There is a basket full of mittens and gloves in our laundry room. Every autumn we check the basket to make sure that we have enough mittens and gloves for every one in our family, and that every mitten or glove has a mate. Well, that’s the objective, anyway.
But there is just something that mysteriously happens to mittens and gloves (and sox, too!) apparently in the middle of the night, or at least when no one is watching, because they definitely have a way of disappearing. But of course, they don’t just disappear like POOF! a complete pair just goes missing . . . . no, only one from each pair manages to escape from the basket, the laundry room, the bedroom, and for that matter, from the entire house, garage, and car.
So now that the temperatures have dipped to below zero on most morning around here when we are leaving the house at 7:25 a.m., I have three mittens . . . no, wait, this morning I had four. A black one, a pink one, a purple one, and a red one. Why does life have to be so complicated? I suppose I should count my blessings, because if mismatched mittens is the biggest challenge I face today, then I’ll be good.
But in the real world, mismatched mittens are just a symbol of how mixed up life can become when we aren’t paying attention to the details. Our days are filled with running here and there, trying to remember to pay the bills (money? what money???), go to a JOB and / or keep the kids alive, take them to the dr., the dentist, piano lessons, and choir concerts . . . . and so much more . . . that it is a struggle to keep everything and everyone all going in the right direction, at least most of the time. It’s like herding cats. Or water bugs. But I digress . . . . .
Today the mismatched mittens reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a close friend. She was lamenting the fact that her husband was considering taking a new job in a state far away from friends and family, and she really didn’t like that idea. And another friend was anxious about her pre-teen daughter contemplating the possibility of rejecting the faith that her family had lovingly shared with her. And then there was the mother in the neighborhood who just found out that her teen age daughter is expecting her first baby, father off to the care-free days of college. Another friend was facing the challenge of marital struggles, and still another mom I know has a son who has chosen a lifestyle that is dangerous and potentially illegal.
Mismatched hearts. Mismatched people. Mismatched lives. We all have challenges and we all have mismatched “something” going on in our lives. Especially this season of Christmas, perhaps we would do well to reach out and touch the heart of another, even if our heart is breaking, because it is through the love of God in the words and touch of another human being that will make the mismatched among us whole again.
I have three mittens . . . . . but I’m going to find one that matches, just you wait and see!
It’s time to hop! Party and link up! The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 6 different blogs! That’s right, your link will appear on the blogs of Katherines Corner, Sew Crafty Angel, Cuddlebug Cuties, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper. Six times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.
Please DO NOT link and run…….
- Please visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing here.
- Remember to Follow Your hostesses- Katherines Corner, Sew Crafty Angel, Cuddlebug Cuties, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper
- Please leave comments when you visit
- Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
- Linkback on your post (optional, but always appreciated)
- Grab the hop button code from The button page (optional)
- No adult content blogs
- No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed)
- Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the Giveaways Page too!
There are so many ways to celebrate Christmas, the holiday season, and winter! Here at mamas*little*treasures, we are continually searching for fun, inexpensive, and creative ideas to share with our readers. This gorgeous Snowflake Wreath is the perfect home decor project for the winter months, and will take your right through January and into February when we will be looking for crafts and home decor projects for Valentine’s Day!
This stunning wreath was created last winter, in January, for a dear friend who loves to decorate her home for every season and holiday in the year. It is easy to create, and inexpensive, but it have lots of charm and sparkle to chase away the winter blues.
Speaking of “blues,” this wreath was designed and created in shades of blue, silver, and white, but it could also be made up in any color combination you prefer. It would be really pretty if you made it up in purples and gold (with gold glitter, of course!), or red and silver, or traditional Christmas colors of red and green with sparkly white snowflakes.
This is also a project that you can make with the kids or grandkids because it is so easy. And oh so pretty!
If you would like to try making your very own Snowflake Wreath, we have a FREE tutorial available to you HERE, with a complete list of supplies, instructions, and even a link where you can learn how to make paper snowflakes if it has been a while since you’ve tackled that little project!
We have lots of projects planned for the cold winter months here at Vintage Mama’s Cottage, so please visit our Face Book page to keep up with the new tutorials and eBook patterns coming your way soon! And if you decide to make your own Snowflake Wreath, please send me a picture of your creation – I LOVE to see what you’ve made using the FREE tutorials here at mamas*little*treasures!
