Every day is a beautiful day if you walk on the sunny side of the street

Every day is a beautiful day if you walk on the sunny side of the street
Summer days will surely return.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

My late Pause in Advent!

I am linking to Floss' Pause in Advent

A Pause in Advent

On Sunday I read a tiny bit of Luke's gospel. My favourite part of  his telling of the nativity is when, after the arrival of the angels and shepherds, he says that

"Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart".

Now anyone who knows me knows that I am not really a pondering quietly kinda girl but how I should like to be. Now, had I been Mary, I'd have been hollering the Good News up and down the streets and making a dreadful fuss!

This is why I love to read and re-read these words. Mary was in the midst of a scary miracle yet she seems to have found an inner place of calm.

These words always calm me.

On Sunday, I had a chance to relish some calm. We travelled to Birmingham for a friend's confirmation. She has calmly waited 40 years to be confirmed and this was her moment. The service was incredibly moving; a chance to pause and to ponder.

And yes I shed a little tear! (Don't worry I can cry for England!)

When we got home Steve decided that the Christmas tree MUST be put up NOW. He always does this. The tree HAS to go up on the first weekend of Advent. I always groan a bit inwardly. But when it's up I am always pleased because I then remember how each Advent evening, as I await Steve's return from work and as supper cooks, I usually sit in a dark room with just a log fire and the tree lights on and relish the peace and the quiet.

As you probably know (I've gone on about it often enough - lol) my Dad bought me this tree and after 22 years it is in a fine old state. So we had to do some major repair work before the lights went on. And we said, yet again, that this will be it's last year (I'm going to make it into a mantle garland).

So as I decorated the tree I thought of all the times my Dad and I decorated a tree. We were the only ones in the house who liked doing it so we were left alone to get on with it.

Lovely times to treasure and ponder!
And a good way to start Advent for me.

Wishing you a peaceful few weeks in the run up to Christmas with plenty of time to treasure and ponder.


  1. Hurrah.......blogger let you finish your post, complete with pictures.

    When I was a young mum the run up to christmas used to fill me with panic........with four children there always seemed so much to accomplish and so little time to get it all done...............now they are all grown up and I am a little wiser, I really appreciate the calmness and reflection of Advent.........your tree looks lovely.
    Kim x

  2. What a pretty tree! I love sitting in the dark, with only the tree lights on, too. Time to ponder... very important - thank you! I can't get over how Mary was so wise, so young. But it's interesting to guess/infer how she continued to grown with God as Jesus grew up, too. What an incredible learning curve! I'm so glad that you got to post this - I'm looking forward to reading more.

  3. I was with a friend the other day and she told me that she 'hated the catholic church' and hated people who 'went over to them' (we were talking about women bishops - or rather no women bishops). This is what puts me off Christians, their very unchristian behaviour. She 'hates' these people? Really? My goodness what nastiness lives within these quiet christian souls? This woman knows I was bought up a catholic. I am a lapsed catholic and don't agree with them in many principles either. But I was offended for others and found the spite she had for them startling. However, without that church carrying on the torch of Christianity for hundreds of years their would have been no Christianity to dissent from. Besides the original C of E church was practically the same just with the king at the head rather than the pope. Catholics were also killed for their religion, burnt and disallowed from universities etc. And shouldn't they have forgiven Bloody Queen Mary anyway for killing protestants? Is that not one of the very most basic tenets of the faith? It is easy to see why religions carry on so many wars when you can see clearly there is so much hatred in their hearts. Why not read and learn from your own religious texts? We follow by example, but all I see is pettiness and dis-likability from people who tell me they are better than me and they will be off to heaven. God will be the judge of that won't he? And looking at the bad behaviour from many who live in his name I think he will be rather cross. I think the people who most need Christ to be born again are Christians so they can perhaps get the message a bit clearer this time. Didn't Jesus preach love not war? I think he might be rather disgruntled by the monster he created (apparently in his own image - is that not a terrifying thought? That he is just like us).

    In Lewes recently you had scenes on the streets which had people carrying burning crosses like the klu klux klan and banners of anti papist sentiment. Such hatred and viciousness from people! Such behaviour made me feel attacked despite I am no longer catholic. Catholics are Christian too. If christian people are so vicious and full of hatred and unforgiveness towards their own, how on earth do they manage the rest of the universe? I am always shocked by the bitter and petty wars invested in by Christians against their own vicars who don't do as they are told and the world at large. It is behaviour that I have heard and seen repeatedly. How shocking to discover the seething resentment. From what I am told there is lots of bullying and unpleasantness towards individuals in different churches too. Why on earth should I ever want to become a christian? It is like lord of the flies. Horrible nasty behaviour that seems to be more petty, more bitter and more vindictive than those who have no religion at all. I would flee from these people, not want to spend time with them in a church. (Jesus was against churches and hierarchies). Some people are actually doing his good work but with out the religious tag and some people who wear the badge of christianity are certainly not doing his good work. The Salvation Army are a group that puts their faith into action and put other churches to shame. Nevermind the tambourines, I can also feel the love and that surely is the point? But where are the rest of the good people. Hiding I think.

    Advent is a time of waiting not one of celebrating. People are so impatient right now. Advent is a time of contemplative thought and reflection to honour the time that is coming. Christmas is the celebratory period not now. But then people have their tree up a month before hand and get bored on boxing day and take it down! Why not use it to celebrate over the actual Christmas period which goes right through for 12 days? So impatient we are these days!

    1. Hi Anon you say much here - probably too much for me to really be able to reply to. I am a Christian. I am Anglican. My best friend is Catholic, another good friend is Methodist, another Baptist and most of my friends have no religion at all and that is fine. I love them all and they love me.
      There are good and bad people everywhere regardless of their faith or non faith. Please don't tar all folk with the same brush - some believers are ok, honest!
      I will put up my tree when I like- even a month before! And it stays there til 12th night.
      It saddens me that you sound so upset and I wish you well.

    2. Hi anon - I just wrote a comment partially in reply to you below, and then realised I should have put it here! Sorry!

  4. I like to think about Mary and how young she was. The whole picture is so counter to our world and our Jesus is our amazing KING! Yay!
    When we got our tree out of the box, I thought of you and your Dad tree. I'm glad it's up again!

  5. Our Christmas Tree normally goes up first weekend in December but the Dawn Patroller is away. It comes down twelfth night. Not sure Christmas Trees have anything to do with any religion? Possibly Pagan, lightening up the darkness? Hmm. We all have our own path we choose to follow, should we meet someone along the way who does not want to go the same way, step aside and let them follow their own path, then you continue on yours.

  6. Hello again - popping back, I see you really provoked some thoughts, there! Why do my posts never do that? Anyway, I liked what you wrote in reply to anon - if anon checks back I'd like to say that I agree with a lot of his/her disillusionment with individual church-goers, including myself. We are as flawed as the majority of people, and we sometimes use our faith to mark ourselves out and differentiate ourselves as 'better' than other people, which is pretty much the opposite of everything Jesus teaches us. Isn't it scary how easily the 'tribalism' of human nature can appear to overcome the undonditional love of God? But I don't think it actually does overcome it - maybe in indiduals, but not in God himself. And in many other individuals - not only the excellent Salvation Army but people who preach unity and forgiveness like Bishop Desmond Tutu, we can see the unconditional love of God overcoming the natural human desire to separate and keep apart. We just need to be very open and aware of our own weaknesses, and let the forgiveness of God fill us at times when we want to close down and condemn.

  7. Decorating our home and putting the lights up is when I really start to think about the meaning of Christmas. Gathering things in the woods for my wreath every year is the most special time where I feel closest to God.