Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye December

It has been a while since I have posted, so thought I would give you a picture of what December was like for us.
An unexpected beach weekend away with friends. Perfect timing, and definitely some stress relief!
 Cookie Swap and Brunch
Favorite Coffee Cups.
 They make me smile!
Favorite Nativity

Some table decor. My boy and I cut fresh greens together.
Listening to the Christmas story, Christmas morning. My boy has read it the past couple of years, cried both times most of the way through, and when he finished this year, he said,"this has got to be the best story in the Bible!
I am one blessed Mama!
And last but not least, how could anyone not love this fashion statement?
I will not be up to ring the new year in, as a cold is trying to get the best of me.
Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Make Your Own Advent Calendar

A couple of weeks ago I saw this Christmas Advent Calendar, and knew I had to make one. Emily has done the hard work for us. She has made the free printable tags to use for this project. I have to admit I wasn't sure I could come up with 25 totally different items that the ones she had used, so I copied.

I had a lot of fun with this project, and love the finished results. As Emily said, I will leave all of my tags on because it looks prettier that way.

Here's what I did different. Already had the bulletin board and couldn't find the upholstery nails similar to what she had used, so I painted the frame with Country Grey Chalk paint, and waxed with clear and dark wax. My frame sort of came apart easily so I removed the cork before painting.

I used a piece of linen fabric that I had on hand and covered the cork. I used spray adhesive to ensure that it would lay flat, then wrapped the linen to the back and stapled. Then I just slipped it back into the frame.

Here is a closer look at my items:  Gold Bell (Dollar Tree), Green Ribbon, Lamb Ornament (thrift store), Felt flower, Plaid Fabric & Mini Pine cones, String of vintage fabric flowers,
 Red/White Pennant, Vintage thread spool, Vintage rhinestone earring, Glittered H

 Moss from my beach trip (more on that later), Old skeleton key, Small tassel from trim 
 Red Bow, Small shell, Mini bird nest w/ eggs, Snowflake, Mini paper chain
 Greenery w/red berries, Christmas Tree Pin(thrift store),Old thimble
 Candy Cane, Felt rose, Driftwood, Gold Star
This fun little project cost me less than $5.00 and it was worth it.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lessons on Listening, and the Unexpected

Yesterday I started out like I normally do. I had swapped work days with another girl so I could attend a cookie swap on Monday(soon to be another post). My little job is fun, I meet a lot of people and it has been a lot of fun to help folks this Christmas season.

Late yesterday a young man named Freddy came in the shop asking to use the phone. He had just been released from jail and needed a ride to get home. I found myself not being alarmed at all, but he needed to make a long distance call, so I did not feel I could let him use the business phone. A still small voice seemed to be saying, "but you have a cell phone w/ unlimited long distance" "this is an opportunity, so I let him use it. He needed to get back to the Atlanta area about 3 hours away, but we have no public transportation running from here to there. This brief encounter turned into almost 2 hours of trying to help him.

While trying to get him help, it was suggested to me that he might be scamming me, I should call the law and get him to move on, I shouldn't bother with him, etc., and I was unable to get anyone to help. I am sure now that God was all the while nudging me to help him.

The sheriffs department did come by, and verified that he was telling the truth. One of the officer had escorted him to his court hearing that day, but they asked him to move on, and he left without there being any solution to a way home for him. It had begun to rain when I got off work, but I still had concern for him. You see except for the grace of God, that young man could be my son.

I went home and continued to think about the young man. My husband was working, but knew what was happening and continued to check in on me. A few minutes later I realized my cell phone had all of the numbers that he had called, so I began calling, and ended up talking with his mother. She was concerned, and still had not been able to get him a way home, but knew that he was headed to Wal-Mart. I let her know that I would try to find him, get him some dinner and go from there.

I knew that I could try to find him, buy him a meal at McDonalds(inside Wal-Mart) and see if I could share the love of Jesus with him. As I was pulling into the parking lot, my cell was ringing and it was him. He said his mother had told him that I was looking for him, and he would wait at McDonalds for me. (an employee had let him use his cell phone).

I purchased his meal, and sat down with a drink and talked with him while he ate. By the time I had gotten there, he had been able to get in touch with his brother-in-law, who would be picking him up.
We talked, and from what I could tell, he professed to know the Lord, and knew that we are sinners saved by Jesus' death on the cross. I encouraged him to seek after the Lord, and that I would be praying for him.

At the end of the conversation before I left, he said that he never got my name, and I said Jackie, to which he replied, "that's my Mama's name." Right there, I knew that this encounter was God ordained. I spoke with his mother this morning and he made it home safely.

I in no way want to share this to pat myself on the back, but to encourage you to slow down and listen to the still small voice that may be speaking to you. What better way to spend this Christmas season sharing the love of Jesus in a most unexpected way.

Have a blessed remainder of the week.