Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Preparation & Reflection: an Advent Dichotomy (and a Giveaway!)

This time of year, with holidays looming, brings about a sense of rushing and cramming. Of getting everything ready in time for Christmas only to collapse on December 25th from exhaustion. There are cookies to bake, cards to get in the mail, presents galore to purchase, parties to plan, and so forth. Just listing that makes me a little dizzy.

The culture demands that of us.

And then we have Advent. The Church gives us this beautiful season of quiet and focus leading up to Our Savior's birth. When I think of the Season of Advent (beginning this year on November 30th), the words 'Preparation' and 'Reflection' pop into my head. At first these words sound in opposition to one another. Really, you want me to be all prepared and still be in a quiet meditative reflective mood, too?

But, when you look at it with the focus being the state of your heart and your soul, it all makes sense. It fits so perfectly. As we ready sit back and reflect on where we are at in our heavenward journey and contemplate the great mystery of God coming to earth, we are able to perfectly prepare to celebrate the great feast of Christmas. 

In the hustle and bustle of the world around, it's so easy to render our focus askew. Let me share with you one way of getting your focus back to a true state of preparation and reflection. Blessed is She, the online devotional I have been privileged to be a part of, has made a beautiful Advent journal to write down your thoughts on the day's readings along with promptings to dig deeper. Each day includes the readings, and Sundays include an extra section on a Saint for the week and space for homily notes.

As you can clearly see, I was super excited to get my copy. Selfie immediately. And yes, I am wearing a hat inside. Our thermostat is broke, so temps in the house hover between 53 and 61 most of the time.

Back to the good stuff:

As of my last check, there were only 63 left in stock, so if you want one for yourself, a gift, or both, head over to the Blessed is She shop now to grab a copy before they're sold out. Each one costs only $19.99 and all proceeds go directly to keeping Blessed is She running (the website and the e-mail service). Your support is so appreciated!

I also have one copy to giveaway to you my lucky readers! This giveaway will run until this Sunday because I want to make sure I can get it in the mail to you, so you can have it in your hands for Advent.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You must comment on this blog post for any of your entries to be considered valid.

There are 13 possible entries, with a few options to come back daily and earn extra entries. I will use Rafflecopter's generator to choose the winner, who will then be announced here on the blog + via social media. Email address you provide will only be used to contact you if you win. U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. Entries will be accepted until 12:00am 24 November 2014. 

For more of my thoughts on Advent, check out these posts: 

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This post: Preparation & Reflection: an Advent Dichotomy first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 19 November 2014 


  1. I'm a big fan of spiritual reading, so I typically choose an Advent-y (I think I just invented a word) book to read and reflect on each day.

  2. Love this so much!! I plan to light the Advent wreath with my family this year :)

  3. I hope to light or Advent wreath with more intentional family prayer. I felt like I rushed it so much last year.

  4. I love being able to read Blessed is She in the mornings and am so excited about this Advent companion! During Advent, I love being able to hold off on enjoying Christmas things until it's actually Christmas to fully enjoy the season in all its stages. Just as a side note, I love reading my morning's reflection and some days seeing it was written by you! :)

  5. I have a few traditions I've added over the last couple of years, the Advent Wreath (although I'm ditching the wreath itself this year and just using the candles), praying the O Anthiphons and the St Andrew Novena. Finally I don't do any decorations until after the 4th Sunday of Advent

  6. Looks awesome :)

    We love doing the Advent wreath every night!

  7. This year my one thing was I wanted to have all the Christmas shopping done before Advent started. We are definitely on track, with one gift left to purchase (and DH has to decide what it is, & you can bet that very instant I'll click "Confirm purchase" & we'll be done). We love the advent wreath, and we hold off on decorating, but that's about it. So I'm really hoping that getting the insanity of shopping done before will clear space for us to focus on family & preparing.

  8. I did an Advent calendar last year with the kids, and I was thinking of making a wreath for the whole family this year.

  9. Still working out the details on what exactly we'll be doing, but I know for sure we'll be doing the Advent wreath, and maybe we'll work in Jesse Tree readings/ornaments
    ~Ruth Anne

  10. No matter what, we light the candles of our wreath and sing an Advent song.

  11. We have a solid family tradition of a Jesse tree- or more like Jesse ornaments on a string- but it works for us!

  12. We light an advent candle and read a Christmas story. My kids are 3 and 1.5, so their attention span not much. I'd love a journal!

  13. This will be our family's first Advent as Catholics, which my husband and I are so excited about. Our son is only 7 months old, but I grew up with an Advent wreath and a Jesse Tree in my evangelical family and I'd love to continue those traditions.

    1. Congratulations Julia! How exciting - it's ours, too! Blessings on your first Advent and Christmas as Catholics.


  14. We will light an Advent candle and pray the rosary.
    I'd love a journal! Thank you!

  15. Lighting the advent wreath candles and using our Nativity scene advent calendar.

  16. We light the Advent wreath and sing O Come, O Come Emanuel before dinner each night.

  17. Advent wreath is our starting point. Trying to decide how much more to do, baby #2 is coming mid-December so this year won't be too crazy. But this journal would help my preggo brain stay on track!


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