How does your Advent look different this year? Many of us are dealing with being flexible in the face of an Advent season that is limited in many ways. We are dealing with changes in school and work routines on top of changes in gatherings and celebrations that can make finding joy feel very challenging this Advent season. Here are some ideas I want to share to help you find more joy this season:
Snippet from the Show
“Never more so than in the year 2020 have we had the opportunity to let go of what should be, and embrace instead, what is and what can be.”
1) Read Scripture
How might you make more time and effort in reading God’s word during this Advent season? You might consider reading early in the morning or before bedtime or during your lunch break. Maybe there is an especially meaningful passage from the Gospels or the Psalms that you are going to focus on. Two passages I love are Psalm 30 and Philippians 4.
2) Pray the Rosary
The joyful mysteries are especially appropriate during Advent, and reflection on them helps us to begin to see things from Mary’s perspective which helps us to see the beauty of God’s plan, even when not everything goes the way that we would prefer.
3) Give to others
Find ways to take the focus off yourself and focus instead on what you can do for and give to others in your life. This might mean participating in charitable causes, but it also might mean loving your own family in new and deliberate ways.
4) Get off social media!
I promise you, it’s not helping you find joy. Spend some part of each day “phone free” and see how your work, relationships and mental health improve as a result.
5) Do something just for fun.
What do you really enjoy this time of year? Crafts or baking? Taking walks with your kids? Looking at Christmas lights? Find a way to do at least one thing just for fun, not because you have to or because you need to accomplish anything in particular. Just for fun! Enjoy!
This week I also take on listener Beth’s question about how to survive her in-laws upcoming extended visit. If you have ideas to share on this topic or anything that we share in today’s episode, please email me!
Embrace Joy is the virtual Advent retreat I’ll be leading beginning December 4. I hope that you will join us (and bring a friend)!
My newest book is one that I wrote with Dan, the Manual for Marriage, a beautiful resource for every couple. In it, Dan and I share reflective essays on marriage and family life, but it also features a large collection of prayers, Scripture passages, hymns, and stories from the saints that will encourage and support you in your married relationship.
I have received so much feedback from all of you about my newest book and the first chapter that I shared with you at the end of episode 210. Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is a book in which I share from my heart about the very real changes, challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a mom in an “emptying nest.” You can read that sample chapter at Ave Maria Press. (Use the coupon code BEAN20 to get 20% off your order!)
My book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast.
Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!
Check out the Catholic Momcast featuring Lisa Hendey and me, available on iTunes!
Find out more about bringing this unique event for women to your parish, group, or community. Read more and request more information here.
Or find out more about having me come speak at your parish or conference.
Megan Madden is a homeschooling mother with a passion for writing and speaking on authentic femininity and virtuous womanhood. In 2017, she began graduate studies in marriage and family at the International Theological Institute in Austria. After moving to Kraków, Poland to work with university students, Megan more personally continued her research on the complementarity of man and woman, particularly on the question of what it means to be a woman. She delved into the study of renowned Catholic writers on women such as St. Edith Stein, Gertrude von le Fort, Alice von Hildebrand, St. John Paul II, and St. Teresa of Avila.
The results were the development of Megan’s online ministry A Mother’s Lace, as well as speaking opportunities and her book with Ascension: Mary, Teach Me to Be Your Daughter.
Megan lives outside of Oxford, England with her husband, who is a lecturer in theology, and their five children.