Do you have a favorite book or story from your childhood that fills your heart with warmth just at the thought of it? Did you beg your parents to read it over and over to you, and even though you could quote the story from memory, you still waited with breathless anticipation to hear what would happen next?
I have three favorite stories that fill my mind and heart with great joy just at the thought of them.
I will always and forever love Francis Hodgson Burnett's ALittle Princess. Not only did my mom read it to me multiple times but I read it over and over all the way through high school.
The same goes for all seven books in C.S. Lewis' timeless Chronicles of Narnia series. I probably read each book about 15 times a piece. I even found typos in my copies (yes, the English major in me appeared at quite an early age)!
Finally, we come to Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains. I adored the stories in this book and this is where I end my trip down memory lane. Ruth Bell Graham's One Wintry Night really reminds me of this book and excites me to share it with others, especially my children. (Anthony, I can't wait to read this with you! Soon, precious one!)
Graham's book is absolutely breathtaking, from the illustrations drawn by Richard Jesse Watson to the writing. She takes you on the journey of the story of salvation from Creation and the Fall to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David culminating in the birth of Christ, His death and resurrection. The illustrations are a stunning depiction of the story Graham weaves. Salvation is the heart of the tale, and I can't say any better than Graham does:
God did not send Him to deliver them from unjust rulers, from illness or unpleasant situations. He was born to die, to die for the sins of mankind. Those who were sorry for their sins, even the worst of people, could be forgiven. And they once more would know the joy of companionship with God lost so long ago in Eden.
Through His death and resurrection, the baby born that night in Bethlehem had become Lord of all.
This is the real meaning of Christmas, the joy and glory of it! (Graham, 63)
One Wintry Night is a perfect story to read as a family curled up on the couch on a cold evening (or mildly cool if you live in San Antonio), and one that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of this crazy season, bringing you right back the heart of Christmas, God's plan of salvation. This is definitely a book we will be reading over and over as family and creating many wonderful memories with as times passes far too quickly. I could not recommend it any higher!
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