“Isn’t there someone who speaks Haitian Kreyol on this airplane who can just explain it to her?” Several rows behind us, an irritated traveler was demanding I find some way to silence my newly adopted five-year-old daughter, Claudine, who was screaming at the top of her lungs. My face burned, and my eyes filled with tears as I desperately tried to calm her. Nothing was working. I urgently whispered to her in Kreyol, explaining that the mandatory seatbelt across her lap was there for her protection.
It was futile. She had never worn a seatbelt, never been on an airplane. All she knew was that strangers had strapped her down in her seat. It was the final terror in one of the most traumatic days of her life. In the previous twelve hours, she had lost everything and everyone she had ever known. Nothing in her new world smelled the same, looked the same, or tasted the same. When two pale strangers, who kept calling themselves her parents, strapped her into her seatbelt for the flight from Miami to Nashville, it was too much.
On and on she wailed at the top of her lungs, fighting to break free. Out of ideas, out of courage, and out of strength, I held her baby sister, Roseline, against my chest and tried to stave off my own meltdown.
Then suddenly, from her seat between her Dad and the window, my daughter reached for me, her eyes wide with fear. And when she did, she called me “Mama” for the first time.
“Maman! M’bezwen ou!” she screamed. Mama! I need you!
I choked back a sob as my husband switched seats with her. I gently strapped her in beside me and pulled her close. “Shh . . . shhh . . . ” I whispered. “C’est bon. C’est bon. M’wen la. M’wen la…”
It is okay. It is okay. I am here. I am here.
She leaned into me, and gradually, her sobs quieted. A few minutes later exhaustion claimed her, and she drifted off to sleep.
Wearily, I lay my head back against the headrest and tried to absorb the truth that after years in the adoption process, we were finally bringing our daughters home. It was two weeks before Christmas, but the celebration of the season still felt far away. Instead, I felt Advent, the season of waiting and longing that comes before Christmas, deep in my soul.
For so long, I had prayed, wept, and begged for God to bring our adoption to completion. And still the months and years stretched on through holidays and birthdays, milestones and setbacks. Through occasional updates and photos, I painfully watched my girls grow up from thousands of miles away. Those years of waiting had been so long, so painful, that it was difficult to imagine joy on the other side. Now, my girls were on their way home.
The flight reached cruising altitude and the flight attendants dimmed the lights. A few of the other passengers looked over at my sleeping daughters in my arms and offered kind smiles before closing their eyes to rest too. I was as tired as I had ever been in my life, but I stayed awake, simply watching the two small miracles wrapped in my arms.
I didn’t know it then, but as I left one season of waiting behind on Haiti’s shores, I was entering another one in the hills of Tennessee. The lessons I learned during those years were bittersweet. I learned to wait for my daughters’ trust, and for their wounded hearts to heal. I waited for the storm of grief and loss to still. I waited for them to accept me as their mother.
When our airplane touched down in Tennessee, there was plenty of fresh wailing. My babies screamed in fear when the toilet flushed automatically in the airport bathroom. They fought with tears and rage when we wrapped them in coats to introduce them to winter for the first time. They howled when we strapped them into more seatbelts for the ride home.
But when we finally pulled into our driveway, the world was quiet, peaceful, still.
When I led Claudine into her new home for the first time, Christmas tree lights wrapped the room in a soft glow. I sat down on the sofa, the baby sleeping against my chest, and watched Claudine timidly check out her new surroundings. She walked over to a doll carriage, left next to the fireplace by her new older sister, and carefully lifted a doll from the seat.
“Belle,” she whispered in awe.
And I felt Advent, the season of waiting, down deep in my soul. Christmas is about celebration, but Advent is about giving space for the hard places in which we still wait for deliverance.
Christmas shouts for joy. Advent weeps and waits, in hope, that though the night is dark, the Prince of Peace is on His way.
