“Marking the Days”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Emelia Attridge, Congregational Care Coordinator

I really do love calendars. In fact, in 2016, I started creating my own planner. I followed what’s known as the “Bullet Journal” system for inspiration, but I don’t follow it too closely. Sure I keep a regular monthly calendar to track my appointments throughout the year, and I have at least one other calendar with designs that are a delight to the eye (and even more of a delight to change over each month).

My quasi-bullet-journal system begins with a blank journal. First, I create a monthly spread (usually about one month prior) so that I can keep track of the dates, upcoming deadlines, and events. Then each week, I design the layout for my “weekly” pages. Each weekly spread contains information about what I’m doing on that week–my classes, my work shifts, when I’m going to be at church–as well as goals, intentions, or ideas.
There are usually two different responses people have when they look over my shoulder and see my planner. They think, “who has the time for that?” or they begin to ask me about my process, and say that they’d like to make their own planner/journal, too. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually the most relaxing time in my week when I do this.
The word “journal” has the French root word, “day,” and this calendar of mine is a bit like marking one day (or week) at a time. Writing things down and creating my planner helps me to remember what is going on in my life.
As Advent begins, we change over the liturgical calendar to a new way of being in the world. Advent asks us to change our attitude. It asks us to have anticipation and expectation for the Kingdom of the God as we prepare to witness Love Incarnate here on earth with us in Jesus’ birth. But it does more than that. Advent asks us to live with intention each day.
Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette and Rev. Quinn Caldwell, two UCC pastors and writers, have created this Advent calendar. Just like one filled with chocolate, it offers something sweet to reflect on each day. Go ahead, mark the day.