Blogmas 2019

More than a Manger…

Matthew 2:1-3, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.” 

Around the holidays, there is inevitable controversy about one thing or another: Starbucks cups, Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, the actual date of Jesus’s birth, etc., etc., etc. This is nothing new.

Christmas has always been controversial. – Pastor Matthew Brown

One of the greatest controversies perhaps is concerning Jesus Christ himself. Jesus Christ is more than just a baby in a manger, in fact, his life did not start in that manger. Long before that manger, Jesus existed as the Word.

I John 1:1-5, “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him (Jesus). The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and his life (Jesus’s life) brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” 

Indeed, Jesus did not come into existence, instead He existed with God in the very beginning of God. Jesus is the guiding force behind all creation.

  • The book of Matthew starts the story by tracing Jesus’s lineage back to Abraham (the father of Judaism)
  • The book of Luke starts the story of Jesus by tracing his lineage to Adam (the father of mankind)
  • The book of John starts the story of Jesus by going back to the Beginning – Jesus has always existed

“In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed.” John 1:1.

700 years previously, the prophet Micah shared God’s words, “But as for you, Bethlehem . . . Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2

Jesus, having always existed, humbled himself and reduced himself to a human baby born in an unknown town. Christmas may cost you money, it may cost you time, but for God, it cost him everything to send his son to live among us and to share his good news.

To Watch this Excellent Message for Yourself, please click here

You can attend online like me!

FullSizeR

Just included this song because I love it

 

“. . . Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the
World

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth . . .”

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: A Time to Remember

“Howling wind slows mid-flight

At the sound of the infant’s cry

It too must take a breath,

To watch a miracle unfold.

The baying mule pauses its whine

When it hears the baby’s laughter.

He wonders who is the cream-colored creature

Asleep in his trough of hay.

A young mother pauses her prayers

To meet the heavy eyes of a father.

Their journey reflected in his joyful eyes;

A journey of trial and triumph.

Angels of fire and light release

A breath held, a too-long pause.

Their voices crescendo, shaking the Heavens

and waking sleeping men.

Magi with presents that shine

And shimmer; complete the fervent

Journey to bow in wonder

At a bundle swathed in cloths.

And now we students pause,

Suspend our studies, to remember

A story, to take a moment to praise

The birth of a Savior.​”

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

How To: Blogmas

It’s December 1st, and you all know what that means!

It’s Blogmas Time, Baby!

Image result for christmas two types of people

I think you can guess which of the above I am! (Hint: I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween! Don’t hate, there is no such thing as Thanksgiving music)

I’ll freely admit it, I am a holiday-focused kind of person. I love celebrating and decorating and getting together with friends and family. In particular, I love Christmas, I love the cooler weather, the hot chocolate, Christmas carols, celebrating Jesus’s birth, and more. One of the fun blogging ways to revel in the Christmas spirit is through Blogmas!

“What is Blogmas?” You ask.

Blogmas is when bloggers of all topics (writing, health, fashion, travel, etc.) transform the focus of their blogs to reflect the holiday season. Some of these topics can include: Favorite Christmas Carols, Christmas poem (of your making or sharing your favorite well-known Christmas poem), favorite Christmas sweater/mug, DIY Christmas ideas, letter to Santa, Christmas themed destinations, etc., etc., etc. Look around online and you’ll see the list of possibilities quite literally goes on and on and on and on. . . .

Technically, when you participate in Blogmas most bloggers post a Christmas-themed post every single day of the month. It is their version of an Advent Calendar or a way of counting down to Christmas day!

However, in my opinion, you do not have to post every single day, yes it is fun and if you can do it, more power to you! However, if you want to participate but posting every single day seems daunting, post on your regular schedule and just switch it around to Christmas-themed.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about what you want to do for Blogmas? I came across these wonderful blog posts two years ago by The Wild Hideaway and Lindsay that were super helpful for me and I think it can help you too! Be sure to check them out!

While their 100 ideas are indeed spectacular, here are five of my ideas just to get my fellow writers going!

  1. Some may suggest that you share your favorite Christmas poem, I encourage you to come up with and post your own Christmas poem!
  2. Some might suggest you share your favorite Christmas story, well how about you write your own? It can be a non-fiction memory of your own Christmas experiences. It can be flash fiction. It can be one line or it could be a novel!
  3. Your favorite Christmas Movie based on the book
  4. Favorite Christmas Mug
  5. What is something NEW that you will be doing this year for the Christmas season?

609EAEEF-2A14-455C-9FB0-C84C5BDD0A64.jpeg

Who else will be participating in Blogmas? Do you have any ideas of what you plan to post about?

