So, I don’t love Christmas. I know, Worst Christian Ever award. But you know what I mean, right? The shopping, the busyness, all the extra stuff to do – it can feel a little overwhelming sometimes. The last couple of years, however, I’ve made a concerted effort to weave a quiet Advent practice into my Christmas preparations, and I have to say, it’s made a big difference in my heart, mind, and soul.
In light of that, I’m sharing a few Advent resources with you today. Some of these are old favorites, a couple are new this year. My wish for you is that perhaps one of these resources will help you uncover the quiet presence of Jesus amid the loud glitz and glamour of the season.
Journeying to Bethlehem: An Advent Audio Devotional, by Kimberly Coyle – I am so excited about this one. Kimberly is an incredibly gifted writer, and I can’t think of a better guide to help me usher in the season and focus my heart toward Jesus. Starting this Sunday (November 26), Kimberly will offer a few quiet words each Sunday in Advent to help you center your thoughts more on the joy and expectation of waiting for the arrival of the promised Messiah. And the best part? It’s free! All you have to do is subscribe – details here.
Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, by Kris Camealy – I might have shared this one with you already, because it’s a favorite of mine this time of year. Kris has a beautiful way with words, and her heart and spirit are fully turned toward Jesus, not only during Advent but all year long. She has been a personal inspiration and encouragement to me, and I highly recommend this Advent daily devotional. More details about the book here. Also, Kris is hosting a Facebook four-week Advent study – information on that here.
Living the Season Well: Reclaiming Christmas, by Jody Collins – I had the honor of endorsing this book, so I read it cover to cover and enjoyed every page. Here’s a little bit of what I said in my endorsement: “Written with warmth, approachability and humor and filled with practical, applicable suggestions, Living the Season Well will guide you on a journey toward slowing down, simplifying and savoring the moments of the holiday season.” This book is particularly well-suited for parents or grandparents who are walking through Advent with young children – lots of ideas for easy, uncomplicated (read: not going to make your life busier than it already is!) creative projects.
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, by Ann Voskamp – Okay, full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this one, but that’s only because I am a cheapo and haven’t been able to bring myself to purchase the hard cover edition. But this is the gift I am giving myself this year – yay for me! And because I have read One Thousand Gifts and The Broken Way both multiple times, and am a faithful reader of Ann’s blog, I can vouch for the quality of her writing. She is hands-down one of my favorite authors. If you have young ones in the house, you might consider this new Christmas book by Ann, which would make a beautiful family Advent devotional.
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional, by Asheritah Ciuciu – Again, a disclaimer: I have not read this one myself, but I have read Asheritah’s first book, Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction, which I endorsed, so I can tell you that Asheritah is a top-notch writer and a deep thinker, so I am confident her Advent devotional will not disappoint. As a mom of two young children, family is top-of-mind for Asheritah, and her devotional includes suggestions for family activities and service projects. Check out Asheritah’s blog to sign up for a free three-day sampler of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.
Enjoy, friends – and may the peace of Christ be with you this season and always.