Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Advent Activities for Kids and Catholic Women & Moms (2015)

Happy First Sunday of Advent!! We just got back into town after a week away spending time at Disneyland and with my extended family over Thanksgiving weekend. It was such a wonderful trip with so many happy moments! However, now it is back to reality with unpacking and washing laundry so we can start our Advent celebration.

Today I happened to write the daily devotion for Blessed Is She and it is the perfect time to practice what I preach! Here is a snippet:

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Favorite Advent Traditions: Keeping Christ in Christmas

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I am excited to be a part of Beth Anne’s Advent Blog Hop! I love reading about the traditions Catholic families use to keep Christ in Christmas and today I’m sharing the activities we do. Some of these we’ve been doing for years and others we’ve just started.

NOTE: Don’t try to do all these activities unless you have super powers or at least are immune to doing-too-much-at-once stress. (Ask me how I know. 😉 ) If you are just starting out, choose one activity that would work for your family. Then you can add on as the years go by if you’d like.

The Advent Wreath

revolution of love blog - advent_candleThe Advent wreath is probably the most familiar and easiest of the Advent traditions and it remains a favorite of the kids. There is something special about turning down the lights and watching the flames flicker in the darkness.

There are many ready made advent wreaths from Catholic online stores but it is also easy to make one of your own. I went to our local Trader Joe’s and picked up one of their fresh wreaths. You could also use clipped branches from your Christmas tree arranged in a circle or make your own wreath with materials from a craft store.

Next you need 4 candles – three purple and one pink. Starting with the first Sunday of Advent, you light the first candle. The second week light two candles and so forth. The third Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday (Gaudete is Latin for “rejoice.”) We light the pink candle to symbolizing our growing joy that Christmas is almost here. (The priest will also wear rose colored vestments at Mass that week.) The last week is another purple candle.

We used to use the long taper candles but they were always toppling over. Finally I found four hefty sized candles at Hobby Lobby and we place them in our wreathe. (The only downside is that they are lavender scented so the kids think it smells like a fancy bathroom around them.) 😉 If you can’t find colored candles you could use white candles and tie purple/pink ribbons on them. (Away from the flame.) And if you have little ones who can’t keep their hands off the flame, you can use the battery operated candles!

Are you on a tight budget? Go to Pinterest and search “paper advent wreaths.” You’ll find all kinds of ideas including ones with construction paper and toilet paper rolls. It’s not really about the wreath itself, it is more about taking a few moments to quiet yourself and think about he coming Savior.

With that said, in a perfect world, each night we gather around the Advent wreath, light the candle(s) and say our night prayers. However, it was hit and miss since evenings are hectic with homework, bathing, getting the boys to bed early, prep for the next morning, etc. Family evening prayer was just not happening. So Brian suggested we switch our prayer to before we say our dinner grace. It is the one time in the day when we are always all together at the same time. It has worked so  much better!

The boys are eager to turn down the lights while Brian lights the candles and I read the reflection from  Sarah Reinhard’s book Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families. (It only cost $1.99 at Amazon and $0.99 on Kindle). It has wonderful daily reflections that are simple enough for the kids to understand.  Most days we use the reflection book. Other days when we have evening activities scheduled, Brian says a short spontaneous prayer. The main thing is that we are praying something together.

(Click here for a simple prayer from Loyola Press to say each week when lighting the candle.)

UPDATE: Fast forward two years and we are now in the habit of saying night prayers and a decade of the rosary as a family before the kids go to bed. We light our Advent wreath before our prayer time. Remember, baby steps. Start small and then you take on a little more as the kids get older. 🙂

The Advent Calendar

After we say our Advent wreath prayer, the “person of the day” gets to open the next box in our Advent calendar. We started this tradition years ago as a way to combat the seasonal “gimmies” (give me this, give me that). To help bring the focus back on Christ and sharing his love with others, we started the tradition of making our Advent Calendar into an Act of Love Calendar. We explained that we can show our love for Jesus by sharing that love with others and what we do for others, we do for Our Lord.

Revolution of Love Blog - advent_calendar_pic_1A couple years back I found this little country house Advent calendar at Target and I loved it!

advent_calendar_pic_2WNormally you would put in a treat or little toy for each day but instead I put little slips of paper with different acts of love our family could do each day.

revolution of love blog - advent_calendar_pic_4W2 If an activity doesn’t suit our family or I have something else in mind, then I write my own act.

revolution of love blog - advent_calendar_pic_7At dinner time, we each take a turn sharing something about our day. During Advent this will sometimes include sharing about our act of love. For example, Andrew shared how on the day he was supposed to help someone in need, he helped a classmate that fell down at recess and walked him to the school office to get a band aid.

