His Law Is Love and His Gospel is Peace

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Before I share this post I want to begin with my favorite Christmas verses that break my heart wide open.

Verses that put my heart and mind RIGHT where they should be this season (or any season).

Really read the words.

Lincoln Brewster – O Holy Night (Another Hallelujah)

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
The thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all of us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Hallelujah…

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night Divine

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The older I get sometimes I am very aware that I don’t have the simple awe and excitement of Christmas I did as a child.

The whole Christmas season can go so fast and before we know it…it is gone.

This is obviously because I have a house to clean, bills to pay, laundry to do, groceries to buy etc.

Being a child is pretty sweet:-)

I have also figured out that when I slow down and focus on what this season is really about…my awe and excitement returns.

As an adult I have also figured out that I don’t like or react well to the busyness of any holiday.

So. I. Don’t.

We are nine days away from Christmas.

Nine days away from celebrating the birth of Christ.

Nine days away from being awoken by excited children ready to open their gifts.

Nine days away from eating way to much sugar and loving every moment of it.

Nine days away from a house of family (for some that is bliss and for others it is stressful).

Nine days away from the reality that unless you make it about more than the gifts…it is just about the gifts.

Nine days away from contentment or feeling that you didn’t get what you wanted and the next day you will go and get what you really wanted.

Nine days.

If you have gotten lost in the busyness you still have time.

You do.

You can choose right now to slow down, connect and make it about more than the gifts.

I don’t remember my mom being stressed out at Christmas.

My mom really tried to make it about Christ and the gifts were the extras.

I am grateful for a mother that taught her children how to be present in the holidays and I am getting better each year.

I have plenty of examples when I got off track.

Heck, when Jack was little we bought him so many gifts he was so tired of opening them that he started bawling.

In the early years of being a mom I was so concerned about it being perfect for my family that I lost sight of my family.

I have been more concerned about the house and keeping it clean than connecting with my guests.

I wanted to take a moment and just share some of my family’s favorite ways to make the Christmas season special.

{I would also love to hear how you make Christmas special within your own family}

I love this movie so much because it helped me to see Joseph in a completely new light.

I also LOVE  Zechariah and Elizabeth in this movie.

Did you know that Zechariah means “The Lord has remembered”.  LOVE!!!!

It has given us so many good discussions about judgement, shame and embarrassment that is still a problem with young girls pregnant today.  Jesus would never shame them…He would love them.

One of our most special activities is to handout words of kindness.

I know it blesses us even more than it blesses them.

You can read about it HERE.

We have really enjoyed doing more acts of service this Christmas season.

I am wanting to make this something we are more active about throughout the year.

It has shown us over and over that to help others feels pretty wonderful.

Each year we do some kind of devotions during Advent.

I have come across different ones that we have enjoyed based upon the children’s ages.

The past two years we have loved THIS book.

You would think this would be a no brainer but I have had to make this choice over and over.

We say no to most Christmas parties, gift exchanges, cookies exchanges but they stress me out (maybe they don’t for you and that is great).

Instead of busyness of going out we really try to plan more movies, books, ice skating, cookie making, crafting with cousins and gift making.

Whatever slowing down looks like for you…I think you will like it.

The more we make not just this season but all seasons about Him…we will show more love and experience more peace.

When your focus is Christ this season your holiday will not just feel stressed, busy and empty.

Take time to “follow on your knees” and be awed by God coming to earth.

That is love.

That is Christ.

Love!

Merry Christmas!

You are deeply loved and appreciated.

Thank you for being a part of my life and allowing me to share my heart.

I will see you after Christmas.

Acts of Service Advent Tree

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Good morning!

I have been getting a lot of questions and emails about our acts of service Advent tree that was seen in the housewalk.

I had intended to write this yesterday but you know how that goes.

Even though it is December 11 (how did that happen) you still have time to do some of the acts that I will share.

Obviously, you can create your own that work with your family too.

This idea originally came to me while I was watching Anne Marie’s Twig Tree video in Home for the Holidays.

She was creating a small twig tree to hang on the wall and I knew right away that I wanted to make it big and hang acts of service off of it.

I sat down with my mom and we started brainstorming things we could do as a family.

