Sunday, 8 December 2013

Pause in Advent

Advent is turning out to be one of desired action this year. Doing something. Doing something right. Living what I profess. This would be badly needed in my life just now! Lots of incarnation desired, please. Then on Thursday night we had our annual Preparing for Advent event, for about-to-be-stressed-by-Christmas women. My job is to be the jolly everyone along person- keep the activities moving and make sure everyone is happy. I also have to do the meditations. This is the harder bit!
I had come up with what I thought was a pretty nifty idea. That present above left is a pass the parcel. As it went around and the music stopped, someone would rip off a layer of Christmas wrapping that would fall discarded to the floor, and a little label would ask them a question about their experiences of Christmas. I had told them that the final box held something very precious. When we got to the little box, it was empty. At Preparing for Advent we try to offer folk an opportunity to take some still, reflective time before the mad rush really starts. This, I said, is tonight's gift.
Then, when we went into the craft room to have a go at willow stars and tie wreaths, I gave everyone boxes to make. They had to have one done by the end of the night. In our last thought for the night I passed around a tin with Hope, Peace, Joy and Love written on pieces of card. Everyone had to choose one, or even more. They could choose randomly or deliberately. The point was that they could put some peace, hope, joy or love into the empty space of their own box, and fill Advent with what was important to them, as well as all the wrapping. This was Catherine's pretty nifty idea!
I had cut out lots of extra cards, so that people could take more than one, and have a proper choice. I was the last person in the circle to choose. When the tin came back to me there were only two cards left. Both said joy.  I can tell you that I was amazed. One week into an Advent of feeling that I need to work harder, try harder, be holier, what does God give me? A double dose of joy for Advent.

So this week what I am doing is trying to smile more. Broadly.


Kezzie said...

How wonderful! And you've just shared your joy with me and yet you still have your double portion! God bless you for having prepared all this!x

Lisa Richards said...

Ah,joy! What a wonderful gift! :)

GretchenJoanna said...

Well, that is a sort of party game even I could get into. Brilliant, Mags! There is a constant sort of Incarnation happening in you.

Pom Pom said...

Yay! You ARE joyful, dearest!
What a lovely day out you made for all the lovely ladies.

Angela said...

Joy to the world- and especially to the strawberry household right now xx

Scarlet said...

I feel joyful after reading your post Mags, so your double portion has been shared!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Joy! Yes! I think sometimes that's what gets buried the deepest this time of year. It's hard to be joyful when one is tired, cranky, overextended. But joy is really what it's all about. I'll try to remember this during my busy week.


M.K. said...

Those are both such beautiful advent ideas, Mags~ Good work! We do need joy, do we not? We focus on the more "serious" virtues like love, or hope, or patience. But sometimes JOY is the one so very lacking.

Blessings upon you and yours, dear friend! Thank you for these lovely ideas and encouraging words!

Gumbo Lily said...

I'd say you had some excellent ideas for your group. A double-dose of JOY is always a good thing to have and to scatter. ~smile~

Isabelle said...

Good for you. Smiling is not always so easy.

By the way, to answer your comment: there are several nice eateries on the High Street (which is really the only street apart from those with houses in), with lovely views over the sea. I can't understand how you could have missed them! They are maybe not particularly child-friendly - more moderately upmarket - so if you were looking for a pizza place or something... but I've had various lunches/dinners in S Qf with friends and there's a variety.

Unless you were in North Queensferry, at the other side of the water?

Neither Qf is anywhere near the Royal Yacht or the city centre, though. Qf is off the west of Edinburgh; the R Yacht is towards the east.

You must have been in a parallel universe... . Anyway, sorry we failed you!

Fat Dormouse said...

Do you know, dear Mags, I have come back and read this post several times because it just seems so "right" as a reminder.
First the gift of peace, of a pause in the bustle (which I love!) leading up to Christmas...but even more so, the gift of joy which you received and which you give. Your blog always seems optimistic and full of the joys of life (and Life) like Pompom.

Have a truly joyful Christmas, my dear.