Tag Archives: penitence

Day 2 – Advent Calendar

Advent Day #2 – Shop for a new toy to donate to a charitable organization.

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time and do something as easy as  pick one person a day from now ’til Christmas and pray for them.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternate Activity:  Prepare your heart in a spirit of penitence by reading Psalm 51.

Psalm 51

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned  and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;  you taught me wisdom in that secret place.  7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.  10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.  18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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Our Twist On the Advent Calendar

One tradition our families have begun includes that of celebrating the arrival of Christmas with an Advent Calendar.  And although we love the excitement and anticipation that an Advent Calendar can bring, last year we tired of making the focus on giving our kids more stuff, even if it was as simple as a small piece of candy.

So we put our heads together and decided this year we wanted to do something different.  We wanted to focus on what Christmas is really about – giving and reflecting on the true meaning of this incredible holiday.

As I began to prepare for this post I did a little research on what Advent really means.  It turns out that I had a lot to learn about this subject from my Catholic friends (I know Catholics aren’t the only one who celebrate Advent.  They were just the ones I got my info from so I’m giving them credit.)

According to Catholicism.about.com and other sites, Advent really means “little lent” and should be a time of increased prayer, fasting (for some), good deeds, and penitence.  In layman’s terms it is a time for us to take stock of our lives.  To take a look inside and see if our heart is right with God.   As we approach Christmas with this attitude of humbling ourself it brings us peace and joy as well as a heightened sense of anticipation.

In the spirit of Advent, this year our Advent Calendar is going to consist of doing kind things for others and cherishing the moments we have with family and friends.  But most importantly it will consist of us preparing our hearts for Immanuel – God with us.

Each day from now ’til Christmas we will share with you ideas you can use to celebrate this season using the Advent Calendar.  Maybe you already have an Advent Calendar tradition.  Then go with it.  Or maybe you are looking for new ideas.  Hopefully you will find some here.  Our biggest piece of advice is to do what works for you and your family.  That may mean doing a handful of activities on the weekend when your family has more time to spend together and then skipping days during the week when your schedule is on overload.

You may choose to simplify the process big-time and do something as easy as  pick one person a day from now ’til Christmas and pray for them.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!

If there are things your family does or if you have an idea to share, please do so!  We may even use your idea for one of our days!!

So, let’s get started!!

DaY 1 AdvEnT:  Send someone a card who has lost a loved one this year letting them know you are thinking about them/praying for them.

Happy Advent!!

:)Robynn

P.S.  If you don’t have an Advent Calendar, you may want to make one.  Choose one of the following or find one to make on www.pinterest.com by typing “Advent Calendar” in the search box.

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Filed under Faith, God, Holiday, Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA, Traditions