Spiritual Sunday 11

Advent for a Reluctant Worshiper
Yep that is me, I dont really fit in to a box when it comes to religion, I was raised C of E, in a church school.  I went to Sunday school, my younger brother was a choir boy, who became a Mormon.  I married an Atheist (in a church) and when my dad died, I became much more agnostic.
When MaxiMad was born, I went back to church, we went to a church toddlers group and also a children in church group.  Then I fell pregnant with MiniMad and visiting a church with two babies, well that wasn’t going to happen.
As the boys have got older, I just havent found the right church for us, one that encourages children, has an active creche/Sunday school and also I just dont feel comfortable at the moment in a church environment.
So I class myself as spiritual, but also as a reluctant worshipper!!
So what is Advent for me and the children, well it is a time to talk through what Christmas means, what is stands for and to build traditions.  It is a time of hope, anticipation and preparation.  It gives me the opportunity of introducing a time of family devotion and discussion at meal times.
We have made our advent wreath, on which we will light a candle each Sunday, in addition to this we also have a candle to light each evening. 
Instead of a traditional chocolate calender we have a calender that I won in Sunday school as a child, which discusses the story of the nativity each day.  This gives me the opportunity to teach the children the significance of the time and remind myself too.
MadDad also agrees that it is important that the boys learn about what Christmas means rather than just the commercial aspect of it.  We feel that it is not too soon to teach compassion or understanding.
So advent for me is exciting, in fact more so that Christmas Day itself.  It is a real family time.  A time to reinforce our family values.

To read more of what advent means to other bloggers then visit Floss’ “A Pause in Advent” over at Troc, Broc and Recup.

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11 thoughts on “Spiritual Sunday

  • The Dotterel

    ….hope, preparation and anticipation pretty much sums Advent up really. Super post – it does us all good to reflect on this, whatever our religious inclinations.

  • Pippa

    Shows how much of a molly mormon I am, the firt thing I thought when you said there was a Mormon in the family was "wonder if I know him".

    Sounds like you have Advent down to what's important in your house 🙂

  • Floss

    I think you've summed up why Advent is so important – it actually gets us ready for Christmas instead of merely getting us commercialised, as the advertsising world would like…

    Our current church actually doesn't celebrate Advent (it's a somewhat anarchic French Baptist church which celebrates Easter a week early if it feels like it!) I like the way that Advent and other traditional festival periods give a pace to our lives, though.

    Have a really blessed Advent at the Madhouse!

  • bad penny

    Umm I wish I could find a Church & not have the religion ! I know that sounds bad but it's how I feel.

    Hubby is an Athiest, Wee man has become one which did not go down well at the C of E primary school. DD was Christened because I thought it was the right thing to do.

    I have two very good very Christian friends who will not discuss evolution with me as they are uncomfortable with it. I find this so frustrating that they won't accept tangible evidence but follow a story to the ninth degree.

    As Griffin said to a Lay Preacher recently,

    " I'm not interested in what you believe in … but WHY you believe in it "

    I am confused but keep an open mind to all things which I think is healthy.

  • dottycookie

    I think your advent celebrations sound ideal. We're nominally Christian, but not practicing, so we're going to try to incorporate not only the nativity story in ours (which to be fair is covered very well at their school as well) but also other winter traditions so they're aware that this is a special time of year for lots of people, not just for them.

  • rosiescribble

    This is very interesting. It is in fact my daughter who is reminding me about the real meaning of Christmas this year. I was brought up Catholic and was forced to go to church twice a week. When I left home I stopped going and abandoned religion completely. But my daughter is at a Catholic school and I can see how some elements are valuable and uplifting, especially around this time of year.

  • Josie Ray

    I like your advent wreath, but particularly your advent calendar. I wish I could find a good one that wasn't about more gifts to us. In the past, I've put a person's name in for each day–friends, enemies, famous people, whoever–and we've prayed on-and-off all day for each person as we opened each door, finishing up with a special blessing for them at the end of the day.

    Great thoughts. Thank you.

  • A Modern Mother

    It's so nice that you are doing this now with your boys … you are starting traditions they will remember in years to come…

  • Itch2stitch.com

    I used to go to church. i was brought up goint to church, sunday school, etc, C of E too. My husband was brought up as a Roman catholic, but we don't attend church anymore. I am a very spiritual person though but not in a religious sense. Advent is a lovely family time spent preparing for christmas, a time when we can reflect on life and how we live it. I think the world has become too materialistic and commercialised for my liking! Suzie xxx

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