Every year, I vow I won’t do it . . . I won’t succumb  to the insane consumerism and I’ll slow down long enough to enjoy the gift of my family. I’ll remember the reason for the season. I’ll exhale more and panic-breathe less.

And every year, there’s imperfect progress – but not enough. I still say things I don’t mean and have grand-mal tantrums over something as trivial as a Christmas tree barrette (Oh, yes I did . . . Not one of my prouder mama moments. I mean, she HAD to have the matching Christmas tree barrette to coordinate with the Christmas tree on her dress and people, she couldn’t find it!!!!)

When I became a mother, I found myself fascinated by Mary. As the mother of Jesus, she knew Him more intimately than any other person – she comforted Him when He had a skinned knee. She encouraged Him and watched Him grow and . . . she was His mom. Enough said.

So when I stumbled over Adam Hamilton’s new book,  Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem, I knew I wanted to read it.

Best yet? It’s designed to be an Advent study. Designed to be a five week, very quick and easy-read study, it’s goal is to give us perspective and help keep our focus on what matters most during a time when the world wants to pull us away from what Christmas is really all about.

Here’s the summary from Amazon:

Imagine Jesus from Mary’s point of view—proud of her son, in awe of his gifts and mission, guided by love for him as a person and so much more. In this book, Adam Hamilton begins at the end, with Mary at the crucifixion and resurrection; travels back in time as she witnesses his life and ministry; and ends at the beginning, with the Christ child born in a stable, Mary’s beautiful baby. This year, experience Advent and Christmas with Mary.

The five chapters are:

1. Beginning With the End

2. The Piercing of Mary’s Soul

3. Amazed, Astonished, and Astounded

4. Mary Full of Grace

5. It Was Not a Silent Night

Here’s how our online book studies work:

1. Each Monday starting on November 30, I’ll post an overview of the chapter we’ve read. I’ll also pose a question or two for you answer in the comment section if you want. This is optional and not required.

2. Join the Not a Silent Night Facebook group. This is where most of the interaction takes place. I am blessed to have Bethany joining me as my assistant this time around so there will be more daily interaction. As with any study, you get out what you put in. If you want to stay quiet and be on the sidelines, that’s fine. If you want to interact and participate to your heart’s content, that’s fine, too. All are welcome – we are not rigid. Whew. Click here to request to join the Facebook group.

3. On Wednesday evenings from 9 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. EST,  we’ll discuss what we’ve read the prior week in the Facebook group. All you have to do is show-up – yep, it’s that easy. If a different time zone prohibits you from joining us then, no sweat! You can answer the questions and interact on your own schedule.

4. Share this post on Facebook or any other favorite social media outlets – invite your friends!

That’s it! Super simple. We would love to have you join us – you can do so by requesting to join the Facebook group. Next you’ll want to purchase your copy of Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem then read the first chapter before the first Sunday of Advent (November 29). Our first post will be on November 30 so be sure to come back then.

Join me in slowing down this holiday season?


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