What I learned writing Advent devotions

This past season of Advent, I wrote daily devotions which I sent to anyone interested in receiving them. I had about twenty-five folks subscribe, so I was committed to twenty-four devotions, beginning December 1. I chose a selection of bible passages that mentioned darkness and light as the calendar moved us slowly but surely to the winter solstice. The increasing darkness each day was a perfect backdrop for the coming of light, fuel for both physical and spiritual insights. Here are a few things I learned writing this collection of devotions.

  • From the beginning to the end, there are a lot of verses in the bible that mention dark and light. While darkness is used to describe sin, wickedness and death, light brings hope, righteousness and life.
  • Writing daily devotions is hard work. Especially when you’re working from a theme. (I wrote devotions last Lent, too, but used two chapters of a gospel.) Even though each was only three- to five-hundred words, I often struggled to find meaning or application for the passages. This is actually a good thing. It made me stop and think, dig a little deeper, and find personal application. Each one had an important lesson for me.
  • I didn’t get much feedback. Maybe that’s a good thing. My writing could probably use some work. Anyway, you never know who is or who isn’t reading your work. Apart from a few, “I’m really enjoying your devotions,” I didn’t get many comments at all.
  • When you are writing every day, you develop a rhythm. You get into a groove. The more you write, the easier it is to write. I am sure the daily routine improved my writing. It is a good discipline to commit to.
  • I think I wrote more for myself than for others. I wanted to show myself that I could do it. I felt the need to create rather than just consume ideas and insights.

I’m not sure if I’ll do this again. I felt like I could only write once a day, so I put my blog on hold. It took time, maybe ninety minutes or so every day. That’s a lot of time to devote.

But I probably will.

4 thoughts on “What I learned writing Advent devotions

  1. Though I cannot write a reply as eloquent as Susan’s, I too, have saved all of your posts for several years. And it is wonderful that I have so many to look back on.
    Please reconsider.

  2. I hope you keep doing it. It’s hard for non-writer’s to respond with more than “thanks for doing it” but I will try. Because of my situation your devotions were almost the only advent I had this year. I found myself increasingly looking forward to reading them each morning. I only “missed” reading them “on time” twice and then I actually enjoyed having a day with multiple readings. Often I reflected on them several times throughout the day. Sometimes I looked up the verse you referenced and read it in several different versions. More than a couple of times your words struck a particularly personal cord; a few times I cried. And also more than a couple of times they actually helped change my attitude, thought patterns or mood for the day. I saved every one in a file on my computer. If you don’t do them next year – I am prepared to re-read every word. I am grateful for the time and effort you took to write them. I appreciate you more than I can say and I love you.

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