We even asked the children to help with a few ideas.

I typed all of the acts up in Word and printed them out.

We cut the acts of service into strips and folded them over to get them ready to stuff into the stars.

Our stars are made from craft paper using a star template I found online.

We (my mom) started to sew them all shut with the acts of service inside but my machine was driving her NUTS so I told her we could go with Plan B.

Always have a Plan B.

For half of the star we glued them shut with a glue stick (only getting glue around the edges to keep the glue off the acts of service) and we used a white gel pen to make thread marks on the outside.

It worked for me and possibly saved my mom’s sanity.

If you are going to hang the stars as shown …make sure that whether you sew or glue them shut that you include the end of the string in the star before you close it.

I then just randomly hung the stars on the twig tree.

Here are our acts of service for this year.

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I hope to do this each year as a family because

1) who needs more candy each day through December

2) who doesn’t need more times in their lives to think of others more than their selves

As much as I love, love, love the month of December if you are not careful it can turn into just shopping, eating too much and sugar comas.

I feel like each time we so something like this we take a huge exhale, slow down and focus.

I am thinking we will keep it up year around and have weekly acts of service.

I will let you know.

Thank you for asking about this and thank you Anne Marie for inspiring this project.

Home for the Holidays is still open for registration.

This course is full of projects videos for gift ideas, decor and recipes.

Come back on Friday to find out more about my brand new e-course Studying Under The Masters {becoming an apprentice} and I will also announce the winner of the $300 Dick Blick gift card.

Some of my Favorites {Come and Join Us}

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I was inspired all last week with the 2013 Holiday Housewalk!

32 creative bloggers all coming together and opening their home was so much fun to be a part of.

I loved so much about each home but I put together a little collage of some of my favorites.

Once I put them together I thought it was obvious how much I love a touch of black in my decor and typography!

If you want to see the whole tour from the beginning click HERE.

You can find tons of inspiration by checking out the Deck The Halls Holiday Housewalk Pinterest page.

Now you can be a part of the walk too!

Jen is having a linky party where YOU can link up and share your home all dressed up for Christmas.

I can’t wait to see your home.

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 Handmade is my favorite gift to give!

Kelly is having a HUGE Kelly’s Favorite Handmade Things giveaway!

Come and celebrate the beauty of handmade.

Kelly's Favorite Handmade Things Giveaway!  eclecticallyvintage.com

 

Kelly – Eclectically Vintage (that’s me) – Little Bit Country, Little Bit Rock and Roll vintage silver spoon keychain

Stamped Silver Keychain eclecticallyvintage.com

Lucy – Craftberry Bush – stag watercolor art pillow (Shop Craftberry Bush)

Stag pillow

Angie – Knick of Time Interiors – hand painted Milk & Cream on glass sign (Shop Knick of Time)

Milk and Cream Co. Sign available from Knick of Time

Jeanne – JuNxtaposition – vintage typewriter key necklace (your choice) (Shop JuNxtaposition)

typewriter key necklace

Jen – Jennifer Rizzo – set of 3 original art silkscreened dish towels

Handmade Santa dishtowel

Melaine – My Sweet Savannah – salvaged wood Christmas tree (Shop My Sweet Savannah)

Salvaged wood Christmas tree

Jen – City Farmhouse – hand painted Ski Lodge sign

Handmade ski lodge sign

Jeanne – Jeanne Oliver Designs – Sadie Handbag or $89 shop credit (Shop Jeanne Oliver Designs)

Jeanne Oliver Sadie handbag

Lucy – Bel Monili – vintage buttons and baubles bracelet (your choice) (Shop Bel Monili)

Vintage bauble bracelet

Denise – The Painted Home – music sheet flowers in new blue mason jar

vintage music sheet flowers

Jade – Jaderbomb – gold glittered PEACE letters (Shop Jaderbomb)

Glittered Peace letters

Laura – Top This Top That – burlap wreath

burlap wreath

 

{This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2013 Holiday Housewalk {Welcome To Our Home}

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Good morning!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It is hard to believe that we are into the Christmas season.

I am so honored to be included in Jennifer Rizzo’s 2013 Holiday Housewalk.

If you are coming from KariAnne’s blog I want to welcome you.

