Growing up in church, "advent" to me just meant a family with really cute kids would stand in the front of church on Sunday and read something from the bible.
Usually I was too distracted by the kids being funny or adorable, or even unruly.
Most of the time I missed the advent readings. I was more focused on the dads' attempts and failures to use a lighter, while the congregation chuckled.
But the past few years, I have tried to be more intentional with the Christmas season. Some years have been better than others.
That feeling on Christmas Day, after the gifts are opened, and the tummies are full, and the laughter has quieted, when you realize the season has passed you buy, and most of it was spent thinking about gifts and treats and decorations, can be the most convicting of feelings.
But advent, it means "the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event."
So as we wait for the arrival of the Messiah this Christmas, we wait, with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. And I am setting my heart on these things this advent season. Spending time in the Word meditating on these amazing gifts that the Lord has given.
Inspired by the desire to seek Jesus and celebrate His birth intentionally (and something I saw on Pinterest), I was able to put together this makeshift advent wreath with things I already had, mason jars, cake stand, twine, Epsom salts, tea lights, and whipped up the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love tags.
It's not too late to start this season with a heart of advent, mason jars not required.
However, if you want to make your own wreath or something like it, I am so happy to share the tags as well. (Just right click and save.)
And lastly, if you're looking for a great devotional to read this season, I recommend Good News of Great Joy from Desiring God/John Piper - which are the December readings in the Year Round Piper Devotional App (also available on the YouVersion app). Or, this book - which takes you through the Christmas story in the Bible with writings by believers from centuries past through today, from many perspectives within the Christmas story.
He is the only one who can fill your heart with Hope, Peace, Joy, Love.