Sew Many Joys

A Life of Family…Crafts…Joy…and LOVE

Tag Archives: faith

A Homemade Christmas

I cannot believe we are so close to Christmas already! I feel like we just set up our house and we’re here, ready to celebrate the Birth of Jesus with our family and friends already!

I do know that the presents under the tree from friends (for the boys) are a huge temptation. This morning they were so curious as to why they were sitting there, unopened! So instead of trying to open them, they took items from their room and started putting them in the gift bags. Seems like they wanted an extra surprise on Christmas!! hahaha.

This year, instead of going out and buying everything I can think of for everyone-I made a lot of our Christmas gifts. I made probably at least half of the gifts this year-which was a big undertaking. With each item, I was so excited and happy with the end result, I was wishing I could make more for someone else. Since people are receiving the gifts that I made (and most haven’t received them as of this point), I will keep them all a secret. But it had meaning this year – I had so much fun personalizing things to the person and putting my creativity, time and effort into making something special, useful and meaningful.

To be honest, I didn’t think it was possible. Back in October when I started my ‘Christmas Spreadsheet’, I was sure I was biting off more than I could chew. I wasn’t sure I could really take on so many projects to work on while taking a part-time job and caring for my family! But little by little I did them. Sure there were a few more I would have ideally liked to include in my ‘Christmas To-Do List’ but the reality of making 50% of our gifts this year was awesome. Next year I’ll work to increase it-coming up with new and exciting things to make and try.

This much simpler Christmas has helped to ground me in what is important this year. It isn’t the loudest toy-the most amount of toys-or even about how many gifts you give or receive. It was about making something special for someone else to celebrate the real reason behind Christmas. I imagine that those first gifts Jesus received weren’t the flashiest or the loudest but they sure had a lot of meaning and worth. Those first travelers to see the newborn offered something special that they had to honor a newborn King. It is my hope and prayer that you take the time this season to be with your family and friends…to share love and joy and peace no matter which holiday you celebrate. It is about loving kindness, joy and peace – may it be something you share with all those you meet this holiday!!

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa

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And The Award Goes To

This post will totally NOT win me ‘Pastor’s Wife Of The Year’, but I couldn’t help but be bothered by this for some time now!

It isn’t a secret-well it is to some of you, but my husband is a United Methodist Minister. By default, my other ‘job’ is Pastor’s Wife! I have really come to love the ‘job’ and to grow a lot from each set of church families that we get to love and grow with! The position of Pastor’s Wife/Spouse is a very interesting and delicate one. To some it means I’m an extended part of the staff of the church and to others it means that I’m married to the Pastor and well, how I work in the church is as a volunteer like themselves. I digress though, I’ve really seen and heard some interesting things in my time as the wife of the Pastor and today I think I’ll ‘chat’ about one!

I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church so United Methodism is a baby to me or I’m one to it – but either way, I’m a ‘newbie’. I’ve been UM for about 7 years now – and that’s long enough to know some things and still able to use the ‘I don’t know all there is to know yet’ line as well. I enjoy the more open mindedness of some United Methodists (as there are in all denominations and faith traditions). For me, I find the most growth, spiritual connections and relevance to my life in the moments and experiences that allow you to take faith into action. This means welcoming those who don’t worship usually, not judging but worshiping and working together; it also means being conscientious about how a person who doesn’t know your particular views/ways/beliefs may feel and being sure to leave the attitude of ‘conversion’ out of things!