KariAnne’s home is always so beautiful and full of lovely touches.

I hope you enjoy a peek into our home.

My children are thrilled that the house smells good, the tree is up and that presents are beginning to appear under the tree.

This next month is so special to our family as we celebrate the birth of Christ, love on others around us and slow down to enjoy the season.

Welcome to our home…

{Our Advent wreath this year. Each star has an act of kindness inside to do throughout our community}

{My studio}

{Come back later this week to see this beautiful tree by Balsam Hill all dressed up}

{The Living Room}

{ A peek into our library/piano room}

{The kitchen}

{This runner was created from the beautiful print made by Word Art by Karen. You can find the print HERE.}

{Butler’s pantry and coffee station}

{Our window seat at the top of the stairs}

{Madolyn’s room}

{Jack’s Room}

{Benjamin’s room.  I left it exactly as he set it up for you:-)}

{Our bedroom}

In the midst of your shopping, wrapping, decorating and baking we hope you have a big ol’ pillow fight.

It really helps especially when your kids are tired of cleaning:-)

We hope you have a beautiful Christmas.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  What a joy it is to share a bit of our life and home.

{go to the bottom of the post for FAQ about our home}

I know you will love the next house.

Head on over to The Yellow Cape.

You are going to leave so inspired!

To take the tour from the beginning click the button below…

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To see our house in the 2012 Holiday Housewalk click HERE.

You can connect in our online creative community HERE.  There are over 8,000 members taking creative and lifestyle online courses!

If you want to be inspired this Christmas to create your own decor and gifts I know you will love these two online courses …

If you have always wanted to learn how to paint with watercolors or want to paint your own Christmas cards this year you will love this online course…

You can see our bags HERE.

If you love vintage …

FAQ about our home and where we have purchased some of our items.

*Woven basket, vintage grain sack tree skirt, vintage linen bags on each plate, vintage French bells, lavender sachets are all from Dreamy Whites.

*Many of our furniture pieces, the boxwood wreaths, architectural pieces, milking bench, Patience/Strength mugs are from Old Glory Antiques.

*The vintage ironstone, vintage caddies, French cutting boards are from Dwell.

*If my vintage French linen is not from a trip I have taken I often find them at French Larkspur.

*The “Fall on Your Knees” painting in my studio is from The House of Belonging.

*The wool pom pom wreath, chunky throw in the window seat photos, Merry Christmas banner on our mantel and many of our mugs are from Anthropologie.

*The star idea out of twigs came from the online class The 12 Artsy Ornaments of Christmas.

*The garland on the tree made from finger knitting is from the online course Creatively Made Home.

*The advent wreath was inspired from a twig tree project from Home for the Holidays.

*The “Sweet Melissa” cow print on wrapped canvas is from Paige Knudsen.

*Red Cross pillow made from vintage fabrics on Jack’s bed is from Komedal Road.

I will try to answer more of your questions in the comments section.

A Living Magazine {and a video for you too}

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Before I get started I wanted you to see a video that I made just for you.

I wanted you to hear a little bit from me about the course and why I would even make it in the first place.

{and yes…I have bangs now…and I am really diggin’ them and so is my family…we need to get out more}

{to watch the video at the highest quality click the HD in the right hand corner}

In 7 days Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays} will launch.

I wanted to tell you why I think this course is so special and different.

In fact, as an e-course there is nothing else out there like it.

I feel like we are the best parts of a magazine…but better:-)

It has all the ideas and inspiration from a magazine but you walk away having connected with others!

I love magazines and have pages that have been torn out stuffed everywhere.

I have been collecting ideas and inspiration for as long as I can remember.

I have watched shows that have inspired me to clean out, update and redecorate.

I have learned new DIY techniques.

All of these things are fun and creative.

Even though I was inspired …I hadn’t connected with them personally, never had I been encouraged to think about what a home is really about and it had never opened my heart to the possibility of loving those around me differently.

When I first started even thinking about doing an e-course I knew I couldn’t just teach techniques…I wanted to share more.

I wanted to share me.

I wanted to share what was real.

I love to connect with women in person and wanted to make sure that didn’t change doing a course online.

