Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Christmas Past

Nothing brings me more peace, hope, security, joy and assurance than knowing that in spite of all my failures and shortcomings I am still loved by God. In fact, I know I am so loved because of this: 

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

I shared the following in a post a few years ago. I've tweaked it a bit here and there and preach it to my own heart again and again. It is just as true today as it was 2000 years ago and it will be true until the end of time. I have interspersed photos of our home decorated for this Christmas season. 

Christmas is about Jesus, the Christ of God. He did not come wrapped in beautiful wrapping or decorated in the finest array. He was wrapped in rags; swaddling clothes. He did not lay his tiny, magnificent head on a soft bed in a king's nursery but rather in a trough that was meant to feed animals. There was no pomp initiated by the rulers of the day to welcome this prophesied Savior. There was only a young mother and her husband who knew he was not the father of this baby..... and all the heavenly host! It was they who preached to the shepherds in the fields. The shepherds rushed to see this thing the angels had declared to them. They saw the Promise of the Father! They saw, with eyes of faith, the One who would secure for them a righteousness that could never be earned-the perfection that God, the Father, requires for entrance into the gates of heaven.

Wouldn't it be so sweet if that were the whole of the story?

But, Scripture tells us more. We are told that not only can we not keep law of God perfectly but that we don't even desire to. In fact, we break the laws of God regularly and willfully and that is called sin. Scripture also tells us the wages of sin is death and that EVERYONE has sinned. Death is not merely a physical death, which is the evidence of our sin, but also a spiritual death that separates us from the Almighty-without exception. We are bankrupt and without hope.

But God (two of my favorite words), being great in mercy sent his Son, in the form of man, to live according to all the law of God-perfectly. 

And here is the hard thing to remember: that baby lying in a manger, represented so sweetly in my nativity...he came to die ... not because of sin he committed but because of mine and yours. The Father poured out his wrath for our sin on his own Son! (This stops my arrogant heart every time!)

The death of Jesus satisfied the penalty for the sin of all those who would believe in him. And we know that it was an acceptable sacrifice because God, the Father raised him from that dead. That is still not enough, though. Remember we have to be perfect to see heaven. A paid debt does not wipe away the fact that we had a debt to begin with or that I continue to break God's laws thus accumulating more debt. And here is the "ah-ha" that brought me a peace that knows no limits, remember the perfect life Jesus lived? He gave that to me. He wrapped me in his righteousness and presents me to the Father as his bride, clothed in white, without spot or wrinkle or blemish and I am accepted.

That, my friends, is Christmas. Maybe that is why I am so enamored with the idea of white and shiny Christmas decor. Maybe that is why I would like it to look perfect and peaceful.... and maybe it is such an unattainable goal for me because that perfection has already been accomplished. It did not come wrapped in gold and silver, velvet or silk....just rags and immeasurable love. 

May your Christmas be filled the peace that comes from knowing you are loved by God, the Father, because of the finished work of the Son, Jesus!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How Many Trees Are Too Many?

I started early this year. The decorating bug bit me and I was off and running. I was determined to be done with my decorating in order to enjoy the season this year. I knew it would be busy as I also have the privilege of decorating some commercial spaces for Christmas.

Being commercial spaces, those trees need to be up right after Thanksgiving. Busy, busy, busy...

Tree #1: golds and reds

Tree #2: woodland theme, neutrals and birds

I love the owls!

Tree #3: frosty 

The last two trees are both unlit. I think I will never buy a lit tree again. I hate having to try to find which light is out or why they're not working; easier to buy strands and lay them in myself. These two trees had nowhere to plug them in anyway. I love the tree itself. They were super easy to set up, great price and have a touch of frostiness. There is a mix of textures in the branches. 

I ordered the trees through Amazon- here's the link: Amazon (I do not have any deals with Amazon, strictly my own opinion on the product, unsolicited.)

Now, back to my own home. I am still not done decorating and I have just two weeks left!! Busy, busy, busy....

Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With Visions Of Sugar Plums

I have always admired the beautiful pictures of bedrooms decorated for Christmas. Pretty lights give a warm glow with blankets and pillows that beckon you to crawl up in them with a warm cup of cocoa and a good book.... ahhh. Wouldn't that guarantee visions of sugar plums? Most years I am lucky to get my living room and kitchen done before Christmas! As a home decor blogger I am always half a track behind the rest of the pack. (That means I stink at it.) But, hope springs eternal and this year the Christmas bug got me a little earlier than usual so I started there.

It all started with a neighbor who was cleaning out her stash of goodies. I snagged a very heavy mirror that had the perfect amount of patina from her discarded stuff. Believe it or not Mister helped me rummage through her castaways (garbage) and we got a few goodies. It was only October but I knew this little mirror was going to be making it inside my home. At the time I stored it away in my work space above the garage.

