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The Advent Challenge



Advent - spending time in spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. 


November twenty-ninth is the first Sunday of Advent. Every year for a period somewhere between three and four weeks, Christians around the world prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child. We also anticipate the second Advent, a time when Jesus has promised to come again to this earth and make all things right.


He saved us. He saves us still. He will save us.


We first decided to celebrate Advent in our home because of our daughter. Isn’t that how it goes? Another opportunity to gift our little ones with treats. In addition to the fun of the Advent calendar, I wanted to be sure our daughter knew why we did this activity each year. Advent calendars have come a long way in cuteness. My mother-in-law made us this one in the picture. A family heirloom. You can find them in stores though, like this Veggie Tale one




When she was a toddler, I wrote out a simple retelling of the Christmas story. It breaks the story down into daily tellings and includes the Scripture references. You can print your own copy here. As a first grader, she looked up these passages for the first time!


A few years back, Ann Voskamp came out with the book, The Greatest Gift. An Advent devotional for adults. For the first time, I prepared my own heart for the Christmas season. I appreciated the intimacy I felt with the timeless story as I reflected on a bit of it each day.




Now, our whole family participates in Advent. My daughter does enjoy her calendar. She usually wants to read it first thing before she goes to school.


I love remembering every day the best story ever told. The birth of our Lord and Savior. I’ve decided to spend this time in personal reflection again. 


Journaling Bibles have been all the rage this year. I ignored it for a long time because I can’t draw. Seriously, when we’d play Pictionary in my family, I was always the kid picked last. 


In planning for Advent though, a thought occurred to me. Journal. That’s about writing. Now, I may not draw worth a hoot but writing I can do. So I bought this Journaling Bible. It's beautiful! Also these markers.








This year I’m committing to doing my Advent devotionals in my Journaling Bible. Each day, I’ll read a portion of the Christmas story. Words familiar to most of us. Then, I'll jot down my thoughts. But before I do either of these things, I’m going to pray:

Lord, show me something new today. A fresh truth. Make this story come alive to me. Amen.


I’ve learned from experience God loves to answer prayers like this. Oh, how He loves it!


Reader, would you consider joining me? Starting November 29th, would you read a few verses out of Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2:38? It comes out to about six verses a day. Would you be so bold as to pray God would show you something new and fresh in these familiar passages of Scripture?


I’m excited to break out my Journal every day. Highlighting truths God has just for me. I’d be delighted if you’d join me.



I'm pleased to be partnering with Family Christian on this Advent post.

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