Another time we had to be a peacemaker so I shared that instead of losing my temper and yelling at the kids, I first went into my room and screamed into my pillow, then came out of my bedroom and corrected the boys calmly. (They got a kick out of that one.) This sharing helps us to see how we can apply our faith into the daily fabric of our lives.

If you are looking for a nativity box, Target has some other cute ones. Amazon also has a pretty Wooden Nativity Advent Calendar with 24 Magnetic Figures. Or if you prefer a wall calendar there is the Traditional Nativity Advent Calendar Personalized Version or the cute Little People Nativity Advent Calendar. But you certainly don’t need to spend money on these fancy boxes!

For the full post and links for the Acts of Love calendar, visit the full post here.

 

A Letter to Baby Jesus (Instead of Santa)Revolution of Love Blog - A letter to Baby Jesus (Instead of Santa) - letter_baby_jesusWI posted earlier this week about this activity we added to our family this year. You can get all the details here but in a nutshell, 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. I loved the idea.

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.

Before they can get to the wish list part, they first have to think about what they will give Baby Jesus as a gift.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_2Then they chose a person they would especially pray for during Advent.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_1When they were done, they folded up their letters and put them in their shoes for St. Nicholas to deliver to Baby Jesus. In the morning they found 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.  🙂

Advent Adventures

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I have enjoyed using the Holy Heroes activities for Advent in the past and now, along with their daily activity emails, they have their worksheets in a book form.It has made it much easier to have all the worksheets already printed out and in one place!

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For Bella and Andrew, there are a lot of various activities and puzzles they can do. For Matthew and John-Paul, they like to do the coloring pages. (They also like the Childhood of Jesus Coloring Book.) The Advent book also solved a problem I had with the next Advent tradition…

Filling Jesus’ Crib with Straw

Like the letter to Jesus, for years I’ve been wanting to do the activity of filling Baby Jesus’ crib with soft “straw.” Every time one of the kids completes their act of love or does some other sacrifice, they can put a piece of straw in Jesus’ crib. Or if I see someone doing their chores without complaint or sharing a toy with a sibling, I will tell them they they were acting very loving and they can put in a straw for Jesus. (It is the same concept as the sacrifice beans we did for Lent and that was a hit with the boys.)baby_jesus

I kept putting off starting the activity until I could buy a baby Jesus like the one we had growing up. Well, I have yet to buy one and thought I would just skip it again this year. But when I bought the Advent Adventures book, I was excited to see they had a paper version.

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With some tape, scissors and yarn to cut up as straw…

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We now have our Baby Jesus manger. (The book also comes with a paper Baby Jesus to cut out and place in the manger on Christmas morning.)

A Nativity Set for the Littles

Anyone with children knows that they are very hands on. They also know how their blood pressure rises every time their little one grabs the ceramic Mary or St. Joseph from the nativity set and starts running down the hallway with it. One of the best investments I ever made was purchasing the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set. They can be a bit pricey but it was worth it! A nativity scene that the kids can touch and move around makes life sooo much easier. Amazon has the Fisher Price deluxe models and the simple “To Go” Set.

A Birthday Party for Jesus

It is a family tradition that on each child’s birthday the dining room table is decorated with a birthday sign and stuffed animals to “greet” them when they wake up. Being Jesus’ birthday, it is only natural that it is celebrated in a similar fashion. Since Christ is the guest of honor (not Santa) our St. Nick plush holds Jesus’ birthday sign. I also place on the table the birthday cake we made for Jesus’ party.

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On Christmas morning we all gather around the table that holds the empty manger. We place a large white candle in the center of the advent wreathe and light it. Mom or Dad (or an honored sibling) places the child Jesus in his manger and we sing Happy Birthday. Then the festivities begin.

 

The Spirit of Giving

John-Paul, Matthew and Andrew packing stockings for soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

Nothing invokes greediness quite as quickly as a materialistic holiday season. To help conquer this, it is helpful to keep kids (and adults) focused on the spirit of giving, especially those less fortunate. If you have older kids this can be done through working at a soup kitchen, food pantry, or visiting the elderly. This year Bella will be singing Christmas carols at a local Catholic convalescent home with her youth group.

Most parishes have programs where you pick a name or number and buy a gift for a specific child. Brian’s work also sponsors a local needy family so we have a number of choices. I make sure to pick a young boy that the boys will sponsor, a tween/teen girl for Bella and Brian and I will pick someone on the list that is often overlooked – an older boy or a single mom. The kids, including little ones, can do extra jobs and chores around the house to earn some extra money (or use their tithing money if they get an allowance) in order to buy small gifts for these needy children. Or they can help you buy canned good for the local food bank.

