Advent Prayer Experiences – 2016

We begin another Church year very soon! Who would believe another year has flown by and it is time once again to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we are settling into our new “home” aka vacation rental for the next 5 months before we move again to our next “new home” I have decided to try out some new cleaning routines. Nearly 3 years ago I commented to a friend of mine “You’re house always seems so decluttered and clean! I don’t know how you manage to keep everything in order, it always seems so overwhelming for me and I just give up.” She told me about the FlyLady’s system of cleaning and lent me the book. Basically, a woman (the FlyLady) started working in her own home to establish routines that would help her declutter, clean and generally regain control over her chaotic household. Today, she has multiple books plus an app. Needless to say, I flipped through the book and thought it was too much work because I am an all or nothing kind of person and it was too many changes at one time. I thanked my friend, said it was a really neat idea and maybe one day I would try it out. The notion stuck with me though and one day is finally here (I’m using this app)

At its most basic, the FlyLady’s routines and objectives are very much in line with my Lenten observance this year: to be a good past self. She divides your home into zones and each week focuses in depth on one zone. Every Monday has an additional “home blessing” where you spend 10 minutes in each zone sprucing it up without getting stuck in the weeds, or cobwebs, or legos, or whatever dust bunnies are slowly forming under your couch. What I am loving about this system (well, I think I’m loving, it’s only been a week so far) is that each day’s task that I have completed has not taken more than 15 minutes and I still feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Rather than saying to myself, “Today I need to clean the kitchen. The whole kitchen – shudder, dread, find other things to do, oops now it’s too late I guess I’ll work on that tomorrow.” I am saying, “I can definitely double check the refrigerator and make sure nothing is expired and wipe down the front and fronts of the shelves in 15 minutes, no problem.” Some other daily routines include making sure you clean up after yourself, immediately, and eliminating excuses by getting dressed right away (so that if the garbage needs to go out at 7am you don’t have to scurry about in your pjs or robe or choosing to live with a smelly garbage until you get around to it at lunchtime).

It’s doing a little everyday, rather than burning yourself out in one day and then not cleaning anything for the next 3.

“Your home did not get dirty in one day, and it will not get clean in a day either” to quote the Flylady.

So what does all this have to do with Advent prayer? As I was wiping down a bathroom this morning (yes, I’m cleaning bathrooms! In the morning! Shocking, I know. Right your seat and continue reading). I was thinking about the above quote and realized that a disordered, lacking or non-existent prayer life works in a similar way. We can’t expect to go from nothing to a full blown prayer routine overnight. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Many times.

For this Advent, I have decided to break up the 4 weeks into 4 types or themes of prayer. Each day will have an idea to ponder, a Scripture to meditate on, a prayer to recite, or some other kind of short activity that will guide you to a prayer experience. This is not supposed to be long, arduous or in any other way taxing. 5 minutes of your time, 10 if you get really into it. My goal is to offer a variety of prayer opportunities that will help all of us gain a deeper understanding of Advent and also learn what kinds of prayer brought us to encounter Jesus during our day. What better way to prepare yourself for the coming of Jesus at Christmas than by spending Advent discovering what ways you communicate with Him best?

Every day there will be a new post. I am planning on posting the night before so that you early risers don’t have to wait for the day’s prayer experience. Posts will be linked on the page “Advent Prayer Experiences – 2016” along the top toolbar as well as on the homepage.

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