By Caroline Triscik

Preparing Our Souls: Two Podcasts for Considering Advent

I remember the anticipation of Christmas in my childhood, marked by various traditions: putting up our artificial tree, baking cut out sugar cookies with my mom, and listening to the Home Alone soundtrack repeatedly on cassette tape. However, I don’t recall hearing much about Advent other than a vague recollection of special candles on those few December Sundays we attended church. I never quite could keep track of the symbolism behind each candle and the colors represented. 

Now as an adult, worshipping in a more liturgical tradition, Advent has become a significant season for me, a time for anticipating something more than just the presents I longed for as a child. Each year I consider how to prepare my whole self as the calendar shifts from Ordinary Time to the season of Advent, feeling a longing for the hope of God with us, Emmanuel. My internal soul preparation can swing like a pendulum from doing nothing at all to making lofty spiritual goals that can’t quite be attained no matter the efforts. 

Many of us are looking for ways to steer away from the “big commercial racket” of Christmas, as Lucy VanPelt would call it. And in the midst of the semester-end busyness, it can feel even more impossible to incorporate spiritual practices into our waiting. In these two special Advent podcast episodes from 2018, women from different Christian traditions and roles in academia share about the personal and communal Advent practices that help them experience the hope of Jesus’s birth. We hope you’ll glean something from these wise and faithful women as we enter this season of waiting together.

Advent Traditions: Three Conversations

originally published November 29, 2018

Advent in Academia: Three Conversations

originally published December 13, 2018

About the Author

Caroline served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is a clinical mental health counselor and a former associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

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