I think I am resolving to try to blog every day this Advent. The idea came to me when I couldn't sleep last night, and in the clear light of day, it still seems like it could be a good idea. Let me see if I can try to explain why I feel moved to do this.
1) We are having an amazing experience here in Nicaragua. But the way I see our role as missionaries, our experience becomes much more worthwhile when we are able to share it with all our friends and family back home, especially those in our "families of faith," the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. People in the pews of those denominations have been supporting the work of Global Ministries in building relationships with this church and other partners around the world for a very long time. Just as important as getting to know the people of La Misión Cristiana (Christian Mission Church of Nicaragua) is allowing church members in the United States to get to know them, too. By this logic, the more we blog, the better, so any reason is a good one. :)
2) I've been inspired my two really impressive women bloggers, both mothers. One is my cousin (okay, technically cousin-in-law, but I claim her), who despite having not only one child the same age as mine, and at least as rowdy, but also a baby whose age is still counted in months, and having spent a lot of time caring for both these children all by herself when her husband is on deployment, still manages to blog every day. The other person is someone I've never met, but I found her blog, Momastery, through a link posted by a friend on Facebook, and found her writing and the comments very inspiring. Both of these blogs have seemed to me like "places" where a real sense of community exists online.
3) It doesn't feel like Advent to me! Yes, there are Christmas lights and decorations up everywhere here in Managua, but the temperature is still liable to hit 90 on any given day, most schools just let out for summer vacation, and although our partner church here has many wonderful characteristics, they do not celebrate the liturgical calendar to which I am accustomed, and definitely don't light the candles on the Advent wreath each week to count up to Christmas. So, I want to try in my blogging to pay attention to the lectionary texts (the Bible passages that many churches read in worship each week) to get myself ready for Christmas, spiritually, together with many churches and Christians all over the world and through history.
4) I'm finding myself really pulled into the materialistic aspect of Christmas preparations, i.e. presents! -- that is, making lists of things I want and think Quinn might want and doing online shopping... so I'm seeking a little balance.
5) I love the lectionary, and I miss preaching. So, I want to write more. Don't worry, folks -- it won't be all Bible, all the time, but I would like to devote some attention to the Bible texts that lead us into Christmas.
6) Tim said last night, as we lit the first candle on the Advent wreath "I know it's the first Sunday of Advent, but I don't really know what that means." And I realize that I have more to learn about it as well. So, I would like to address that a bit as well.
I'm also posting this on my personal blog, and I may end up posting over there some days, if I run out of ideas that are directly connected to our life and ministry here in Nicaragua. My ideas I wrote down last night while not sleeping include: Quinn's theological inquiries (aka "doozies"), a slightly overdue report on our trip to a church-owned farm near Waslala, the history of Advent, stuff I want for Christmas and the Nicaraguan cultural celebrations that lead up to La Purisima on December 8th. So, stay tuned!