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Advent Gratefulness and Emptiness

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I would have had a newborn this week. I could be curled up on my couch with a beautiful new baby in my arms and a coffee table covered in diapers, receiving blankets, and mugs of Mother’s Milk tea. I should be happily exhausted with a bigger family.

But this past April, I had a day of dizziness and GI distress that ended with an ambulance ride and emergency surgery. What I thought had been middle-aged tummy weight creeping up for a few weeks had been an abdomen slowly filling with blood. What I thought had been lightheadedness due to dieting had been dangerously low blood pressure. What I thought had been a stomach bug had been broken parts of myself and an unborn baby. My fallopian tube burst, due to a (unbeknownst to me) six week pregnancy. gratefulness

I am grateful for a sharp nurse and doctor at the urgent care clinic whose quick thinking got me into an ambulance. 

I am grateful for skilled emergency room staff who ordered and clarified my tests, who validated and calmed my fears, and who questioned and remedied my comfort.

I am grateful for the obstetrician whose casual greeting and explanation belied capable hands and intense focus (She was sipping an espresso while leaning against the door frame of my room, telling me how she would, “get in there, get me cleaned out, and put me back together, good as new.”). I hung onto her words. She was excellent. And correct, for I was safe in her care. 

I am grateful for our Holy Faith full of mystery, consolation, suffering, redemption, and love. 

I am grateful that this tiny one’s perfect soul is with our Lord and I have peace in the knowledge that he or she knows me.

And while I am grateful for all these things, I still want my baby. 

Oh, Advent, lead me closer to the Infant Christ and his Blessed Mother.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:12-12).”

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Ten Liturgical Activities for Advent

This article would actually apply for any Catholic family, not just home educators as it deals with liturgical activities for Advent.  

Today in the United States of America we celebrate Thanksgiving.  As I thought and thought about what I could possibly write about without boring you (and really, who is online on Thanksgiving?), I thought the one thing I am most thankful for is being Roman Catholic. With that came to mind the thought that we are beginning a brand new Liturgical Year!  This time of year is SO BUSY and our lives seem to go on overdrive.  It is rather exhausting at times and reminds me of when we used to do “vacations” to theme parks- wake up, go, go, go, crazy, repeat!

A couple of years ago we decided to END the craziness in our lives during Advent and refocus on the birth of Christ. For starters, we don’t decorate for Christmas until the 24th.  It is rather convenient that my family lives in Florida and my husband’s lives in Virginia, so we do not need to leave the house for anything on the 24th and love it!  One of the things I did was create activities which were meaningful for my small children.  I think at the time they were 12, 6, 5, 3, and 1 when I made this.  This little kit is free and available to anyone with this link. I hope it will bring peace and calm to your Advent! Please make sure that you share this Catholic Sistas link if you want to share the files with others (versus sharing the files directly with them).  Thank you.

LOGO Advent

Here is what is included in this printable liturgical kit:

1. REFLECT: A form letter to Baby Jesus, listing things the child will be thankful for and what they plan on working on during Advent:

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2. WORKS OF MERCY. This page is a Christkindl activity, they get to do random acts of kindness (anonymously) for someone else in the family:

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3.  ENJOYMENT: Some fun coloring pages. One of the Holy Family and one to learn about the Advent Wreath.

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4. CRAFT & SHARE the FAITH: Here is a craft activity to share the faith by making big Advent candles that get “lit” when they weeks continue.

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5. PRAYER. Make an Advent Prayer chain to pray for a different person or thing each day of Advent.

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6. CALENDAR: Learn about the Advent season by creating your own calendar.

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7.  VOCABULARY: Have the children learn some Advent vocabulary words.

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8.  PUZZLES. Help the Holy Family get to Bethlehem.

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9. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS:  When “caught being good”, your child adds more “hay” into the manger for Baby Jesus.

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10. MATH PUZZLES.  In addition to vocabulary, why not add some Math into the activities?  Here the children make “puzzles” out of the pictures of the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, and the Holy Family then glue them down on the right order or sequence to remake the picture.
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To access the entire file, please click on this link:

Advent – Liturgical Activities for Catholic Children