>> Friday, November 30, 2007
"This is the stable, dusty and brown,
in a quiet corner of Bethlehem town."
My husband and I are between churches right now. Our old church, which we dearly loved, doesn't exist anymore and the circumstances that caused that to be true continue to grieve my heart. The reason I say that is to say that we are looking for ways this advent season to teach our almost- two-year-old how rich and wonderful this time of year is. It is a deep, meaningful holiday that teaches us so much truth about God's love for us and our proper response to that love. One of the things that made our church so amazing was the tradition and liturgy of advent. Being in any church at advent is powerful, but for us being a part of the advent liturgy made us feel the anticipation of Christ's birth and then the all-consuming rejoicing with the angels on Christmas Day. It moves your soul unlike anything I can describe. I love that sense of being able to close your eyes and worship through sound and smell and get a small taste of what it must have been like to be the shepherds in those fields listening to the angels sing "Hosanna!"
I have recently had conversations with a dear friend on how best to do advent with little ones and have browsed this awesome blog about other families' advent traditions. Both have been very thought provoking and inspiring for me in this process of trying to make this season meaningful for my family. I went to Borders the other day in an attempt to find books to include and I found this one: "This is the Stable" by Cynthia Cotten. It is wonderful. It is a simple telling of the Christmas story with the most beautiful illustrations and poetic verse. My son sat on my lap today for 15 solid minutes and I read this book over and over, neither of us getting tired of the repetition. The pictures remind me of Barefoot Books (although this is not a Barefoot Book - but they are wonderful too by the way!) as the artwork is a similar style - colorful and bright and eye-capturing. Lucas loved pointing at each page and naming what he saw... "donkey," "star", "baby Jesus." The story is true and simple but somehow it touched me. I love things that are beautiful and allow me to feel the depth of meaning and emotion that are always under my surface. This book did that for me. We both really like this book.
I liked this book so much, in fact, that I bought an extra one to giveaway to one of you. If you have a little one and are looking for a good book to read with them during this time of celebrating Jesus' birth, comment here and I will draw a name at random on Dec. 5. I will mail the book to you right away so you can read it through Advent with your child/children. If you don't mind, please post about this somewhere on your blog if you have one and tell your friends to help me get the word out a bit.
I know this isn't all we will do to teach Lucas about the beauty and mystery and profound love that is this season. But it is a start. And I am happy with that.
Also, don't forget that time is running out to get a discount on a new sling. Visit my website babyloveslings.com and click "buy a sling" or go directly to my webstore (store.babyloveslings.com). Use coupon code GIVEAWAY for 15% your total order until Dec. 7. Get a jump on that holiday shopping for yourself or that favorite mama on your list.