A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. 

That’s how my soul feels at the end of the year. Weary, but full of hope. I don’t know if it’s because November is my busiest month of the entire year, but I long for December and the start of Advent. It’s like my entire spirit takes one big, long exhale to release what has passed and breathe in deep what is to come.

Friends, this blog is going to be short and sweet today (gasp, that never happens). I have seen so much chatter on social media of moms stressing out about what to do for the Advent season. I am bombarded by ads on instagram and facebook for approximately 1,000 different ways to do Advent, to teach your kids to give instead of get, to have cultural fun but not too much because then your kids will forget about Jesus. It has been straight up exhausting to watch. And it’s made my heart really sad that we’ve gotten to this point.

Now hear me, you all should know by now I love a good resource. I love anything that gives practicality to help people actually do something. I create them for others myself. But we’ve somehow taken something so simple and suddenly made it so stressful, and quite frankly gone too far in a lot of ways. Which resource is the right one or best one? Am I focusing too much on gifts? Should we be doing more service projects? I mean, y’all, we are now in a time where there is literally a “resource” to entice our kids to give back by allowing them to put individual pieces of fake hay into a manger every time they serve someone else, and then put a *white* baby Jesus on top of it on Christmas Day. I’m not making this up.

Instead, can I just encourage you, as today is officially the start of Advent? You don’t have to do a craft every day, or make a big wreath, or use special ornaments, or do a daily service project, do your study at the same time every day, have the same routine or structure every day. You don’t need all the extra. You don’t need all the fluff. In fact, you don’t even need all the resources. If you have your Bible, you can celebrate Advent. I think we need to remember that though Jesus entered this world as a helpless babe, He doesn’t need our help. We don’t need to glam up Advent, because Jesus doesn’t need it. If resources are helpful to you, by all means, use them. But when resources become stressful or start to overshadow Who it is actually supposed to be about, then we’ve gone too far.

Breathe deep.

Hope has come. Hope will come again.

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