FREE Snowflake Wreath Tutorial from mamas*little*treasures
It happens to me every year at Christmas time, and I suspect it happens to you, too. We are suddenly reminded that Christmas is just around the corner and we begin the annual anxiety attack. Every other month of the year we manage to get by, somehow, even when the budget is stretched to its breaking point.
But Christmas has a completely different effect on us, because we realize that just because there is a gift-giving holiday in this particular month, there really isn’t going to be any more money in the paycheck this month. But somehow we always figure out how to do what we feel is important for our family, and we get through another Christmas.
Now that’s not exactly the way I would prefer to remember Christmas, but as a mom, that’s just part of my reality. And for many of us, that’s the way it has always been. We all survive, and the kids grow up and they don’t even remember the year they desperately wanted the latest “whatchamacallit” and we just couldn’t afford it right then. We all lived through those Christmases when times were tough.
But that’s not the biggest challenge of Christmas for those who have a servant’s heart. That’s because at Christmas time all of the needs in the world around us are brought more clearly into focus. Oh, we know there are needs everywhere we look . . . . the homeless shelter, the Mitten Tree at church where we can “adopt” a needy family from our community, the bells ringing outside of the grocery store and the big red buckets.
The neighbor kids who don’t have boots or mittens and it has been snowing for three days . . . the single mother with five children who stands in line at the local food pantry . . . . the daddy who can’t find a job and make enough money to feed his family much less buy them Christmas presents. And on and on and on and on it goes.
The needs are all around us, all the time, but at Christmas somehow there is a stronger tugging at our heart strings.
Well, that is, if we have a servant’s heart and we really and truly want to help others.
So, in the midst of all of the anxiety over getting through one more Christmas without a clue how we are going to do it all, now we have one more burden on our hearts. We cry out to God, “Help me know how to do this! There are so many who need Your love, and they need warm coats, and boots, and hats, and mittens, too!”
If you have ever found yourself in this place of wanting desperately to reach out to help others, but realize that (maybe for the first time in your life) YOU are actually the one who is in need, you will recognize how agonizing this time of year can be. If you have a servant’s heart, but you have nothing to give, this is your sacrifice.
Perhaps this time it is your gift to others to allow them to serve you. That’s hard to accept if you have always been one who has been able to give and do for others. But God does not place all of the responsibility on your shoulders, or mine, for every need in the world. Look around you. If there is a need and you can minister to another person, then that is a door that God has opened for you.
But if you are the one who is in need of encouragement, love, friendship, or food, warm clothing or shoes, winter boots and mittens . . . then that is the door God has opened for someone else. Do not prevent that other person from expressing the love of the Lord to you, offered from their servant’s heart.
It is a sacrifice of a servant’s heart when you want to give but you cannot. It is your gift to the servant’s heart of another when you graciously accept their sacrifice of love.
Be a blessing to someone this Christmas season, whether in giving or in receiving!
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17
Please join us for Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy where you can link up your Monday post and connect with the other participants in this week blog hop. Hope to see you there!
Sometimes I get confused. I suppose that isn’t too hard to believe, because I almost always have way too much going on in my brain. Many days I am in serious brain overload, and in the midst of that chaotic fog of remembering homework, answering emails, making decisions about everything from lunch money and gym shoes, to dental bills and dr. appointments, I forget to return the library books on time. I apologize for all my faux pas while just trying to get through a day!
I suspect, however, that I am not alone in this struggle to keep all the “plates” spinning, every day, all day long, and make sure that not one of them slips to the floor and shatters into a million pieces. We are all busy . . . . most of the time many of us are just way TOO busy. But what’s a mama to do?
All of that reminds me daily of one other thing that I have found a bit confusing for many years. It has been my experience that those of us who seek desperately to honor God with our lives, and who daily search for God’s guidance in ministering to others, are reminded (at least once a year) of the virtue of being that proverbial “Proverbs 31 woman.”
You know, the one who searches for the best wool to spin into yarn so she can make clothing (and probably socks) for her family (and probably all of her servant girls, too). She’s the lady who more than likely clips coupons so she can drive from store to store shopping for all the best deals in town, and to do that, of course, she gets up at the crack of dawn (wait, it’s still dark here this morning . . . can I go back to bed for a little snooze before it is time to get the kids up for school?).