Advent: The Story of Christmas traces God’s ribbon of redemption – from Eden to Jerusalem – via thirty-one biblical stories. Sherri’s unique storytelling, infused with cultural accuracy and color, has been described as “Bible stories for adults.” Her narrative style offers a fresh perspective on the lives of God’s people, both ancient and modern. Advent: The Story of Christmas will enrich personal devotional time and can guide group discussion during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
We love Advent, and we want to help you welcome this season by giving away FIVE copies of Sherri’s book! Leave a comment with some Advent traditions you celebrate or that you’d like to start celebrating.
Giveaway ends 11/10 at 11:59pm CST and is open to US and Canada only.
Christmas is about celebration, but Advent is about giving space for the hard places in which we still wait for deliverance. -@SherriGragg: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Thank you for sharing just a glimpse of your redemption story…beautiful! One of my favorite Advent traditions is reading Ann Voskamp’s book, “The Greatest Gift”. It’s a soul-stirring daily Advent devotional. Each devotion has a paper ornament and after I read the devotion, I hang the ornament on my little, table-top, Jesse tree. My husband watched me do this for a couple years and then, he too, joined in the tradition and now it’s a beautiful way for us to start our days together in the Advent season. I would love to win a copy of your book in order to prepare my heart for His amazing coming.
This so beautifully tells of the advent season…. of longing and expectation. Bless you and your family during this holiday season!
Beth Williams says
Such a heartwarming story. It can be scary to go from what you know to something completely different. Those girls are blessed to have you & hubby for parents. They will feel the love they deserve. I haven’t thought about Advent in years. One thing we will do this year is devotionals. Getting our hearts ready for the coming Christ’s birthday. My pastor’s wife always bakes a cake for Christmas. Her way of saying Happy Birthday Jesus. I will play many Christmas songs & dwell on that first Christmas in Bethlehem. What it must have been like to be a young unmarried girl pregnant & travel on donkey for many miles. Then to have to spend the night in a smelly barn stall. Some deep thinking going to happen this year.
One song I love is “Leaving Heaven” by Matthew West. He talks about a dark world needing some light. He is leaving the splendor of Heaven for you tonight. That is how much He loves us.
Sherri Gragg says
I will add this song to my Advent- The Story of Christmas Spotify playlist. Thanks for the recommendation!
Lisa Derrick says
What a beautiful story. I have been searching for the right advent book – thank for introducing me to this book!
Jennifer Haren says
We started a new tradition last year of nightly candle lighting and advent reading with our children. It is definitely something we’re doing again this year. They have all brought it up during this past year as something they can’t wait to do again.
One of my favorite parts of advent is sitting in my living room every night before I go to bed, tree lit up, soft music playing and pausing in the quiet 🙂
Kristy Lynn says
Kristine this sounds perfect!
Growing up, I was a big fan of the chocolate advent calendars! My daughter just turned two, and I am excited for the new traditions that we will start together.
Marian Frizzell says
The year our first son was born, my mother-in-law made us a felt advent calendar like the one my husband used every year growing up that had daily devotional for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. We got to spend Christmas with them two years ago and I loved that they were still using their advent calendar with their at home teenagers while we were using ours with our toddlers—and still the scriptures spoke powerfully of the gospel even with such a wide age spread. When we had to evacuate our home last year, the advent calendar was one of the few Christmas items I kept out of storage, so this year it is one of our very few decorations. I am looking forward to our nightly meeting of souls as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth together again.
Thank you for sharing about the felt advent calendar that your mother-in-law made for your family. What a blessing it is that you still have it after having to evacuate your home! I was wondering if there is a source (pattern) for this calendar with the 25 days leading up to Christmas? I would love to share this experience with my grandchildren! Thanks!
Elsa Seidel says
Nancy, you might want to check on Amazon for felt Advent calendars to make; also Etsy. Elsa
Marian Frizzell says
Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays and Special Occasions https://www.amazon.com/dp/0943497361/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_KbBXDb4Z6TBSJ
This is the book we do for our advent readings that has a template for the felt tree.
