to be an advent failure

i have been reading post after post
on advent
and my heart has been stirred to
begin this tradition in our home

so i sewed some pouches filled with chocolate
and hung them in our dining room
and each night we take the treats out,
eat them,
and i printed up ann's jesse tree devotional
and it's beautiful
and we have done each night
and the kids love it

but still it feels like something is missing,
like we are following everyone else,
but nothing is real,
nothing is ours...

i read without reading on our rocking chair,
watching my children instead,
girls playing with our nativity scene,
having broken off joseph's hand and a wise man's gift,
one of the wise men saying to another,
"jesus's mom is awesome!"

brother and sister reading christmas books on the couch,
discussing what they can make for gifts,
sis making a book of nature poems for grandma,
brother drawing pictures for all...

eldest child walks in the room,
looks around at our decorated living room,
wooden "joy" on the mantel,
christmas books spread all over the floor,
fire blazing,
and asks "where's the christmas music?"

as the room fills with frank sinatra bellowing
o holy night,
 husband stokes the fire,
and little ones huddle around to watch,
eyes glowing and
smiles huge...

artist child says,
"mama, can you read more of the christmas carol?"
and everyone's ears perk up
to hear more of scrooge's visit with the
ghost of christmas past

this is advent,
my family.
i realize we don't need to follow everyone's ideas,
for in those i fail,
we just need to do what we do,
love each other,
spend each day enjoying
and waiting
to celebrate His birth...

and we will continue our jesse tree,
and our advent calendar,
as long as my young ones enjoy it,
but for us,
our advent celebration is just

linking with emily


  1. I loved this was so real and sweet...and I so relate...I am glad where we are at and what we want to do, but it's been a disaster doing Jesse Tree stuff with our 14 month old...and I'm just smiling and laughing thinking Advent is in me...when they're older...or maybe no, but Advent is in me...I really loved this, thanks for being so honest!! Abby:) (visiting from Emily's mine is "waiting is hoping")

  2. i absolutely, positively, couldn't agree more. loved this, and smiled so wide at the end.

  3. A God-lead advent . . . could it be better?

  4. a tender and sweet post...accompanied by such lovely music--so familiar to me but I can't place it.

  5. Beautiful thoughts. We too are trying to practice advent in our home, and finding that it only works when we give up on it working perfectly.

  6. Simple...simply together.

    Sometimes it's just an overall mood that comes over the household this time of year, and all the little things we can set out or light or read are just part of that mood...and then the mood draws our conversations and togetherness.

    I think you've got the mood going and everyone's responding with a feeling of love and togetherness.

  7. Oh, and I identify with owning a chipped-up Nativity set (sorry about Joseph's loss--hard to do carpentry with just one good hand).

    I love how the kids gave the wise men such a great exclamation:

    "Jesus's mom is awesome!"

  8. oh i identify! advent is new to me, having grown up in a church that eschewed everything from the "formal" church. now we are stumbling along, creating our own traditions and trying to glorify God in all of it. i hope we're succeeding!

  9. you've got it. this is it. absolutely. when we try to live up to others' standards, we always fail. our children need us, and who we are, in all of our broken attempts. they don't want something else. they want us. and the Immanuel who lives in our hearts, who is birthed through our love for them each and every moment. thank you for this poignant reminder. and what a lovely advent you paint as a family. xo

  10. The gift of enjoying life for life itself, is a fabulous gift indeed. Enjoy, and I love the statement that you won't let others' idea of perfectly implemented traditions get in the way of you appreciating life!

  11. I think your Advent sounds heavenly. You are so right...we can't do it wrong. I am still trying to find it for our family, but I think I need to try a little harder... Love it.

  12. This is advent. Here. Now. Yes, Amy, this is beautiful--how Christ calls each of us, each family to walk uniquely with Him, in a way that won't always look like those around us. Thank you for this.

  13. i am glad to know you, too, dear amy. xo