Day 693: Leaving Luxury (Celebrating Advent)

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Advent season is here!

{If you aren’t familiar with Advent, the word derives from “Coming” and it starts four Sundays before Christmas… this year it started this past Sunday, December 1st… and it is when Christians anticipate the coming of Christ’s birth!}

I feel like, finally, everyone else has caught up with me and they are ready to celebrate Christmas now that Thanksgiving is over! (We decorated on November 1st so we’ve been in this mode for a while now!)

In the previous years I’ve always gotten a book or an app or a reading plan to celebrate Advent, but this year I decided that I wanted to do my own! It’s mainly happening on my Facebook, twitter, and Google+ pages where I am posting throughout the day on a typical focus.

My personal focus this Advent is giving to Christ. I mean, He has given me SO MUCH and since He is the focus, then I want to give HIM gifts. But of course, unlike my 6 year old, God isn’t really interested in Lego’s Lion Chi Temple… but He is very interested in me. in my actions. in my attempts to honor Him.

So each day has a focus like the past few days have had:

Day 1: Give Him your service.
Day 2: Give Him your praise.
Day 3: Give Him your luxury.

And I’m afraid that already Day 3 is going to be the most sacrificial gift of all.

Because for Advent, I’m going to give God the gift of giving up a luxury.

Diet sodas. Tea. Coffee.

On hold for the remainder of Advent.

Water only here.

Oh. my.

Because not having those things, well, it is going to get my attention… and that is why I am doing it. Like I said on one of my social media posts, giving up a luxury is like making a mental speed bump. It makes you stop and think, “Wait. I’m used to having this… why can’t I have tea? Ohhhhh! Oh yes! Because I can use this moment to direct my mind to Christ!

And really that is exactly what I want to be happening all through Advent… I want to be looking to Christ! Anticipating Him! And getting ready to celebrate Him!

Because when I really think about it, all of this “luxury” is really just stuff.

He is truly what makes my life luxurious!

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Day 129: Tea Time

My friend Christy and I were talking about why we would eat at night a lot was because it was like after we got our kids down to bed that was “our time” and part of that involved “treating” ourselves. Honestly, I still have to fight the urge at this time. I used eating after the boys were in bed as a “stall” technique. It was the only way that my husband wouldn’t ask me or expect me to fold the laundry or pay the bills or whatever. If I was sitting there eating… whatever… then he couldn’t ask, or at least he didn’t ask.

Now, I turn to iced tea as my “luxury” item in the evenings. I mean, I know that it’s not a luxury item compared to some of the stuff I used to eat, but in a way it is. I mean, iced tea represents relaxation in the south… sittin outside with my feet up drinking a glass of fresh brewed (okay, okay, fresh brewed to a mom of a toddler means that it was fresh brewed today) well, that’s just luxury. decadence. relaxation. comfort.

And it doesn’t involve a single bite of chocolate.

The other night, even though by the time I had finished getting the boys in bed it was dark outside, I decided that I wanted to get myself a glass of tea and sit out on the patio and look up at the big beautiful sky as it slid from dusk into darkness. So, I sat out there and gazed up at Venus and took several deep breaths and “found” myself again… well at least until every gnat in a five mile radius descended upon me. Ha!

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Part of me (that would like to be June Cleaver… well, it’s a very smalllllll part of me) would like to say that I came right on in and got down to work folding the huge basket of laundry that I had to do, but the other part of me (that loves being January Rowe) came in and went. straight. to. sleep. Haha! Well, honestly, I have already learned that it is more difficult to fight off hunger when I am tired, sooooo I just don’t let myself get THAT tired if I can help it (note: if I can help it… I have a four year old that is going through his nightly “I’m scared” phase and a two-year old that is getting in, what I call, his vamp teeth (the sharp pointy vampire looking teeth… so sometimes I can’t keep the exhaustion away… those are “survival” days).

Really… maybe we as a society don’t take enough moments of rest. I am more “me” when I do take time to rest…

Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. Psalm 116:7