Lemons to Lemonade

As I woke up to get everyone ready for our traditional K4J Blessed the Baby Jesus celebration at Gaudete Sunday mass, I was dumbfounded with where the first three weeks of Advent went.  Each day of Advent putting Shrinky Dink homemade ornaments that correspond with salvation history onto our Jesse tree along with reading selected sections from the Bible and  lighting the candles on our Advent wreath evolved into a cherished Weber Advent tradition. Advent 2012 so far has been my worst record of finding our Advent wreath in a timely fashion.

My organization helper this summer Kirsten Awe assisted me to relocate some of my Advent and Christmas supplies.  I looked in a few of the suspected places with no luck.  Whisked away by a hurried schedule, one week… then two weeks passed with no Advent wreath and, in all honesty, not much effort on my part to find it.

Two weeks into Advent my disgust with myself for neglecting getting things in order for good spiritual formation for my family led me to confess my half-hazard attempts to locate our Advent wreath in reconciliation.  I even had the intention of locating our Advent wreath.  But, again life swept me away another six days until the morning of our K4J mass.

‘I’ve got to find our Advent wreath today!”  And I need to apologize to my family for the cruddy message I have sent them about the importance of preparing for the birth of Jesus.  Because of the sludgy feeling in my soul, I got an inspiration:  this can be the day when we have our first family confession.  Family confession topped the list of another activity I’ve been wanting to implement in our home but hadn’t.

So I went through our dining room and in a bottom door in our hutch was our advent wreath, candles, Jesse tree, and homemade ornaments, conveniently located, which is probably why I never thought of looking for them there.  By the evening they were on our dining room table ready to help us prepare for Jesus.|

After we ate lunch and cleaned the kitchen, everyone sat down in the family room.  I explained   what a family confession is and started by apologizing for not having the Advent wreath out until now.  And everyone went around and confessed one sin to the entire group or just to a specific person.

This personal and mutual ownership of how we let each other down and requests and granting of forgiveness warmed the room.  Our first family confession created a special moment.   Ironically, I likely would have continued to procrastinate having a family confession had I not been such a jerk about the Advent wreath.

My Advent wreath fiasco is another reminder that God takes our lemons, our failings, and turns them into lemonade, if we let him.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Use a personal failure to do something better for God through your repentance.