An excerpt my latest Inside Catholic column:
“I’ll never stop trying to find the quiet — especially during Advent, when we’re supposed to see past the holiday hoopla, the mass commercialism, the sing-song-y, overly synthesized Simply-Having-a-Wonderful-Christmastime kind of vapid lyrics, the chronic case of the “gimmes” that begins to plague children before the Thanksgiving leftovers are consumed . . . and find Christ, hidden and quiet, lying in a rough manger and tucked away in the dusty corners of my heart.”
I actually wrote this last year in the aftermath of Advent. It had been a particularly noisy and chaotic season. This year, however, I simplified our schedule and tried to keep the steady rhythm on her days drumming along. My husband, the kids, and I have all appreciated not having a calendar chock full of social events, and we’ve banned Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime from our ears (why, Paul McCartney, why?). The absence of that synchronized drivel alone has made for a more musical Advent.
The girls and I have also all been working on using more quiet, gentle voices. I’d been harping on them to not raise their voice so much, but then I heard the way I was calling for them one day, and I realized I was adding to the noisy soundtrack. I have a theatrical voice. It carries. So does Madeline’s, and a toddler and preschooler don’t need a booming voice to get your attention. They have their windmill arms and howler monkey howls. Yet, we’ve all been able to hush ourselves and to speak in softer tones. When we need someone, we go to find her rather than screaming her name.
And perhaps my recent loss has made me more appreciative of the noise; those little, singing voices, even the high-pitched squeals are signs of the blessings that abound. Plus, I’m getting better and better at living with the constant distractions and finding Christ in the beautiful chaos that is my life.
Enough of my rambling. Please read the rest here. Comments are open over there.