I love Advent. Like, love it. I love reading Advent books, participating in seasonal crafts, making my own countdown… I was the even unofficial ‘Advent fairy’ in my faith group a few years ago (the requirements of the job were unclear, beyond being very very excited about Advent). Along with Christmas, it is my favorite time of year. I love the process of celebrating the season and preparing for the holiday!
Regular readers also know (several times over) that I really enjoy Bible journaling. As a Christian, Bible journaling is a really fun and meaningful process for me, and a great way for me to get to know the Bible better. My posts on Bible journaling have been so well-received that I’ve been thinking about a way to share my love for Advent, creativity, and community with those of you who would care to join me. After mulling it over for a few days, I came up with the idea of an Advent Bible journaling challenge: Advent Illustrated.
The challenge will take place over the 26 days of Advent this year, from November 29th to December 24th. Each day will have a biblical verse attached to it, starting with Genesis and extending to the nativity story. There will be creative prompts for those of us who struggle with ideas (for example, a sheath of barley for the Ruth story), but each member is encouraged to interpret and illustrate the verse in their own way. Our differences are what make us beautiful!
The Advent Illustrated community will be taking place in three places.
Facebook. I have created a closed Facebook group called “Advent Illustrated” that you are all encouraged to join! Similar to my favorite Bible journaling group, Journaling Bible Community, it is a place to share your work and gain encouragement. Any updates on the challenge, as well as daily prompt reminders and creative cues, will be shared there. This is where the meat of the challenge will be happening, so please read the community guidelines and join here!
Instagram. Some of you may know that I have a second Instagram account! My primary Instagram, full of fall photos and life updates, is over at SaraLaughed; but photos of my planner and my Bible journaling work are reserved for my second Instagram, SaraLaughedCreates. On that account, I will be uploading my own responses to the daily Advent Illustrated prompts, and will be tracking the hashtag #AdventIllustrated to see your beautiful work! My posts from the week, as well as my favorite of your posts, will be featured on that account AND on…
This blog! This blog is my “home base,” where I will be sharing the full list of the season’s verses and prompts, as well as a weekly round-up of my work and my favorite of your posts from Facebook and Instagram. Posts on the Advent Illustrated challenge will be posted in the lead-up to the challenge, on the first day, and then on every Saturday of Advent.
Participating. How much you want to participate in this challenge (or not) is totally up to you! You can journal with us every day and share it all online, or you can just observe and follow along. There is no requirement.
Sharing. This is supposed to be fun! Please don’t worry about making something that isn’t ‘up to snuff.’ If you made it and it was meaningful for you, then that’s beautiful, and we want to see it! If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with the whole wide world on Instagram, then you can share it in our private Facebook group, or you can just keep it to yourself.
Courtesy and kindness. It is extremely important to me that this challenge is welcoming, inviting, and accepting for anyone who wants to join. Whether you’re new to Bible journaling or have been doing this for years; whether you’re liberal or conservative, in politics or faith; whether you’re from this denomination or that, or from no denomination at all; I want the Advent Illustrated community to be a place that is safe and welcoming for you. In order to maintain that kind of environment, we need the Facebook group and the comments on these blog posts to stay positive and encouraging. Posts that degrade, insult, or hurt each other are disrespectful and will not be accepted. Thank you for understanding!
The next step is to get yourself a journaling Bible, if you don’t have one already. To see which one I use and see my other favorite supplies for Bible journaling, you can check out this post.
I’ll be sharing the verses and prompts in coming weeks, so you can prepare before the challenge. The prompts will be uploaded to the Facebook group and to this blog. I’m so excited to be doing this, and I really hope you’ll be joining me! If you have any questions, you can comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you like Advent? Will you be participating in the Advent Illustrated challenge?