Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

It’s Here! The 2017 Blessed Is She Advent Journal

The other day I was updating my music playlists and I accidentally tapped O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Sixpence None the Richer. The boys ran into the room exclaiming, “We love this song!” They sang along and asked when we could start listing to Christmas music. Well, we are eager beavers in our house and start holiday prepping the day after Halloween. It may be way too early for some but it’s not to early to start thinking about getting your spiritual gear for Advent 2017!

Last year I used the Blessed Is She Advent journal and it was such a blessing to me. I am not exactly one to relish quieting myself down and I struggle to tame my mile-a-minute thoughts but the Advent journal really helped me to stop and focus on what matters the most during Advent – preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ.

This year’s Advent Journal was written by the lovely author and blogger Laura Fanucci and it was designed by the talented Erica Tighe of Be A Heart Design. I was thumbing through the journal and on the very first day it said:

Remember: what God desires is to be with you. To be in deepest relationship with you. To love you. Let yourself be in this moment with God. This is the heart of Advent: preparing your heart to receive Christ again. Remember that you can always return to the power and simplicity of this place – this eternal present moment of being with God in prayer.”

The word that jumped out at me was “Simplicity” because that was my word of 2017. It is as if God is bringing me full circle and reminding me of what He wanted me to focus on at the beginning of 2017. The simplicity of just being with Him. To realize that God desires to be with me and that taking the time to be with Him will change my life. I am so looking forward to using my Advent journal to help me spend that quiet re-connecting time with God.

With that in mind, I am excited to announce that the new 2017 Blessed Is She Advent journal is now available for purchase. It may seem too early to worry about it but I do encourage you to get it sooner rather than later because it always sells out. (And there are always people messaging me and emailing me to see if I know where they can get a stashed copy!)

Along with the journal, you will find the “There Is Wonder” print.

And this adorableAnything Can Happen” mug!

Or you can just do what I did and purchase the sale priced Advent Bundle that includes the journal, print and the mug. (Inset heart eyes smiley face!)

When you purchase your journal, feel free to share photos of you holding or using the journal. Use the hashtag #BISadvent so we can encourage one another on this journey of Advent!

Many blessings,

PS – This post contains affiliate links. I get a small compensation if you use my links, which helps to keep this blog online. Thank you for your support! xoxo

PPS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

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A Favorite Advent Tradition: A Christmas Letter to Baby Jesus (Instead of Santa)

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For couple years we have been doing letters to Baby Jesus instead of Santa.

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The boys were hard at work with their letters last night. I posted this photo on social media yesterday and have gotten many requests for a copy of the letter. I am reposting the original post where I give the details and links to print out your own letter.

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We have the boys fill out their letters and put them in their empty shoes by the door on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. They wake up to find their letters gone and treats instead. One St. Nick’s day we didn’t get our letters done so we left a little note telling St. Nick thanks for the treats and to please take these letters to Baby Jesus with him.

Also, there is no need to tie this into St. Nicholas Day. These letters can be filled out any time during Advent. You could stick them in Jesus’ stocking (if He has one) or make a little gift box for Jesus where you place the letters inside. Or just place them under the tree or on the mantle to be found missing in the morning. Do as much or as little as fits your family right now. πŸ™‚Β  Either way, enjoy!

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Happy feast day of St. Nicholas! My Instagram is overflowing with lovely photos of Catholic homes displaying children’s shoes filled with treats. My home? Not so much. It seems I am always a day late and dollar short and in our home St. Nicholas works in a delayed time zone and we put out our shoes the NIGHT of his feast day because Mama Elf was not quite ready. Truth be told, we are trying out a new Advent tradition today and I wanted it to coincide with the feast of St. Nicholas so our shoes will go out tonight.

