Thoughts

Advent.

We’re officially within the season of Advent. The long exhale, the waiting, the anticipation, the breathing, the hoping. The reminder that “God seeks us out where we are right now. Not where we should be by our own or anyone elses estimation” {Sarah Bessey}. It’s a time that often gets overlooked because of the busyness and the holiday hustle and bustle, but it’s so important.

At the beginning of this Advent season I was feeling pretty restless. I was drowning in all the change and transition I’ve been going through and kept getting frustrated with myself when I felt like I wasn’t handling it all well. I kept planning and over-thinking and plotting and over-analyzing and seeking the right answers and striving for clarity and what to think of next or what I could be doing…and on, and on, and on.

It’s exhausting and when I looked up and realized Advent was here, I paused. I started really thinking about what this season means and felt like this is the perfect time to make a change. To stop the seeking. To be present. To stop the hustle. To stop the busy. To wait and anticipate. To stop the over-thinking. To stop the plotting.

One Sunday morning a phrase echoed across my soul, “Cease the striving.”

I felt it clear as day. Cease the striving. Be still, be present, just be. Look down, not around, not side to side, not ahead, but down. To look at my feet, to see where I am and be present there. To focus on my little corner of the world as it is and to water the grass where I’ve been planted. To wait and breath in the truth that I am significant where I am and nothing I strive to do or hustle towards will make me more significant or worthy.

I receive a daily Advent email from the Global Advent Calendar and it has a word for the day and a thought from a monk. Monday it was “Be.” Brother Curtis Almquist said, “Contentment is more about being than about doing, or acquiring, or mastering, or craving, or searching. Contentment is about being satisfied given the limitations of our present life.”

So this Advent season, I choose contentment. I choose to be exactly where I am. I choose the waiting. I choose presence over plans. Stillness over striving. Stopping over going. Acceptance over analysis. Patience over plotting. I choose to be. I choose to cease the striving.

Join me?

I made an advent wreath this year and I love it. It's not anything special, but a daily reminder to cease the striving. Every Sunday we light a candle and read the weekly email from Sarah Bessey about that weeks candle.
I made an advent wreath this year and I love it. It’s really not anything special, but it is a daily reminder. An advent wreath is a chance to focus on the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Every Sunday night we light a candle and read a reflection about that weeks virtue. Read a great reflection about peace here.

 

If you want to read some good thoughts about Advent, find a few from Sarah Bessey here and here. You can also receive a daily thought from A Global Advent Calendar here.