Gennie Shelor says
Thanks for sharing this story! For our Advent this year we will be reading the Jesse Tree and putting up ornaments we’re preparing with a few friends.
I love Advent, the season of waiting. I feel that you can’t really experience Christmas joy without walking through Advent. We light the Advent wreath at dinner and share what we are grateful for. We also reach out to friends and family with little gifts of time and kindness.
“Christmas shouts for joy. Advent weeps and waits, in hope, that though the night is dark, the Prince of Peace is on His way.”
Amen! In so many ways in my life journey this quote holds true.
Thank you for the beautiful story of waiting, growing, trusting and HOPE realized!
Sherri Gragg says
Thank you, Connie. Our Prince of Peace is on his way!
What a beautiful story! I love all the lights, music and everything about the Christmas season, including my Christmas reading. For the past few years I have decorated less and less and simplified the activities. It was out of necessity, but I found that it allowed me to focus on the more important. This year my husband and I have been reading through the Bible together, following a one-year reading plan. It has been wonderful. I think this would be a good addition to our reading time together.
Olivia C says
I usually begin some devotional in preparation for the season. I’ve particularly loved the NewVersion Bible app for finding new plans each year. The last couple years, advent has been the season where I really starting preparing for and praying a bit a mission trip I’ve done the past couple Januarys.
Cindy Childers says
Two years ago I started doing Ann Voskamp’s Advent book for children (And Adults!) My 3 kiddos loved it so so much. I am always looking for Advent books and stories to share daily alongside my children. Cindy xx
Donna Henry says
When our children were young we did Advent readings at the dinner table most nights. Since they’ve grown and left home, my husband and I have become accustomed to adding Advent readings into our own personal devotional time. It would be so lovely to have something to do together this season. This is a beautiful book. It makes me look forward to the coming season!
Michele Morin says
Oh, Sherri, what a story! And Advent celebrations here in our home have rescued Christmas for me every year by giving me time to settle into the beautiful truth. My best memories center around a silly tradition of hiding the three wisemen from a tiny nativity every day until finally, on Epiphany, they find their way to Jesus. Maybe that tradition resonates for me because of the struggle we enter every single year to find our own way to the heart of Christmas.
We usually drove around our neighborhood to see the lights.
Beautiful story of the tension always present in redemption and change.
My nativity scene is a constant. I put it out in stages.
Sherri Gragg says
Love this idea. ❤️
Nancy Grace says
Your quote “Advent is about giving space for the hard places in which we still wait for deliverance” could not be more timely in my life as I wait for my divorce from an unhealthy marriage to be finalized. It will be the first Christmas my 5 children and I attempt to find new traditions as we redefine our family. In the past, we have done the traditional family activities like having advent devotions around the breakfast table, decorating the house and tree with Christmas music in the background, opening an advent calendar each day, baking cookies…all wonderful memories but in the context of trying to be a Christian family on the outside while hurting on the inside. In spite of my husband living in the house until our divorce is final, my children and I are facing the reality of a toxic environment in which we have survived and are beginning to heal. This year I am hoping to help them sense God’s “withness” even in the hard places when full freedom to be their true selves is not yet but can be in the safety of His unconditional love. So my heart is to navigate my family through the grieving process of not having the family they thought we were supposed to be and into the arms of a loving Father who gave His Son as an invitation to be part of His family where they do belong. Whatever the new tradition and no matter the outcome of another holiday, accepting “what is”, being present, and entrusting our hearts to His will make the deliverance well worth waiting for!
Your words really touched my heart. I pray God uses you to help many people. I pray that God brings you comfort and peace. I am sorry that you have had to walk this road. God has good things for you and your children as you seek him for guidance. God I pray a special blessing for this family this year for Christmas.
