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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cultivating Calm


Advent, the starting point of the Christian calendar, begins today.  For the four Sundays preceding Christmas, Christians of various denominations around the world mark the time before the celebration of Christ's birth. 


I, along with many other people and probably most of you, long for a Christmas celebration that isn't all about the presents, the shopping, the baking, the parties and so on. I want to take time to enjoy each day and not rush through the hours lurching from one "must do" to another. But often, I begin this season well, and then, as the days go by I think of more and more things I would like to do or should do. And I find myself hurrying and scurrying.


This year, in the midst of activity, I want to cultivate calmness. Just like a small plant that needs tending, I plan to tend my spirit. There will be baking, and presents, and lots of activity, but also, I hope, a thread of tranquility woven through the fabric of my days.


Here are some of the ways I plan to cultivate calmness:


* daily advent readings
(If you Google the above term you'll discover pages of resources - I'm using readings adapted from the Common Book of Prayer, found here)


* making lists and prioritizing the items
(I sometimes get distracted by too many things to do, and this year, I'm going to be intentional about finishing one project before embarking upon another)


* daily walks
(There's nothing like getting out in the fresh air to rejuvenate the mind and spirit.)


*recognizing when enough is enough
(Taking time to just stop, light a candle, drink a cup of tea, read a novel.)


Linking to A Pause in Advent where other bloggers discuss varying perspectives of Advent.

23 comments:

  1. Good Morning Lorrie!

    I HEAR ya! I am looking for the very same thing. Too much emphasis on those worldly goods when we should be more concerned about our Heavenly treasures.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love your Advent candle "plate". In my Pause for Advent (Floss hasn't put me on her blog roll yet, but I've asked if I can join in!) my Word of the Week is "Joy" - I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure what "Word of the Week" will mean - maybe it's something for me to think about - so it was good to see it on your Advent Candle.

    I find your blog very restful to look at and visit. I look forward to returning.

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  3. Your candle display is just lovely, wishing you a calm and restful week.

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  4. It's good to have a plan, and yours sounds very achievable. I wish you all the calm, all the peace and all the tranquility you need to move forward through Advent.

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  5. Hi Lorrie!
    I like your calm suggestions and I feel the same way. Walks are an excellent way to pause and quiet our hearts!
    It's the simple things, I agree. I'm going to read The Christmas Mystery to my husband starting Dec. 1. I think a story and a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate before we go up to bed will be just the ticket for calm and peace, wonderment at the King's feet.

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  6. Such beauty in this post, Lorrie. Love this line you wrote . . . "a thread of tranquility woven through the fabric of my days". Adds depth to the title of your blog as "fabric" and "thread" are integral to this thought. More than the physical elements of fabric, paper and thread . . . the intangibles that are the creative materials in the realm of the spirit and soul. Blessings to you as you embark on your advent journey.

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  7. I am about to go and light my first Advent candle.

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  8. Such a beautiful Blog. I love your header picture...beautiful work.

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  9. A lovely thoughtful post - I have joined in the Pause, too, and it is good to read the different posts.

    Pomona x

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  10. A lovely calm moment, thank you - this is my hope for December as well.

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  11. Thank you for this- I've just added your post to My Favourites so I can meditate on it often! Happy Pausing, from a delightfully delving strawberry!

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  12. What a wonderful message! I don't get caught up in shopping and parties so my holiday season is not as hectic as some. I do love to decorate and I love your beautiful arrangement! ♥

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  13. What a wonderful post. I'm checking all your links out. I have already put my decorations out...except for the tree... I plan to have a peaceful Advent...

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  14. I agree... what a great post! And a great way to begin this special season of the year.

    I especially like the phrase 'a thread of tranquility'!

    Thanks for the readings from the Common Book of Prayer.... I followed an advent booklet once made up with Henri Nouwen's writings... it was wonderful too.

    Wishing you grace for the journey... threaded throughout your week!

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  15. A beautiful post...and a timely reminder of what advent is really all about. Thanks!

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  16. Thanks for a delightful visit for a Pause in Advent. I loved your Advent wreath. :)

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  17. Happy first week in Advent, Lorrie. I will be having a different type of Christmas this year as I am not doing any decorating or baking, etc, at my home, but will enjoy visiting my children's homes to enjoy the holiday. It will be nice to concentrate on more spiritual things instead.

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  18. Your Advent wreath is lovely. I agree with you and hope that i can enjoy the special moments of the season without worrying about things that don't really matter. I try to do one thing a day and that way I enjoy the preparation more and the anticipation of Christmas even more. Thank goodness we didn't have those horrific winds that southern Alberta has experienced! I hadn't heard of the problems until I read your comment. Have a peaceful week Lorrie!

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  19. Your ideas are lovely and echo my thoughts in many areas. I used to make wooden ornies for some of my neighbors and last year I decided to eliminate those, this year, our annual newsletter is gone and handwritten notes are back. Nice and simple and calming. Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great week! Kit

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  20. Beautiful, I LOVE it!! Clarice

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  21. I like your planned Calm. I am deliberately doing two projects at once - when the intense one drives me mad, I switch to the easy one and relax a bit! Other than that, I really like your suggestions - thanks so much.

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  22. I adore your advent crown and think that recognising when enough is enough is something that is so hard to do. My body has finally told me to stop, I have bronchitis

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  23. Great candle display Lorrie. I don't plan much these days, I just do the next thing and it all seems to come together. I guess it is something to do with age, comes second nature.

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