Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Fine Linen and Purple for "What I Wore Sunday."

Happy Guadete Sunday!

Having a couple little girls to get dressed up for Mass makes this Sunday even more fun! So much pink/"rose"! Sister Stinky is not pictured because she was a bit out of sorts this morning. Poor girl is getting over a bad cold and wasn't really herself this morning.




 Ever since we set up the Advent wreath, Sister Stinky has been asking, "We light pink one?" She was beyond thrilled when we finally lit it for the first time last night!


I have really been loving the quiet simplicity of our Advent prayer each night. Snuggled up with our girls, reading stories by the light of the Advent wreath and the Christmas tree fill up my heart with such contentment. When the Abbot and I were engaged and then newlyweds, we talked a lot about how we felt called to make our home a welcoming place, a place of hospitality. Before all of our friends had children, that looked like having people stay over, frequently having friends and family over for dinner, etc. Now that most of our friends have children, we don't have as many people staying overnight, and we don't have people coming over to dinner as frequently as we once did. Our home is still so warm, so filled with this quiet sort of peace, that I just desperately want to share it with everyone we know!

I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized something...we are being called to show a different kind of hospitality at this stage of life. Yes, we still have friends and family over to visit, and yes, I'm sure they sense that they are welcome here. But, more importantly, we're called to welcome these little children - for now, the two sweet daughters we have, and hopefully more children down the road - into our home and into our family. Our little girls will be the ones who will be most deeply impacted by the home life we have, and cultivating a beautiful home life is most important for them. The Abbot and I were blessed, in that we both experienced that growing up, and now we hope to share it with our girls.

A lesson that we learned from our families is the importance of faith in our home. I obviously didn't grow up in the Abbot's home so I can't speak to that from firsthand experience (but I can tell you that he was raised in a home where the Catholic faith was very important) but I can speak from my own experience. I can speak from the experience of lighting Advent candles before Sunday dinner, and singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" in the dim candlelight. I can tell you about the quiet sort of anticipation we had in our home during Advent - an anticipation that built with each passing Sunday, as we attended Mass and saw another candle lit in church (and often, at home, although sometimes we'd get busy and have to play catch-up the following week and light two candles). I can tell you of the sweet joy of coming home from Christmas Mass and finally, finally putting baby Jesus in the nativity scene.

Having experienced the domestic monastery firsthand as a child, I know of its power to leave a deep mark on your heart. I know how, surrounded with such quiet beauty, a spark of love for God can be slowly ignited and fanned into flame. Advent is sort of the epitome of the experience of parents' work - a time of waiting and gently growing in longing for Christ. I am so happy to now be about this work in my own family.

I often think of how St. Therese described life in her own family, especially their Sundays, as a taste of heaven. How I hope that our little ones will grow up with that same impression left on their hearts.

2 comments:

  1. She is so sweet in all her pink. Your second to last paragraph is…just…beautiful, and I will be thinking on it all week.

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  2. This is such a beautiful reflection of the importance the home being peaceful and welcoming. I love your thought on welcoming children into the home and creating a quiet, peaceful place for them.

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