Our 2019 Advent Journal, All the Generations: From Genesis to You, is an offering written by our entire Blessed is She team! For the first time this year, we will be journeying together as a community not only through the Advent season, but through the Christmas season as well.
We want you to get to know the women who will spiritually walk by your side through these transformative seasons. In order to help you get to know the heart behind the Advent Journal, for the next several weeks, we’ll sit down with the writers for each week of Advent and Christmas.
Coffee Break with the Advent Journal Writers
Consider this a quick moment over coffee with the Advent Journals writers. We asked the writers of each week the same questions:
- Why she shared the particular story she shared in her Advent Journal writing.
- Her favorite Scripture passage from the day.
- Her hope for us all in healing we’re praying for in ourselves and our families.
Let’s hear from the writers of Week 3.
Mary Catherine Craige // Writer for Blessed is She
1) Sometimes in childhood our family experiences influence us to make distorted conclusions and believe things about ourselves, the world and God that are not necessarily true. It is important we become aware of these limiting beliefs and allow God to shine His light upon them to offer us the real truth of Who He is and who we are as well.
2) “[A]nd the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13).
3) My hope is for each reader to come to a place of healing, hope and forgiveness for whatever she has experienced within her family of origin and to experience a deep belonging in her relationship within the family of God.
Patty Breen // Writer for Blessed is She
1) It was was the first one that came to mind as I began to pray what to write about, like I was sharing a piece of my family story with all of you.
2) “Go again seven times” (1 Kings 18:43).
3) My hope is that it gives women the permission to look at all parts of their family story and history: the messy, painful, beautiful, real . . . and that God can be found and experienced in each of those.
Tricia Tembreull // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I chose to reveal my OCD and holy meddling personality to highlight the gift of Right Judgement/Counsel. We confuse this gift of the Holy Spirit with being a judgmental person and often reject interceding with friends and family when we see they straying from God. Hezekiah reminds us that holy meddling is necessary to help ourselves and others grow in virtue and holiness.
2) “It was he who removed the high places, shattered the pillars, cut down the asherah, and smashed the bronze serpent Moses had made, because up to that time the Israelites were burning incense to it” (2 Kings 18:4).
3) I pray that in a season where we place value in presents over the presence of Emmanuel, God with us, we can remove the idols that consumerism has consumed in our lives.
Annie Deddens // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I chose to share this story because I felt it was a universal wound that we could all relate to—this difficulty of forgiving and letting go. And in the past when I struggled with this, I wanted a clear way forward, and I felt that this Scripture really shows us that path which begins with prayer.
2) “Amen, amen” (Nehemiah 8:6).
3) I hope this book helps our readers to take their pain to the Lord, to show Him their wound, and to let Him work in that place in their hearts and within their families.
Jacqui Skemp // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I know that the suffering that comes from struggles with mental health is so very common, but also can leave us feeling so very alone. Whether it’s our own personal struggle or watching a loved one suffer, it can be hard to imagine that we are not abandoned by God. But He is faithful and always stays near those who are suffering.
2) “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
3) I hope that readers are able to view family healing with a long term and far sighted vision, so that the failures and set backs won’t feel so big and instead can be seen as blips on the long life journey of healing.
Christy Isinger // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I chose these familiar familial feelings to write about because it seems that they creep into my heart a lot, yet Advent and Christ’s light wishes to tell a truth to this all-too-common guilt.
2) “[M]ake his paths straight” (Luke 3:4).
3) I hope this Advent devotional helps all of us give everything over to Christ this Advent. All the areas of our lives that need healing, or simply need His light.
Blythe Fike // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I chose to talk about my own attachment to “plans” simply because I know I have so much to learn from Our Lady. Her “yes” needs to be my “yes,” every day.
2) ” . . . greatly troubled” (Luke 1:29).
3) I really hope this book helps family healing especially though the virtue of detachment. The more we can relinquish control over the things we cling to, the more we can truly love one another with a sacrificial love, and the more we love, the more we heal.
Come Pray with Us?
We cannot wait to share our stories, hear your stories, and help you find the healing that God so desires in your family this Advent and Christmas season.
If you haven’t grabbed your Advent Journal yet, you can find it here!
Week 4 writers will be shared next week!