This is a great lesson in selflessness for the kids – a certain 5 year old of mine was shedding dramatic tears when he realized the skateboard we bought was going to little Jose and not him. Moreover, it is a lesson of real patience for me to let the kids get involved. I love buying gifts for people and making it special but it is another thing when you are walking down the grocery aisle with three opinionated little boys arguing over which items to purchase for the food baskets for the homeless. (Seriously?) It’s easy for me to say forget it and just do it myself but I need this lesson in sacrificial giving as much, if not more, as they do.

 

Plan Ahead for Charitable Gifts

I’ll admit that the extra gift giving can add up to a lot of extra money! Luckily, I have been looking for bargains throughout the year. Once a month during one of my many Target visits, I’ll check out the dollar section for various care package items. You can pick up small toiletries, snacks and hand warmers to give to military troops or the homeless or you can find coloring books, games, craft projects, socks etc to fit into a child’s care package. During off-season sales or Pre-Thanksgiving sales or Black Friday sales I find generic gifts like baby dolls or skateboards for the Angel Tree children. To help the kids understand sacrificing for others, we’ll give away some of their older toys to St. Vincent de Paul and as a family we’ll give up one of our “Pizza Nights” and eat sandwiches or leftovers instead. The money we saved goes towards buying gifts and food for others.

With a little creativity, planning and sacrifice, you can make your charitable gift giving more affordable for your family. (NOTE – If you are anything like me, you may also want to download the free printable from the post Keeping Track of Your Hidden Gifts from Orgjunkie.com. I wish I had that last year because I have two Christmas presents that I know I bought but I can’t figure out where I hid them! LOL)

 

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Sometimes when I read posts like this on other mom blogs I think, “Aw! Look at all that stuff they are doing! How come we don’t do things like that? Look at those eight kids in matching home-sewn outfits, kneeling reverently as they pray the rosary. And look at the gluten and dairy free Christmas recipe they followed using only fresh produce from their organic home garden. Sigh. I’m lucky I barely (fill-in-the-blank) let alone what they are doing…”

Yeah, none of that kind of talk is allowed here.

revolution of love blog - advent_messyTruth be told, this looks great on paper but in real life it is messy and chaotic. We light the candles for our Advent prayer and two of the boys will be in laughing hysterically over one of their ill timed farts or they will be near blows because one brother blew out the candle when it was their turn. Most years the activities don’t start on the first day of Advent. For example, the baby crib to be filled with straw. I literally just put it together yesterday and it only had five straws in it so far. I added more so it wouldn’t look so skimpy for the photo.

Although we are all trying to be more loving, more generous and more patient this Advent, it is not an easy road. When Brian came home yesterday I was nearly in tears because days of stormy weather and having the boys cooped up in the house had them climbing up the walls. Matthew and John-Paul are two playful buddies but sometimes they reach a point where they are arguing over everything. No, really. Everything. The ridiculousness of it coupled with the noise and fighting becomes like nails on a chalkboard. I finally blew up at them and I yelled at them like I hadn’t yelled in a long time. It was not pretty. It made me feel hypocritical for writing this “happy” post today.

The point is that even thought we try to use these tools, it is not always roses and sunshine. We all fall short. That is when we turn to God (and confession) to give us the grace to pick ourselves back up. Then in between the realness there are moments when the kids “get it.” We see a loving gesture or a chore being done without being asked,  a spontaneous act of love or a contrite apology (from child and mother). When we see in ourselves that the second time around we held our temper or that we turned off the radio to pray the rosary or that we finished all the laundry instead of checking Facebook, then we know progress is being made slowly but surely.

The other good thing about Advent is that is is four weeks long. It is never too late to start a new tradition or refocus our attitude in general. And if you are season of life right now that consists of just making it through the day in one piece, then store these ideas for the future and offer to God the little acts that pop up throughout your day. No need for elaborate activities. God knows your heart.

With those thoughts, I wish you a blessed second half of Advent! If things are going well, keep up the good work. You are an inspiration! And if things have not been going well, let’s work on this together and pray for one another. 🙂

Lastly, a big thank you to Beth Anne for including me in the Advent blog hop! Check out the other featured bloggers this week.

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PS – You can follow me 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, 😉

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 🙂


A Christmas Letter to Baby Jesus (Instead of Santa)

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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.) 😉

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. 🙂

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. 😉

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A Favorite Christ- Centered Christmas Tradition: The Advent Calendar

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Today I had the privileged to guest post over at SimpleLifeMessyLife.com. I talked about one of our favorite Advent traditions – the Advent ( aka. Acts of Love) Calendar.

