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. I’m recording some of my thoughts for the week here to share with you and to keep me accountable.
Find lessons from Week 1 here.
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The Importance of Prayer
The first week of Advent went really well. The second week, not so much. It had been a busy, busy week and I hadn’t been spending time in prayer and I could feel the difference in my attitude and lack of patience. No bueno! Finally on Friday I had to force myself to stop and quiet myself. After dropping off the kids at school I stopped by the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to spend some time in prayer before I started the day’s work. I poured my heart out to God, worked on my journal then started to pray for a few friends who were in particular need of prayer. As I was praying for “Jane” and placed her needs before Our Lord, my phone vibrated. I glanced over at it and saw a text from Jane. She was struggling at the moment and asked for prayer over a certain situation. I got goosebumps. It was eerie coincidence that she was calling out for prayer just as I was kneeling in prayer for her.
When I was done praying for her, I felt as if the Holy Spirit was saying, “You see. When you neglect your prayers there is more at stake than just your relationship with Me. God has placed souls in your hands that He wants you to pray for and love from afar. When you are too busy, those prayers are not being offered for them.”
As tiny and insignificant as I am in the grand scheme of things, God still wants to use me and desires I pray for his beloved children. It gave me a renewed sense of the need to pray, not only for myself but for others as well.
Women of Faith
There was discussion about our family tree and honestly looking at the good and bad. It renewed my desire to pray for extended members of my family who are not practicing the faith or who have fallen away from God.
One of the journal prompts also talked about the women in our lives who have been a source of inspiration and hope to us. My mom immediately came to my mind first. She is the woman of faith I admire most and not because I see her as “perfect.” I have witnessed her triumphs as well as her mistakes. I’ve seen her strengths and her weaknesses. She did not have the easiest life growing up but as she grew in her faith, she fought to put an end to the sin and dysfunction that was being passed down through the generations and chose to put God at the center of our family life.
It was not an overnight achievement and it took years of blood, sweat and tears but the mom and dad I have now are not the same mom and dad I had as a young girl. My mom is living proof that no matter how messed up your childhood/ youth may have been, it is not your fate to repeat your parents same mistakes. She planted the seeds of a new family tree that is flourishing with love and faith in God. My mom proves that with God’s grace there is the possibility of healing and a new life.
Jesus, Light of the World
In one of our journal prompts we had to chose a favorite title of Jesus. I love the title “Light of the World” because it is especially comforting during days of darkness – whether it is a small darkness as we struggle with something in our life or the greater darkness of evil. When life or circumstances seem bleak or overwhelming, Jesus shines like a beacon bringing illumination and casting out the darkness.
I also picture that light as a flame or torch in the darkness. Just as a fire brings warmth and heat into the coldness, so Jesus thaws our hearts, bringing warmth and comfort to our souls. It make my heart sing, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, be the Light of the World.”
Well, those are some of the little lessons I’ve 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. This is a brand new week of Advent. New graces are waiting for you!
Have a blessed week.
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