This Little Light of Mine {I’m Gonna Let It Shine}

I first saw this video at my church on Christmas Eve a few years ago.

I thought it was so powerful and beautiful and I am honored that the creator of the video has allowed me to share it here.

I hope this is a sweet reminder during December and throughout the whole year…

Now go out and let your light shine!

Thank you Michael for allowing me to share your beautiful video.

This video was created by Michael Sweet at Epitage Media | 720-281-2032

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2014 Holiday House Walk

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{If you like the images on our mantle you can print them out HERE. We are all crazy for them and love how whimsical they are! Alice, I think you are the bees knees.}

I am so glad you have stopped by and I can’t wait to welcome you into our home.

I have loved home, making home and loving on the people I love for as long as I can remember.

The older I get the more I know…truly know…that loving on others and loving on my family is far better than a pretty home.

In this home you will find that art is made often, music is usually playing, a candle is burning, books are being read, the house is rarely really clean and I forget about dinner until around 4:30 each day.

More than anything I hope that our children remember how much they are deeply loved and accepted.

I hope they always carry with them their faith and how it will guide their steps all of their days.

I hope they will also know that a pretty house is nice but the people in that house are the best!

Welcome to our home.

Our whole family wishes you the most Merry Christmas!

I am so honored each time Jennifer Rizzo has asked me to be a part of her Holiday House Walk.

It is so much fun to be included with such a talented group of women that love family and making home comfortable and beautiful!

To begin the walk from the beginning click the icon below or go directly to Jennifer Rizzo.

If you are stopping over from Four Generations Under One Roof I am so glad you are here. Jessica and her family create such a gorgeous home!

Go grab something to drink and I hope you will take a moment to look around.

I decorate pretty simple for the holiday and over the years my Christmas bins have gotten fewer and fewer.

I really love to pull the outdoors in and use what is easily available out my front door.

We decorate our tree as a family and at least this year the ornaments seem to be scattered out evenly.

We have had many years where the tree almost fell over from having it too weighted from the front or they were all really low.

This year we are hoping for the tree to stay up!

Last year we made an Acts of Service Advent Tree and we all loved it.

This year we are also going to use it again because it really helped our days to be more focused on others and not just what we were hoping to receive.

I had to throw this shot in because I play my record player all day long. It is one of my favorite things and brings me oodles of joy.

This on the other hand brings my husband joy:-)

During my fall house tour I created a drink cart out of my IKEA art cart.

I loved it so much I decided to do it again but this time make it a permanent part of the living room at least through the holidays.

Just a peek into our library.  This is where we hold some of our books and the piano.

This is where my littlest loves to play on the floor and we all love it when the fire is going and it is toasty warm.

See that pillow?

That is from Craftberry Bush and her home is next!

We made the star our of twigs, tied them with string and strung copper lights from Anthro. It is truly one of my favorite pieces.

I use it year around all over the house.

The gorgeous Advent cards are from Naptime Diaries.

Go get yourself some twigs and twine and make yourself giddy happy.

Honest.

For those of you that haven’t seen the kitchen since last year’s house walk I bet you can’t believe the difference.

We aren’t done yet but we are getting there. I hope we are getting there. Things take WAY long in this house to get finished. I like to say that we are fashionably late. Are you buying it?

You can read more about it here, here, here and here.

One of my favorite things to change up each month is our hanging paper roll.

This month was inspired by the art work found HERE.

Pretty much one of my favorite Christmas songs!  Beautiful and powerful song. THIS is one of my favorite versions.

This sign is from my dear friend House of Belonging.  It is always a little hard to put this one away each year.

This is my studio and where I create and tape many of my online courses.

I love that this room used to be our dinning room and it is so close to the rest of the house and my family.

That is not always true…but most of the time.

I am so excited to tell you why this tree doesn’t have an ornaments on it yet.

We just started Unwrapping The Greatest Gift and each night in December the kids will decorate the “Jesse Tree” with ornaments we printed out.

We already have placed the first ornament on during our first night of Advent.  It was thought provoking and meaningful.