Lora Leftwich says
Nancy Grace- I pray for utter and complete healing of your (and your children’s and your husband’s) brokenness. Like you said, this is a difficult season of waiting for you. You can know this to be true because of the hard spaces you currently find yourself in. God is moving you toward a better future though. Sure, it may not look like what you once imagined, and it may even seem a little weird at times, but He has already imagined your future for you, so go with it. He has a plan.
Use this season when the world advents together over the birth of Christ to claim Him ever so boldly. Declare what it is that He has already accomplished on your behalf. Everyday celebrate His goodness and the future He has laid out before you. Let love, His and yours, be your guiding light. Ask how might I love today, Lord? Keep running back to Him for fill ups, for this type of advent is more than a daily story, it’s a beautiful way to literally wait out your future. Hugs and prayers to you and yours. May the perfect peace of God rest upon you and wrap you up like a warm, cozy blanket.
Sherri Gragg says
Great news- my girls have now been home for 14 years this Advent and…they are amazing.
Strong. Beautiful. Kind. I could not be prouder and I love them to pieces. ❤️
Sherri Gragg says
Christ’s Peace to you and your babies, friend.
My heart is broken with yours, Nancy Grace!! So much “waiting” in hard places!! But God!! He promises never to leave or to forsake!! And there is truly “Healing in His Wings”! I pray His Peace that passes all understanding, even in the turmoil of the HARD PLACES, will invade your spirit, your soul, & your home in this soon-coming Holy Season!! And that His Peace will come to stay as you honor & worship Him!! I am listening much to the Christian song “Defender” currently! These lyrics “All I did was praise; all I did was worship; all I did was bow down; all I did was stay still.” speaks so potently to all our needs!! Multiplied Blessings!!
Jackie L. says
I would love to adopt one day and this story just touched me. I feel the Lord is telling me to prepare to wait and abide in Him through the process. Thank you for sharing your experience. God bless your family!
As I walk through a season of waiting in my own life, I love this reminder of Advent. Growing up we celebrated Advent as a family and i have found memories of us sitting around the dinner table as we read, sang and lit the candles. Decades later I started a weekly tradition with my girlfriends to do the same. Each year, I try to carve out time to reflect on the One who came.
Janet Williams says
Thank you Sherri. I felt as though I was in the airplane, the airport, the car and finally in your home with you. Blessings to you and your family.
I wish I could say we celebrate more of the advent than that of the “holiday” of Christmas. That is slowly changing though. As a born again Christian, fairly new grandmother and mother-in-law, I want the memories and the stories to be more about Jesus. To have Jesus in the middle, not just the Christmas tree…lol. I want to pass along to those precious kiddos more about the advent. I want to learn more about the advent so I can do just that. Luckily I’m surrounded by woman and wonderful Pastor’s that can answer my questions and guide me.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.
Missy Robinson says
I do think we often miss the longing and waiting of advent with our quick-to-decorate and be merry moods that make our Christmases so commercial. Your words described well the paradox of challenge butted up against the triumph of arrival.
Our traditions include gingerbread baking and and advent calendar, along with a cross-country road trip to visit the grandparents. It’s our favorite time of year!
Thank you so much for your story! What a blessing to hear it! I have been in a season of waiting for 12 years. I have never looked at it as a season of Advent. I do love Advent. I have never had a tradition for it. I would love to start a tradition of doing Advent by candlelight. I have been to one & it just wasn’t what I expected. It was not intimate or relaxing. It could be because it was their first one they have put on. Thank you for sharing your story!
Thank you for your words. Waiting is hard but the blessing that comes behind it. We will be waiting for something all of our life. I thank God that even when we don’t understand his timing he knows what is best always. If we trust him we learn a lot in the waiting time . If we trust him to make it happen in his time. I love every thing about Christmas. This year is excited I’ve been waiting for a long time and God open some doors for me. I have my first book coming out next week Christmas devotional that I am a publisher in. 10 ladies from Different states got to get it to write this Devotional. My prayer is that God will use it to bless many to bring healing and comfort.
