Sunday, December 2, 2012

Southern Swap Blog Hop: Advent

I am joining up with several sweet southern bloggers for the Southern Swap Blog Hop with Charmed Bliss!

 There is a giveaway that goes along with the Blog Hop that you can enter!  Here are the rules for the giveaway! Just leave a comment (and then visit some of the other blogs and leave a comment...you can enter on all 9 blogs!).  You can win, and then Keisha (my guest poster) and me can win too!  The prize is a Starbucks gift card, cup, and coffee!  Win, win, win!
 So, today I am hosting Keisha from Big Pitt Stop. Keisha and I go way back. :)  She worked at Ouachita when I was a student there.  She is awesomely talented and crafty (she helped us make some costumes when I was a Tiger Tunes hostess).  She is also an inspiration as a cancer survivor and she dedicates her life to raising money and helping others.  Love this lady! So here is Keisha with some thoughts on Advent!

The last couple years I’ve been really intrigued by the concept of Advent and the many different ways people have made it part of their holiday tradition.

Growing up, we didn’t really do an intentional Advent celebration.  I remember years of focus on the 4 Sundays leading between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I don’t know that we actually lit the 4 pink candles.  We for sure didn’t have the little Christmas shaped things with drawers that pull out and have little trinkets in them.  Of course our days were filled with doing things like looking at lights, making hot chocolate, practicing for a church play, making cookies, wrapping presents, etc. (my mom celebrates Christmas big…we are Texan after all…and we do things BIG).  But, I don’t know that any of it was specifically intentional. (hold on to that word)  

2 years ago, a friend of mine and I had a conversation about Advent.  Our focus quickly shifted to “reading” and preparing our hearts for the season ahead.  I think she is the one who really dropped this “idea” or “concept” of Advent in my mind.  She grew up in a home where they read scripture, verses, and devotionals daily through the holiday season.  Her mom was intentional about making sure the focus was right during the holiday.   

A quick Google search provides these top 5 sites on the topic of Advent:

The second or third week of December last year through the magic of social media, I found myself landing at the Advent Conspiracy.  I was extra curious because of this ongoing wrestling with the concept of advent.  And to see it paired with the word “conspiracy”, I was struck by the juxtaposition of these 2 atypical words.  For me, advent (as I had become to be exposed it) was a light an airy concept of preparing the heart for the holiday season. So, seeing that married with the word conspiracy that typically carries a negative connotation of intentional deceit, I was curious to see if someone was pushing a political agenda or a pragmatic attack on the church.   So, I clicked through on the link.  

Instead, my heart, mind, thoughts, and ideas all converged into one magical, life-altering moment.  Do it…watch this video, and then keep reading…


Did you see it?  Did you get it? Watch it again….

Now, since I’m a “guest” today, I’m going to spare my soap box moment that my readers over at Big Pitt Stop encounter.  But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to leave you with out a punch line.

WHAT IF WE DID MORE WITH WHAT WE HAD?

That was my challenge to myself this year.  I’m not pushing an agenda or trying to make you feel bad (giving presents is my favorite thing I do all year…I like to consider myself a pretty good gift giver) but I am challenging you to think. 

I recently moved and as a single, 30 year old woman, I found myself stressing if I would really be able to fit all of my “things” into a 26 foot truck to drive across the state of Arkansas.  Once I moved my 4 bedroom home with a full basement into a 2 bedroom duplex, I quickly realized that there were a lot of “things” I was using to fill voids in my life.  So, I’ve again challenged myself to the idea of
·    Spending less
·    Giving more
·    Worshiping fully
·    Loving all

Advent is a new tradition in my life.  It’s the way my heart celebrates Christmas.  It’s the reason I get excited when this and this arrive in my mailbox.

So, today, on the second day of December let me challenge you to this.  Be intentional.  Spend time with those you love.  Give more. More time. More gifts. More intention.  Above all, be a blessing.

~~Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  Ephesians 3:20 ~~

Thank you Keisha!  A great reminder to make Christmas more about CHRIST. I'm guest posting over at All Things Girl today!  Check it out! Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. So, i just learned how I was supposed to make Abby sound, I may need to go back and make some edits. Thanks for hosting me today!!!

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