I am excited to see what the Lord reveals to us over the next month.

I usually include more of our upstairs but I was taking photos the morning we were leaving for our Thanksgiving adventure trip and there was nothing up there you would want to see.

Please check out our previous Holiday House Walks so you will know that the bedrooms are cleaned every once in awhile!

Thank you so much for taking a look at out home all dressed up for Christmas.

Please come back again!

You are going to love, love the next home.

Have so much fun going through Lucy’s home at Craftberry Bush!

I would love to have you check out my creative network where I have over 35 free and paid for online courses.

It is truly a lifestyle network with courses about home, cooking, bee keeping, art and so much more!

Come on over…

Other posts you might enjoy…

If you like the photos above of our home I think you would like these posts too…

Becoming: A free study that begins THIS January!

Fall Home Tour 2014

Fall Home Tour 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

Our 13 year old son’s bedroom makeover

Our daughter’s bedroom makeover

Going from baby to big boy room makeover

Hallway collage wall

Our home decorated for Christmas

How to add character to a new home

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Creatively Christmas {a book, some crafting, our home and a giveaway}

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Last January Jennifer Rizzo came and captured our home still decorated for the holidays.

After months of Jen writing, photographing and creating for her book I believe we were one of the last homes that she needed to photograph.

It was a fun time of working and playing during her visit and a sweet honor to be included in her first book!

I was able to see a draft of the book before it went to print and as I looked through it I had tears in my eyes for my dear friend that had created one of the most gorgeous Christmas DIY books I had ever seen.

This book is so packed full of things you can make for your home, as gifts, with your kids and friends.

When we finally had our own copy of the book in our hands Maddy and I went through picking out all of the things we wanted to make and yesterday Ben and Maddy made a few things.

I am pretty strict about following my own rule about no Christmas until after Thanksgiving but I had to break that to share this beautiful book.

The book is full of DIY decorating and gift ideas but it is also overflowing in decor photos of different homes dressed up for Christmas and the traditions of the holidays.

This book has many layers and brings you much more than crafting.

Here is a glimpse into our creating day inspired by Jen’s new book Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Decor.

Did I mention that the first printing sold out weeks ago? Yep, it’s that good:-)

I purchased two extra copies of the book to give away!

To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you love about Christmas or the holidays in general.

We will pick the winners next week.

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Want To Get Your Heart Into The Holidays? {This year make it simple and meaningful}

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One of my most popular online course is Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}.

This three week course is all about the heart of home and how to make the holidays all about the people you love.

I wanted to offer this beautiful and rich course at a discount for the next 72 hours.

For the next 72 hours you can get this course for $29! 

This is 50% off!

*There will be 65 videos.  30 project videos and 35 discussion videos.

These will be incredible videos that include everything from cooking, gift giving and decorating

*Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the nine women

*Supply Lists and PDFs for each project

*A digital recipe book of the recipes shared in this course

You will have access to the videos for TWO YEARS!

Course Description:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.

You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.

You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.

You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.

You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.

We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and families.

We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.

My hope is that this course will help you slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

I promise you that this course will help you look at your home, your traditions, your family and opening your doors in a whole new way!

Won’t you join me in Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}?

The teachers in this course are some of your favorite bloggers (or they are about to become)!

Here is a peek into what you will create in this INSANTLY available online course.

 I am so excited to open my doors to friends and family again this year!

Just seeing these photos makes my heart skip a beat and makes me excited to love on those in my life in sweeter ways all year long.

To read more or register click HERE.

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For people that are not already in the site here are directions:

To take a class on Jeanne Oliver’s creative network please follow these instructions:

1. Become a member of jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free)

2. Once your membership is approved you can watch free art videos, the popular free interview series Creativity Takes Courage and even pay for more in depth courses.

3. Want to take an online course?  We currently offering 30 courses and free videos and you can find them all along the left hand side of the main page under “Courses”.  If you do not see the course you are looking for please click the “View all” at the bottom of the list.

4. Click on the course you are interested in, click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course.

5. If you have ANY questions please email jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com

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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.

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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.

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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

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