Preparing for Advent


Believe it or not, the countdown to Advent is on. (PSA: It always starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas- which this year is December 3rd- not always on December 1st.) I personally seek ways to be more spiritually disciplined during that season and have found that having a guide to work my way through it helps that tremendously, as I am not a disciplined or even particularly self-motivated person. So I am chomping at the bits to get to share this year's Blessed Is She Advent Prayer Journal with you lady friends (sorry gents, better luck next time).

In case you're new or simply didn't know, I am one of a few dozen writers for Blessed Is She, which is a ministry for Catholic women that hopes to foster Scripture-centered prayer and community. (There are also a significant number of non-Catholics represented, who I get the pleasure of hearing from frequently. Hi guys!) BIS is a grassroots ministry founded and organized by visionary women who I am lucky to call friends. I'm naturally skeptical of big, shiny things but guys, BIS is the real deal: No untouchable hierarchy, no icky business practices, just ordinary women serving women with sincere hearts- not perfectly, but following Jesus as best they can. I absolutely love being a part of it.

Okay, sheesh. Dry your eyes, woman, and tell us about Advent.

I didn't lift a finger on the Advent 2017 Prayer Journal but I feel incredibly loyal to it because dear friends of mine did. Laura Fanucci wrote it, and she is one of the most gifted wordsmiths that I know. Erica Tighe of Be A Heart painted the cover and the hand lettering. And a host of other friends did the editing and behind-the-scenes work.

If only it were gorgeous.

Why am I telling you about this in October? Because they always, always sell out. If you think this is something that could benefit your Advent season, it's best to order sooner rather than later.

(And just a reminder, if you have a Blessed Is She membership you will get the journal auto-shipped to your door. No need to order!)

There are a few other special Advent products in the Blessed is She Shop as well, so I'll go ahead and give you a moment to swoon over those too. (Click the photos to view in the shop. All products are handcrafted, printed, and shipped right here in the U.S.A.)

Not Advent-related but a BIS project I actually worked on, our Blessed Conversations small group study guide series, is available on the website now too! There are seven of these babies, and each one explores a different part of the Catechism. I was honored to be asked to write all of the reflections for the series on the Our Father prayer, and I'm really happy with how it came out.

These are super simple: just download, print, and get together with one friend or twelve, one night a week or so and discuss! No prep work required. (And although the goal is to get women wrestling through faith in real-life community, if that doesn't feel possible these guides do still work for an individual.)

I hope you guys have a rich Advent season, and if these resources aren't what you need to get there I hope you find something that is exactly right for you! I just know that so often best-laid plans fall by the wayside without tangible handrails to keep us on track. And bonus points if those handrails are beautiful, am I right?

We just got word that The Catholic Journaling Bible our design team has been working on is available for pre-order! It's being published by Our Sunday Visitor and is scheduled to be shipped out in January. Click the link or photo for more details.

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Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)