Advent Week 1: life happened but so did Advent!

Advent is here and almost a quarter of the way through already! My plans for daily blogging or at least managing three times a week were foiled by life and technology. I seriously underestimated the craziness of this past week, with two Awards Nights for work, preparing for my final session with my students, my husband’s birthday and babysitting for a friend. The good news? I still stuck to my Advent plan and have Christ firmly at the centre of this season. This was especially important for me after an incident with a parent at our Awards Night on Monday that left me shaken emotionally and fighting to forgive and show grace while still dealing with the matter appropriately. 
If you didn’t see my post on my plans for Advent, click here to catch up. So how did my plans turn out? A review of our week…..

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
As I suspected, my daughter is too young to engage with the readings each day but she has LOVED unwrapping the ornament, colouring it in and hanging it on her own special little tree each day. As a family, we read the Scriptures and then I pick out a couple of key sentences to read to her that capture the message of the day. I love that we have those few moments as a family each morning to focus on God before the busyness of the day kicks in and really look forward to a time when she is older and able to take in more of the stories and messages in this beautiful book. It has encouraged my heart each day.

Kindness Angel
The Kindness Angel made one visit this week. It was rather impromptu visit with a quickly handwritten post-it note stuck to her dress for instructions but the idea was grasped. Our task this week was to make a gift for Tara, Isabel’s Jo Jingles music class teacher. Issy has been in her music classes for most of the terms since she was 4 months old and dearly loves Tara. Sadly, this is our last term and only have one more week. I really wanted to make something special. Isabel was completely in love with the idea and SO excited to give it to her. It was well received and made all of our hearts glad this week. I love seeing Isabel learn the joy of giving.

Truth in the Tinsel
If you haven’t seen this awesome resource for a creative way of doing Advent with little ones, click here. I chose one of the activities to do with Issy this week as I knew that I would overload myself if I tried to do more. She LOVED it and I plan to add in a few more to our plans in the next couple of weeks. 
We read the passage in Isaiah 9 that prophesies about who Jesus will be- His various names. We then made a crown ornament symbolising Jesus as the Most High King. I’m not sure if the message fully got in but I figure it will as we build on these messages over time.

‘Then Came Jesus’- an Advent study by Lara Williams thanks to Hello Mornings
My love of Hello Mornings continues with this study. It has been strange not checking in each day with my group but I have been loving this study. It is at the perfect level of depth for me in this season. I have looked at the Christmas story from different perspectives than previously explored and been encouraged each day. The Scripture memorisation part of it came along at the right time with my previous project through Ann Voskamp coming to a close. (Read more about that here) There are some beautiful Advent devotions out there and I would definitely encourage you to find one. It isn’t too late for this Advent season! To purchase a copy of ‘Then Came Jesus’ click here.
I am really looking forward to the rest of Advent. 
How have your Advent plans turned out so far? It isn’t too late to start getting Jesus back into your Christmas season.