, a husband recovering from knee surgery, a car accident with an uninsured driver, and a sick babysitter –all worked together to cause utter chaos!  My 4 year old daughter had pneumonia, but she is doing much, much better this week.  And my poor husband had to have his knee drained (which I hear is extremely painful), and then he was rear-ended on the highway the next day (he is doing ok from that too).  I’ll admit that I did whine a bit to the other builders before choosing a few glasses of wine to ease my suffering.

I’m on the left. Kelly is second from the right, in blue. And the dots on her sweater were also 3D. She had people photographing her sweater, it was that awesome.

Utterly exhausted from the week, I still managed to show up to a fundraiser ugly sweater run early Saturday morning.  Read Kelly’s blog for more details about 35K for SMA.  And please affirm that my sweater is indeed ugly!  It was all they had at the thrift shop and I thought it was hideous.  I’ll admit that it did not hold a candle to Kelly’s ugly cow sweater (cows with 3D wreath necklaces, a true e-bay treasure), but I can’t expect to keep up with Kelly.  She was a finalist in the ugly sweater competition.  I was just there for running moral support.

My plans to write a post yesterday were quickly changed by an unexpected 8 inches of snow.  I’ve never seen the weather forecasters predict a mere inch or less and then change their forecast an hour into a blizzard — after 4 inches of snow had already fallen!  I spent my day of rest shoveling, and, thankfully, watching my Philadelphia Eagles win their snow bowl.  But writing a post didn’t happen, and I was in bed a little after 9pm last night.  So I’m winging it this morning 😉

This weekend, as I looked at my Christmas Prep to do list, I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  I am usually a master of pre-Christmas prep and this year I am just behind.  We had a very busy fall, and then there was last week.  Saturday, my brain started buzzing with all the things I needed to do.  I felt some stress creeping in.  Large families are so dependent on the logistics working out and things were not breaking in our favor.  And then I saw a little nativity cartoon on Facebook and it made me think — “What am I doing to prepare MY OWN heart for Christmas?”  (We can have a future discussion about why I was on FaceBook when I clearly didn’t have the time.)

I think as busy moms we can get very caught up in getting our family ready for Christmas.  After all, we have to to do the cooking, shopping, decorating, and prepping.  We work hard to create a spiritual atmosphere for the season.  I set up the Advent wreath, the Advent Calendar, and the Jesse Tree.  I teach my children Christmas hymns, Advent hymns, and read them Christmas books.  I work hard to set the tone for my children and family.  I try to keep my kids focused on preparing for Christ and the real meaning of the season.  But what am I doing for my own heart?

The fact is, when things get busy and people are sick and the logistics just stink, I do nothing for my own heart.  That needs to change starting today.  I am making a mid-Advent commitment to set aside an extra 10 minutes each day to pray in quiet.  This will probably be in the evenings or early mornings, but with all the insanity we are experiencing, I need it.  I am also going to set aside some time to go to adoration–alone–and confession.  I am going to schedule these things, and I may have to cancel some traditional family activities to make it happen.  That’s ok.  My heart needs to be ready too.

And I am also going to challenge all of you today.  On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception, more than 1/3 of the way through Advent, is there something extra you can do to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming?  Maybe it will only take 5 minutes a day, or maybe it will only be one extra trip to Mass alone or Adoration, but can it be something?  Can you schedule something spiritual just for you?

Please feel free to share any ideas in the comments.  And if you are already on top of this extra something spiritual for mom thing, please share that too!




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