Being in, or affiliated with the military is a unique life situation. It is something that touches every single element of my day. If asked to describe myself, one of my defining characteristics is that I am a military spouse. What I absolutely adored in Anni Harry's new Journey Through Advent is is that it celebrates military life without being exclusive about it. Anni's format is simple. She gives you the citations for the daily readings, offers a brief reflection and prayer, then finishes with some kind of practical action step for incorporating the daily theme. There is room for journaling or notes as well as a weekly overview based on the four main themes of Advent (Hope, Faith, Joy, and Love). Within the reflections, Anni will tie in an element of military life: frequent moves, good-byes, deployments, uncertainty, pride, separation and reunion. But not in every reflection, and I think this is such a strength and important for anyone who reads this devotional.   As I said at the start, being a military spouse is a defining part of who I am. But it is not my whole story. This devotional, while written with the military woman in mind, is also accessible to someone who is not so closely linked to the military. I'm thinking of the mother of an airman, or the sister of a petty officer, the best friend of a Marine or grandmother of a sergeant. This devotional not only will help you grow during Advent, it can also gently inform the reader about some of the joys and challenges of military life. Perhaps you know someone, or a couple discerning a calling to service in the military? What a perfect Advent present! Also, as a note, at first I wasn't sure if I would like that I had to look up the readings myself before embarking on the reflection/prayer/action. So much work, right? Well, yes, right! And good for me. It meant I had to slow down; skimming was reduced since I had to pay attention to the verse numbers. It also meant getting my Bible out and really using it, not just reading the next few verses in the book I am studying. Clever move on Anni's part. I didn't think I would appreciate it as much as I have. If you are looking for a simple, thoughtful Advent devotional and also happen to be affiliated with the military in some way, even an extended way, this will be such a lovely addition to your Advent journey.

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Copyright 2018 Kate Taliaferro