The Practice of Preparing and Advent


This year, it seems like everything has been different for advent. We weren’t even home at the beginning of the official start to advent, we’ve been playing catch-up with our Truth in the Tinsel ornaments, and it’s been unusually busy–all for very good reasons–but all events that came up last-minute to change our December. We didn’t even get a real tree this year–breaking a holiday tradition we’ve held since Pumpkin was tiny.

In the midst of the chaos, how do we prepare our hearts for the season? We dispensed with our traditional ornaments this year. They are all packed in a box at my parents’ home. We borrowed a small artificial tree from them, and have been putting up only the ornaments we’ve made with Truth in the Tinsel.

It’s been a nice process of simplifying. We’ll head up to my inlaws’ place this week to spend a longer time with them than we usually do over the holidays, since we know our time in Canada is short now. We’ll take our homeschool with us because three children at loose ends at Grandma and Grandpa’s house are only a novelty for so long (and then they’re obnoxious).

But we’ll get to go out in the bush behind their house and help them pick out their tree–one of the ones they planted themselves–and enjoy family and new traditions, and a pause to remember what the season is really all about.

One Thousand Gifts- Carey Clark

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A Disciplined December

3in30 I'm In!!Can you believe it’s December? Well, if you’ve been to the mall, I guess you’ve been confronted with the reality, but still. Really?

Recent goal-setting failures aside, and the desire to eat turkey, light candles and do nothing barking at the door, I’m determined to have a productive December, and bring some much-needed discipline back to my routine. Here are my goals:

  1. Structure my personal schedule in order to make time for morning routines. My hope is that this will help me eliminate backlog and find time for things like writing (because I’m very excited about the new novel idea that’s been brewing in me), and internet use (because marketing for After the Snow Falls has taken on something of a life of its own).
  2. Regroup in the homeschooling department and come up with a strategy for what we’ll do until we leave Canada. We just came back from a vacation, so we’re in get-back-in-the-groove mode, but we’ll have to stop really soon for Christmas. And then there’ll be moving frenzy. (Trust me, I know this well.) So I need to rethink schedule, prioritize and make it happen.
  3. Successfully launch After the Snow Falls. It will be released on December 15, and I’m lining up a blog tour now.

Wow! They’re big goals, and maybe I’m being overly optimistic with all the good Christmas-y feeling in the air, but I think I can do it.

And believe it or not, I haven’t forgotten Advent. I sincerely believe that if I’m able to structure my days better–maybe more realistically–I’ll be able to do the slowing down necessary to prepare my heart for this season.

What are your goals this month?

- Carey Clark

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