Today I am kicking off a 4-week post series about the season of Advent. Advent began yesterday and for those unfamiliar with this season, it is a 4 week preparation for Christmas that is recognized by most Western Christian churches. I did a similar post series the first year I started this blog so I decided to bring it back this year.
Advent is one of my favorite times of the year, mostly because of the fond memories I have of it from my childhood. Each night, we would try to gather as a family to light a candle on the Advent wreath. We'd pray together as a family, and then we'd all gather around the piano and my mom would play Christmas Carols and we'd all sing along. It was a really nice way to end the day together as a family.
It seems like the Christmas Season is so rushed these days. While I love the hustle and bustle, the shopping and holiday parties, I also miss the quieter times of Advents of my youth. So this post series is my attempt to recapture some of the peace and quiet of the Advent season. Each week I'll post some of my reflections about the theme of the week. Regardless of your position on faith and Christianity, hopefully you'll find these posts worth reading.
The theme for week 1 of Advent is Hope. In the words of Emily Dickinson:
"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sing the tune without the words and never stops... at all."I am not going to even try to pretend that I have always remained hopeful. Through the trials and tribulations of life, my sense of hope has faded and soared in regards to my career, my general direction in life, and my dating life. No matter what I am going through, though, my mom is always quick to remind me to remain hopeful.
Sometimes, though, it almost seems easier to choose despair. At least that is the case for me. Having hope for things in life kind of scares me sometimes because I feel like you may potentially be setting yourself up for disappointment. I used to think: What if I remain hopeful that my future will involve a husband and children - and then that never happens? Does hope create more disappointment in the end?
These days, I remain hopeful, but in a different way. I don't hope for specific things, like a husband. Instead, I remain hopeful that my life will turn out just as it is supposed to - whatever that means. I will close with my favorite verse of scripture that I focus on when I find myself being tempted to choose despair over hope:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)"