Blessed by everyday blessings

these are a few of my favorite things

~smiling faces~

~hugs and kisses from grandchildren
and hearing the name Nanny from far away places~

~mostly old sometimes new~

~quilts with love stitched through and through

~Babies and butterflys and all things created~

~To know you are loved makes life sweet with grace traces ~


Monday, January 20, 2014

Lingering in the Spirit of LOvE

Christmas here was Delightful. Yes even in January, I hate to say goodbye to it all.  There was such a spirit of Love in the air, people are thinking about giving not so much getting,  everything is cozy, the white lights and candles burn bright on the dark nights and having family to share it all with is just plain wonderful.  I really want to linger a bit longer but the world just keeps moving forward..... It is the middle of January 2014 and Baby it is cold outside! Still for me Christmas lingers.

So because I am lingering and my house still has evidence of a few trees with lights on them....  this is our winter tree just for the record :)
but our Christmas tree is still up too.

 Yes you can gasp if everything Christmas at your house has been  boxed up for weeks... I simply need more light on the dreary days of January.

I want to share what I learned this year at Christmas time?

My family members are
 the most important people in my life.
If no one else enters my door....
I want them to feel cozy special when they come to visit.

I went to a Christmas tour of homes this year in our community.  I don't usually do that .   Sometimes it makes me feel under rated. I come home feeling like my house is nothing special and it is kind of a downer.  But one of the houses I went to  had such a feeling of warm welcome that I didn't want to leave and I wanted that for my home so I came home and did some serious evaluating.

There would be a special guest this year. 
 Clayton Paul born November 13, 2013
It was his first Christmas....
 He needed to know he was loved. 
 As it was December 8 and I hadn't done any decorating yet, my house needed help!  Now don't laugh, but I pretended that people were coming to tour my house. I wondered, how would they feel when they walked through my door and into my home. Would they want to linger?  Home is important to me. It is a safe place in a crazy world. I wondered if there was enough evidence of what is important here?

 It wasn't about acquiring more stuff... Or having just the right stuff ... I wanted to know .....
How do you create " special "
when you are feeling really quite ordinary!
We are not the rich nor the famous but ordinary people. And I like to shop thrift stores!  My house is not fancy..... just everyday ordinary.

Here are a few things I discovered....

First, I already had what I  needed.... It  just need some rearranging!

The furniture , lamps and the stuff on the wall is the old stuff  
everything else was moved from a different room to this room.
I would love new furniture but that wasn't going to happen.
 What did happen...
  I loved the cozy new arrangement so much
I didn't want to leave the room.
I simplified things...
gathered every snowflake I owned and put it on one tree
Then used some red and white candy canes
for the final touch
I added some more red and white stripes around the room
It was a simple theme but special.

Second, it didn't take a lot of extra money... you can do a lot with Sand, Mason jars, pinecones, votive candles, Epson salt, white dishes, an angel costume and shopping the house.

Dress up your favorite angel and nestle her 
among the other angels to make her feel special.

Notice the ordinary sticks from my ordinary yard !
I know they feel special!
Some ordinary soul who discovered this is a genius!
Epson salt will make any candle feel special
Elevate the guest of honor.... His name is Jesus
My girls made this nativity set
when they were in vacation Bible school.
It was not expensive but
It has been special for a long time.
You guessed it, more Epson salt in that bottle.
My old crochet angel that I have been tempted to toss many times
 because I didn't know what to do with her now holds a place of honor.
Tea lights at every place setting.
While we ate Christmas Nachos we each shared what the
best thing about our year had been.
Lots of good things shared! 
Special times around an ordinary table.
And we voted..... we will not be changing the menu
any time soon. Nachos.... Who would have ever guessed that one year
when the only thing quick that I could think of to make
when my kids were little would be the most treasured.
We have recently added Guacamole to the Feast ! 
 As we were finishing our Christmas Eve meal
 we opened the first present, a Gift from God to our family.
This gift had been sitting on a little rocking chair for a couple of weeks
and everyone was curiously waiting to see what was inside the box.
I had wrapped up Bryce's Bible that he had received as a young boy.
It was not wrapped in fancy paper.
It was just wrapped in brown paper with a big white bow.
During a prayer night at our church,
 the thought of seeing God's faithfulness
with each generation was highlighted In Mary's Song of Praise.
I wanted Emmy and Addilyn to know that being
 in a family that loves God is a precious gift.
and having God's word
 is the best gift we could ever have.
We need to make sure we are reading our Bible this year.
Passing faith from generation to generation.... 
I want to make sure my grandchildren know
 there is a very special reason we celebrate
Christmas.....  The Savior has come!
Opa reads the Christmas story....
 the grandchildren place the paper
ornaments from the book on the tree.
A tradition started with my children.
20 years ago.
We almost missed it this year life got a little crazy....
 we thought we didn't have time.
So glad we made time.
Christmas is really just a ordinary day.
We make it a special day
 by what we choose to focus on.
 We pray before we open any presents. 
Everything we have comes from our Heavenly Father.
We are blessed beyond measure.
We savor the moments.
This book says it all..... I never tire of the story of Love.
Fill an under loved grape vine wreath with pinecones
and add a Christmas book inside the circle.
 Place it on a table by your front door.

 Third, remember,  Location- location- location ..... makes ordinary things special.  Really,  I found that there really were better places for some of my things.  Some of those things have been in those old spaces for a LONG time. And on the other side of creating cozy, I decided there some things I didn't need any more. So I'm passing them on to bless someone else.... That is always a very good thing!!

 Invite another set of eyes to come to help you arrange things in your home. Both of you will be blessed by the great accomplishment and friendship will deepen.

You might as well decorate the naughty chair while you are at it
.... you won't be needing it till after Christmas :)
I want to live with a welcoming heart.
I'll be working on that in 2014
Stay cozy.
linking up here



1 comment :

Kiera Vanella said...

Beautiful Janita!! Your Holiday season looked truly special and filled with love.


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