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The Christmas season is a time of joy and love but it can also be a time of stress for parents and greediness for children when all they can think about is what they will find under the tree on Christmas morning! To help bring the focus back on Christ and sharing his love with others, we started the tradition of making our Advent Calendar into an Act of Love Calendar. We talked about the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25: 31-46. We explained that we can show our love for Jesus by sharing that love with others and what we do for others, we do for Our Lord.

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A couple years back I found this little country house Advent calendar at Target and I loved it! Normally you would put in a treat or little toy for each day but instead I put little slips of paper with different acts of love our family could do each day.

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To keep things simple, I searched online for a children’s printable Advent calendar. I found this one from Loyola Press. I simply cut up the calendar and put the little paper squares into the corresponding day. Each day we had one act of kindness that everyone in the family would do. If one of the day’s activities was not really suitable for our family or if there were other acts or activities I wanted our family to work on, I just wrote my own words on a slip of paper and added it in a box. On Sundays our act of love is spending time together so we do something fun as a family, such as, pick out our Christmas tree or bake cookies to bring to a neighbor or watch a Christmas movie together (without fighting who gets to choose the movie.)

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: advent_calendar_pic_3WEach day the kids take turns opening the day’s box and we find out which act of love we will be doing that day.

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: advent_calendar_pic_4WThis can be done in the morning but sometimes our mornings are so chaotic getting everyone to school on time that it is easier for us to do pick out our act the night before.

In the evenings after we say grace for dinner, we each take a turn to share something about our day. During Advent this will often include sharing about our act of love. For example, one of my sons shared how on the day he was supposed to be help someone in need, he helped a classmate that fell down at recess and walked him to the school office to get a band aid.

Another time we had to be a peacemaker so I shared that instead of losing my temper and yelling at the kids, I first went into my room and screamed into my pillow, then came out of my bedroom and corrected the boys calmly. (They got a kick out of that one.) This sharing helps us to see how we can apply our faith into the daily fabric of our lives.

© Revolution of Love Blog - jesus_stockingAfter our evening family prayer, we put that day’s slip of paper into our stocking set aside for Jesus. At the end of Advent, Jesus has 24 little gifts that we gave him.

RevolutionofLove.com - Pinterest Party: advent_calendar_pic_5WLet me add two disclaimers here. The first is that you don’t have to buy a fancy advent box to do this activity. You could use construction paper and make 25 Christmas shapes tracing cookie cutters. Or you can use leftover scrap book paper and make an Advent chain with 24 rings. Write acts of love on the cut out slips of paper then loop them together with tape. Then each day you remove one ring.

If you need some ideas of things you could write down, here are some suggestions.

Share something of yours with a sibling or friend at school.

Don’t lose your temper when someone makes you upset.

Be grateful and say thank you to God and others.

Say a prayer for someone in need today.

Clean up your room without being asked.

Donate toys or books you’ve outgrown to charity.

Read a favorite bible story to a family member.

Give someone you love a hug and tell them you love them.

Try hard to obedient to your teachers and parents.

Be grateful for what you have and don’t complain.

Make Christmas cards and deliver them to the local nursing home.

Do an extra job around the house to earn money to buy a toy for the Angel Tree

Spend time with your family doing a fun activity together.

The list can go on and on but you get the idea! Choose things that are most suitable to your family and where you are in life.

The second disclaimer is not to get discouraged if you try this and everything is not as picture perfect as you had hoped. There are days when my little peacemakers are practically fist fighting their brothers over who gets to pick the next act or who gets to put the slip of paper in Jesus’ stocking. Or the teen may give you a blank expression when you ask about their day at the dinner table. Or a hectic day may find you never did anything with your act. Don’t worry about it. Say a prayer to your Heavenly Father and move on to the next day. It won’t always be picture perfect but the grace comes with the effort and when you see a glimpse of your child “getting it” or when you see yourself being more patient, then you know that you truly are learning how to keep Christ in Christmas.

 

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. 😉

PPS – This post first appeared at SimpleLifeMessyLife.com. 🙂

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Enter the RoL Advent Gift Package Giveaway!

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It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and that Advent starts the Sunday following! My goal for the last few months has been to spend more quiet time in prayer with God. That is not always easy to do with a house full of rambunctious kids but with some effort, I am able to find pocket of quiet to turn my mind to God.

As I mentioned before, being a part of the Blessed Is She ministry has really helped with my desire to spend more time reading scripture and listening to God. Now that Advent is almost here, I have mixed feelings about my goal. On the one hand, it is even more vital that I prepare my heart for the coming of the Christ Child. On the other hand, I know how crazy the Christmas season can be and it take a concerted effort to not get sucked into the chaos.

