Author:  Donna VanLiere
ISBN:  978-0-312-61372-3

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As a huge fan of Ms. VanLiere who’s completely in love with her Christmas Hope series of books, I was beyond excited to receive this small novel with a HUGE story in the mail.  We all know the beauty surrounding a woman’s trek with her beloved husband, the carpenter, Joseph, by her side.  We’ve all heard about the manger with all the animals surrounding the birth of the King of Kings, as he came into the world among hay and straw because there was no room at the inn.  And even though it is certainly a story that people all across the globe are familiar with, it’s also the one story that never fails to bring hope to my heart, faith to my soul, and a tear to my eye.
We’re so lacking hope now; the wonderment and blessings of life seem to have disappeared beneath the constant news reports of people killing their children, and political maneuvers that seem to harm the public far more than they provide for people’s needs.  Not to mention the harried
shopping days for the latest MP3 player seem far more important than the actual meaning of Christmas – peace and goodwill to men.  In fact, I think the Lord must look down sometimes and shake His head.  After all, if we keep going the way we’re going, Armageddon is unnecessary; the battle between good and evil won’t even need to be fought, seeing as that humans will end it all without any entity intervening. 

This book is a beautiful rendering that shows how much the whispered indictments of the local villagers in Nazareth upset Mary and her husband, but the strength and the courage that they both showed was undeniably full of love for their Savior.  The journey to Bethlehem – with Mary riding a donkey over rough and rocky terrain, and the pain her body went through as they searched for a place to stay the night and ended up in a stable, against the far back wall – was heartbreaking.  The author offered up conversations between husband and wife, and showed how much they strived to be worthy to bring into the world a carpenter who would offer hope and love with every breath He took.
On top of this gorgeous story, the illustrations are also just as beautiful as the words, themselves.  Every home should have this book resting on the bookshelf, and whenever we think about our pain, agony, and suffering, I believe we should always remember the journey that a frightened couple made in order to give this world a chance to survive.
Merry Christmas!

Click Here To Purchase The Christmas Journey