I don’t know about you, but every year I tell myself, This will be the year I practice Advent. There’s been a couple of years in which I’ve started out strong with either reading a daily devotional or integrating a daily practice of some sorts, but things usually fall apart somewhere around the two-week mark. I will say my kids are REALLY good at eating a piece of chocolate each day with their Advent calendars! I, on the other hand, usually find myself unable to stay afloat in what becomes the anxiety-ridden Christmas season–it seems there’s always something trying to swoop in and steal my peace and my joy. And so on this first day of December as I sat beside the fire with my coffee in hand ready to pick up the go-to Advent book and do what I’ve always done, I found myself pregnant with thought…
What if I wrote an Advent collection to myself this year? What if I was able to explore the things that are stirring in my heart and pricking my spirit? I could probe my heart and go on a journey and even invite the Yes And followers along.
I got my laptop out and decided that if I could come up with 24 topics/titles then I would do it. And guess what? It came easy, a little too easy, a little like I was thinking, Oh shit I have to commit to this now! You see, these last few months I’ve had severe back pain in my lower lumbar region. I don’t remember tweaking it or injuring it and I figured the pain would eventually go away. So I waited it out and I quit doing yoga and lifting weights and the things that kept me healthy and brought me joy in hopes that the pain would subside and when it didn’t subside and instead escalated, I finally went to a chiropractor. Somehow he had the knowledge to ask me if I sat with one leg tucked under my other while sitting on the couch. The crazy thing was that position is my go-to working position on the couch or the armchair with my laptop on my lap. I asked him how he knew to ask me that he said the Spirit just told him to ask me that. So I guess my horrible and non-ergonomic posture has severely irritated my pelvic bones and my L4 and L5 vertebrae over time. When kids are at school, I spend about 70% of my days on the computer and this back pain has forced to step back because the thing that I feel like I need to do every day–the thing that allows me to check things off, get things done, and feel accomplished–actually makes me worse. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I’m a doer and a mover and I don’t do being really well. In the last month, I have had to learn to slow down. Making time to stretch, ice my back, and lay on the floor to elevate my legs has felt like torture even though I know it’s exactly what my body needs.
So in this season of pulling back, I’m realizing maybe it’s not a coincidence that my body is limited and I am actually having to pull back from the doing to embrace the being. I know God has more He wants to show me in this forthcoming season of Advent and I am willing to go after it, even if it means I have to stand at the kitchen countertop or lay on my back with my laptop. I am going to go on this journey with what He’s stirring in my heart I invite you to come along! I know this season gets full so I’ve decided to post the daily reflections on Instagram only (@yesandcollective) and I've enlisted my husband’s expertise design skills. I’m just going go with it and explore what He has for me (and maybe you) in this season of waiting.
Morgan is a storyteller at heart. After running an NGO in Uganda for 7 years, she and her husband, Dave, currently record a weekly podcast called Chasing Unicorns, produce and host The FIND series, run the CB Ideas design agency, and mange Yes& Collective. Morgan also co-authored the newly released children’s book, The Girl Chronicles: A Story of Good. She’s a mom to two middle schoolers, Asher & Jadyn, and so when she’s not driving them around, she fills herself up with yoga, reading, air-popped popcorn, and all things coconut flavored. IG: @MorganHansow & @HansowFamily www.HansowFamily.com