I didn’t just choose other women to teach in this course because they had amazing homes.

You can find lots of women with gorgeous homes.

I wanted women that had a deep love of family and a heart for others too.

I wanted women that would be open, funny and honest.

Remember…I want real.

When you watch these videos you won’t just walk away with a project idea or inspiration you will tuck away for later.

You will walk away feeling like you are sitting across the table from a friend.

You will hear stories that will inspire you to be more authentic in your hospitality.

You will laugh at our mistakes and imperfections and you will love the women for letting you know they aren’t perfect.

You will also instantly have a creative network of creative women to connect with if you choose to take advantage of it.

You will have tons of inspiration and project videos in this course…but you will get more than that.

{image from Cathy Penton}

Here are some of the things people are saying about the original Creatively Made Home…

“Honestly, I wasn’t so sure I should take the Creatively Made Home class with Jeanne.  I thought seeing all these amazing homes and creative women might tempt me to feel badly about my own humble abode.  Jeanne assured me that anyone on any budget could find ideas and inspiration that weren’t out of reach.  She was right!   Yes, the homes are gorgeous and the women so very talented, but what I learned from watching, was that I didn’t need new “stuff” for my house. The real problem was that I had hung on to stuff that I really didn’t love anymore.  It gave my home new life just by getting rid of the old clutter and letting go of those things I really didn’t want or need.  I learned to keep and display only the things with personal significance, usefulness, and beauty–the things that make me smile.

Going through this class helped me better define my style and appreciate what I already have.  Now my home is a truer reflection of the beautiful people that live here.  Thank you to all the Creatively Made Home women for sharing your homes and for helping me see mine in a whole new light!”

-Kristi

 

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“I have to say that the course for me felt like a nice Fall Day, warm comforting and inspiring.It was really such a joy to see all of the videos and I felt like a kid on Christmas waiting for the next one. The videos were in every way good for the soul.”

-Monica

 

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“I loved this course!

 Two (of many, many) things I will take away from it are

 (1) that you really do not need to spend a lot of money on your space – shop your own house – re-purpose items – re-arrange.  And most importantly -

 (2) don’t be afraid to use your items, live in your home – the people in it are more important than perfectly fluffed pillows, artfully arranged throw blankets, and a gorgeously set dinner table that no one can use.

 I highly recommend this course!”

 -Jen

 

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“Please let me explain why I am eager for the new Home for the Holidays course. Besides the fact that there is a plethora of great information and ideas, Creatively Made Home was designed and carried out by women that shared freely and were down-to-earth. Somehow each one made you feel like they have been there…that they know the challenges and the pleasures of creating “Home.”

The best compliment I can relay is that I revisit this class often to catch details I may have missed. But I also catch myself, when there is time, revisiting the class to simply reconstruct the experience.

I have joined almost every class you have offered because I know if offered in this venue, then the experience can be counted on to be a meaningful, rich, and rewarding one – and most of all, an authentic one. I can’t wait.

Thank you for envisioning this productive gathering place and for inviting others to help you carry it out. “

 -Missy

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“The Creatively made Home course had such an impact on me that I don’t even know where to begin… you see it gave me courage, the courage to step outside of the carefully constructed walls which I can built around myself years ago.  The courage to take a deep breath and trust myself, to trust my instincts… whether it was the decor in our home or allowing myself to have hope again, to be confident, to embrace the things that I love doing even if it isn’t my strong suit, to take in the beauty that surrounded me.  I can honestly say that my family has enjoyed the benefits of the course as it is a place where they can truly feel at home, a home filled with memories and meaning! So thank you!!  For helping me to take that one step that has begun a new journey in my life… for encouragement and for introducing me to a group of ladies who have brought so much joy and beauty into our every day lives!”

 -Peggy 

 

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“As someone who loves to decorate, has “house envy” and “design envy” at times:), the CMH course sparked several “light bulb” or “aha” moments for me.  I began to let go of my perfectionist qualities about home and delighted in the enjoyment of creating spaces of beauty that were expressions of me and our family; less about pleasing others or what they might like.

