Monday, November 28, 2011

3 weeks.


my homemade Advent wreath

As happy as I am here in Evreux, there is really nothing like home. And that makes me so joyful that I'll be there exactly 3 weeks from today! I am so blessed to be able to come home for Christmas. I get to see my beloved family and friends for the holidays, and there are so many people who do not have that opportunity for so many reasons. It is truly a really special blessing that I am very thankful for.

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent--the 4 weeks before Christmas where we get to anticipate baby Jesus' humble birth in a manger. I spent the first Sunday of Advent on retreat in a little town in northwest France, and I was able to meditate a lot on the Gospel and what it means to be beginning this season of Advent. We are told by Jesus to "Be watchful! Be alert!" We know that He is coming, that little baby who will live to love and die for us, to save us. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, and Advent is the time to prepare our hearts for that! We need to make sure that we are prepared for Him and what His birth means to us and for us!

In my prayer and meditation on retreat, I kept thinking about spending most of Advent in France. I know that I'm going home soon. But I will be spending the next few weeks here still. Just like Advent is a patient anticipation, I have to be patient in the anticipation of my flight home :) It will be hard, but I have 3 weeks where I need to be focused on my life here--enjoying the beauty of Christmas celebrated in France, preparing my students for the holidays with a bit of American culture, sharing love and excitement with my wonderful friends here. This is all part of my preparation for coming home, and I need to make sure that I'm fully present and aware of my blessings here!

the view from my room on retreat--beautiful French countryside :)

pax christi.

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