I’m going to tell you something:

When I sometimes look in a mirror, I don’t see the person that others see me to be. I often see all of my flaws, my failures, the names I was called when I was younger. I hear the voices in my head that I try often to be silent. I’m told I am not good enough. I am told I am ugly. I am told the imperfections I see break me.

But I also see what I can become. I see the peaceful kindness others tell me I give them. I see the hope I try to bring. I see the joy I often exude in everything I try to do. The voices be damned, because I see the me I love, even if that person is a bit loud at times and often awkward.

It’s Advent season in the liturgical calendar. Many will be celebrating this season, where the weeks each have a theme – being each week hope, love, joy and peace. This current week focuses on hope. And since I already wrote a blog post earlier this year on that sentiment, I’m not going to go into great detail again about it. But I will say that this time in the season, this week being the first week, everything is pregnant with that expectation. We hope for holiness. We hope for a good end to the year. We hope to find the magic in the moment and we hope that others will have a good time as well.

“To be humble, to be kind …..It is the giving of the peace in your mind …..To a stranger, to a friend… To give in such a way that has no end…We are love …We are one… We are how we treat each other when the day is done… We are peace….We are war …..We are how we treat each other and nothing more.”

~ The Alternate Routes “Nothing More”

My little church in my little swath of the Midwest does a theme every year for Advent. This year, the theme is Reflecting the Sacred. Mirrors have been put up in the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall for people to stop and stare, reflecting on how they may reflect on what is sacred and how they can reflect it back to others. The church is also asking everyone to take part in a selfie project for the season- which I didn’t fully know about when I made this post to Instagram on Saturday night:

Whether you are a Christian or not, the sentiments of the Advent season can still be a good thing to reflect upon and to be a reflection of. We can all reflect hope, love, joy and peace to others. We can all be a shining beacon, a peaceful calm, a hopeful friend, or a joyful reunion for someone in need, especially in this holiday season (if not the other eleven months of the year). As Charles Dickens penned in perhaps his most famous work:

We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.

~ Stave One of A Christmas Carol

This week, as you’re hoping for whatever you need to hope for, my dear readers, I hope you stay magical. Keep on with that hope as you wrote your own story and reflect what you can back to others. It is the expectation of the season, after all!

I know I am going to do the same.

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And as always, #writeyourownstory

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