This Advent I am using the Blessed Is She Advent Journal as an aid to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. For too many Advents I’ve started out with the best of intentions and by the end of it had a dusty journal that was left unused far too many days. My goal this Advent is to try to consistently spend a little time each day praying and using my journal.
The first week of Advent is over and I thank God for the grace to be faithful to my prayer time. I’m not expecting any major revelations or life altering visions. I just want to love God a little more and live a little more Christ-like.
As such, I’m thankful for the little lessons God is teaching me or reminding me. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve read most of these already. If not, here are a few snippets of what’s been on my heart.
God Desires to Be with Me – Prayer does not come easy to me. Sometimes I really have to force myself to stop and spend time with God, which is sad really. What would it be like if I wanted to spend time with someone I loved and they acted like it was such a chore to sit and talk to me. I’d be hurt. So why do I treat God like it’s such an ordeal to quiet myself and sit at his feet? Why am I so self absorbed? God desires to be with me and I want to desire to be with Him. I want prayer to be a natural part of my life and not something I struggle to do. Little by little that is slowly changing and I hope to make more strides this Advent.
He Has Made Him Known – A couple weeks ago I was writing a future Blessed Is She devotion that will post in January. While praying about the Gospel of that day, I came to realize that while I see God in many roles – Master Creator, Merciful Judge, a Rock of Strength and Father, I see Him as a distant Father, not a “Daddy.” There is a wall or distance between us.
The more I have been thinking about this, the more I feel God reaching deeper within me and beckoning me closer to Him, and frankly, it scares me a little.
In one of the Advent meditations this week, we were to choose a verse from the reading that stood out to us. The verse “He has made Him known” touched me because I feel like Jesus wants to draw me closer to God the Father and He will make Him known to me.
Handmaid of the Lord – Friday’s #BISadvent prompt was to place a picture of Mary where I’d see it often. This icon of Mary will be a visual companion as Our Lady guides me this Advent. The Advent journal prompt talked about what connects me to the heart of Mary and what I love most about her is her attitude of humble surrender to God, whereas I feel like the complete opposite. I struggle not to lose it when things go wrong. Even petty, stupid things can get me so worked up. I’m hoping that a fruit of the Advent to be a little less “argh!” and a little more, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.”
Forgive Me, Lord – Finally, on the last day of the first week of Advent the journal talked about the areas we need to seek forgiveness from God. It was the perfect day to go to confession, ask for forgiveness and start anew with the grace of the Sacrament.
Well, those are some little lessons I learned this week. Do you have something to share? I’d love to hear it! Or maybe you feel like you made no progress this week. (We’ve all been there!) No need to fret. Today starts a brand new week of Advent. New graces are waiting for you!
Have a blessed week.
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