With less than a week until Christmas, does it feel like crunch time? Do you find the stress of last-minute preparations is crowding out your peace and prayer time? If you’re having a hard time balancing the desire to savor the last week of Advent while finishing all your Christmas preparations, you’re not alone. Fortunately for us, Danielle Bean, a Catholic writer, podcast host, and mother of 8, stopped by Morning Air® to give us some tips on how to find peace and prayer amidst the hustle and bustle of this week.
Bean admitted that finding peace during this time is a difficult task. She told Morning Air host John Harper, “I think you have to be deliberate about it. And, of course, Advent is this beautiful liturgical season of waiting, of hopefulness, of quiet. But because the culture around us is not observing Advent, and Christmas is full-on in the secular culture, what we need to do is be deliberate about making that time.”
Below are some insights that Danielle Bean offered on how to find peace and prayer during this last week of Advent, so as to better celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Take it Outside
When you get to that point where you’re feeling stress overload -whether it’s things going on with work, relationships, shopping, budget woes – take moment to go outside. I don’t care where you live, if you go outside you can change your mood. You can change the atmosphere. You can find yourself a little bit of quiet. Whether you go for a walk, taking some time to reconnect with God during your day and relieve that stress, but even if you can’t, just going outside and take some deep breaths. Take in the beauty and the wonder of nature, that cold fresh air this time of year. It’s really a wonderful opportunity to break up what you’re falling into, which is perhaps a pattern of stress, of chaos, of reacting to everything around you. Just hit the pause button and go outside.
Pray for Peace
This time of year, especially if you’re visiting with extended family, there’s opportunities for old rifts to come to the surface. But just maintain that prayer for peace. And I think this is something every mom should pray for. Pray for peace within your family.
The Prince of Peace is coming to us this Christmas season. And we have a great opportunity to ask Him for the grace of that peace in our homes and in our family life. And that’s ultimately what so many of us want. We want peace in our families, peace in our prayer lives, in our marriages, in our financial lives. In every aspect of the way we live we are looking for peace, and if only we could find it.
Make amends with someone. It might be someone you had a spat with this morning as they were going out the door. It might be something small. But it might be something much larger that you’ve been holding onto for a long time. The liturgical season of Advent is a wonderful opportunity to let go of something. To forgive somebody that you’ve been holding a grudge against. To forgive yourself for something you’ve been beating yourself up about.
Ask for Forgiveness
Look for that peace in asking for forgiveness. Get to Confession, and find that peace that is only found inside of Confession. Bring your kids, bring your spouse, get everyone into Confession before Christmastime.
Some of us are holding onto past wounds or regrets, without ever having taken those steps to make amends. That alone does a lot to rob us of our peace. So give yourself that gift, and give Jesus that gift of offering forgiveness and asking for forgiveness.
Listen to the full conversation with Danielle Bean below: