Sometimes the Advent season gets busy and the Christmas story seems over familiar. We’ve read it hundreds of times, we’ve heard Linus recite it for Charlie Brown, and perhaps you’ve even memorized parts of it yourself.
But years and schedules sometimes fog up the windows of history and we have a hard time seeing the wonder of that first Christmas in the hustle of the 21st century. We might feel a little ashamed for even thinking such a thing. Could it be that we are searching for the wonder of Christmas without looking to Christ?
Maybe what we need is a slow and thoughtful stroll through the story of the first Christmas in order to become fascinated once again.
If that sounds like something you’d like, then I have a gift for you!
I’ve written a free downloadable eBook called A Remarkable Advent: Stories of the Ordinary People God Chose to Fulfill His Extraordinary Plan.
In 25 daily readings A Remarkable Advent drapes the fabric of imagination over the framework of Scripture. Each reading includes a scripture, a devotional highlighting someone from the Christmas story, and a closing prayer.
If we slow down for a close look we might see Mary readjusting the knot on her belted waist. We might see Joseph wiping tears as he wrestles with what seems to be terrible nightmare.
This year, let’s take a fresh look at the familiar Christmas story. We will see it has always been God’s plan to use ordinary people in unfavorable circumstances to fulfill his extraordinary plan.
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Writers and Authors Say…
Shauna has created a gift for all of us as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Savior. I was captivated by the rich, historical detail that deepened my understanding of this ancient culture, and wanted to read more than a day at a time. She’s done an incredible act of service for believers and skeptics alike, and I’m so grateful. ~ Jen Babakhan, writer for Readers Digest,
With the same captivating storytelling found in her book Remarkable Faith, Shauna makes me feel like I’m reading the Christmas story for the first time. I’ve tossed dozens of Advent devotionals in the past for lack of substance, but Shauna’s beautiful book will be a resource I come back to again and again. ~ Glenna Marshall writer, speaker, and singer-songwriter.
“I am deeply touched by the way these familiar stories are masterfully retold to reach the heart. This beautiful writing speaks to the value of humble characters in the greatest Story of all time and fills me with hope that as I strive to capture the true meaning of Christmas in my family celebrations, I have this resource to return to.” ~ Emily Allen, mama of 6, founder of Kindred Mom and host of the Kindred Mom Podcast
I wasn’t even aware how desperately my soul needed A Remarkable Advent, but the hustle of the season, needs of my people, and familiarity with the Christmas story had caused me to no longer be awed by the events of so long ago that changed everything. In reading, I felt my soul reawaken to the miracle was reminded that this good God is still very much at work in my very own life. ~ Sarah Sandifer, writer, military wife, and mama.
Shauna’s warm invitation into the Christmas story fills my soul with wonder and delight. I love the way she brings each theme to life with details, nuances and colors I haven’t noticed before.” ~ Dorina Lazo Gilmore, mama of 3, children’s writer, speaker, and author of Glory Chasers.
This is for readers who like to be transported in time to better understand the characters, culture, and times in which the Christmas story took place. Shauna does an outstanding job of bringing the stories of ordinary people to life. ~ Janelle Upton, writer, blogger, wife, and mama.
“I was reminded that from the beginning God’s timing has been His and not ours. He takes the dreams we cling to and exchanges them for something much better!” ~ Tara Dickson, widow, mama, children’s author and blogger at Bruised but not Broken
“I was blessed to receive a copy of A Remarkable Advent. With daily Scripture readings and the story of Advent in story form, the Bible came alive. I love this already and can’t wait to dig into it again during Advent.” ~ Carol Graft, writer and book reviewer
Shauna brings the familiar Christmas story to life through skillful storytelling and scriptural insights. This book is sure to help prepare one’s heart for the Christmas season. ~ Hope Dover, writer, blogger, wife and mama.
Since my kids were little, we have presented the Christmas story. Keeping the story fresh can be challenging as our ears are often dulled by repetition. Shauna’s biblical perspective will add new meaning to our celebration this year. ~ Gretchen Garrison, homeschool mom of 4; author of Detour Nebraska, curator of “Odyssey Through Nebraska” and “The Sacred Line.”
My thoughts while reading this beautifully written retelling of the Advent events: If God is working on Elizabeth’s story to bring her His love out of her human feelings of disappointments and doubt, He is certainly working on mine too. If God allows Mary, the mother of his son, to feel shame and loneliness, He values me and my human brokenness too. I cherish Shauna’s words revisiting the faithful yet very human people and stories so important to God’s plan for sending his Son to earth. They will set your heart once again on Christ, not just Christmas.” ~ Tami
A Remarkable Advent caused me to carefully contemplate the details leading up to the birth of a baby that would forever change the world! God whispered to my heart through His word how much He loved me and is in every detail and circumstance of my life, drawing me ever nearer to my Savior.” ~ LeAnn
I was so blessed to be able to drown out the secular trappings of Christmas and tune in to SA Remarkable Advent. She made the characters of the Christmas story come alive in a fresh, vibrant way with application to life here and now. Thank you, Shauna!” ~ Ginny
I loved A Remarkable Advent! Shauna’s retelling of the Christmas story puts everyday flesh on the biblical characters and makes them easy to relate to.” ~ Pearl
A Remarkable Advent ‘humanized’ the stories of Christmas for me and fostered thoughtful consideration of the people who lived out such miraculous events in the mundane normality of everyday life. I was easily transported to that Biblical world and imagined myself being an observer and friend at that time. As I related those ancient events to my life today, it helped me understand and appreciate the miracles that abound all throughout the Christmas story. Those miraculous events happened to and were lived out by very normal people, a true testament to God’s incredible love for them and us.” ~ Kathie