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Learning to savor Advent

I made two runs to the local thrift shop this week. The back of my Prius was filled with all sorts of stuff. My youngest has outgrown a lot of clothing and there is no one left to accept "hand-me-downs". I had a supply of clothing that I call my "wishful thinking" clothes. My youngest is 16. My oldest is 24. Should my body ever return to its pre-kids shape I will treat myself to a new wardrobe rather than hang on to these reminders of skinnier days. I have also been purging my closets, cupboards, and drawers of an assortment of bric-a-brac that I was keeping "just in case". Just in case of what I am not sure. If I haven't found a use for it in a couple of years, I am not going to so it is time to let it go. I am also getting better at admitting that some things are not even worthy of a thrift shop donations. No one wants that old tattered blanket or those very lumpy throw pillows. It is time to put them in the trash.

It is an interesting dichotomy to be in both a purging mode as I free myself from unnecessary material things and in an acquisition mode as I shop for Christmas. It makes me think before I buy. Am I just adding bulk to the pile of Christmas presents, or will this gift really be appreciated and used? My gift-giving seems a bit down-sized this year, but perhaps it is because this year's experiences emphasized how life's treasures are the intangibles like faith, family, love, and health. No diamond has ever brought as much joy as the sparkle of my son and his wife as newlyweds. Nothing warms my home like the presence of my children. No technological wonder brings me to my knees in awe the way holding my first grandchild did. No spa treatment can make me feel as rejuvenated as I did when learning that my husband's cancer responded to treatment. Nothing guides me through darkness like faith and prayer.

My Advent reading yesterday followed this theme. From G.K. Chesterton:

The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more 0f them if you have less appreciation of them.


From St. Paul:

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)



Comments

Barb, sfo said…
You are blessed this Christmas with the good news about your husband's health and the birth of your beautiful grandchild! The best gifts of all!!

I have those "wishful thinking" clothes too. Wish I could let them go!
Rosemary Bogdan said…
Beautiful post. And congratulations on the birth of that grandchild!

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