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 5.
Karen Schultz // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I love thinking about all the people who have come alongside me in my faith journey and been my “family,” even if not in the biological sense. This writing was one happy memory of that.
2) “And immediately they left their nets” (Mark 1:18).
3) Every family, however loving, has wounds that need to be worked on. So often we don’t talk about family wounds because they’re so deeply painful. And yet, we need to talk and pray about them to find that deeper healing. My hope and prayer is that this book is one step in the journey toward healing.
Anna Coyne // Writer for Blessed is She
1) The nine days I spent in the NICU with my son were some of the darkest of my life. They made me lean on my family in ways I had never needed to before. That time also made me see my family in a new way, particularly my older brother. He’s a carpenter, and mechanic, a man’s man, and to have him come into the hospital and sit and cry with me was so out of the ordinary, there was no denying the Lord’s presence with us.
2) “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her” (Luke 7:13).
3) If you’re not particularly close to your family it may not occur to you that the Lord could use your family to minister to you, or you to them. But the Lord can use any person in any situation to bring about healing. All He needs is open hearts.
Chika Anyanwu// Writer for Blessed is She
1) In light of Cornelius’ boldness, my heart was pierced when I perceived my timidity in sharing the Good News with those who are closest to me, especially my family. I sensed that God was calling me to shake off fear and live in uncompromising faith that He can use me as a witness to the gospel despite my past failures, current weaknesses, and future mistakes.
2) “Cornelius was expecting them and called together his kinsmen and close friends” (Acts 10:24).
3) I pray that the Holy Spirit enters the heart of the woman reading this Advent book and gives her knowledge of her loveliness, dignity, and strength, the restoration of her mind, soul, and body from past and present wounds, the passion of humility to create change in her life that overflows onto her family, and everlasting joy in God who is always worthy of our praise.
Elise Howe // Writer for Blessed is She
1) At the time we were writing these devotions, the Holy Spirit had recently brought to my attention what a turning point for a deeper conversion of heart meeting Him in Adoration was. I wanted to share a bit of that story with other women as an invitation of sorts to encounter our Lord in the Eucharist.
2) “You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship” (Romans 8:15).
3) I hope this book will bring about healing for the reader in the way they perceive their identity and their own belonging in God’s family as His beloved daughter, making all of us sisters.
Sarah Rose // Writer for Blessed is She
1) Honestly, were it not for the promptings of the “ask” questions I was provided with to prepare my reflection, I’m not sure what I would have written about. But when I read the question “When you are misunderstood or mistreated by family members, do you tend to react in defensiveness or respond in charity?” my mind immediately jumped to a Thanksgiving experience with my family three years ago that I am still processing and praying through. I’m working with Jesus to move past the defensiveness to charity.
2) “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
3) My biggest hope is for readers to recognize that they aren’t alone. Too often we live in isolation thinking circumstances are unique to us and that no one could understand what is weighing on our hearts. From the outside, certain families seem “perfect” and unattainable which is simply untrue. I’m convinced those thoughts are from the Enemy who wants to keep us from connecting and accompanying each other on the path to Heaven. No family has it all together and you are never alone, friend.
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett // Writer for Blessed is She
1) I was feeling a little reflective as my husband’s grandmother passed away . . . the last few months of her life left me with a lot to reflect on regarding the relationships I have and I hope to continue to have as I age.
2) “[B]ut have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).
3) I hope it helps them to have peace in seeing that strife and trouble is found in most families. What is most important is how we deal with those struggles. We can’t choose our families but we can choose how we respond to them. When we keep perspective and learn from Scripture and listen to His guidance, we can come out better for it!
Ginny Kubitz Moyer // Writer for Blessed is She
1) When I think of times I’ve seen evidence of true and perfect love, this memory always comes to mind. Sometimes death brings everything into focus.
2) “Love bears all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
3) I hope it helps them realize that their own family challenges, whatever they are, are shared by other women. It’s always so comforting to know we are not alone!
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!
We will hear from the writers of week 6 next week!