Happy Advent friends! Every three months, I pause and reflect on the past season and share with all of you.
(Linking up with Emily P. Freeman, who hosts this wonderful blog series.)
Three months ago I just began my job as the Youth & Young Adult Ministry Coordinator at our parish, but some call me the “ymyam,” which we think is pronounced “yimyam.” So now that things are a little more established, this is what I have learned.
I learned to stretch my creativity and ministry strategy.
For the last 4 years, I have been blogging and Instagramming for young Catholic moms (and old, and not Catholic, and not moms), that when I started youth ministry, I really had to reshape a lot of the ministry I was doing. Middle and High Schoolers are so different from young adults. And a 6th grader is so different from an 8th grader, who is so different from a 10th grader! Last year, when I was a Confirmation catechist, I led a small group. This year, I am the coordinator of Confirmation and help support those small group leaders. So I both lead the show, but also take a huge step back and trust in God.
How to keep teaching
I do miss leading a Confirmation small group, but I still get to, just in a different way. I get to hang out with the kids who come early. All of the 10th graders are together in a large group for the last half hour, and that’s usually when I get to lead unless we have the sisters or another speaker helping that week. And then I get to hang out in the youth room with those waiting for rides.
Have a good pair of shoes
On Wednesdays, I am running all over the building and my feet are death by the time I get home. I’m still looking for that perfect pair that is more dressy than sneakers, more comfy than flats, and more breathable than boots.
I know that I am young and have a lot of stamina still, but October and November kicked my butt. There was one Wednesday when I was working from 7am to 10pm. After that, I sat down and scheduled out some half days and days off for the rest of the year so that my weeks aren’t insane like that again.
I’m 25 and going grey.
For a couple years, I would find a wirey grey hair a couple times a year. Then it turned into monthly. Now it’s a couple times a week. My mom is slowly greying. My dad has salt and pepper hair. I have a feeling I have my dad’s genes on this one, but I’m actually pretty okay with that. I’ve been wanting to color my hair for years because it’s been a long time since I’ve had mermaid red hair. Maybe I’ll add some red and brown highlights and allow the grey to keep coming.
How to rock the bedtime routine.
I have adjusted this a dozen times, but I think we have a system that works well for our family. I have a piece of paper taped up in the kids room with the steps we have to do to get ready for bed, with a little drawing next to each one so that Zelie can easily follow along. It has really set up Zelie for success because she’s in control, but so am I. It has also become such a rhythm that Christopher, (who just turned 2!) doesn’t fight bedtime anymore. Over time we have rearranged the order and have added and taken away steps. We recently added lighting our Advent wreath and picking up toys to our list, and have even started about a half hour earlier than we were to give Peter and I more time to relax. We’re also all naturally up earlier now and aren’t rushing out the door. Win win.
How to enjoy music again.
I feel like my Spotify has been truly curated for me, and I have been able to create playlists for personal use, for ministry, for the seasons like Fall, Winter, Advent, and Christmas. I’ll make one huge playlist with a theme with hours of listening, then when my ears perk up and my heart says “YES,” then I’ll add it to my Winter playlist, or Advent playlist, or my Confirmation playlist, etc. Now I can go back and hear all my favorites, or listen to the huge playlists to discover something new.
These are the playlists that I made this fall. My fall one, my winter one, and one for my Confirmation group. Then the Advent playlists! One I made for our parish, and one I made for Y&W (you’re the first to see!)
Wow fall. New job. New home. Second car. Kids are in preschool/daycare. What a season. Cheers to this winter, Advent, Christmas, and the New Year.
If there is a future topic you would like to hear, let me know on Instagram or Facebook!
You can find the community on Instagram at @youngandwildcatholicmamas and #ywcm
I’m looking forward to chatting with you next time! Until then, let’s take small simple steps towards being more intentional.