Showing posts with label spiritual growth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spiritual growth. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why Should You Have a Beautiful Advent Wreath?

We are in the full season of Christmas and part of that in our family is lighting the Advent Candles on our Christmas wreath.

The meaning of the candles and the wreath as a meditation for Christmas and beyond.  


Most people recognize an Advent Wreath when they see them.  They can be made out of many different types of materials.  The most common are evergreens, but there are many other beautiful options.  The wreath (round just by it's name)  usually has 4 candle holders spaced evenly around the wreath.   These four candles are usually in purple and pink( 3 purple and one pink), for religious celebrations of Advent.  Some have a central larger candle in White.  Other Advents wreaths can have red or white candles or whatever color you happen to like.

What's the significance of the colors in a Religious Advent Wreath?

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation.  Purple is the color of both Advent and Lent in religious ceremonies.  Both  of these seasons Liturgically are waiting periods.  Advent we wait for the coming of the Saviour in the stable and Lent we wait for the Resurrection from the Grave.  Let's focus on Christmas and Advent right now.

Each candle has it's own meaning.

  1.  The 1st Sunday of Advent is for Hope (purple)
  2.   The 2nd Sunday is for Peace (purple)
  3.   The 3rd Sunday is for Joy (pink)(it's pink because the light of the two other candles illuminates this week a little bit more and joy is bright)
  4.   The 4th Sunday is for Love (purple)
  5.   Christmas Day the center candle is lit, if you have an Advent wreath with 5 candles.  This central candle (usually in white) represents the Christ, the Saviour whose birthday we celebrate at this time.
The way we use our wreath, is to light one candle on the first Sunday, two on the second Sunday, three on the Third Sunday and all four candles on the Fourth Sunday.  For this reason it is advisable to use a good sized candle or long tapers.  After 4 weeks the first candle will be considerably smaller than the other 3.

If you want to increase the religious aspect of Advent, you can use Bible verses as a meditation for each of the four weeks, or sing some Christmas carols that speak more to the coming of the Saviour rather than  Santa Claus.  There are also some lovely Advent prayers to be found on You Tube and I have selected one for you with music.  The sound is soothing and a reminder of what Christmas is all about!  Check it out right here, and bookmark it if you like so that you have it for all 4 weeks.



Quiet Meditative Time 


Christmas with all it's hustle and bustle can sometimes overwhelm children, parents and other members of the family.  Do you ever wonder why you seem to see so many children having emotional meltdowns at this time of year.  I personally think it has a lot to do with sensory overload and children not having the coping mechanisms in place to deal with it all.

You might find yourself in that position of having to back away from all the noise, lights, music and people.  Taking some quality quiet time for yourself during this hectic time, is not only a great idea, but a necessity for some.  Everyone is different and will relate to the stimulus differently too.  One thing I do know from my own experience is that taking the time to light one candle for every weekend before Christmas is necessary for my well being.  It's a quiet meditative time for me and a way to refresh and renew my sagging spirit.

If you want to know more about sensory overload or aren't sure if that's what has you in it's grips, there is a great article here on Healthline.  It's worth the time it takes to read it. Not only will it help you to understand this malady, but it will also give you some coping mechanisms.  If you are looking for a more "spiritual way" to cope then I would recommend this article on Seasonal Depression and coping.

When you are faced with this "overload" and you know which methods of coping work for you, then it's time to put it into practice.  This is where my Advent Wreath plays a central role.  For me, coping with the seasonal overload means finding some quiet time, and meditating(some might call it praying).  Christmas for me has always been a "spiritual time" and while I love some of the more secular things about Christmas, I still try to keep it as a spiritual time in my home.  I have to do this for my own peace of mind and you might just find some peace if you try this too!



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Thursday, January 4, 2018

One Perfect Word - Book Review

Book review of New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber's One Perfect Word.
One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber
Will you be tapping into the power of one word in 2018?  One word, carefully chosen, can make a real difference in living more purposefully in the new year.  Debbie Macomber, beloved author of millions, shares with us, in One Perfect Word, how her chosen words have changed her life in profound ways.

For most of us, focusing on one significant word is much more realistic than wrestling with those pesky New Year's resolutions.  Over the years, I have set hundreds of resolutions.  It would be humiliating to tally up how many of those well-intentioned resolutions I have actually kept.  After reading One Perfect Word, I feel confident that I can, and will, experience meaningful growth in 2018.  There's no time like the present to begin.  Let's get started!

You may be wondering how to select your word.  As a Christian, Macomber's process is done prayerfully.  Some of her words over the years have included: passion, desire, balance, purpose, seek, wisdom, surrender, trust, believe, and hope.  Some people don't have to search very hard for their words.  The right words seem to find them.  Is there a word that keeps popping up in your life lately?  Perhaps that word is trying to get your attention and is saying 'choose me... choose me.'

So once Macomber has her word, what then?  Over the course of the year she reads, reflects, journals, meets with friends in her One Word weekly breakfast club for discussions, and enjoys creative Wordplay activities.  By giving yourself a whole year to slowly digest the gleanings of your word, there is plenty of opportunity to nourish your spirit without the rush or anxiety of looming deadlines.

It's not just Christians who delve into the One Word system of growth.  Individuals of all backgrounds have found this to be a powerful means of achieving desired outcomes. Due to the popularity of this process, there are one word themed books in many different genres.  Each of you can choose the method that best speaks to who you are and what you are seeking.  Perhaps you will develop a whole new personalized system to share with others in your circle.

This is the second time I have read One Perfect Word.  Macomber's book continues to inspire me to become all that I was created to be.  For me, it was the perfect way to start my new year.  I believe Christian book clubs, Bible study groups, and individuals of faith will find this to be a worthy read.

Have you ever selected a word for the year?  Do you have a word in mind for 2018?  I would love for you to share in the comment section below.

Happy New Year!  May 2018 be the Year of Abundant Becoming.






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