Hello friends, for the last little while I've been working on a resource exploring the beautiful season of Advent at home called Exploring Advent - it follows a similar pattern to my Embracing Easter workbook and contains four weeks worth of reflections, scriptures, poems, activities and recipes designed to help us slow down and savour this season of hopeful anticipation and expectant joy...
I feel the need, this year more than ever, to take time away from news feeds and social media reels, from busyness and to-do lists - to seek simplicity in my home and faith leading up to Christmas. To see Advent as an opportunity to nourish ourselves; to contemplate the truly wonderful gifts Jesus brought us with his birth: of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
I want to soak in these gifts, remember what this season is truly about and then to share them with my loved ones, neighbours, community and world. Will you join me in exploring Advent this year?
is not so much the speed
as the mind and heart moving in sync -
and sometimes its a brisk pace
of farm chores, jobs to be done,
a juggle and a tussle of needs and wants
and hats and bananas and clean nappies -
laundry hung to dry, eggs to be packed,
or the steady pace of a toddler who stoops low
to notice a small beetle scuttle across the floor
or in the grey of the morning
the flapping arms and open smile
of a babe, just awakened -
ahhh, in the carefully savoured sips of hot tea,
and the smell of verbena leaves crushed,
or the time we woke up earlier than usual,
and finding ourselves with time aplenty to
draw after breakfast, he working on squids
and me on a sketchy hen -
how good it felt to my weary eyes,
to see that old friend, familiar blue!
a tuning in
on car rides to school;
confessions of a five year old,
questions asked, ideas posed -
"how many days will you be alive mama?"
or to a well-written book propped open on a pillow
while breastfeeding in bed
(instead of scrolling on my phone)
to shed a tear for the beauty of the afternoon sun
against the kitchen wall,
and tuning out
to the inner-critic who
so easily finds fault, or worries,
to the temptation to keep scrolling
on social media, and to all the cheap news and fluff,
is choosing to live with less,
or make do, mend a thing,
borrow, go without even -
taking time, when we can, to do just one thing -
is being rooted
in belief, in the
treasures of the heart;
gentleness, compassion, love, grace, celebration -
is being exactly where I am at this moment,
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...