Monday, April 14, 2014

Entering into Holy Week


In preparation for this Holy Week, I was challenged and helped by these thoughts from Fleming Rutledge.  Perhaps you'll find them helpful, too.


My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

With all my heart, with all my mind, with all my strength I desire to convey to you that this week, while the world goes about its business, the meaning of existence is revealed to those who have eyes to see.  The true significance of the headlines comes to light as Jesus of Nazareth goes His solitary way. . . .

In the reading of the Passion, Thursday night as Jesus eats His last supper and goes forth to be betrayed, Friday noon as He hangs exposed and naked on the Cross and pours out His life, God is acting.  In the events of this week, the cries of those who suffer have been heard by the One who could, the only One who can, the only One who will deliver on his promise that there will be a happy morning.  But it only comes - it only comes - by means of His death.  Let us follow Him then, this week, to the foot of His Cross.  Let us come together in mind and heart and to behold our Lord as He gives Himself up for the sake of the whole world.  Let us come in heart and soul and mind, in faith and in trust, to confess that "truly this man is the Son of God."

Tell me--what do you plan to do this week to "follow Him to the foot of His cross"?  Can I help you?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday soul care: Palm Sunday


After a long winter and a slow-starting spring, we've finally arrived at Palm Sunday.  Is your heart ready for Holy Week?


Perhaps, like me, you'd benefit from reading this poem from G.K. Chesterton.

"The Donkey"

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me; I am dumb.
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


And perhaps you will join me in this prayer: 

Dear Lord, please give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to recognize Jesus as King of Kings.

A blessed Palm Sunday to you!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating a space for crafting


I'm so excited to share with you a new space in my home!  My friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage is sharing tours of beautiful craft rooms this week, and I'm honored to participate.  I don't quite have a craft room, but I do have a special space to share!


Let me tell you how this little space came about.

First I should say that we're blessed to live in a large house, with lots of space for most everything.  There's room for reading, writing, working, playing, cooking, entertaining, exercising, relaxing--you name it, and we've got room for it.  Except for one thing.

There was no place for me to craft.  No place for my tools and supplies, no spot for me to perch and plan and create.  Let's face it--crafting is usually a fairly messy process, and there was no dedicated space for it.  So I kept my things stuffed into cupboards and closets and pulled them out to the kitchen whenever I wanted to make something.  Someday soon, when my boys are all grown up and out of the nest, I may have a dedicated room for crafting.  For now, I just wanted a place to work, store my materials, and keep my sewing machine set up!

And then one day, when I was changing the sheets on the guest room beds, it hit me.



See that door to the left?  Guess where that leads?



I had this large guest room closet, nice and bright and empty.



I've worked very hard create a welcoming space for guests, and I didn't want to mess that up.  But that was a lot of unused space!

So I measured and drew and schemed and planned and enlisted the help of the friendly wood cutter at Home Depot.

I removed the old closet rack from one side of the guest room closet and, aided by my trusty level, I mounted 1x6's to serve as brackets for a work surface and a shelf.  A pro would have mounted the 1x6's with nails, set the nails, and puttied over them, for a perfectly smooth surface.  I'm no pro, so I cheated: using my drill, I attached the 1x6's to the studs with screws. They're not pretty, but they're secure.



Holding my breath, I placed the sheets of wood that I'd so carefully measured atop the brackets.  Perfect fit!



Sanding and white paint finished off the job.  And now. . . I have a space for crafting!



While my electrician was here doing some work, I had him add an outlet to the desk area.  I was planning just to run an extension cord from the bedroom into the closet, but it's so much nicer to avoid that mess.  And my sewing machine is right at home!


You can probably tell from looking at my sewing machine that I'm not an expert seamstress.  Those lines of tape are there to help me sew straight seams!  But my little machine and I get the job done, and we have lots of fabric stored underneath the beds in the guest room.