That is why I am excited about the tools I will be using to help me make a truly holy Advent. What’s more, I want to share these items with a lucky reader who wins the RoL Advent Gift Package! Here is what you can win.

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Blessed Is She Advent Journal

The first item is my Blessed Is She Advent Journal. Anyone that knows me also knows that I am a sucker for all things paper, especially journals. There is just something both soothing yet invigorating about putting pen to paper.

Revolution of Love Blog - bis_post_8I just received mine in the mail and I can’t wait to put it to use!

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 The BIS journal is perfect for daily prayer and scripture reading.

advent_journal_3Included are reflections for all four weeks of Advent as well as guided reflection questions for every day of the Advent season.

You can order your own copy of the Blessed Is She Advent Journal here. (All proceeds will help fund the running of Blessed Is She, such as the email list and website hosting. All writers and editors are lovingly volunteering time, prayer and hours to the making of Blessed Is She.) 😉

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Icons & Candles

Anyone who knows me (and who has been to my house) also knows that Brian and I love icons! You’ll find them all over our house. I’ll admit that often when I pray in the morning it’ll be in front of the computer monitor, especially if I am reading my daily meditation online, but sometimes I need to just shut every thing else out and quiet myself without any distractions. So either early in the morning before the kids are up or late in the evening when they are in bed, I will take out an icon to put myself into a prayerful state of mind.

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I love the icons from Not of This World Icons.com, especially this mini icon (sized 2 1/2 x 3) of the Kazan Mother of God. Add to that my lavender scented tea light candle from PartyLite and my spirit is already feeling calm.

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This Little Light Rosary

Next in my Advent arsenal is my rosary. I always find Advent a perfect time to reflect on Mary’s humility, docility and openness to saying “Yes” to God without complaint. (All the things I struggle with!)

Although I have a number of fancy and sentimental rosaries, the ones I like to keep in my pocket and stash in my purse are the knotted rosaries.

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I especially like the ones made by Jenna at This Little Light Blog’s etsy shop. I first purchased a finger decade rosary from her and I love it. As you may recall from last Wednesday, when I was having a bad day, a decade of the rosary (or even just a Hail Mary) always helps me to calm down and regroup. Even when I can’t stop to pray sometimes just feeling it in my pocket is enough to get me to think before I explode at the boys’ antics.

bis_post_1I ordered this pretty blue one as my Advent rosary. I always try to support other Catholic moms who are running crafty businesses from their homes. Jenna is a sweetheart and I asked her a couple questions so you could get to know her better.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m 26 year old mom, wife, and school social worker living in Brandon, FL! I’m a cradle Catholic and an FSU alum, Go Noles! They have an awesome Catholic Student Union, that I was very involved in and met my husband through! I love chocolate and dancing around the bedroom with my 2 year old cutie of a son. My husband and I know more about Disney World than most people, fun facts and stuff, and can be seen there almost every other weekend! I like to have fun and meet new friends!

How did I get involved with rosary making? I learned to make them at summer camp when I was in middle school. I’ve always been crafty and it just came easy. In college, I worked for Catholic Prayer Cards (an online prayer card website) and made rosaries there too. Now that I’m a mom, I love making them to make a few extra bucks here and there.

What Is Your Favorite Advent Devotion? Not really sure what my favorite advent devotion is but I love journeying with Mary through pregnancy. I can’t imagine being 40 weeks pregnant riding so long on a donkey. And then to get to Bethlehem and no inns are available. I like to reflect on the journey that her and Joseph fought so hard to bring our perfect savior into this broken world.

Thanks, Jenna. 🙂 Visit her etsy shop at Etsy.com/shop/thislittlelightblog and check out the other rosaries she has available. (Like the basketball one for boys! I’m thinking it would make a nice St. Nick feast day gift.)

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There you have it! These four items – the Blessed Is She Advent Journal, the mini Mother of God icon, 4 lavender tea candles  and a beautiful knotted rosary (that Jenna generously donated for the give away) can be yours! The contest will run until Tuesday, November 25th, midnight. I will announce the winner on Wednesday the 26th.

Note: If you want to be assured you get a BIS Advent Journal by Advent, order one today! If you do happen to win the contest, just keep the other items and share the journal with your sister, mom or friend!

So join the fun and good luck!!

To enter the contest, click here –> A Rafflecopter Giveaway

(If you don’t like using Rafflecopter then leave a comment with “add me to the contest” and I’ll add your name to Rafflecopter as a +2 entry for leaving a comment. 🙂 )

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.  😉