Sure, there have been moments of joy. But, there have also been moments of sacrifice. Moments of challenge. Moments of, well, tears and tantrums, arguments and inanity, shouts and shenanigans... Failure.
Yep, we are human here in my home. Very human. Both the kids and the parents. So, please do not let the mostly "happy" pictures and tales on this blog deceive you into thinking we are anything less than hugely imperfect and so ready (and grateful for!) all the mercy and grace that comes our way.
I, personally, am also thankful for pauses.
Moments to breathe... to snuggle... to slow down... to take a break from all thoughts of to do's that have yet to be done... to take focus away from shortcomings that affected our days...
Moments like this:
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Almost every night this Advent, my children and I have taken time to light the candles on one of our Advent wreaths and to read Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent. Each time we have done so, whatever has been good about our days seems to get better and whatever has been less-than-best dissipates in the glow of candlelight as the kids and I immerse ourselves in the adventure of a well-written story and, then, use the reflections in the Arnold Ytreetide's book to complete our nightly reset as we prepare ourselves for Christmas.
There's just something about reading Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent aloud by candlelight at night that proves so restorative this Advent season. No matter what kind of day the kids and I are coming off of, the moments we spend journeying along toward Jesus with Jotham prove ideal. So, I dare say I am in love with our Advent wreath and Arnold Ytreetide (or, rather, his book). Or, perhaps I am just in love with the pause... the experience of seeing my children's faces aglow with delight in the candlelight as we continue to wait and prepare during this Advent season.
How about you? What ritual has been helping you and your children to embrace this Advent season?
Want to Read Jotham's Journey, Too?