Happy Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! Today is an occasion to celebrate Mary in her aspect as “La Virgen Morena” (The Brown-skinned Virgin) who appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico in the sixteenth century and became beloved as the Patroness of the Americas. I have a reflection on Our Lady of Guadalupe and invite you to visit it during this day of celebration: The Day of the Lady.
We have passed the halfway point of the Advent season. How is your Advent path unfolding? I’m finding this a good occasion to stop and take a deep breath. I invite you to join me in taking some time to look back at the season past and to do some dreaming about the days that lie ahead. As you reflect on the season so far, what do you notice? As you contemplate the time between now and Christmas, what do you hope for? What might you need to do—or not do—in order to have the season and the Christmas Day you desire?
As we take a deep Advent breath together, I have a few things on my mind that I want to share with you.
BLOG SUBSCRIPTIONS: At the beginning of the season, I added an option in the sidebar that enables folks to subscribe to The Advent Door and receive these blog posts via email. I used Feedburner to set this up and subsequently found there were a couple of problems with the way that Feedburner manages emails, the most troublesome being that for some folks, depending on your email host, the blog post is squashed together in a continuous block of text, with no breaks for paragraphs or poems, which has a big impact on readability. I’m happy to say that my blog service now offers email subscriptions (they began doing this just days after I had set things up with Feedburner-!), and they seem to handle the formatting splendidly. I have switched over to their subscription service.
I am grateful to everyone who has signed up to receive these Advent reflections by email. If you signed up before last Thursday afternoon (December 8), you signed up via Feedburner, and I would like to move you over to the new subscription service. If you would simply sign up again, using the new sign-up form at The Advent Door (near the top of the sidebar), that would be great. Once you’ve done this, I’ll delete your address from the Feedburner list and will close out that account once everyone has switched over. I’m sorry for the minor hassle but really appreciate your taking a moment to do this so that I can serve you better.
And if you haven’t signed up to receive these reflections by email, I’d be delighted for you to do so!
BOOKS: It’s not too late to order books for Advent and Christmas! I have some copies of my book Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas still available and would be pleased to send them your way. My new eBook, Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas, is available on Amazon as a Kindle book. You don’t have to have a Kindle e-reader in order to enjoy the book; you can download a Kindle app to your iPad, iPhone, computer, etc. It’s been great to hear from folks who have done this in order to read this book. And my book In the Sanctuary of Women, just published last year, makes a good gift for yourself and others. For more info on all these books and to place an order, visit the Books page on my main website.
AN ARTFUL YEAR: During this season I’m offering a festive discount at my website Jan Richardson Images, which makes my artwork available for use in worship, education, and other settings. Through Epiphany Day (January 6), an annual subscription (which gives you unlimited downloads) is 125 smackeroos (normally $165). Visit subscribe to check it out. (Single images are always available as well.)
ART PRINTS: All the images at Jan Richardson Images—including the artwork from The Advent Door, my blog The Painted Prayerbook, and my books—are available as art prints. There’s still time to ship prints for Christmas! Once you’re on the images website, go to any image you’d like and scroll down to “Prints & Products” to place an order.
GRATITUDE: I am tremendously thankful for the opportunity to journey with you in this season. Thank you for your presence, your emails and comments, and your prayers. Thanks also to those who have supported the ministry of The Advent Door by linking to it through your blog, website, Facebook and other social media, or in print or by word of mouth (the original social media!). I am grateful as well to those who have sent a financial contribution, becoming patrons of my ministry through The Advent Door and beyond. For all the ways that you share in and sustain this ministry, I thank you. Know that I am praying for you in this season and beyond.
Blessings to you!