Its always the way, isn’t it? Babies are sleeping soundly and you’re lying wide awake at midnight, with a busy day waiting to start with that early summer sunrise. After fighting with it for a couple of hours I give in, sneak down the hallway (avoiding all the regular creaky spots) and make a tea. I light a candle…ok, ok, I light a few candles, and sit still on the couch.

I hear frog song, the softest of breezes through the window, and the occasional rustle from the bedrooms as a sleeping body turns over mid-dream.

My mind is jumping all over the place, thinking of this and that and I wonder if I should just go and get my notebook and plan ahead the next 5 years of our family’s life as my brain is suggesting I ought? Somewhere amidst the jumble of thoughts is the tiniest thought that maybe I should just sit still?

Be still? Do nothing? Think nothing? And waste this precious quiet time?! But the thought persists, so I try it, and am shocked at just how hard it is. As one who is constantly craving quiet alone time to “just have a rest”, actually doing that is another matter. I’ve forgotten how to stop.

I ask God to take my tangled ideas and put them aside until tomorrow, and He does, though it was hard to resist grabbing them back again.

I realise just how hard its become for me to be still and give my undivided attention to God. Any prayer time I have during the day involves my kids to some point. Any kid-free time is filled with trying to cram in as many different things as possible, as efficiently as possible. It ends up being about quantity rather than quality.

So this Advent, we’re focussing in small things. Simple things. Things that we need.

I’m focussing on being still, daily. Doing, thinking, nothing and leaving my mind open for God.

My husband and I are trying to say our Rosary together, more often.

As a family we’re introducing our girls to things like the Advent wreath, reading Christmas stories and saying a simple Advebt prayer around the dinner table each evening.

How are you spending Advent?

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