Mary & Joseph

Nativity+Story

If you are not a hopeless romantic, this blog post may not be for you.  If you are a hopeless romantic or just plain curious, read on.  Here is my December 18th favorite:

What is your favorite part of the Christmas story?  I will stop here and inform you that it is your choice what Christmas story you pick.  In my mind, the Christmas story is the story of Jesus’ birth.  My favorite part of the Christmas story is the relationship between Mary and Joseph.  Many christian authors write about love stories from the Bible, but Mary and Joseph are left alone, most likely out of respect for Jesus.  Not a lot is said about either of them, but I can clearly see a love story in what is unsaid.  Back in those times, Jewish marriages were arranged by the parents.  The marriages were not based on what we would call “true love” or “love at first sight”, but that does not mean love did not exist.  I see love in Joseph’s faith to obey God and marry a girl who was seemingly pregnant out of wedlock.  I see love in Mary’s willingness to accompany her husband to Bethlehem despite her circumstance.  The story of Mary and Joseph is not a romance novel full of public affection but rather a story of love quietly developed over time through unity and virtue.  Intimate details are not required to create an attractive love story.  Love is a powerful thing; in pure, genuine form, it’s beauty should speak for itself, no words required.

I am sorry to those of you who aren’t really into romance.  Please stay tuned for the next blog post tomorrow.

Also, the most important part of the Christmas story is Jesus.  My choice was made based on all options apart from Jesus’ birth because that is an obvious choice for any believer.

Stay merry readers!  Only 7 days left until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yetdid not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”               – Matthew 1:19-20

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledthe Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.  Luke 1:28-38

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world(This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.).  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  Luke 2:1-7

 

 

Faith in the Unseen

polar-express-wallpaper-1

This post is all about faith.  Leave now if you are not ready to receive such a message.  Here is my December 17th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday quote?  My favorite holiday quote is from the movie “Polar Express”: “…sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”  Based on personal observation, people today put more emphasis on believing in what can be seen than what cannot be seen.  Why is that so?  I can answer this because it is true for myself: It is easier to mentally process something that can be seen and physically touched.  Putting faith in something invisible means giving up control, and that is not something our human nature takes to easily.  This world is not giving me much to put my faith in.  Why not give up control and believe there is something beyond the physical and visible?

Stay merry readers!  Only 8 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“…sometime the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”  – “Polar Express”

Festive Attire

silver-snowflake-earrings-9

Today’s post is all about looking festive for the holiday season.  This time of the year should cause all of us to look at the condition of our heart.  Once the results are what they should be, the exterior should match the interior.  If we feel joyous on the inside, why not look composed and confident on the outside?  Here is my December 16th favorite:

What is your favorite holiday article of clothing or accessory?  My favorite holiday accessory is my snowflake earrings.  They are beautiful and put me in the Christmas spirit.  Their clean silver and white color combo matches any outfit I wear and adds a hint of sparkle.

I have not gotten into ugly Christmas sweaters, but it is a universal Christmas tradition.  Beware!  I am going to get deep for a minute.  What a way to bring the world together!  Wearing Christmas sweaters that are labeled as “ugly”.  Most of the time, people would avoid wearing anything described as ugly.  Is the time of year and the fact that everyone does it really all it takes to make it acceptable?  Food for thought.

Stay merry readers!  Only 9 more days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele  :)

“A piece of clothing is a way to express your real identity, a way to show everybody else your values and convictions.”

Family Ties

gold_heart_locket_necklace__antique_brass_key_vintage_inspired_ne____11fb685a

Due to my lack of creativity at the present moment, I am sticking to the gift theme.  I will first give an explanation of my favorite for this week.  Have you ever received an unexpected gift?  For example, maybe you have been given a coffee mug, and the box was equally as nice and useful.  Or perhaps the unexpected gift is a memory associated with the actual gift.  I hope my explanation is helpful.  Here is my December 15th favorite:

What is your favorite unexpected gift?  In 2004, American Girl came out with a Samantha DVD.  I really wanted it, and my younger brother obliged.  His thoughtfulness meant a lot to me, as did a small unexpected gift that was unintentional: The DVD came with a locket, the same one pictured above.  I outgrew the DVD but still have the locket as a reminder of my brother, whom I love very much.  Treasure your family while you have them close to you!!!

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Ohana means family.  Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”  – Stitch, “Lilo & Stitch”

From Me to You

gift3

My previous post explored the feelings of receiving a gift that leaves a lasting impression.  What about giving?    Here is my December 14th Favorite:

What is your favorite gift that you have given?  This is a hard question to answer, and I’m the one who came up with the idea.  I think the perfect answer to express my thoughts is happiness.  Seeing happiness on the face of the person receiving my gift(s) makes spending time and money worth it no matter the amount.  An even better experience is watching the receiver use that gift.  It feels good to know that the receiver is not only happy but also appreciates your efforts.  Gift-giving should be a selfless act, but everyone wants to feel appreciated in some way.  For me, seeing the gift put to use is enough.

What is your favorite gift that you have given?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love.”  – L.O. Baird

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

christmas-gift

The moment when the ornate paper is gently unwrapped, the box opened with anticipation, and the contents revealed to genuine surprise.  I hope all of you have had the pleasure of experiencing such a special moment.  Christmas lists are made, and Christmas gifts are given, the same routine year in and year out.  But, there is always at least one present that leaves a lasting impression.  Here is my December 13th favorite:

What is your favorite Christmas gift?  I cannot recall the exact date, but several years ago, my parents gave me and my brother iPod Nanos.  I already had a love for music, but being able to carry my music everywhere in a compact way boosted my obsession.  That small music player has been with me through dance performances, late night vocal sessions, road trips, and college classes; it created memory after memory therefore it truly was a gift that kept on giving.

Do you have a favorite Christmas gift?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”                 – Sigrid Undset

Holiday Literature

tis-the-season_christmas-books

I am not sure if I have shared this before, but I am OBSESSED with reading.  I could not live without books!  In fact, one of my goals after college is to pursue a job in either a library or a bookstore, preferably an independent bookstore; the cherry on top would be an indie bookstore with a coffee shop.  Moving on… Here is my December 10th favorite:

What is your favorite Christmas book?  I do not have a favorite book but rather a favorite category: Amish Christmas books.  They make for an intriguing, heart-warming read during the holiday season.  I cannot point out my favorite Amish Christmas book because, unfortunately, I have not been able to do much reading around Christmas time in the past few years.  However, I can tell you the books that have been good enough after one read to purchase.  I will list them along with a link to a summary of the content:  “An Amish Christmas” – https://bethwiseman.com/an-amish-christmas/
“The Sound of Sleigh Bells” – http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/books/novellas/the-sound-of-sleigh-bells/
“White Christmas Pie” – http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/stand-alone-novels/white-christmas-pie/

I want you to note that I like romance books therefore all the listed Amish Christmas books are romance.

Do you have a favorite Christmas book?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”                           – Dr. Seuss