Well, one particular area that has been on my mind is the whole connection between religious persons and the fear of Halloween. I don’t know quite grasp how it works with offending some, but I’m very confident in my beliefs in God and yet I still enjoy a good Halloween party or a Fall Festival or even dressing up in costumes (more for my children now-hahaha). I’m sure you may have already ‘gasped’ and think, “WOW-something is wrong with this lady!” But come on, to me they aren’t related. I don’t find myself worshiping differently because I may participate in Halloween activities. I don’t worship anyone other than God no matter what. I’m not endangering the lives of anyone or acting in a way that is ‘UnChristian’ and yet for some reason you get the occasional – ‘Are you really celebrating Halloween?’ I do. There, I said it. And to make it even more interesting, my children can participate in Halloween too!!! {GASP} I don’t want them participating in the rebellious acts of Halloween but a costume doesn’t take away from their relationship with Jesus or change how they live out their faith. So, after the rambles that I could go on about – I’m sorry if my beliefs don’t make me the perfect image of a Pastor’s Wife – or of a great Christian. Halloween and Christianity aren’t in the same influential ring together for me.

I am aware of why some people become concerned with celebrating Halloween – but to me the innocence of a costume, candy, a party and even some decorations aren’t quite the same thing. You are 100% entitled to feel differently and we can still live, love and be in relationship together. That’s the beauty of this world. I don’t look down upon someone for a different opinion and I hope you can see past these ‘thoughts’ of mine to avoid thinking one view is more ‘correct’ than another. We’re entrusted here to love one another…I can do that while not sharing the exact views as you….and as Andy Andrews says, “If we were all 100% the same, we would be unnecessary!”

Thankful Thursday

I had a whole post lined up and then reality hit tonight.

I sure could just use your prayers instead on this “Thankful Thursday”.

That’s all….

I thought today was…

Monday…..

going to be warm…

productive!
And the reality is…it is NONE of the above! I have a to-do list a mile and a half long and only about 4 things crossed off of it (FROM LAST WEEK!) We’re already on Tuesday and I’m seeing the work quality diminish. There goes my hope of accomplishing all I intend to this week. I haven’t even planned a menu for the week! WOW!

I had a nice weekend…yard-saled a little ton on Saturday…took some time to relax a little with family…traveled a little to see our family! The weather made the weekend just perfect. It’s a bigger shame today is Tuesday and we’re back to our working selves again!

This weekend I am going to Women of Faith! I’m a newbie and am going with two great friends from church. These ladies are wonderful and I’m so thankful this extra ticket opened up and all came together well for me to go. I’m hoping to have lots of amazing stories and anecdotes to share!!! I think the spiritual aspect of that weekend will be just what I was in need of!!

Happy Labor Day

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

PineGrove Picnic

For the sake of the privacy of our Pine Grove Family, I can’t post many pictures of the event b/c I don’t have permission for their faces to be on my blog…not that the traffic is all that public – I would rather be kind and loving and not exploit their association with me without permission! 🙂

BUT…the Colemans were there….and we had a BLAST! From the setting up, to the live music, dunk tank, and games, we were loving every minute of this picnic.

Here is one picture—a tease picture…b/c more will come after I finish editing this evening.

Where He Leads

You might think I’m losing it-well not really losing it-just singing a lot of hymns lately in my head….all day long.

I don’t usually listen to many hymns but lately I get some phrase of one of them in my head and it just plays all day. God has a great way of connecting through music–in my opinion at least – I found music so healing, refreshing and always so uplifting.

I must say, lately, some types though, I just don’t find it to be all that spiritually guiding and I struggle. Of course I feel guilty, I know that I shouldn’t be ‘selfish’ or make it about me, but I’m finding that I don’t connect with certain types of musical genres in Christian music. My mind wanders, I lose my focus and it suddenly isn’t about God!

Well, I must stop my musical discussion for tonight…..

Where He Leads Me

I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
“Take thy cross and follow, follow Me.”

Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow;
I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way.

I’ll go with Him through the garden,
I’ll go with Him through the garden,
I’ll go with Him through the garden,
I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.

I’ll go with Him through the judgment,
I’ll go with Him through the judgment,
I’ll go with Him through the judgment,
I’ll go with Him, with Him all the way.

He will give me grace and glory,
He will give me grace and glory,
He will give me grace and glory,
And go with me, with me all the way.