Megan L. says
Thank you for sharing this story. I’ve never done much for Advent, but the last couple years I’ve been trying to read devotionals that point me to Jesus and remind me of all He has done for each one of us. It’s hard to sometimes remember the reason we celebrate Christmas when we get carried away with all the hustle and bustle of life, but truly, without Christ there would be nothing to celebrate. I try to remember that truth and be more conscious of focusing on Him this time of year.
Missy Scudder says
Your story gripped me.
Waiting in the hard can be So so difficult
Like the 450 quiet years between the old and new testaments.
Life can be so traumatizing at times.
I am in the middle of a quiet season- that at 67, know won’t last. BUT I long for the season of hope that Advent brings. The waiting is hard but the result is JESUS. And NOTHING beats the hope of Christ!!
Lesa Brackbill says
We are just starting to create advent traditions with our 18 month old twins. This year we will wrap 25 Christmas books and have them open one each day until Christmas to create anticipation.
Yes I am in the waiting season and trust God to deliver the reconciliation of our 3 adult children and families again
I celebrate Jesus every day every where and know He too had a hard time waiting for God’s plan to be fulfilled! He is the reason and advent.(ure) awaits for everyone who waits for Him Beautiful & tearfully read post! Merry Christmas to you and your family
My Advent would be to take time everyday and sit with the Lord. As everyone my world is filled with many issues that are stressful.
Sitting with Lord would be a dream…to allow myself those moments to wait for His arrival.
Blessings to you and you family.
Julie A says
I have several Advent traditions, all surrounding waiting and counting down the days til Christmas. I make a countdown in my planners, using stickers, words, and colors, another is a stocking with the countdown numbers that you move an object each day into little pockets. Also, it is a time of preparation, we give gifts from an Advent Angel to others in need at my church. My favorite is lighting each Advent candle in anticipation of the birth of our Savior.
Kristy Lynn says
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! The joy in creating a warm environment as we lead up to Christmas Day. Christmas music is a big part of the waiting, the truths found in so many Christmas songs prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming birth of the Messiah. We have an advent wreath and follow along with the tradition of doing the advent readings on the Sundays leading up to Christmas. And for fun we always pick up the chocolate advent calendars as well, even with my daughters being 19 and 25 this year.
Lora Leftwich says
Advent- the season of waiting, has unique meaning for me and my family this year. We are reluctantly awaiting the day when we’ll gather around a beautifully set table before moving to a brightly lit tree, decorated with unique tokens commemorating the most memorable occasions we’ve enjoyed together up to this point. It’s different because we’re also making space and working up the courage to say goodbye to two of our dearly beloved family members. Every day that passes is a day closer to the moment when Jesus will extend His scarred hands to lift them up out of their wheelchairs and into His Holy embrace and it’s bittersweet.
As for my grandmother, her advent is about the instant her amputated legs will be made whole again and her soul will dance for Jesus in eternity. Her joy is approaching fast and she’s spending her days preparing for the exact moment when He smiles and says, “Come Naomi.”
As for my Pop, his advent is simply to stand without pain and have clarity of mind. He might even dare to walk, or better yet run, without the debilitating arthritic pain he has endured for the past two decades or the ill-effects left by recent strokes. His joy is also approaching quickly, and he’s ready to grasp the Savior’s outstretched hand now.
So you see, advent for us is still about awaiting the celebration of Jesus’ birth in the usual fashion, but it’s also about the hope we find in death, his and ours. Earth speaks lies declaring death as the end by diseases like cancer and dementia, but Heaven is shouting Glory Hallelujah! and Life Eternal! by the blood of the risen redeemer, our Sweet Baby Jesus, the reason for our season! Christmas is a harder than usual space to maneuver this year, but it’s also so a very beautiful one.
Thank you for the gift of your writing! As a child, we attended Advent services mid-week during the season. And we always had an Advent wreath. I would like to resume those traditions, though my children all live far away.
Linda P. says
“Christmas shouts for joy. Advent weeps and waits, in hope, that though the night is dark, the Prince of Peace is on His way.”
