A blog reader contacted me a long time ago and said her daughter had written a book and she wondered if I’d like to know more about it. Of course, I would. I love learning about my readers. I’ve said many times that often time this relationship seems one-sided. You know all about me. I know little about all of you.
The book came in the mail back in October. It turns out it was an illustrated Advent book. Well, I set it aside because “I would look at that when Advent got closer”. UGH. Well, we are into Advent now when I suddenly remembered the book. UGH.
I pulled it out and gave it a look. It is Christmas Traditions Through the Lens of Scripture: An Advent Book by Marissa Barbee.
The book gives me a real old fashion Christmas feel. I really am enjoying it.
While the book was in transit to me, Marissa wrote a bit about her book. She wrote:
“Last year I became an accidental author. I was raised in a Christian household and through my growing up years my parents taught me many of the deeper meanings or legends that surrounded the Christmas season. However, it was when I first heard the legend of the candy cane that I started cataloging these little lessons. I was intrigued by that story which was shared during an AWANA council time in 1988. Years later, when my husband and I started our own family, I began my search for an advent book that brought all these traditions into one resource and taught the deeper meanings behind each one. Finally, after 11 years I decided it either wasn’t out there or if it was I could no longer wait to find it because my little ones were quickly becoming not-so-little ones. I really wanted to be more intentional with sharing these lessons with my children. I began working in 2012egan working in 2012 on a digital scrapbook that briefly shared these lessons and some corresponding scripture. I decorated the pages with clip art of each item and created a matching set of ornaments. This became our advent calendar for many years. Over that time, I shared this digital album with family and a few friends whenever it seemed they might be interested. In 2020, I shared it with our pastor. He was so excited about what he saw, that he asked if I would be willing to publish it for our church’s use the following year. I said “yes” having NO idea what I was getting into, but with a willing heart. Over the next year, I felt the story of Peter walking on the water come alive in my life. Saying yes was like stepping out of that boat, to Jesus’s call to “Come”. So many times through the year I would look at the obstacles, the work, and the challenges, and quickly feel the waves crashing over. Right along with the waves, I would hear the Lord speak to my heart, “Oh you of little faith, why do you doubt?” He would reach out his hand and pull me back up, taking the project ever farther in miraculous ways.
I had the joy of working with my eldest daughter, Miriam, a budding artist and just out of high school and at a complete loss for her next steps thanks to the world shutting down with COVID. She joined me in the publishing effort by becoming my illustrator. Each of the illustrations in the book are not only painted by Miriam, but she also converted them into a coloring page and made a companion coloring book available on her website.”
Marissa sent a nice note with the book that includes contact information and ins and outs of where to find the book. I’ll put that here so you can read it.
What an honor for her to be nominated for this award. WOW!
The book is laid out so that there is an illustration on one side…
and an Advent message on the other side.
Bible verses are included so you can make the reading into as much or as little as you want.
I have been really enjoying it. I’ve been taking it to bed for a nightly reading.
Congrats to you Marissa and to your daughter Miriam. I have to acknowledge that I wish Miriam would have gotten illustration credits with her name listed as the illustrator on the cover and inside pages. I am a big fan of children’s books and typically both the author and illustrator are listed. I know that it’s often the illustrator that pulls our imagination even more than words. I just would have liked to see Miriam more prominently listed. I do see that she is listed in the bio at the back so was happy to see that.
As for the message in the book, if you’re looking for a good Advent book, this one is really good.