Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day Two - Waxing and Waning

We are in a season of our lives where our oldest (10) is pushing the boundaries of patience and our youngest (18 months) is in the "screeching" phase of life.

I spend a LOT of time praying my Rosary.

Now, let's talk Monday.  How did it go?  Did you accomplish all 10 tasks?  If not, that's okay - add them to today's do list.  We'll have a "catch up" later in the week for when those things happen.  Christ was kind enough to give us the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Penance for our mistakes here on earth - His solution works for us too. ;)  In the meantime I want to talk more about preparing hearts and how we can get ourselves the time we need down the road in Advent.

We all have periods where we wax and wane.  For those not familiar with these "old" terms they mean to grow and shrink respectively.  I'm not talking about the weight loss roller coaster - although I'm nearly 100% certain you know that version of waxing and waning as well as I *eye roll*. 

The holidays become a natural time for waxing, particularly when it comes to the "stuff" in our homes.  "Oh what a lovely...it's just so UNIQUE!" over and over and we can't bear to disappoint Great-Aunt Martha so we retain "whatever-that-was" and so on and so forth.

The holidays, for many of us, have also become a time of waning.  A time of waning patience, tolerance, and even sometimes, faith. We become frustrated with the crowds when shopping, irritated with sudden "must do" engagements that weren't on the schedule, and often the more upset and flustered we find ourselves, the further we have walked from the purpose of this season - to prepare for His coming.

While Wal-Mart tries to stretch the period of retail Christmas preparations well into September, the Church was far more intelligent about the average person's attention span of a holiday.  How many times have you gotten to Christmas lunch with an attitude of "Thank God this is almost over!" and collapse into bed that night in relief and exhaustion?

This year it's going to be different and that's going to start right now.  We are going to "flip the switch".  It's time to wax in our patience, tolerance, and faith and wane in the "stuff" department.  We're going to wax in love, joy, and hope while we wane in commercialism and greed.

Back to that day planner we looked at yesterday.  Spend a bit more time with it and look at the "required" things on your schedule already.  Which ones bring you joy?  Which ones are things that you are excited about getting to do?  Which ones make you want to go and hide in a corner?

I can't take away all the bad ones and tell you it's perfectly okay to skip your sister-in-law's annual Christmas Party and pretend I did the right thing.  I can tell you to take the ones that don't need to be there off your list.  I can tell you to find ways to really enjoy the ones that bring you happiness.

As for today, you have a few things you need to get done on the "getting caught up" list and also today I would like for you to take a quick inventory of your situation with towels, sheets, tablecloths, napkins, and any other linens you keep in your home.  Give them a good look - you already know what they look like.  Are they serviceable?  Do you wince when someone spends the night at your house and has to use a ratty towel?  How about those dishrags?  Have they seen better days?

I know the budget is tight this time of year but in all honesty, I'm a much bigger fan of getting gifts I can USE than those that will rot.  I believe the same thing for my family as well.  We're very well known for asking for someone to purchase towel sets for the kids than for someone to purchase toys.  Toys they have. Towels I need.  This year, both our children are getting new "more grown up" bed sets for their bedrooms.  I'm making a quilt for each of them to go along with new sheets, blankets, and pillowcases.  Maybe even curtains.  No, it's not a shiny new iPad but unlike that iPad, it will still be serviceable in 5 years. ;)

Start rethinking what you're going to ask for and what you need.  Start rethinking your budget and  how to manage it for the holidays - and while you're thinking, tackle those "to do" items and get them out of the way so we can start getting to the more fun stuff. :)

(See the original post for The Era of Preparation or go to Day 3.)

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