I know that I almost never post on Saturday. You’ll understand why I’m writing to you on THIS Saturday.
On Friday (12/11/2020), I shared this on Facebook:
Sometimes, we realize that we haven’t smiled in a few days. It’s understandable. There’s a lot going on. But sometime today, smile.
“But,” you say, “How can I smile with all I’ve faced this year and all I’ve been through and all I’ve messed up?”
Ah. I can help. Remember the other day when I asked you to forgive someone? I bet you didn’t pick you. So, right now, out loud, say “I forgive me for being so awful to me this year. For scolding me. For yelling at me. For expecting things of myself that no one else does.”
Really. Go ahead. Say it. And mean it.
Thank you. Now you can smile. Or cry good tears and then smile.
It’s from my Advent journal.
I felt better.
About five minutes later, I realized that I had made a mistake when I created my Advent journal for 2020.
The third Sunday of Advent, traditionally, is about Joy. I built the whole week around love.
The fourth Sunday of Advent, traditionally, is about Love. I built the week around joy.
So after reminding myself about the need to forgive ourselves for high expectations, I found myself with the opportunity for testing that forgiveness.
For once, I didn’t rush to “what a failure.”
For once, I didn’t rush to “what will they think of me? I’m supposed to be an expert and now look at me?”
But I did spend a little time trying to figure out what to do because my Sunday services at the hospital are built off from the “correct” order. And some of you who are using the journal are well aware of the traditional order and may be feeling a little dissonance, too.
(It reminds me of the time that I started leading a communion service and offered the cup first. At first, I was mortified. And then I realized we were more aware than ever of the meaning of the bread and the cup.)
So here’s what’s changing for the Advent journal and for my postings at 300.
I am contented that in this year, we can use love this week and joy next.
And I’m changing what I’m doing at the chapel because, after all, Nancy and I are the only ones in the room, and the people who are watching from their rooms during the week are not interested in scolding me.
Tomorrow, Sunday December 13, is the Third Sunday of Advent. And for those of us in our little circle using that journal, it’s going to be about love.
Thanks for coming along on the journey.