Advent {Week 3}

Notice anything different at Mass this past Sunday? I know my daughter did as her favorite color is pink! I had forgotten the meaning behind the pink candle and vestments that the priest wears and when I did my research, I found it's to remind us of the J O Y that is coming our way, so soon. Unfortunately, that Christmas joy doesn't always show up how I'd like it too. Holidays with small children are way different. They don't go as planned, someone is throwing a tantrum or running a fever...nothing is ever perfect or even kind of perfect. Before having children, I would imagine the holidays as if it were a movie A clean, tidy, joyful movie. My children and I would make Christmas cookies and they would sit there and be entertained for hours. I would imagine my children waking Christmas morning with big smiles on their faces and again, playing with their new toys for hours while my husband and I sat on the couch soaking up every second of their joy. Are you laughing yet? Yeah, that is not how the holidays go but that's also not the kind of Christmas joy that Christ wants us to experience. I think it's taken me a while and I'm still learning how to separate what the world considers joy to be and what authentic joy really looks and feels like.I would get disappointed when the holidays would roll around and the kids would be so grumpy! Didn't they know it was a holiday?! Everyone is supposed to cooperate and be happy on a holiday! I would get disappointed because my view on true joy was and still can be a bit off.

The pope recently paid a visit to a parish in Rome where he said these words:

"A Christian is one who has a heart full of peace because he or she knows how to find joy in the Lord even when going through difficult moments in life," he said. "Having faith does not mean not having difficulties, but having the strength to face them knowing that we are not alone."

"The human heart desires joy," the pope said in his Angelus address. "We all want joy; every family, all peoples aspire to joy. But what kind of joy are Christians called to witness? It is that joy that comes from closeness to God and from his presence in our lives." (Read the full article here: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1405194.htm)

I really like that last part. "But what kind of joy are Christians called to witness? It is that joy that comes from closeness to God and from his presence in our lives." I will not find authentic, lasting joy in making Christmas cookies. I will be disappointed every time if I think finding joy on Christmas, can only be obtained if my children are well behaved. True, authentic joy comes from Christ and Christ alone. Throughout Advent we are actively seeking out Christ. During this process of seeking out Christ we stumble upon what true joy really is. Isn't Advent great? Something I should mention, trust me, I think you can find joy in making cookies, decorating for the holidays, etc. The proof is below! We made gingerbread houses this past weekend. It was messy, imperfect and joyful! I hope you all have a great week and are able to find that joy Christ is wanting you to experience! Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetI should also mention that one can find ALOT of joy in a cup of hot chocolate. Especially a cup that is filled to the brim with marshmallows. We were out of marshmallows so in the candy cane went.