This. That really stood out to me in this article. I became aware of the waiting part though a devotional I did last December. This sentence made it so real combined with the story of your adoption.
Thank you for sharing this.
Sherri Gragg says
Thank you, Linda Christ’s peace to you…
Kathy Wilshire says
We have never formally celebrated Advent but I have done a coupe of Advent devotions in the past. I need this in this season of my life.
K Ann Guinn says
Thanks for sharing your real and beautiful Advent love story.
As for Advent traditions, I guess the thing I’m learning most is how to let go of some of the things. You see, I grew up in a Christian home where we LOVED Christmas, mostly of course because of the true love story of Jesus coming to save us, but also every little tradition and detail. After I married I worked hard to continue doing all of the holiday activities, but wore myself out every year. My husband kept telling me it was OK to let things go, but the problem is, I didn’t WANT to. I loved it all, even the late night/early morning baking and finishing wrapping of the gifts.
But I’m finally learning that I must let go of some of these good and fun and meaningful traditions each year in order to care for myself, in order to not miss out on the real and wonderful meaning of the season in my busyness. One of the best lessons I learned was simply that just because I don’t do a certain Christmas tradition one year, it doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. I simply have to pick and choose what is important and possible each year, and decide to be satisfied with that.
Oh, and for the past few years, my own little, quiet, soul-refreshing tradition is the listen to one of Emily P. Freeman’s short but inspirational readings each morning from her Quiet Collection for Christmas. It’s exactly what I need to balance out the busyness and noise of the season.
Since a divorce and moving to Tennessee seven years ago, the traditions are few and far between. But the last several years, mom and I usually attend a candlelight chorale at a different church location each year. We go out to eat beforehand with my dad and just the two of us attend the concert. Dad isn’t too keen on music performances.:) We usually go to a Christmas event held at the convention center each year as well. These are small things that our family who serves full-time in ministry can do while fitting in everything else for Christmas. This year I am out of the house, so I hope we keep these traditions. I will also be helping my church serve refreshments during the Christmas parade in my new city. So I guess I have some new traditions to look forward to as well with a new church family as of 2019.:) Thanks for the opportunity to win.
Heather P. says
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Last year I got the Advent candles and will start going through the story with my kids each year. I never celebrated Advent growing up, but I really appreciate it now.
Adrienne Maples says
My children have a nativity scene that we read a coordinating book with and add a piece to the scene each night. We also have a “recorded” “Night Before Christmas” that my husband’s mother made for the kids before she passed away. It is AMAZING to hear her sweet voice reading to them each Christmas Eve. We will treasure it forever!
We would love to add a new tradition in the advent season with this beautiful book!
Oh the love, hope and joy your post brings to us. Every good season seems to be surrounded by difficulties! So thankful that God is walking through with us, even holding us as you held your daughters. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for this wonderful story … I am looking forward to advent. A time of reflection & yes, I am waiting for Gods mercy & compassion as I too have waited for my prayers of justice to be answered. I am in my seventh year. The year of Jubilee.
Many Blessings! ❤️⚓️✝️
Susan Magoon says
Seeing the cover of the book for the first time I was so struck with the image and the phrase “Giving Space the Hard Places”. This year after what felt like a life time, my spirit is so peaceful, a feeling I never had imagined would be mine. I had been waiting for Deliverance, I knew would come in God’s time. For 10 years I tried desperately to keep my husband alive through endless battles of cancer and such promising remissions. It took the strength of me but not the life out of me. This years marks the 3rd Christmas season I am entering since his passing. Preparing to my surprise to marry a kind gentle devout Christian Man to start to the New Year. Still Hard Places I am journeying, to move in to the promising future,with my teenage daughter and son, to carry on Gods plan for us together as a new family.
Dorothy Shufelt says
Every year, since my grown children were little, I place a small manger scene under the Christmas tree. This was a way to draw their attention to the real reason of Christmas as He is God’s gift to us.
Just a few years ago, my sweet 3 yr. old grandson helped his Papa and I decorate our tree. I placed a manger scene under the lowest branches. He (Lucas) laid down on his stomach and placed a bright, pretty ornament next to the baby Jesus in the manger. (Always ready with my cell phone in hand for picture taking) I asked him about the ornament. “That is my present for baby Jesus, Nanny,”
My heart swelled as tears filled my eyes. From the heart of a tiny boy as he placed his elbows on the hardwood floor, cupped his chin with his hands, and just admired the manger scene.
I have only recently developed a deep love for Advent in the last couple of years, and one of the ways that I have grown to love this season is through reading another Advent devotional by Ann Voskamp. I also really enjoy picking a reading plan through the Bible app – it’s a perfect way to turn my heart and thoughts to Jesus in this season when I am busy and on the go!
Thank you for sharing your story Sherri. It’s a beautiful reminder of God’s love and redemption that you’re living out.
Nancy Ruegg says
Oh, my, what an Advent season that must have been–experiencing the celebration with fresh perspective from Claudine’s point of view, and with overwhelming gratitude that your prayers had finally been answered, as a pre-Christmas gift. A Christmas custom I especially appreciate began with my husband’s parents when he was a boy: reading the Christmas story from Luke and closing with prayer, just before opening gifts. In addition, they took turns, one person opening one gift while the rest of the family watched, celebrating with the recipient whatever was in the package. Around the circle, everyone opened one gift in like manner until the pile under the tree was depleted. I love that custom too, and we’ve carried it on for 48 years!
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful redeeming Advent story of receiving your precious precious ones. Thank you for writing this beautiful Advent book. Such a lovely gift to give to loved ones and friends this Christmas. Thank you for sharing His journey of yours truly a privilege to read.
Precious advent traditions having the privilege to watch my sweet daddy read the Christmas story from the book of Luke to his precious grandchildren. Another, each year unwrapping two of our most cherished favorite Christmas keepsakes, a precious handmade advent wreath delicately wrapped and adorned with birthday candles for each Sunday and our family’s favorite sweetly hand painted wooden manger and nativity each, made by one of our precious daughters our oldest graduated college in May and our youngest a sophomore in high school.
Thank you so much, Christmas blessings to your beautiful family.
Loved your story and your book sounds wonderful. Our family traditions keep changing as our boys grow up. The Christmas season always has me feeling lost and empty. I know God, but he oddly seems farther away from me that time of year when he should feel closer. I’m feeling drawn to your book.
I’ve been reading an advent book for the past 3 Christmases to prepare my own heart for Christmas. It has a chapter for each day of the month. I’d love to add this to my reading.
Loved this! And “Bible stories for adults”! I would love to read this book!
Blessings to you and yours during this thankful season!
Carol Graft says
What a beautiful story. Our church doesn’t observe Advent and I’m not super traditional about it. But I do enjoy reading Advent books and devotionals. When the children were younger we would read through Arnold Ytreeide’s advent stories. Still some of my favorites. My daughters, grown now and married were sort of joking that they needed to host Christmas story time. The books came up in our Bible study discussion and their spouses were unfamiliar with it. I also like to read Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” aloud to the family or just on my own.
