Advent is coming! (squee!)

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I’ve mentioned before that I love Advent right? Maybe once, or twice. Or thrice. Haha.

So, yes, I do love it, and the proof is visible in my writing. I love the rich darkness of it, the candles, the quiet before the storm of Christmas. I’ve got to admit, even as a committed extrovert, the introverted nature of Advent prepares me emotionally and spiritually for the unbridled joy of the Christmas season.

My goal is to finish Christmas shopping by the beginning of Advent, loosely following this schedule. My fingers are crossed but I’m still wondering if it’s going to get done. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to re-cap a few of my old Advent posts as well as a couple new traditions I’m starting this year.

Traditions:

One of my oldest blog posts! #dontjudge

A few of our favorites

Advent book lists:

Book list 1

Book list 2

A few more thoughtful posts:

An early Advent

The Advent I was Done Waiting

New this year!

For the past few years we’ve used some Jesse Tree ornaments that we made in an ornament exchange, but many of them are a little worse for the wear, and some are plain old missing. This year, I’ve delegated the task of making new ones to my big kids. We got the pattern below from Faith and Fabric and are using sticky-back felt. (Brilliant, right?) I’ll share more on Instagram as we go along.

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to share how I will personally be preparing spiritually during Advent. Whether or not I get all my shopping done, whether or not the kids finish all the ornaments before the first Sunday of Advent, on Nov 30 I will certainly be studying the Word of God with my sisters from Take Up and Read. 

I was honored to contribute to this year’s devotional, Rooted in Hope, but I have to be honest. I truly didn’t know what to expect when it was released. I’m happy to say that I am beyond proud to be small part of this little journal. From the format (Lectio Divina! swoon!), to the design, to the insightful scripture reflections, this book will bless anyone who wants to dive deeper into sacred scripture this Advent.

A little peek inside:

Aside from the journal, there are a bunch of freebies to be found on the Take Up and Read site!

Free Thanksgiving planning pages (they also give you a feel for the Advent journal)

Free printable children’s study (these are honestly amazing)

Free group study guide

If you’re someone who enjoys online community, Take Up and Read will also be hosting near-nightly Instagram live videos during Advent, where the writer of the day will join to discuss the scripture, the reflection she wrote, etc. It’s such a lovely way to end the day, if you can make it.

The best thing about ALL that stuff I listed above is that you pick what works for you and leave the rest. There aren’t many of us who can (or even want!) to do all of it, and that’s completely okay! Do what works and ignore the rest.

Make sure, no matter what your Advent looks like, (expecting a Christmas baby? stressful family coming to visit? first holiday after the loss of a loved one?) that you spend some time reading God’s love letter to you. There are any number of ways to do that, and all the writers at Take Up and Read want you to do that in whatever way works best for you.

Love you, friends.

~Micaela

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