A few years back, I asked some fellow Catholic moms how they keep Christ in Christmas. A friend shared with me how she has her kids write letters to Baby Jesus instead of Santa. She wrote:

An old Catholic custom is the writing of “Christmas Letters” by the children. These letters, addressed to the Child Jesus (NOT Santa Claus) are written or dictated by the little ones some time before Christmas. They contain their wishes concerning Christmas presents, petitions for various intentions, and a promise of sincere effort to please Our Lord in preparation for Christmas. When they go to bed, the children put their letters on the windowsill, from where “angels” take them during the night to bring them to the Child Jesus in heaven.

This charming custom helps the parents to impress on the minds of their little ones the importance of a sincere spiritual preparation and at the same time great confidence in God who is concerned with our temporal and spiritual needs. Parents who favor this custom will often be deeply touched when they discover that some of their children put more stress on spiritual graces than on material gifts even on an occasion like this. It can also alert parents to the need for more guidance and direction toward this goal. (From LD of CA)

I loved that idea and every year I said, “This year we will do the same!” I think I’ve since had two more kids but still have not tried it. But today is the day!

The boys still believe in Santa and they wanted to write their wish lists but I liked the idea of a letter to Baby Jesus so I incorporated the two. I put together a simple form letter that I could print off and give everyone to fill out. Here is what it looked like. (The link for the PDF is below. There is also a second version with no reference to Santa.)RevolutionofLove.com - rol_baby_jesus_letter

They spent time today thinking about what they would do as a gift to Baby Jesus.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_2John-Paul’s gift was to set the table without complaining. (I’m looking forward to that one.) πŸ˜‰

They chose a person they would especially pray for during Advent.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_1Andrew chose his Uncle Mick stationed in Afghanistan.

Lastly, they wrote what gifts they would like Santa to bring them on Christmas morning when we have Jesus’ birthday party (complete with cake. ;-))

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_3Matthew has his heart set on Ezra from Star Wars Rebels.

When they were done, they folded up their letters and put them in their shoes for St. Nicholas to deliver to Baby Jesus. Tomorrow morning they will find their letters gone and their treats instead.

If you’d like to print of a copy of the Letter to Baby Jesus for your little ones, I posted the PDF here. Also, I made a second version for those who don’t want the Santa aspect. It can be found here. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. πŸ˜‰

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Preparing for Christmas with the Blessed Is She Advent Journal

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Christmas and I’m one of those annoying people that starts celebrating the day after Halloween. I haven’t put up any decor yet but it’s been non-stop Christmas movies and carols so far. (I’ve got Charlie Brown’s Christmas soundtrack playing as we speak.)

However, I want to make sure that I am not only enjoying the “fun” parts of Christmas but also taking time to prepare my heart for the coming of the Christ Child. That is where the new Blessed Is She Advent Journal comes into play.

The text of the jourmal was written by one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and fellow BIS team members Elizabeth Foss. Elizabeth’s wise words always have a way of challenging me but she does it in a gentle and loving manner that touches my heart. She describes the journal like this…

The Blessed is She journal is a Bible study. There is an abundance of scripture, an essay every day related to the scripture for you to think about, a prayer, and a journaling prompt. It’s designed for your morning quiet time or a small group Bible study.

As a wife, mom of 9 (ages 8 to 20’s) and cancer survivor, Elizabeth has a unique perspective of living the Catholic faith in everyday life, and here specifically, during Advent. Her words are beneficial to Catholic women in various vocations – single, married, mom of little ones, mom of older ones and grandmother.

Here is a short video of Elizabeth explaining a little more about the journal.

 

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Advent Print

The beautiful artwork was done by the talented Erica Tighe. (See my interview with her here.)

I love the BIS journals and they always motivate me to take some quiet time with Our Lord and spend it in prayer. If you’d like to purchase one for Advent, I’d recommend doing it sooner than later since last year we completely sold out!

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In the BIS Shop, you can order the Advent Journal ($20), the Advent Print ($15), the Jesse Tree Cards ($20) or save $5 by purchasing all three in the Advent Bundle.

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Note: The Jesse Tree cards are the same ones from last year. They are great because once you purchase them, you can use them every year. Last year I used them with our Jesse Tree.

