Friday, November 23, 2018

Advent Words 2018

The Advent season is just days away. As much as I try to slow down it seems the year just flies right by! As we approach the Advent season, I'm thankful for the creative practice I have embraced over the past few years. In the midst of busyness, creative practices of faith and art help me slow down and delve deeper into the real meaning of the season, and I find my place with Christ followers over the ages in this season of hope and joy. That is the intent and hope behind the Advent Words challenges.

Join me November 30 - December 25 for Advent Words 2018 A~Z. We will begin a few days before the official start of Advent to allow for 26 days in order to go through the alphabet. At the end of this post you will find the Advent Words 2018 calendar which you can download for your personal use.

Over the years I have used a variety of ways to art journal through Advent. 

My first year, 2011, I made a journal and did a mix of paper and digital art. 

For the next few years I didn't make a dedicated journal for Advent. But I returned to that practice in 2015, when I used a vintage Rolodex and made my Advent art on Rolodex cards.

In 2016 I took an old pressboard report cover and made a journal with dutch door pages. That year I used Kris Camealy's Advent book, Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, to guide my journay through Advent.

Last year was the beginning of my Words Challenges with our first Advent Words. I altered a small book and inserted a binder mechanism to make my journal.

This year I have made a Signature Journal with a mix of watercolor paper and various types of vintage papers. Signature Journals are one of my favorite types of journals to make. I used one for our Colossians Words challenge this summer and have a class available for anyone interested in making their own.

Would you like to join me in slowing down and pausing in the midst of holiday busyness and take time to spiritually and creatively journey through Advent? Here's how you can join me:
  • I will post daily Bible study devotions, along with how I responded creatively, on this blog each day beginning on November 30. You can follow this blog by email or there will be daily links to the posts in the Words Challenge Facebook group
  • Respond with whatever creative practice you choose: art journaling, mixed media art, scrapbook, photography, digital art, poetry, creative writing, calligraphy - any way you choose! As you take in the Scripture and devotions into your heart and mind, let it sink even deeper as you practice creatively with your hands.
  • Join the Words Challenge Facebook group where you can share your art and ideas and join the conversation through the Advent season and beyond.  I host a number of Words Challenges throughout the year. Join here:
  • If you belong to the Everyday Journal group that I co-lead with Valerie Sjodin and Bernice Hopper, Advent Words will be our theme for December.
  • Share on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2018.
  • In the days before the Advent season begins reflect and prepare: choose the creative form you will use for your daily practice. Make a journal if that fits your creative form.

Click on the calendar photo for a downloadable PDF.
Words are powerful.  We use them to describe, inspire, explain, express ourselves, criticize, encourage...Words can help direct our thoughts, positively or negatively. They can tear down or build up. Join the Advent Words challenge this year and let God's Word deepen your faith and build up your spirit.


  1. I'm definitely joining you again this year, Mary, even though I'm not on FB. I will post my work on Instagram. Thank you so much for doing this. I'm getting all my gifts and mailing done so that I can just focus on His coming and this way of centering myself. I've pulled out my materials and directions from your All in All signature tutorial.Thank you...thank you!

    1. I'm so glad you are joining again this year, Shawna! What a great idea to get your shopping and mailing out of the way in advance so you can truly slow down and enjoy the season! I'm looking forward to seeing your journal and your art!

  2. Thank you, Mary! He's the reason.....

  3. I LOVE all your journals, Mary! To say that they are beautiful is an understatement. You are such a tremendously talented gift from God to the Body of Christ. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. God's Peace....Pamm <3

    1. Thank you so much, Pamm! You are always such a great encourager!