We welcome December tomorrow, y'all!Can you even believe it?
I know? I'm still learning about the traditions and deep meaning of it. I've been in love with Jesus for over half of my life now, but never knew much about what Advent was or why people were talking about it. Honestly, I thought Advent was simply a calendar countdown to Christmas, with a bonus of tiny chocolates hidden behind little doors.
It turns out the bonus is better than chocolate.
It's true! The true bonus of Advent, as I am just now discovering, is the glory of slowing... of waiting... and of wonder.
If you have hung around this little corner of the interwebs much at all, --well then you already know those things (slowing, waiting, and wonder)... those are my Jam!
I am all about the slow... the quiet... the waiting on God and stirring up Wonder... and Advent, I am starting to find, is one of the best ways to truly position our hearts to prepare Him room!
So today, as I am slipping back into this routine of the blogger life, I thought I would simply list of some of the small wonders that I have found... some of the one thousand gifts that I have been counting over the past few weeks!
We'll approach it old school... like an old #1000gifts post!
1. Apparently, I have a thing for shirts with words... because of course! These are currently two of my favorites! One bought while at Bethel says, "You unravel me with a melody" --the opening lyric of No Longer Slaves, a favorite worship song of mine right now! The other is a cozy sweatshirt and was my reward for actually making it through #Write31Days!
2. I haven't talked much of my Girlie lately... because she is all grown up and living on her own. She works nearly full time, and is looking into more online classes this winter to further her education... which is great but simply means we see her less regularly.
She is learning how to adult on her own (for the most part) and I would say, now, that the hardest part in raising up a best friend is eventually if you've parented well, --well, they leave.
I am blessed that she is still nearby, but her life is full and our lives are full, and we can go days and days now without connecting and oh my goodness, that is so not my favorite! But it definitely makes me treasure the times that we do get to hang out together. Impromptu lunch dates and walks in the fall with my baby girl are still among my favorite gifts that He gives to me!
3. Happy Matchy Accidents... I bought this peacoat last year near the end of the season and had forgotten all about it. A couple of months ago, I fell in love with these little wedge booties and lookie - they match!
It's like I planned it - but I didn't! (Small Wonders abound!)
4. I have this thing... I am sort of obsessed with Coffee Mugs! I can't help it... I love coffee, but I also love tea and I am almost always featured with a beverage in my hand. So it might as well be contained in something adorable, right? My Honey used to point out the obvious (like saying, "Do we really need another cup?" or "There is no more room for any more mugs!" Silly rabbit... there is always room!)
So, I somehow found myself in this lovely facebook Mug Swap (I kid you not!) and this super fun cup showed up on my doorstep and has quickly become my favorite because - fox!)
5. One of my favorite Thanksgiving Day traditions: A Family Walk along the Canyon!
Seriously - sometimes we hike from the top to the bottom and walk along the creek, and sometimes we just start at the bottom and walk the length of the trail. This is a fairly new tradition... only a handful of years in, but I love it because it gets us moving, and breathing fresh air before all the feeding and football watching. Also - it's gorgeous... and the bonus is family time! Normally - it's crisp but sunny! This year was no different, except we had SNOW!
Can you even with her beauty? Gah!
The Aggett Family - 2015
7. Another fairly new tradition: Black Friday shopping with my Girlie...
Several years ago, at the last minute, I decided there are a few items that were such a great deal that I would brave the cold and the crowds and hit the stores. My Honey was zero percent interested in going with me but my then junior high girlie was up for the adventure.
Sure it meant that she would inevitably see a few of her presents - but at that age, she actually liked being able to point me to the sweater or jacket that she actually wanted!
So - each year, the first store we hit requires a new CD purchase and then we blast it in the car for the rest of the outing! (This years' soundtrack - as if there is any question - was Adele's 25!)
We manage to get nearly done with all of our shopping each year in a few hours on Black Friday and oh my goodness, that alone is worth the lack of sleep and longer lines.
Pay no attention to those cute Owl Mugs... it's fine.
We have been a church for just over 6 months and as much as we don't want to even think about it, the reality is we are outgrowing our building. Maybe not next month... but soon!
We meet in a theater in the round and one of the cool things about that is due to whatever play they are doing, we never know what we will walk in to find! When they did South Pacific this summer, our 'ground' looked like sand and we had a 'shower' in the corner. When they did a Charlie Brown show, the floor was painted green like grass and we had characters hanging on the walls. Right now, they took out a section of seats and put up a stage so for the first time, the worship team is not in the middle of the room! (We actually prefer no stage... for lots of reasons, most of them symbolic!) But especially with the missing seats, we are filling up and growing steady and still, every week, it is a joy and an honor to be there!
Small Wonders... Big Wonders... we have all kinds of Wonder happening at Dad's House!
9. I woke up Sunday morning, not remembering it was the start of Advent. I asked the Lord for a Scripture to share at church during prayer, and He led me to Psalm 43...
Now, here's the deal. Psalm 43 is not very uplifting! I mean - sure... it's great. It's the Word of God and all of that. But I was hoping for something a bit more encouraging, to be honest.
As I read through the psalm in several translations, I remembered that it was the first day of Advent and the first candle lit is the candle of Hope. (Don't you just love it when God is smarter than you? Yeah. That.)
As worship went on, it seemed God was preaching a message of Hope being restored... of Immanuel, God with us... and I just loved how He wove in and out of worship, and prayer, and the message to be sure that we got it!
Hope in God! He is right here, right now, WITH us! Now that...
--that is no small wonder at all!
And lastly... this brings us to today!
10. Hello Monday! I am digging out my decorations and filling the house with Christmas cheer... but I am also pulling out my Jesse tree and slowing to sit and ponder.
If you are new to Advent (or not) --I highly recommend reading through The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. It will stir up hope and joy and it really will help you to prepare Him room!
Here is a short clip from our worship time on Sunday... sorry for the abrupt ending, but I just had to join in!
May His Praise ever be on your lips and may you lean in to a bit of wonder as we wait for Advent and His coming.
As we prepare Him room, know that He came... He was and is worth the wait... and He is coming for you still!
The Community over at #SmallWonders
Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday