This review is part of a series I’m doing about different Advent/Christmas books and resources. Some are advent activity books/packs to do with children, advent readings or Christmassy books. New signups for my Newsletter will have a chance of winning a wonderful Advent book by author Sarah Tummey.
Redeeming Advent is another Advent reading devotional. It has a wonderful subtitle: Pursuing Christ Through The Haze of Tinsel, Giftwrap and Lebkuchen.
I love how Lucy Rycroft, the author, has brought those things together. When you look at Lucy’s account, the Hope-Filled Family, you will see many references to lebkuchen. I love that kind of branding, it’s more special than brand colours, I think…
Redeeming Advent is divided up into four sections which take a week each. They all have a theme: Redeeming our home, Redeeming our Christmas celebrations, Redeeming our hearts, and Redeeming our communities. Each section covers six days, but throughout the book, Lucy makes it clear there is no space for condemnation. So if you skip a day, nobody will berate you!
Redeeming Advent has a lovely layout. Each day has a heading, then a very practical, down-to-earth message, which includes passages from the Bible. It is theme-based, rather than Christmas verse based, if you know what I mean. So each day has an Advent theme, like The ‘Now and Not Yet’ of Advent. Lucy writes about these themes and backs them up with Scripture.
The day ends with some soul-searching questions, which help you to think about the message. Those questions are practical as well and very helpful. They’re not easy but they’re plain and simple so even in all the busyness of Christmas, these are questions to mull over. The day then ends with a prayer.
Redeeming Advent has pretty long readings, but as they’re fast-paced, funny, challenging and engaging, it doesn’t take long to read. When you first see the three o so pages to read, you might feel you don’t have time. Please do read them, you’ll be amazed at how much you get out of each reading and how quickly it goes. It is so worth carving out time each day, just to read and think. December can be mad, but it’s great to have this little oasis in the midst of it all. I normally read in the evening, and it’s a lovely way to end the day, thinking about the answer to the questions, praying and challenging yourself.
Redeeming Advent has a lot to say about being a mother, but it’s done in such a way that even if you don’t have children living with you, it still has great lessons and implications, especially over Christmas when many families might struggle more than at other times. For me, those words are extra helpful, as Lucy is a fellow adoptive mum, understanding the extra stress special days will bring. Yes, Christmas is a wonderful time, but every year I promise myself that next year, we’re skipping the whole of December and moving straight from November into January… Lucy’s book helps, as it takes my eyes off what people think makes a lovely, child-focused Christmas, and makes you think a lot deeper about yourself, your family, the people around you and what Christmas should focus on.
Redeeming Advent makes a lovely gift, and if you order directly from Lucy at www.thehopefilledfamily.com she will send you a signed and gift-wrapped copy… They’re simply numbered Day 1, Day 2 etc meaning you don’t actually have to start on the 1st of December, you can, in fact, read this book anytime. Maybe perfect for friends who feel Christmas should be held in September?
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