Thursday, December 23, 2010

Decorations Beyond the Tree....

So, it's December 23rd.  I have no Christmas decorations up in my house except the Christmas cards I've received and some ornaments my students made me.  But, yet, I feel more prepared for Christmas than ever before.  So, what happened?  How did I "decorate" or get ready for Christmas?

1. Attended an advent retreat and a few talks on prayer (for the Advent Season)
2. Went to confession at least twice....maybe more, I can't remember!
3. Started reading that book on prayer and learning more about how to pray...and then actually practicing.
4. DECKED OUT my classroom for the Advent Season....
5. Followed an advent calendar and Jesse Tree with my students
6. Lead the prayer services at school
7. Went to spiritual direction with Fr. Rick
8. Prayed the Christmas Novena (still working on it)
9. Daily reading of reflections in an Advent Guide

I am blessed.  Why?

1. Because I had so many opportunities to grow in these past four weeks, God gave me the time and I never made a plan.
2. Because my job encourages/requires me to do Advent activities with my students which in fact, leads to my own growth.
3. I have friends who do these things with me.
4. I have a priest who truly cares for me and will never let me stray!
5. Because despite whatever I can list of all the "spiritual activities" that I've done in the last four weeks...my heart grows so that I want MORE. 
6. This "wanting more" is going to continue to save me from myself (spending too much time on the internet, seeking unhealthy relationships,  not taking care of my body, etc.)
7. This "wanting more" has an answer and His name is Jesus Christ and his Church.  This is the ONLY place I've found satisfaction.

So, hopefully, when I'm with people this Christmas they will see the "decorated" me.  (Ha, I'm imagining myself with lights, tinsel, popcorn, the whole bit!)  My prayer is that they will see me for the light I carry within that's been ignited once again with Advent and its Christmas preparations.  And may my eyes be opened to the complexities and beautiful simplicities of those in front of me as well.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!