Olive’s Advent Photo Reflections

olive chan —  November 30, 2016

This Advent, I’ve decided to do a series of photo reflections based on the Advent Photo-A-Day guide put out by AliveNow magazine. I did a similar series for Lent earlier this year and I found the practice to be enriching, both in terms of allowing me a creative outlet each day and also giving me a word to focus on as I listen to God and prepare my heart for Christmas.

I wanted to share this with you, our dear readers, in case you want to follow along or participate in the exercise yourself. Here are my first four reflections. I am posting them daily on Tim and Olive’s Blog Facebook page so you can continue following this series there.

H O P E . Advent photo Day 1

As we draw toward Winter on this bleak and rainy day that marks the first day of Advent, it seems almost out of place to write hope in the colour of spring. And yet, possibly there’s nothing more appropriate. For isn’t that what hope is?

The sign that change is coming;
that this pain,
this difficulty,
this darkness,
this barrenness,
will pass;
That something better, fuller is around the corner.
That what is, will not always remain so.
That what we long for will come to fruition in time.
Hope, as powerful as it is, often takes shape in the smallest things –
a flicker of light,
a tender green shoot,
a newborn baby.

Today, I give thanks for Hope.

A W A K E. Advent photo Day 2.

Just because I’m conscious and on my feet, it does not mean I’m awake.

My dental hygienist recently taught me a new way of brushing my teeth. Suddenly, twice a day, I find myself in a mindful place. For two minutes, I have to pay full attention to the movements of my body and really feel the sensation of bristles on my gums. Eventually, I know this will become a habit, but for now, I am making a point to stay attentive to the moment.

Sometimes it feels easier to stay asleep. Lord, awaken me to your grace.

W A T C H. Advent photo Day 3.

What my child teaches me about watching:
Keep your eyes open
Stay curious
Look! Look!
Don’t assume you already know
Delight – in birds, in the sky, in vans and cars and people passing by
Do not hurry
Expect good surprises

W A I T. Advent photo Day 4.

For nearly one whole month, I have been waiting for the sickness in our house to pass. Every day, we pray that our bodies would fight off the germs. Instead, as each week has rolled on, another member of our household has fallen ill.

Waiting is made easier when there are things to do, such as making soup or ginger lemon tea. But ultimately, waiting is hard because it brings me face to face with my limited control.

I’ve often asked myself, “What’s the secret to waiting well?” Today I realized, I think it’s surrender.

Acknowledging my lack of control brings me to a place of acceptance and peace. Remembering Who is in control helps me be less anxious and frees me to stay in the present, whatever the circumstance may be.

If you enjoyed these and would like to continue journeying through Advent together in this way, you can follow along by liking our Facebook page.

Advent blessings to each of you as we anticipate the arrival of Emmanuel – God with us.