Keep a close eye on my blog in the next couple of days as I plan to host and release the information on my Annual Blogmas Contest!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

The Five Stages: Acceptance

Is it surrender or acceptance that I feel?

When I know your gone, but I wish it wasn’t real?

When I walk in your home, and wish to see your face?

When there is an emptiness, a void, that cannot be replaced?

 

Have I accepted that you are truly gone?

Does going to work mean that I have moved on?

Have I accepted that the world has changed?

That our lives have now and forever been re-arranged?

 

Have I reached acceptance?

That mysterious fifth and final stage?

 

I accept and believe that this is not the end

I accept and believe that I will one day see you again

Side-by-side-by-side, our family will reunite in Heaven

Side-by-side with Christ, who has rescued and forgiven.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2018

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas is a very special holiday for me, especially because to me it is not just about the tree, the decorations, or the holiday fun. It is a time to celebrate the fact that God loved me enough that Jesus humbled himself to come to earth as an insignificant baby.

This Christmas is harder though. My Papa is still in the hospital and he is declining rapidly. He will not be home tomorrow to join in the festivities and we all know that our smiles will be a little forced as we try to keep it as normal as possible for the children. I got to see my Papa yesterday, I sat by his side for a few hours. I’m not sure if he knew I was there or not, but I sang him some Christmas carols and I think he heard and enjoyed them. My Nana sat across from me and all I could think is that she is the strongest woman I know. As I’m getting closer to marrying my fiancé, I cannot and do not want to imagine what my life would be like without him. My Nana has had over 50years with my Papa and I know she is not ready to let go of him either.

I tell you all of this to remind you that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families, reminding yourself how much you should treasure their companionship. I am blessed, I believe in God and I believe in life after death in Heaven with God. I pray for my Papa’s recovery, but I know that if he does not recover, I will see him, hug him, and speak with him again one day . . . all thanks to a baby who was born in a manager.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Be sure to tell your loved ones what they mean to you, because you never know if this will be your last Christmas with them.

Blogmas 2018

Blogmas: A Time to Remember

“Howling wind slows mid-flight

At the sound of the infant’s cry

It too must take a breath,

To watch a miracle unfold.

The baying mule pauses its whine

When it hears the baby’s laughter.

He wonders who is the cream-colored creature

Asleep in his trough of hay.

A young mother pauses her prayers

To meet the heavy eyes of a father.

Their journey reflected in his joyful eyes;

A journey of trial and triumph.

Angels of fire and light release

A breath held, a too-long pause.

Their voices crescendo, shaking the Heavens

and waking sleeping men.

Magi with presents that shine

And shimmer; complete the fervent

Journey to bow in wonder

At a bundle swathed in cloths.

And now we students pause,

Suspend our studies, to remember

A story, to take a moment to praise

The birth of a Savior.​”

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2018

Blogmas: The Colors of Christmas

White is the color of freshly fallen snow

A beautiful sight, I have

Yet to behold

Green is the color of prickly pine leaves

That hold precious ornaments

On lopsided Christmas trees

Yellow is the color of a heavenly star

That caused three wise men 

To travel afar

Red is the color that I love the best

That fills me with cheer

That shows I am blessed

Red is the color of my Savior so dear

Who was born and died to

Make my sins clear

Red is the color of love and joy

Although he came wrapped in no ribbons

This perfect Christmas baby boy

 

Happy Blogmas Everyone!

How are your blogmas posts coming along? Don’t forget to submit your favorite blogmas post in the Blogmas Contest!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Blogmas 2018

Blogmas Craft #2: “JOY” Wine Bottle Decor

Hey Everyone!

Today for Blogmas, as my present to all of you, I thought I might show you all how you can create beautiful, holiday wine decor bottles for yourself!

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Now, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (While it’s more fun to use the different shapes for the snowman, you will want to use similar shapes and sizes for the JOY decor)

img_5694

After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

 

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these “JOY” wine bottles, you will need three wine bottles of similar height, three branches of red holly, a branch of mistletoe (which you will cut into smaller branches), a glue gun, stencils of your choosing, red glitter squeezable paint, and a ball of twine. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$70 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Creating the Design

After stenciling on the letters of your chosen styling, you will need to fill in the letters with red glitter glue. Make sure to give a thick layer as it will flatten and thin out as it dries. (These will take a full 24 hours to dry).

joy

 

Step #4: Seal in the Design

A full 24 hours later, your glitter letters will have thinned down and you will want to spray the whole bottle with clear sealing spray paint. After this coat has dried (another hour or so), using the hot glue gun you will apply layers of twine to the top of the bottles.

twine

Step #5: Become the Florist Your Always Wanted to Be

Remember those holly berries and mistletoe branches from earlier? Create a lovely Christmas-themed floral arrangement coming from the tops of those bottles as your finishing touch!