 

I learned to “shop” my home and loved going through discarded or packed away pieces and brought them out with new life.  I found beautiful touches for our home by going through old correspondence, notes, pictures and family memories.  For example, pinning a sweet love note written from our dating days to an old French linen hanging in our bathroom…incorporating little thoughtful touches that were truly “me” and “us” (meaning our family) to wall arrangements, table arrangements and preparing special dinner table settings….these are the things that CMH helped to cultivate.”

-Jody

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Join Edie, Jennifer, KariAnne, Anne Marie, Andrea, Carol, Cathy, Jen and me in Home for the Holidays!

 

We can’t wait to create with you!

Only 7 more days until Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}!

There is no other online course like this!

The Creatively Made Home courses bring your favorite magazine to life.

Join me and eight other creative bloggers for interviews, decorating, gift giving and cooking videos.

To read more click HERE.

To register directly on our creative network click HERE.

To register on our website click HERE.

You can also pay instantly below.

 

 




What Makes It Special For You? {i bet it is the little things}

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It was November 2001, days before Thanksgiving and only a few days before my sister’s wedding.

Family had flown in from all over the country and we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our first little home in Ft. Collins.

Jack was just a little over 1 year old and this would be the first Thanksgiving meal I had ever prepared for more than just us.

I was excited about having my aunts and uncles in our home and blessing them like they had done for me over and over while I was growing up.

I was using my favorite entertaining cookbook (at the time) and excited to plan out the whole meal and put together the table setting.

I like things to be pretty but even more than pretty…I have always wanted people to leave our home knowing how much they are loved.

If you can imagine a 150 sq ft kitchen and eating area being used to prep and cook food for 10 people.

All of the women were in the kitchen working together (very closely).

I think there were five-six of us chopping, boiling, roasting:-)

It was quite a sight.

The best part was that I had never cooked a turkey this big before and it scared the crap out of me.

We were making butternut squash and apple soup from scratch and making the biggest mess you can possibly make in 150 square feet.

I was cooking with some of my favorite people.

I was with my mom, sister, my Aunt Jeannette and my cousin Jen.

We were laughing at all of the mishaps and just enjoying being together.

The turkey wasn’t done on time.

Shocker.

We had to put it back in and wait a little longer.

Jack had a melt down right as we were sitting down to eat.

We squeezed 10 people around a little table and I am sure more than knees were touching and not one person complained.

{I can’t believe we even found this photo}

The boys all washed the dishes and gave the girls a break after dinner.

It was perfect in all the ways that mattered.

I remember little about that day except the joy of being with family in my kitchen.

The help, the conversation, the love, the laughter and the joy I felt to host Thanksgiving dinner at OUR home.

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I asked each of the girls that are joining me in the brand new e-course Home for the Holidays to share with you a favorite tradition they love.

If you notice for each of the girls it isn’t something expensive or flashy.

It isn’t about perfection.

It is about friends and family.

It is about creating memories and traditions.

What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?

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Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays} begins October 15th.

{ less than two weeks away}

This is a three week online course PACKED with videos on traditions, memories, cooking, gift giving and decor.

This course will change how you love on your friends and family this holiday season.

I also hope it will change how you love on your family day to day.

To read more click HERE.

To register click HERE.

You can also pay below.




Fall Decorating Ideas {Finding Fall Favorites}

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I wanted to do this days ago but vacation was getting in the way:-)

It is taking me 20 times as long to get anything done, upload photos etc.

I will work on it for 5 minutes, save it and then we are off on another adventure:-)

It was such an honor to be included in Laura’s Finding Fall Home Tour!

Laura and Better Homes and Gardens did such an incredible job bringing everyone together and giving everyone TONS of decorating inspiration.

It was fun for me to go through all the blogs again and pick out some of my favorite decorating ideas from each blogger.

I hope you will enjoy the favorites and if you missed the tour (or you want to visit start to finish) I hope you love the inspiration.

*Please click on the blog banner of each home to go directly to their home tour*

House 1

House 2

House 3

House 4

House 5

House 6

House 7

House 8

House 9

House 10

House 11

House 12

House 13

House 14

House 15

House 16

Better Homes and Gardens

I hope you loved this tour as much as I did.

My next post will be answering many of your questions through blog comments and private emails about our home.

I will be sharing sources, paint colors etc.

See you then!