I added baskets on the shelf to hold craft supplies.  You can see a few things peeking over the tops of the baskets, but mostly things are kept neat and hidden away here.



And drawer units under the desk to hold more craft and sewing supplies:



I needed a few desktop organizers, so I covered some oatmeal containers with scrapbook paper from my stash.  Free.



I figured that a large bulletin board might come in handy on the desk top, so I created one by covering pieces of foam board with batting and drop cloth.  Easy and inexpensive.  Among other things, I like to keep an ornament of the word "hope" hanging there, a reminder of one of my favorite verses, Romans 15:13:  "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 



My craft space isn't large--after all, it's still just half of the guest room closet.  But it's a sweet little space.  And there's still plenty of room for guests to hang their clothes:




Where there's a will, there's a way!


 

Thanks so much to Angie for inviting me to participate in her Craft Room tour!

Organized Craft Room Tour -- a tour of a fabulous craft room with tons of ideas for organization. Plus a ton more craft room tours linked!
I'm joining Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for her April Before and After party.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Grace at Home No. 101


Welcome, friends!  I can hardly believe another week has passed and it's time for the 101st Grace at Home party!

In case you missed it, I'm celebrating the 100th edition of Grace at Home with a giveaway for $100 cash!  You can click here to enter the giveaway.

With Spring in the air and Easter around the corner, inspiration abounds in the blogosphere.  Here are a few of my favorite posts from last week's party.

Nici from Posed Perfection created a darling Spring mantel:

Bunny Love Spring Mantel

Liz from The Tuscan Home makes her home beautiful in every season, and Spring is no exception:


Need some inspiration for setting the table for Easter Sunday?  Check out this post from Sara at Confetti Sunshine!


Or how about some ideas for decorating for an Easter party?


Laura from The Turquoise Home put together a guide to painting cabinets for the average DIY girl.  I love this!

The Average DIY Girl's Guide to Painting Cabinets: Supplies - no professional equipment needed! #DIY #Painting
Becky Kopitzke shares the wisdom she's gaining about parenthood, and her post "What Your Child's Behavior Says About You" is especially good.

Ballet class

Thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free printable and giveaway winner


Hello, friends!

I'm tickled that so many of you liked the green Heritage Collection Ball jars.  I think they're so pretty, and I especially like mixing them with last year's blue jars.




 

I created a Waterlogue of the jars sparkling in the sunlight, and many of you asked about that artwork.  Click here to download a printable of this Waterlogue (free for personal use only).

The lucky winner of the case of jars is Entry #181,  Mindy Whipple!  Congratulations, Mindy!

***SPECIAL REMINDER:  This week I'm celebrating the 100th edition of the Grace at Home link party by giving away $100 cash!  Click here to enter!***

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Grace at Home No. 100! A celebration and a special giveaway


Welcome, welcome, welcome!!
Grace at Home

Today is special around these parts.  It's Thursday, so it's time for the weekly Grace at Home linky party, and that's pretty special on its own.  But today is the 100th Grace at Home linky party, and that's worth celebrating!

Grace at Home is a party for celebrating all the ways we make our homes places of grace.  We are all recipients of God's grace.  We are dependent upon Him for everything!  It's a privilege to honor God by making our homes reflections of that grace in big and small ways.

So today is a party for a party.  Along with our regular linky party, I want to celebrate with everyone who has ever participated in Grace at Home.  How shall I do that?  Well, how about a giveaway?  It seems to me it would be good to mark this this 100th party occasion with a $100 GIVEAWAY!


No sponsors, no gimmicks, just $100 cash to celebrate this 100th party.  I hope you'll join the celebration by entering the giveaway!  (If you're reading this post in an email, click over to my blog to enter.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next week I'll share some favorites from two weeks' worth of parties, but for now I just want to say a special thank you to everyone who has joined this party over the past couple of years!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week.  After all, it wouldn't be a party if no one participated! 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!  And don't forget to enter the giveaway to win