#makehimroom: why advent matters

I can feel it.
Just under the surface. 
Thanksgiving is over and the stress of all the thousand things to do to prepare for Christmas is bubbling up. Stress simmering. Popping and making a mess on the oven. I have got to dial it down, quick. Quick before I become that lunatic of a mom spinning in circles screaming at everyone to do some random task. Before I become on edge, about to boil over and in a hurry to get it all done.

Christmas pictures, cards, parties, gifts for family, coworkers, teachers, decorate the house, do every Christmas craft with the kids, Elf on the Shelf, pictures with Santa, bake cookies, you know create all those memories while gritting my teeth and trying to just make it through. Go, go, go! Get it done! You will make a warm fuzzy memory and you will like it! 

This is not how I want to spend my December. This is not how God designed the season of His son's birth to be. Burnt out and rushing it to be over. Advent is anticipation, preparation, excitement. Just like before you welcomed your sweet babe into this world. However, Christmas has become nothing but gifts, hustle, crowded stores, an overflowing calendar and overwhelmed heart. Richard Foster aptly puts it like this, "our adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds. If he can keep us engaged us in muchness and manyness he will rest satisfied." 

To combat the distraction of noise, hurry, and crowds-- silence, slowing, and solitude.

This season, starting 11/29 begins the first Sunday of Advent. What a great opportunity to combat the hurried feeling of the season but to slow down and commune with Jesus.  Be intentional. Be present. I have done advent for a few years and always come away feeling fulfilled. I wanted some other mommas to journey with so developed #makehimroom. We will focus on these below practices because it is not something that comes naturally to us. We have to be intentional and be present to do them. To combat feeling hurried, you need to focus on slowing down, etc.  Many people have an advent wreath with four candles, lighting a new one each Sunday until all four are lit. We will have one at our house but here is a virtual one.  
We will focus on:
Week 1) Silence- learning to find silence, quiet our minds, and hear God's whisper 
Week 2) Slowing- learning to slow down, breathe deeply, not rush and experience His presence
Week 3) Solitude- learning how to be alone. I know this is hard for moms but we will learn how to escape for five minutes and how to experience true solitude in that time.
Week 4) Celebration- learning how to delight, how to enjoy the small moments well.

Last year I did an advent craft/lesson every day with my kids focusing on Jesus and it was a nice thought but a burden to do every single day. Drop those burdens tonight momma. This will be a light walk on a cool evening that invigorates your soul. As a mom, I give you permission to unplug your Pinterest expectations, to not do every craft or bake every cookie. A mom with a heart after Jesus that is calm, warm, and full of joy is far more of a gift to your children than any craft of cookies could ever give. So relax momma, and won't you join me on this simple journey? Hold my hand and let's walk together for just five minutes every night you can muster the strength after your kids go to bed. You will be waiting for bedtime to experience these sweet moments that will renew and refresh your very soul. It will invigorate you. It will prepare Him room in your heart for His birth. Glorious, brilliant and bright shining room where He can live and grow and will shine out from your soul this Advent season. Where He can shine and overflow your cup right into the souls if your children. What a gift to them this season. Make Him room momma. He deserves it and so do you.

Watch for the first post on Silence tomorrow! What a hard one with kids in the house. 

PS- use the hashtag #makehimroom on Instagram so we can all journey together in the places where we made room for Jesus in our busy mom days. 


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