Advent, so far

I wrote about how we're doing Advent this year a couple of weeks ago and I just wanted to pop in and share how it's gone thus far.

First of all, I haven't been as consistent as I'd like. But that's ok! I'm not feeling guilty, as per my previous post, I'm emphasizing just opening the Word with my kids and creating an atmosphere of anticipation. We are memorizing John 1:1-18 and so far we have memorized up to verse 13. It's really powerful listening to the voices of my little kiddos reciting these profound words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Even Clover can fill in the blanks of certain verses (i.e. "In The beginning was the ____" and she'll yell WORD!) Some of my kids have an easier time with memorization and enjoy it more than others, but we're all doing it and benefiting. My aim was to do the scripture each morning and each evening, but it's more like once a day, and I've forgotten occasionally, too. Grace, I love you.

The kids love lighting and blowing out the candles, and they've been the main event by far. We have sung Come Thou Long Expected Jesus a few times, but it kind of fell out of the ideal daily rotation. And the kids have enjoyed the Christmas-themed books in the Advent basket, but not daily. 

Why am I sharing this with you? Hopefully to impart grace and let you know that even the best laid plans don't always come to fruition. I've really been loving this Advent season - probably my very favourite since we've had kids - with it's imperfections and all. I love the framework that Advent allows: 4 weeks. And the set end date and a set focus to fix our eyes on: Jesus' coming on the 25th. It's been a great help in getting back into daily time in the Word as a family and I hope to carry it out long after Christmas has come and gone. 

Our daily(-ish) time around the candles has brought about some of the sweetest conversations with our kids, too. Just the other night, I started by admitting to the kids, "you know, I have a really big problem with sin. I sin all the time!" and our older two instantly agreed, and even one of them (who had had a really rough day for obedience) humbly said, "especially me". I love sharing the good news of the gospel that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, to seek us and save us and mend our brokenness. Advent has brought that to the forefront, and I'm thankful.

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