Fast forward to now. I hung it above the bed and placed a wreath on it.

A repurposed pair of shutters landed behind the bedside tables.

A small tree purchased from a thrift store was a perfect addition. It is slim and tall enough to fill the corner. This is a small room so proportion is everything.

And because I am playing with my editing...

My favorite flannel sheets are on the bed. Seriously, these are the best I have found. The pockets are deep and the flannel does not pill. These are three years old! I love crawling into them at the end of the day.

I've been putting the lights on in the evening so that when I walk into the room at night that warm glow welcomes me. For these photos I had to go grab the cocoa, though.  And, a book. I love this one from Ruth Chou Simons. I just love her artwork.

And I lit one of my favorite soy candles. They don't bother my asthma.

When it's time for bed I take a few minutes to just lay still, looking at the lights and I let my mind remember what it was like to be a child full of anticipation the night before Christmas.

And then, the Lord graciously turns my thoughts to Him. How much more should I be looking with hope and wonder at the day when I get to stand in His presence, filled with all the gifts promised in His word! After all, that is why there is a Christmas. The birth of God the Son in the form of a baby;, the Christ of Christmas, who offers God's best gifts to those who will believe.

Praying this is where your thoughts are turned as you prepare for your Christmas celebrations.

This was put to music in 2010. I will try to upload it to Facebook if I can figure it out. Thanks for spending time with me and happy celebrating!

Party here:
Ducks In A Row, Celebrate & Decorate , The Stone Gable, Our Home Away From Home, The Boondocks Blog. Blue Sky At Home, Finding Silver Pennies, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Create With Joy, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Plucky's Second Thought, Angie The Freckled Rose, The Dedicated House

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Autumn 2018

One of my grandmothers had a formal living room filled with furniture that you sat upright on, where tea was served and polite conversation was had. Her living room/sitting room was filled with treasures that had been collected from their travels around the world. My grandfather was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and his work took them to Europe, Asia and all around the United States and they had accumulated an eclectic collection.

More familiar guests often bypassed the formal room for the casual den where you slouched a bit on the sofa or put your feet up, put you glass down on the table (without a coaster) and laughed out loud. Today we call these spaces family rooms. It is where the tv is, where games are played and life is lived . Many homes have the two separate spaces still today but not in our house. Our house was built in the 1820's and we do have an "extra" room that we are still trying to figure out what to do with (more on that at another time) but only one living room. It is wonky shaped and poses challenges. One of those challenges is how to decorate the space but still live in it daily. 

I had a hard time with the hutch top this fall. I decorated it twice. After living with this for about two weeks I just didn't like it. 

I took everything away and started over.

I reused floral arrangements from the past two years.

I have a small dresser in the living room. It was handed down to us by friends years ago when my third child was born. The top had a fingernail polish spill and the poor thing was just beat up. A coat of paint, a wood applique, some new knobs and a coat of paint has given it a new life. I holds craft and decor items and adds light to the this corner of the room. 

I topped the dresser with a tray I picked up last year at a The Pro.found Vintage Market. This year I put the lamp inside the tray, layered in pumpkins, nosegays, pinecones and a hand printed sign I received at a church function last year.

I nestled old photos of my mom, husband and grandparents into the fall decor. I think they serve to direct my thoughts toward family and home as we settle into autumn and prepare for the holidays.

And, here is a little look at the kitchen coffee area.

I found this cute pie tin in a junk store and I think it goes perfectly with the crock I found recently. Both are Massachusetts companies. Table Talk Pies is still in operation but Johnson Made Preserves is not. It was bought out by the King Arthur Flour (another Massachusetts company) in the 1970's.

These were the only two "new" things this year. I just reused what I had from last year and the year before. Move things around, use what you have, shop your hear me say these things over and over again.

I am already looking forward to decorating for Christmas and if you know me at all you'll understand that is wow moment as I am usually late for every season! I have even been shopping for Christmas already...that's Wow to the 2nd power!

Thanks for visiting with me today. Please consider signing up for email alerts in the column to the right or through facebook or instagram for new posts.

Link Parties:
Up To Date Interiors, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelai, Shabby Art Boutique, The Boondocks Blog, The Dedicated House, Ducks N A Row, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Celebrate & Decorate, Our HOme Away From Home, Katherine's Corner, The Pin Junkie

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Autumn 2018 On My Front Porch

The easy peasy hoop wreath is a new addition to my autumn decorations this year. After finding inspiration here I picked up materials at my local craft store. I added paper roses to my version.

We received our plaque from the historical society this year! 

As you can see, the rest of the porch is full of fall color!

Linking up these parties:
Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Celebrate & Decorate, Our Home Away From Home, Katherines Corner, Up To Date Interiors, The Pin Junkie, The Charm of Home, Life With Lorelai, All Things Beautiful, Shabby Art Boutique, The Dedicated House