Well, and the reason she has to get up so early is to cook breakfast for her family (and her “servant girls”?) before she flies out the door to meet with her real estate agent to check out the property on the other side of town before she buys it with extra money she has earned (doing all that other stuff), so she can plant a garden.
This is the woman who apparently goes to the gym at least three or four times a week, because she really has strong arms. She is definitely one whose work ethic is to be applauded for she works all night long to make sure that her business is profitable (hmmmm . . . . if her lamp does not go out at night, how can she get up early? I guess I’ll try to figure that one out another day!).
This girl spins her own thread and sews her own clothes (and all of the clothing for her family AND her servant girls), and in her spare time she works at the soup kitchen in town once a week. She bakes cookies and takes a casserole to her neighbors who are in need, all while watching carefully to see that her children are dressed in the latest fashions.
While she is stitching up all those beautiful garments for her children et al, she manages to squeeze in time to make a purple bed covering (and probably matching pillow cases and curtains), and then before you know it, she has whipped up a brand-new outfit for herself.
Which, of course, she will need for the upcoming holiday dinner at the city gate. Because she absolutely must make a good impression on all the others who will be there; she wouldn’t want her husband to be embarrassed by her presence.
As she finishes the last stitch on her new outfit, she remembers that the local merchants are expecting her to deliver an order for 100 new linen garments . . . by Friday and it is already Tuesday. Oops, don’t forget the sashes that go with all those linen thingies!
This is the woman who is always happy, spreading joy to all she meets; she never forgets to go to the women’s Bible study class on Wednesday morning . . . .after all, she is the teacher, so it is her responsibility to speak with wisdom and faithful instruction.
This is one busy lady! No wonder she can’t find time to sleep – she watches over the affairs of her household, and she does not eat the bread of idleness. Whew! I’m amazed at all she accomplishes in a day. But the reward makes it all worth it. Her children arise and call her blessed, and her husband praises her. It’s all in a day’s work, I guess, for this busy woman.
So, why am I confused? Well, because then once I think I just about have this “Proverbs 31” woman thing figured out (really?), I fly out the door on a Sunday morning (to teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, and then scoot on into the nursery to take care of the babies and toddlers so the young mamas can listen to the sermon in peace), and while rocking a screaming baby and keeping a toddler from eating the wad of toilet tissue that looks like a marshmallow, I manage to hear snippets of the morning’s sermon.
And that’s when I wonder how I could have gotten it so wrong for so long. Somehow, in the midst of all the flurry of “Martha” activities like feeding my kids, washing the dirty dishes and doing the laundry, I have forgotten that Mary “had chosen what is better.”
While Martha was bustling around making sure there were enough appetizers for everyone at the party, rushing back and forth filling glasses with water (or wine?), and pulling the pizza rolls out of the oven before they burned, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Sitting. And apparently not feeling guilty. Why can’t I find some of that guilt-free sitting time?
To add a bit of insult to injury, Martha was then gently reminded by Jesus to “Cool it, kid! Sit down and take a break.” Really? Is that how it works? Then who is going to do all that “Proverbs 31” stuff? Apparently I need to figure out a way to do all that virtuous woman business while sitting at the feet of Jesus.
It is always a good reminder, especially at this time of year, that we need (really need!) to slow down, take a break, and spend some time at the feet of Jesus. I know that we all feel pulled and pressured, stressed and anxious over all of the extra stuff we have to do around the holiday season.
I mean, after all, just because there’s a holiday in a particular month does not mean that God automatically gives us extra hours (and our paychecks do not automatically increase!) to accommodate all the added tasks, responsibilities, and expenses.
So, somewhere in the midst of all the busyness of our days, and along our journey towards becoming that virtuous “Proverbs 31” woman, we need to figure out how to add one more thing to our “To Do” list . . . . sit quietly at the feet of Jesus.
How to do it? I have no clue! I guess we just have to give it our best shot, ask God for guidance and pray that we figure out how to sit quietly for more than 30 seconds without feeling guilty – and maybe someone else will feel inspired to spin the wool and knit those socks, buy a field, plant a garden, and clip coupons and wash the dirty clothes.