Lastly, don’t forget you also have the optionΒ  to sign up as a Blessed Is She member.Β  You get to view the numerous workshops and will receive a copy of the Advent (and Lent) journal automatically. Cost is $99 for a year. (Or use the payment plan of $9.99 a month.)

Want to take a peek before deciding? Jenna has you covered. Here you go…

I look forward to connecting with you on social media as we journey through Advent together. πŸ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify,

PPS – This post contains affiliate links. Any monies made are used to keep this blog online. xoxo πŸ™‚

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Speaking of the Blessed Is She workshops, be sure to join us for Elizabeth’s workshop By the Manger in the Morning on Tuesday, November 14 at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM PST. I hope to see you there!


When All You See Is Your Advent Fail

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This is it, guys, the final stretch!Β  I haven’t had much time to be online lately but I did notice on Instagram and Facebook a number of times that people mentioned their “advent fail.” I was feeling the same way last week. It was a crazy week. Many of us at home were sick. My cold turned into a bronchial infection. Brian had been getting really bad pains in his head (unlike a headache) and because of his cancer history, the docs wanted to do an MRI to make sure nothing serious was going on. (Thankfully, he was okay!) There were family issues, illness, school events, Christmas pageants, doctor appointments and the usual family life stress. I was grasping for peace but it was hard to find in all the chaos.

Then one morning as I was taking a quick shower, I starred thinking about that first Christmas. Mary and Joseph were certainly not a in a situation conducive to calmness and peace. It had to be hectic! There was Mary nine months pregnant taking a long journey on a donkey. They finally arrived at their destination but it was loud and noisy with all the other travelers. They didn’t have a place to stay and they couldn’t get anyone to give them a room even though Mary must have looked like she was about to pop any minute. Finally they found a place that was normally fit for animals. I’m sure the smell alone was less than ideal.

What struck me was that God didn’t wait for the ideal circumstances before Our Savior was born. Instead, He worked with the present situation and transformed it into something miraculous.

I realized I had to stop wishing for things to be more ideal before I could really get into Advent. I had to learn to embrace all the inevitable bumps in the road and roll with the punches. I think God is less concerned about whether we lit the Advent candle each night and more concerned about whether or not we sought his help when things got rough. He knows that while there are some things you can do to lessen the stress of the holidays, there will always be circumstances that are less than ideal.

So let us take these last two days not to cry over our Advent fails but to thank God for the opportunity to once again turn our hearts to Him. He is the font of mercy and it is never too late to run back into his arms! Let Him hold you and kiss the top of your head as He whispers, “I understand, my child. Go, be at peace.”

Like Mary and Joseph, may we not see all the obstacles in our way. Instead, may we see how God can work in any circumstance to bring about the miracle of salvation, mercy and grace.

Have a blessed last two days of Advent!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

 


Pinterest Party & Link-up (vol 42): The Jesse Tree

Join me for a Pinterest Party every first Tuesday of the month as we link up and pin it, create it, and inspire others to do the same. Recipes and crafty ideas are encouraged but think outside the box too. Think organizing ideas, birthday themes, a cute outfit, a new hairstyle, marriage tips, life inspiration, traveling destinations, a great quote – anything you’d post to Pinterest.

Show us how you didn’t just pin it but brought it to life!

Not on Pinterest? No problem. Link-up your own creation to inspire us so we can pin in to our own boards. Don’t have a post ready? The link-up will be open for a month so there’s still time. Plus, feel free to link up a new post or an older post that hasn’t had much traffic lately. πŸ™‚ (If you want to grab the button, scroll to the bottom.)

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This month’s Pinterest Party is a special Advent and Christmas edition! Share with us your Advent traditions, your favorite Christmas cookie recipe or any anything else related to the holidays!