There you have it! The whole process takes about 2-3 days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores.

They make great presents too!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2018, Blogs / Life

Holiday Blog(mas) Party Weekend

***UPDATE: Hey Guys! So I released my “How To Blogmas” post early today (since it is December 1st after all)! If you guys are curious or having questions about Blogmas, check it out!***

Tomorrow marks the first of December and I could not be more excited!

Image result for elf christmas gif

Christmas is an extremely special time of the year for me for several reasons. First and foremost, I am a Christian and Christmas is a time for me to celebrate the coming of my Savior. Second, it was this time last year that my fiance proposed to me and I will forever associate the Christmas season with that moment. Third, it is a time for me to be with family, which is more important this year than any other year with my Papa’s failing health. And lastly, I simply love the bright colors and lights and songs of the Christmas season that fill my heart with joy and happiness!

So for today’s Blog Party, we are kicking off the Christmas Season!

Down below introduce yourself, your blog, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, what Christmas means to you! Do you celebrate it? What is your favorite Christmas memory? AND, will you be participating in Blogmas this upcoming month?

 

For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have nearly 2,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  1. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  2. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.

Image result for christmas party gif

Have Fun Everyone! And Merry Christmas! Time to spread holiday cheer! Don’t forget . . .

Image result for spreading holiday cheer gif

This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so don’t miss out!

 

God & His Church, Uncategorized

Are you lacking Courage in your Life?

Can we be honest with each other? Because if we are being honest, I think we can admit that at one point or another we are all lacking courage. We lack the courage to do what is right, to speak the truth, to chase after a dream, etc.

Recently, a pastor at Sandal’s Church spoke about courage, specifically Godly Courage.

Reading a passage from the Bible, the pastor focused on Judges 3:12-30 which tells the story of how Ehud, an Israelite enslaved by the Moabites, rose up against his oppressors and led his people to freedom.

Judges 3:12-30 (NLT)

Ehud Becomes Israel’s Judge

12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil.. . . 14 And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16 So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing. 17 He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.

18 After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19 But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”

So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.

20 Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!” As King Eglon rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied.[b] 23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine.[c]24 After Ehud was gone, the king’s servants returned and found the doors to the upstairs room locked. They thought he might be using the latrine in the room, 25 so they waited. But when the king didn’t come out after a long delay, they became concerned and got a key. And when they opened the doors, they found their master dead on the floor.

26 While the servants were waiting, Ehud escaped, passing the stone idols on his way to Seirah. 27 When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Ehud sounded a call to arms. Then he led a band of Israelites down from the hills.

28 “Follow me,” he said, “for the Lord has given you victory over Moab your enemy.” So they followed him. And the Israelites took control of the shallow crossings of the Jordan River across from Moab, preventing anyone from crossing.

29 They attacked the Moabites and killed about 10,000 of their strongest and most able-bodied warriors. Not one of them escaped. 30 So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.

From Ehud, we can learn a lot about Godly Courage. Here are some basic steps:

  • To have courage at all, we must first turn to GodThink of Ehud. In the passage it says that Ehud was a left-handed man which is translated to mean that his right had was either damaged or bound, meaning he was most likely cripple in some way. His courage could not come from his own physical abilities, but instead it came from his faith in God.
  • Next, we must prepare for action.Although Ehud did not know what he would do, he had prepared a dagger beforehand ready for anything.
    • I Pete 1:13 says, “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.”
  • After turning to God and preparing, we must face our fears.Again, Ehud was only one man and when he first went before the king, he let his fear get the best of him and he left. However, it was after leaving the king that Ehud saw the stones of the idols and trusting in God, he prepared to face his fears.
    • Courage is not the absence of fear but acting despite the presence of fear.
    • Courage in not about personality, but it is about our purpose in serving God and being a difference maker for our generation.
    • I Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” Isn’t it wonderful how everything comes back to love with God?
  • Next, we must do what others won’t.Ehud was not the most skilled warrior, remember his bound-up right hand? However, he was willing to do what others would not because of his faith in God.
    • James 2:18, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deads?’ I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” Indeed, our actions speak louder than words and reveal who we truly are.
  • Lastly, we must lead with what God has given us.All of us struggle to find our way, to find our courage. All of us were given a specific purpose and sometimes it is hard to find that purpose. Whatever it is, God equips us with the necessary tools to get the job done.

What do you need to be courageous about this week?

***I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus, but I am in no ways an expert. I am always happy to discuss my faith with anyone who wants to have a genuine conversation, but I will never respond to hateful comments.***