All those things are good, but we just might get lost in the Jungle of Too-Busy if we aren’t careful. Come on out of that jungle and catch your breath while you listen to the words of our Lord. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about anyway?
One of my most favorite things to create is applique designs. I haven’t had much time to work on new ones since I started my part-time JOB, but I really am hopeful that I will be able to come up with a few new ideas this winter. Maybe I’ll work on a couple of fun Valentine’s Day designs, and then something for Easter and springtime, and then it will be summer again!
When I was designing children’s boutique clothing full-time, I created this little outfit for Annie (she was only about three or four years old at the time) with the theme of “Christmas Presents.” The t-top is easy to applique and the shapes are pretty simple, but when you combine this little design with all of the yards and yards of ruffles that I put on the whole outfit, it turned out kind of cute!
If you are interested in learning to applique for your own family or your crafting projects, here’s a tutorial that will teach you, step-by-step the technique to use to create this design or any other design you might want to use to embellish a plain white t-top, jeans, skirt, jumper, or anything else.
Another applique project that I designed for our little munchkin was a sweet pink and brown gingerbread man set. Hmmm . . . . now that I’m thinking about it, I can come up with lots of ideas for seasonal and holiday applique designs! Stop back again soon to see what I come up with next!
I hope you will join us for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop today – link up your latest blog post or a post on some of your favorite things, and then “hop” on around to the other participants and make some new bloggy friends this week at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner.
It’s Time for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!
The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. Your blog link will appear on 6 different blogs. At Katherine’s Corner, Sew Crafty Angel, Cuddlebug Cuties, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper. Six times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others, too!
Please DO NOT link and run.......please visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing here.
- Remember to Follow Your hostesses - Katherine's Corner, Sew Crafty Angel, Cuddlebug Cuties, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper.
- Please leave comments when you visit
- Please Link to your favorite things post post and not to your blog
- Linkback on your post ( optional, but always appreciated)
- Grab the hop button code from The button page ( optional)
- No adult content blogs
- No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! ( sorry they will be removed)
- Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone's favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the Giveaways Page too!
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine's Corner permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Katherine's Corner Note - All features on Katherine's Corner will be linked back to the original source . Social media features are linked back to the hop.
Now hop on and share your favorites. If you'd like to post this blog hop on your page too please grab the linky code. Continue reading
Thanks to my dear friend Ramona at Create with Joy, I was invited to participate in this exciting opportunity! During the entire month of December, we will be joining with 20 other bloggers in the Advent Tour and Book Giveaway for the new book, The War on Christmas. Here are a few of the questions and topics that are addressed in this book:
- Is it a bunch of pagan symbols “Christianized” for the celebration?
- Why is our concept of Christmas so important for those who don’t believe in Jesus?
- Most may say Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, but are we truly worshiping Him or just celebrating the earthly gifts we give ourselves?
Filled with family get-togethers, office parties, breaks from school, decorating the tree, and more, Christmas is a time of peace and love. So why has so much controversy clouded this sacred holiday? It has become ground zero in an ongoing culture war where Nativity scenes are nixed, Merry Christmas becomes Happy Holidays, and even the word “Christmas” is considered by some as offensive. Find the truth about Christmas and the Christian’s response to a culture that seems to be declaring war.
This book just might completely change your perspective on Christmas!
Take a minute to watch this intriguing video and see if you can answer all the questions:
The War on Christmas Advent Tour and Giveaway will run from December 2nd – 24th. Each day you can visit the host blog and read the post that will give you a bit of insight as to what each blogger learned from the specific sections of this book that we are each reading for our designated tour day. I hope you will stop by on December 23 when I reflect on the chapter “Getting Rid of Christ.” Please support all the other bloggers who are participating in this important book tour.
You will be able to enter to win the giveaway of The War on Christmas right here at mamas*little*treasures all month long!
Also, please stop by the Inspire Me Monday Blog Hop at Create with Joy and link up with other creative bloggers. Make new friends, find fresh inspiration for your holiday crafting, and have fun connecting with others around the blogosphere. Hope to see you there!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book The War on Christmas free of charge for the opportunity to participate in this book tour and giveaway. The book will be given away to one randomly selected participant using Rafflecopter.