AdventCalendarI am not sure if you have ever had those stretches in your life where your work life takes over? You know, a project, a deadline or a business trip, or maybe an illness a death – turns your life a little upside down.

Have you ever had times like that?

Times where you know that you have let your household duties and even perhaps your vocation of motherhood take a back seat? All the meanwhile, something is nudging at your heart, to come back home, not only in heart but in habits. You look around; there is a mountain load of laundry, a stack of unopened mail, you realize that the family hasn’t had a homemade meal in more than a few days, and then something hits you over the head either gently or square in the face.

It makes you think, it makes you look inward, forward and commits you to change. Are you on top of it this Advent? I am looking longingly at those homes who, yes, have their Christmas lights up!

My Advent wreath is NOT up! In fact, I need a new one! Oh my goodness!

Today something happened, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’ll let you decide.

My daughter, a university student, who works part time as a cashier at a grocery store, came home today after her shift at work, with TWO chocolate Advent wreaths; one for her and one for her 17 year old brother. On one level I was relieved. It’s the Feast of St. Nicholas and I haven’t done a thing to prepare the home for Advent. Not like in the old days, when the kids were little and I didn’t miss a beat: Advent wreaths, Advent calendars, St. Nicholas videos, the whole nine yards. I was always doing little things full of love for the children, but now they are older….

I am slipping! It is an ongoing temptation to treat them completely like adults and forget, that I am still their mother, they need a little something here and there from their mom, to make them feel special, to make them feel cared for and yes to help set the tone for the home, Christmas is coming!

I didn’t laugh, I didn’t cry, in fact my heart was warmed seeing my tall, seventeen year old son, hug his sister and say, thank you Monica.

It made me smile!

Dorothy Pilarski is the founder of Dynamic Women of Faith, author, Catholic radio host, motivational speaker, blogger, guest columnist with the Catholic Register and a facilitator on Salt + Light TV. www.dorothypilarski.com

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