Tickell Expressions

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Advent Day 1

Dear Friends,

Today marks the beginning of the season of Advent - the anticipation of and preparation for the coming of our Messiah. Yes, we celebrate that he already came in the flesh to reconcile us to relationship with the Father and to free us from slavery to sin. But we also wait for his return when every eye will look upon him, the glorious King of all kings. With shouts of joy HE will come in the clouds, just as he ascended into the clouds. (Acts 1:9-11) Then HE will deliver the earth from the very presence of sin and its consequences - pain, disease, war, cruelty, famine, every kind of pestilence and, yes, even death. Oh, what a day that will be!
Mary Brack wrote the devotional for Advent Day One at His Kingdom Come. We will have daily devotionals and artwork, created by HKC members, leading right up to Christmas Day. I hope you will join us.

Diane Marra provided word art (numbers and the words HOPE, JOY, PEACE & LOVE) to participating members. I have used some of those in my journal pages for Advent Day One.
I glued HOPE, PEACE & JOY to the back of my journal cover and doodled with a gold gel pen.
I used old Christmas cards for the pages in my Advent Journal. I affixed the number in the top left corner and the word LOVE over the ornament. The sentiment on the card says, "The Christmas story is a love story".
I traced around the number, word and ornament with my gold gel pen.
This is almost my first year to observe Advent. Let me explain why I say "almost".

When my boys were very little, we went through a time of upheaval, violence and fear. We were even homeless for a month. At only one and three years old, my sons knew what it was to be truly hungry. I can't describe how it felt as a mother to look into the faces of my crying babies and tell them I had nothing to feed them. It ripped me apart.

But by Christmas time we were in my hometown and set up in a very modest furnished apartment. We ate bean soup most days, but we did not go hungry. The source of the violence and fear was gone from our lives and I had a little money. I bought a little 2 1/2 foot tree, a string of lights, some curling ribbon and a wooden ornament kit. I asked my father to save me his match boxes. I wrapped them like gifts and hung them on the tree. I painted the ornaments and tied curling ribbon to the branches. I also bought a small nativity set, which I have to this day.

I had never even heard the word Advent, but we did observe it. We made candles in jars - one for each of us and one for Jesus. Each night we turned on the tree lights and lit the candles. We always lit the Jesus candle first. We sang Christmas songs, including "Oh Christmas Tree". Then we blew out the candles - the Jesus candle last - and I put the boys to bed on the fold-down sofa in their room.

It was a beautiful, magical time and I was filled with gratitude for every blessing I had in my life, especially my darling little boys and the safety that we now knew.

This Advent season my heart goes out to those who have known sorrow and suffering this past year. I invite you into this time of Advent. There is hope for you and there is peace available too. Most of all there is LOVE. Embrace that love whose name is Jesus. And some bright day - oh what a day! - joy will come too.

Blessing hugs,


Deborah Baker said...

Oh my Teresa, what a lovely post to read on this first day of Advent. I love your "almost" story .... it blessed my heart, not almost, but truly blessed me!

DebR said...

Oh wow Teresa...This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story, truly a blessing. How you did your page is amazing.

Cassandra Cushman said...

Your page is beautiful, thank you for sharing your story.

Angela Hoynes said...

Beautiful work Teresa xx