It wasn’t until recently that I was aware of Advent and I’m still learning what that means and how I can dive deeper and study God’ words and promises through it. Thank you
CeeJae Myers says
Advent is new to us in our family. I look forward to learning more and develop advent traditions with our two new adopted kiddos from Eastern Europe…
Hilda Soares says
Bless you for Sharing a bit of your journey with us. May God bless you and your family this Advent as you wait on Him. ♡
My family has had a tradition of spending a few quiet moments together each week we light the Advent candles in our home. During this time we reflect on all the good blessings and the times of trial where we overcame and grew from those difficulties. In the end we give thanks for it all as we wait in anticipation of the Coming of Our Lord. ♡
Julie Woodman says
Advent is one of my favorite seasons. Our family has an advent wreath on our table that we light at our shared meals. We also have a Jesse tree. We read Ann Voskamp’s Greatest Gift along with our Jesse tree ornaments
We have an Advent/ Lenten tradition of using a beautiful oak set created by Ann Voskamp’s son. It has changeable pieces to display either 24 or 40 candles. For Advent, there is a carved piece of Mary with Child on a donkey. And for Lent, there is a carved piece of Jesus carrying His Cross. It has become the featured piece in our home in each Holy Season. I love using it for Advent, the Waiting Season, as we advance toward the birth of the Gift of our Saviour from all oppression & heartbreak, our Saviour from Sin & Death! Thank you for sharing your story, Sherri! It brings Truth & Hope to what it is to be in the Waiting Room of God!! Blessings & Prayers for you & your sweet Littles!!
We do not have any current traditions for advent season but would like to focus more on the process leading up to Christmas.
As I have grown older I find I look forward to the waiting of Advent as the highlight of the year. I burn blue candles and read Advent devotionals and remember to wait for God’s time.
Alana Morgan says
Sherri thank you for sharing your story…my tears sat at the edges of my eyes as I read the entire passage.
My advent tradition is to participate in a few advent studies/devotions. I am amazed how each successive year the Story of His coming is simply magnificent again and again and again.
Merry Christmas to you and yours
Charissa Galbraith says
Sherri, your words undid me until the tears were just pouring out. I discovered Advent shortly before graduating high school through a book of Advent readings and promptly convinced my family that we had to have an Advent wreath and gather by the fireplace to do the readings and light the candles each week. I would have preferred gather daily but it was hard enough to get everyone together once a week! Each year, this was what I most looked forward to doing, far more than the celebrations of Christmas Day. I guess my heart somehow knew even then, that all the longing and pain were wrapped up into the Greater Story of waiting for our full redemption to come and all those tears to be forever wiped away. As I have found myself separated from those I most love due to illness and more, I have done my best to do my own Advent readings from various books and Scripture, while lighting my own Advent wreath. I have spent the past four Christmases alone, and Advent is what carries me through. So grateful for all you shared and for this book you I know you must have poured your heart into.
Sandy Brister says
Beautifully written story here about how even Christmas blessings can be hard transitions to the path of hope. Would love to have this book as a resource as I prepare Advent sermons..,
Penny Cobb says
This is something new to me. I no longer have children in my home but I would love to start something like this with my grandchildren. This book would be an awesome gift for my daughter.
What a beautiful & real story!
Thank you for sharing it including all the trials & tribulations.
I feel most blessed having read it.
Donna Duerr says
God has prepared wonderful things for us. Love this story. I like to make handmade Christmas cards during Advent.
Karen Bessette says
This year I would like to use your devotional to start a new tradition in our home of reading a devotion every day. It will fit in beautifully with our other traditions of attending church weekly as our church lights the advent candles every Sunday of advent, listening to the reading of the Christmas study from the Gospel of Luke as we attend the White lights celebration at Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Ma and attending our church’s annual Christmas eve service where the little children of our church act out the Christmas story in an amazing way. Whether I win your devotional or not I will be using it this advent. God bless you for writing it!
Ruth Mills says
Four years ago was our first Christmas without my Mom. We don’t have kids of our own and schedules for traveling to other relatives’ just didn’t fit. We got home from Christmas Eve worship & got into our PJs in which we stayed until Dec 26th. A PJ day was & is our new favorite way to wallow together in a day of thanksgiving of the greatest gift ever. It’s the refreshing deep breath to focus on the essentials & not be scurrying for all the trimmings. This year we will introduce my newly widowed Dad-in-love to our PJ day with a bit more cooking than just the 2 of us have done. Growing up my Dad read Luke 2 as soon as the breakfast dishes were done & before the first gift was opened. My husband loved that tradition & adopted it for our household 31 years ago. Looking forward to sharing it with his Dad this year as well.