My contribution to the party this month is the Jesse Tree. Last year I posted about our favorite Advent family activities but one item not on the list was the Jesse Tree. I have to be honest with you, I always felt intimidated to do the Jesse Tree but in reality it’s not really that complicated.

If you aren’t familiar with the Jesse Tree, Loyola Press explains it the way:

Jesse was the father of King David. The Jesse tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” The ornaments of the Jesse tree tell the story of God in the Old Testament, connecting the Advent season with the faithfulness of God across four thousand years of history.

The Jesse tree helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus’ birth. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent people, prophesies, and the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.

Each day there is a Scripture/Bible Story and an ornament with a simple symbol of the story. (ie. an apple for Adam and Eve, an ark for the story of Noah, etc.) You read the Scripture (or paraphrase to your kids) and hang the symbol on your tree. By the end of Advent you have an overview of salvation history ending with the birth of Christ.

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: The Jesse Tree (advent_jesse_tree_1)The reason I decided to give it a try this year was because Jenna at Blessed Is She decided to make Jesse Tree cards and devotions available for purchase. She asked me to do a few of the reflections on the cards and I agreed. That meant that I needed to really read and reflect on the Jesse Tree symbols. Some were familiar to me but there were a few where I thought, “Who the heck is that? I don’t remember reading that Bible story!” In the end, I learned more about our salvation history and how to apply the lessons learned to my life. I am eager to take this Advent to go through the rest of the Jesse Tree symbols that I haven’t studied yet.

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Next I had to figure out how to display the cards. I didn’t really have room to hang them up so I placed them on a mini easel at our family room’s sacred space. (Visit this post to see other sacred spaces in our home.)

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: The Jesse Tree -advent_study_1Although, I like to use the BIS cards for my personal use, I wanted the kids to have their own little symbols. Since I am doing the Waiting in the Word: A Mother’s Advent Journey scripture study, one of the authors (Nancy at Do Small Things with Love.com) gave us Jesse Tree symbols that can be cut out and colored. (You can purchase a download of the same symbols for just $3 here.)

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: The Jesse Tree -advent_jesse_tree_2I thought it was great for the kids. Now I just needed something to hang them on. I thought this bare lit tree I bought at Target last year would work perfectly.

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: The Jesse Tree - advent_jesse_tree_4I think it rounds off our little family room space perfectly. (For the post about our Advent/ Acts of Love calendar visit here. For the post about filling Jesus’ crib, visit here.)

Are you trying something new this Advent? If not, what is your favorite Advent activity? How about your favorite Christmas tradition? If you are a blogger, link up. If you are on periscope, add the link to your Advent/Christmas scope. If you aren’t on either, share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you. πŸ™‚

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RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: The Jesse Tree (advent_jesse_tree_pin)Want to share this on Pinterest? Here’s a ready-made pin. πŸ™‚

Want to follow me on Pinterest? Find me at pinterest.com/bobbi_rol.

Want me to follow you? Leave your Pinterest handle in the comments. πŸ™‚

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What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married Series - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com for www.waltzinginbeauty.blogspot.com

I’m linking up this post with sweet Jess and Kate over at Sweet Little Ones Blog.com for this week’s Tuesday Talk. πŸ™‚ Go check out their blog. There’s plenty of good stuff to read! (Now I’m going to bake cookies. Those recipes sound delicious!)

Now it’s your turn.

1. Choose your creation or inspiration, share about it and snap a photo if you can.

2. In your post, link back the original blogger/idea, rather than your Pinterest pin. That way credit goes to the proper person. πŸ™‚ (But feel free to add your Pinterest profile link so we can follow you!)

3. Add a link back here so others can play along.

4. If you want to use it, here is the html code for the logo:

<a href=”http://revolutionoflove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/pinterest_logo_new_640.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-6848″ src=”http://revolutionoflove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/pinterest_logo_new_640.jpg” alt=”pinterest_logo_new_640″ width=”500″ height=”397″ /></a>

5. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

The link up will be active for a month. Have fun!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, πŸ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo πŸ™‚