Friends, it’s hard to believe it but Advent is finally just a few days away! I’ve been craving the holidays more in 2020 than I ever have in my lifetime, and I am leaning all the way into it.

Normally I’m a no-tree-until-Thanksgiving purist, but to heck with that this year, I say – we’re putting up our tree this week. We need it. Our souls need the visual reminder that time moves forward, the seasons cycle back again even when things are hard or strange, and that we are made to live in those life-giving rhythms.

I wrote Shadow & Light: A Journey Into Advent because I longed for a holiday guide I couldn’t find. I wanted something simple yet rich, something open-and-go yet still contemplative.

I first wrote it for my own family, but as I restructured it slightly for others, I wanted a guide that would serve both families with small children to empty nesters; those who live alone to those who live with friends. It’s perfect to read with a community, but it’s just as lovely to read on your own.

Each day provides a short reflection of a Psalm (the historic Church’s original prayer book), followed by a contemplative or discussion question, a song from the book’s playlist, and a work of art to meditate on. The book also includes a simple 101 on Advent if the ancient holiday tradition is new to you, as well as a few extras, like readings from the Gospels if that’s more your style and special readings for days like St. Nicholas’ and St. Lucia’s Day.

Take and enjoy from Shadow & Light what works for you; leave what doesn’t guilt-free. Advent is a gift, not a to-do list. For me, Advent works best when I keep it in its right place: as a scaffolding to hold time. As people, we walk through these four weeks leading up to Christmas together, one day at a time, waiting with anticipation. Advent is our permission slip to slow down and enjoy the view.

Copies have been selling rapidly but you still have time to get your copy of Shadow & Light before Advent. But you can get it after Advent begins, too… you won’t ever be late. Just start when you’re ready, as you are.

Again, head here for the book and the music and art resources for making your Advent simple but meaningful this year. I’m grateful to walk alongside you in this season.