A New Way of Looking at Advent Calendars

Dear Reader:

You must be thinking to yourself…‘Wow…that was fast! Yesterday we were “waiting on autumn” and today Becky has got us waiting on the birth of Jesus with a Christmas Advent calendar.’ Fall really did fly by fast!”

… Actually what flew by was an excerpt (from Quinn Caldwell’s book All I Really Want: Readings from a Modern Christmas) that he re-published in one of his recent daily devotions.

And like you right now…I wondered why it ended up in an summer devotion and was going to dismiss it too and move on to read another message….when one paragraph grabbed my attention and gave me a small epiphany to ponder.

A few years ago I bought a wooden Christmas advent train…with train car compartment drawers to open. I thought the children would love opening these drawers with little fun items and messages. (And they do) but after reading this following excerpt I think the drawers next year will have different messages inside.

Advent is two-fold and sometimes in our Christmas exhilaration we forget it isn’t just about the Christ Child being born on Christmas Day that we wait for….but for the time the Son of God returns to us. Humans love to try to predict when, even where, this will happen. We all have heard of certain groups and cults that prophesy the ending of life here on earth as we know it. To date…no one has been successful in this attempt at prophecy.

Since each generation thinks it should happen in their time (when the Second Coming arrives) because times are hard or bad or whatever…there is much skepticism among people as to the validity of this prophesy.

Quinn Caldwell made me stop and ponder some new thoughts, along this line, when he wrote….

“Since the earliest days, believers and scoffers alike have been asking “Well, why isn’t he back yet?” And they’ve wondered whether it might be that he’s not coming back. The author of Second Peter has an answer for them: He’s not back yet, dear Humankind, not because he’s slow or uninterested or not coming at all, but because he’s giving you time to pull yourself together before he does.

Time to practice seeing him in small ways so you’ll recognize him when he arrives in big ones. He’s revealing himself in slow, random-seeming increments, just little glimpses here and there of the picture he’s painting, of the story whose end he is. It’s your job to be patient, to pause, to look and to be prepared for little bursts of delight.

Now think about it….what do Advent Calendars do?….

“Advent calendars: They dole Christmas out glimpse by glimpse. They build up the picture or the story in slow, random-seeming increments yet they don’t go all the way in one shot. They require pauses. They require little bursts of delight. They require patience.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

It has only been in the past decade that I have realized the importance of seeing God every day in my life. Sometimes He is seen in conversation, in laughter or tears, in beauty and destruction, in crowded city streets or tranquil pastoral gardens….God is everywhere, revealing Himself to us little by little  until we finally open our eyes and see Him above all else. It takes time and patience.

Yesterday my glimpse came from a dermatologist my primary doctor (just to be on the safe side) wanted me to see about a “boo boo owie” spot on my foot that keeps rubbing up against my shoe and is taking a long time to heal. Hopefully it will be nothing and that is what the dermatologist said it easily could be or a pre-cancerous spot…so she biopsied it and we will know in a couple of weeks.

One ointment she prescribed (she said) sometimes wasn’t covered at some pharmacies with my state coverage and medicare “combo” but she knew a pharmacy in another part of the state who always got it covered….Sure enough…I had not been home twenty minutes when this pharmacy (from the upper part of the state) called and told me what part (after insurance) my out-of-pocket cost (very minimal) would be and it was being put in the mail to me that very day.

You know you have found the right doctor when that doctor goes the extra mile for her patients. To me….there was a halo glowing around her for sure. A God wink to assure me that human kindness is alive and well.

I have already decided that one symbolism for feeling God’s Presence was one pressed leaf from August 17 when “Big Red” died. I will tell the children the story of my wonderful red geranium who kept me company on my path through the frontier of cancer for over ten years.  An amazing God Wink!

So until tomorrow…Remember faith does require patience, pauses, and little bursts of sheer delight!

“Today is my favorite day”   Winnie the Pooh

Two days now of ” little bursts of sheer delight!” Tuesday I received a Clemson candle from Mary and today I received a personally designed note card from Beverly! *(moreinkpleaseblog.com)

I am getting completely spoiled…and loving it! Thank you both for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

 

 

Late Blooming Designs

by Beverly

 

 

 

 

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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9 Responses to A New Way of Looking at Advent Calendars

  1. bcparkison says:

    Becky…How sweet of you…..but wait…you have a birthday coming.
    Love the little train.I have never done an advent calendar because I don’t know what to put inside One piece of candy just can’t be divided between all the grands.lol.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I leave messages where little pieces of candy or whistles or little balls or new bows or ribbons or whatever little items are popular…but this year there will also be so stories like “Big Red’ to tell the children.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky,,,.I agree that God is around us everyday…sometimes I just stop and smile and say thank you b/c of the beauty the HE provides everyday. My nephew and his wife (he is a Minister of Music and she is Head of the English Dept. at GWU), who are very busy in their careers and with their two preteen daughters have decided to raise farms animals…chickens, bees, goats, llamas to protect the goats, pigs, etc. The other day wrote that she is so blessed because God if revealed to her everyday through the animals….birthing on new baby goats, etc. She was milking the goats and they have two barn cats and when she starts milking she always puts the first of the milk into a cup for 2 reasons…one is to make sure all is well with the milk and the other is to let the cats drink it. This particular morning one cat was lapping up the milk and the other cat came up and she said that he took his paw and patted the other one on the back and the one drinking moved over and let the other one drink…amazing how “humanity” shows up in the simpler creatures of God too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I see this very thing everyday watching the birds outside my computer office window, Gin-g.. Sammy (the cardinal) comes and shakes the suet feed cage….causing bird food to fall on the ground to his “wife” and then sometimes he even feeds her because she has a bad leg and can’t hold on to the cage long enough to eat. God is everywhere!

      Like

  3. Praying all is well. Lovely post. I have never done advent, and my church does not do anything but what a great way to help prepare people for Jesus’ arrival.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i love this post-as always, but it it inspired me. Please know I will lift your name as you wait for results. love Michele

    Liked by 1 person

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