November 30, 2015

Aaah Advent... The Glory of Slow and Waiting and Wonder.

We welcome December tomorrow, y'all!
Can you even believe it?

Sunday was the start of Advent.  Advent is something new to me.

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.
Wait. What?



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         


6. I managed to not take any pictures during Thanksgiving... but we gathered with family and feasted... and with or without photo's - there were Small Wonders all over that house!

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.

8. You guys! Dad's House is doing so good! I can't begin to count each week how many Small Wonders... how many #1000gifts manifest as we gather together and love on our good, good Father! 

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! 


What Small Wonders did you find last weekend? I'd love to hear!

Here is a short clip from our worship time on Sunday... sorry for the abrupt ending, but I just had to join in! 

video

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!



P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:

The Community over at #SmallWonders

Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday


Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Do you observe Advent? (Or is it Celebrate, participate? I'm so new to it all, I don't even know the language - but oh how I love the longing...)

24 comments :

  1. You and I were thinking much along the same lines today. So much THiS: "It's true! The true bonus of Advent, as I am just now discovering, is the glory of slowing... of waiting... and of wonder." Some of my friends and I did a mug swap last Christmas. It was so much fun. And those owl cups...oh so very cute! I need to check out The Greatest Gift. And "Writers gonna Write" sweatshirt is so fun. I got the tshirt and the tank top because I couldn't decide, I've been wearing the tshirt with a sweater. Advent is my fave!

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    1. Mug Swaps are so fun! That was my first one somehow! ;) I only kept ONE of those Owl mugs so I feel like that was a win! (The other one went to my girlie because, of course... and also - passing down the mania!) ;) Love you friend! Praying for you today!

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  2. I have never thought much about advent, either! Love hearing about the growth in your church!

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    1. Thanks so much Melissa! I know so many people here have prayed into this new work and I just love to be able to give little updates here and there to let you know that your prayers are working! Praying for you today, my friend! He is at work on your behalf as well! xoxo

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  3. I'm so blessed to have you as my neighbor today at #smallwonder to have the chance to read your most fun and inspiring post today! I also never really understood advent, so I'm enjoying learning how such sacred waiting makes much sense as we move toward celebrating the birth of dear Jesus! And to read all your fun happenings..your time with your daughter is so special..my son will be on his way soon, too, so my heart aches when you write about how your days can go by before you see one another. But so special! I love the mug exchange, wow that is a very cool mug..and congrats on your church! Awesome! Thank you for being my first internet blogging friend. I will always be grateful for your kindness. Happy Advent, may it bring great and small blessings!

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    1. Kathy, hello there! Happy Holidays! How are you ? I hope you are enjoying this bloggy world! I will head on over to read your post! For some reason I couldn't get to it yesterday! Blessings right back to you, my friend!

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  4. This was a fun post. You've got your 31 Days shirt and I love that fox mug. Score! I am so happy to see and read about all the small wonders going on, especially about your church. That is just awesome!

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    1. Thanks so much Natalie! I enjoyed your post as well and am praying for you all! xoxo

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  5. My husband's health is improving, I hope. My daughter sat out Thanksgiving Day with a sinus infection. She took an extra day off today with me to fully recover. She and I put the tree up, but will decorate with my grands this weekend. I am just grateful that my family is on the road to health again. I am just beginning to learn about Advent too. We are decorating too. We didn't go to Black Saturday sales, but went last night. No crowds and they honored Black Friday prices. I love the video. What an awesome spot for a church. I can't wait to read more of your blog this Holy Holiday Season.

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    1. Praying for health to return to your household Mary! I decorated the whole house yesterday... and last night I couldn't wait so I put up our tree in the family room as well. That is something I always do with my girlie but she was working late and we both have a busy week... so it was a little bittersweet, decorating it by myself - but I am so glad it is done and I can just sit back and enjoy it for an entire month! Happy Holidays!

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  6. Karrilee, I love your gift list. I love how you can see the gifts in the unexpected, as well. We did a lot of our Christmas prep this past weekend . . . for a few different reasons. The good thing is, I have less to do over the next few weeks, and more time to be still with Jesus. :)

    I'm trying to be more intentional about celebrating Advent with our boys. I'm going to have to figure out how we do that. :)

    Loved your post today. :)

    My hubby and I have done the Black Friday shopping (but not at the insanely early hours!) for the last number of years, and I love getting almost all of our gifts purchased on that one day. We hire a babysitter and make it a date day. I love it. :)

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    1. Awe I love that! A Date day! My hubby went with me one year... that was enough for him! LOL! I know that Ann Voskamp has a children's book version of The Greatest Gift for Advent... I don't remember what your boys' ages are - but if they are little still, that may be a good way to do that! I don't think I have been this close to 'done' for Christmas - including having the house all decorated - for years! It is nice! Every year, I set myself a Deadline for All Things Christmas-Bossy to be done by December 10th - that way I have 2 weeks of actually no stress and enjoying the holidays! It's a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself! This year looks like I will beat the deadline with a couple of weeks! Yay!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Holidays! Shalom!

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  7. "You unravel me with a melody"...where do I get the tee? THAT song is my new favorite. xo

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    1. Right? It's SO good! Well, it looks like they are doing some maintenance to the shop right now - but you can order it online here (eventually!) - https://bethelmusic.com/

      That Lyric - Completely Swoon-worthy, right? xoxo

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  8. What a great mug! I didn't grow up with Advent either, I've been thinking about that this week, how much expectations have changed and how Advent doesn't mean twenty-five days of happy-clappy (which I can't live up to) but twenty-five days of opening up to all the reasons I need a savior. I love your joy over all the #SmallWonders.

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    1. Isn't it amazing -- how that tiny shift ushers in Calm instead of chaos? Thanks so much for stopping by - and for hosting #SmallWonders! xoxo

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  9. Hi Karrilee. Thank you for inviting us into your glory of slow. I truly enjoyed spending a bit with you here. Love the t-shirts, the family time, too. And the pea coat and boots? Oh yes! Even more so, love advent and Jesus. My small wonders? A beautiful moon last night, large and bright, fun at a football game, and good neighbors. :-) Visiting today via #raralinkup.

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    1. Those are lovely Small Wonders, indeed! So glad you stopped by to enjoy a bit of slow today, Kristi! You are welcome any time!

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  10. I love the idea of sharing Small Wonders and focusing on the beauty in the little things all around us! Oh how I loved your canyon walk. We don't have much scenic beauty in Illinois. That looked amazing. For me, my Small Wonders, we playing UNO with my kids and hearing them giggle when they beat me, getting to see both sides of our family and every close relative this past weekend, and having time in the car to think and write. I love having time to hear the Lord. Praying for more Small Wonders in your life!

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    1. Ooooh your small wonders sound fantastic! Victorious Giggles on Game Night are the best! Thanks so much for stopping by, Christine! It sounds like you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Here's to Small Wonders showing up and showing off through the holiday season!

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  11. Ooooh, I am not good at small wonders and waiting with hope and, basically, all the good parts of Advent you just talked about here. :) So I'm SO glad I came over to read this and to be reminded to slow down and notice and appreciate and just BE STILL and KNOW HIM.

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    1. It's hard, right? I mean - it's something we must be intentional about otherwise it just won't happen! Prayin for a bit of slow and still for you, my friend! Small Wonders are all around... it's just training your eyes (and heart) to see them! Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your small wonders. Love everything about them. Your photos are a treat and getting a sneak peek into your life is so much fun.

    Love your heart, openness and little corner here in this writing world. Happy Advent!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! You are, of course, welcome here any time, my friend! xoxo

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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