Seasons and Giftings

Hey Friends, I hope you are embracing and enjoying the Advent and Christmas season this year as much as I am. I am so thankful that I got my home decorating done early this year. I have to let you in on a little secret. I began November with great expectations of all that I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year, and I was able to achieve many things on my to-do list, but many other things I had to let go.

The first of November I started making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and began preparing my home for the upcoming season. Then out of the blue, I ended up with an upper respiratory infection that knocked me off of my feet. I kept thinking that I would get better, but days turned into weeks, and weeks have turned into over a month and a half.

Being sick has caused me to let go of many things that I wanted to accomplish and has required me to spend more time resting than usual. I apologize in advance because one of the things I wanted to do was share more with you here on the blog after I wrote my holiday e-book. For anyone who knows me well knows that having to rest could have been quite frustrating to me. Instead, I have chosen to focus on being filled with JOY this holiday season. I have let go of my expectations and let go of the things that I can not control. This has allowed the peace of Christ to rule in my heart.

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And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

As I have taken time to rest, I have pondered a couple of things I want to talk to you about today, and those are SEASONS and GIFTINGS.

I want to be brutally honest with you here today. I have friends who have commented about my Christmas Home decorations and most of the comments have been very kind and encouraging, but for a few people, I am afraid it has caused them to fall into the comparison trap. Comparing what they are able to do in their home to what I have done in my home and this has prompted me to share a few thoughts with you that you might find helpful as you progress through the remainder of this year.

The goal of my holiday home is to create a warm hospitable home for family, friends, and guests and to inspire you to do the same as you invite others into your home this season. This will look different for you then it does for me and that is okay. God has given me a passion to decorate my home for Christmas, and the time, talent and resources to do it in a way that fits my personal style. It is my creative outlet and it is part of my gifting. My home looks nothing like it did a mere 5, 10 or 20 years ago.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”9fk8n” via=”yes” ]God has given each of us gifts, talents, resources, and time.[/ctt]

 

I have friends who sing and are a part of a fantastic Christmas program at church we have every year as an outreach to our community, and that is their thing. My thing is to fancy up my home and invite others in to experience the love of Christ through my gift of hospitality. I have another friend who bakes amazing cakes and blesses others with her baking. She hasn’t always made these incredible creations, but this is something she has picked up since she is an empty nester. My point here is that we have all gifts from the Lord. He has blessed each of us with special giftings, and it is up to us to cultivate those gifts.

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Which dovetails perfectly with my next point which is seasons. We all experience many seasons throughout our life. What is important to us in our twenties, probably looks, different in our thirties, forties, fifties and so on. The same goes for our resources and time. Some years we have more free time available to us then we do other years.

We do things very differently now that my boys are all older, then we did when they were younger. When the boys were little, we would wait until the coldest night in December, fill our cups with hot cocoa and head out the door to find the perfect real tree and that was the only tree we would put up in our home. Until one year when I bought a small artificial tree for the boys to have upstairs that we could put up much earlier and they could decorate themselves.

We loved the fact that we could put the tree up in November and leave it all throughout the New Year without having to clean up pine needles, remember to water it or be concerned about it being a fire hazard. Which began the transition from real trees to artificial ones. A transition from one season to the next.

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I have a friend who is an empty nester but has also been caring for an elderly parent who just went home to be with the Lord. This friend normally decorates her home beautifully in the Christmas season but has chosen to only put out a nativity scene.

Which really isn’t that what the Christmas Season is really about anyway?

The nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. The Great I am who humbled himself by coming to earth and taking on human form to live to die that we may be saved.

For the remainder of this year, I plan to throw out all of my preconceived ideas and expectations of the season out the window and rest in the precious gift we have been given through Jesus Christ. My hope is that you will show yourself some much-needed grace and do the same.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”b7hxr” via=”yes” ]We are all in different stages and seasons in life, and we each have unique gifts.[/ctt]

 

How will you choose to use your gifts, resources and time in this season of life? How will you choose to live for the remainder of this year? Begin pondering what you can do for the kingdom of God in this season of your life with the gifts that you have been given for 2018, but linger in the present of the here and now.

Choose to be present in these last few days and moments of 2017. Cherish the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. Be present, be intentional and love those around you well.

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The Mom Gene

Christmas Inspiration Home Tour 2017

I love the Christmas Season! It is the most wonderful time of the year! Twinkly lights, the warm glow of candles, fireside chats, lingering long with family and friends over a cup of something lovely all add to the coziness of my home during the Holidays.

I am so thankful that I got my house decorated early for the holidays because I have been battling an upper respiratory infection and have been ill for several weeks. I had hoped to get these pictures out to you all sooner.  Instead, I am grateful that I have been able to rest, recover and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Without further ado…

I would like to invite you to my Christmas home tour 2017! 

Great Room – We will start the tour in my great room. This year I decided to add touches of dark red back into my main tree in the great room with cream, and mixed metals. I love the way it turned out!

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Pictured above is our tree and mantel in the Great Room.

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Coffee table vignette – love the deer and the red berries nestled in the green!

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Another view of our main tree in the Great Room.

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This is the view from our entryway into the great room.

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I took this picture from the stairs so you could see another view of the room, and the decorated garlands that hang on the railing above the great room.

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Close up of the angel and cross that governor my entry table.

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The bar in the great room was a perfect spot for my sleigh.

Music Room – Now onto the music room. I moved my forest of trees that I had last year into the sunroom room into my bay window alcove of my music room. One of my favorite things to do every year is to dig out all of my Christmas decor and figure out how I can incorporate it in new and exciting ways throughout my home.

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The main tree in our music room!

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View looking into the music room from my entryway. This year I incorporated the green and pumpkin colors from the painting above the sofa into the trees coupled with mixed metals and mercury glass.

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This forest grouping of 5 trees illuminates the front windows of our home.

Dining Room – Sits adjacent to our music room. Our nativity scene takes center stage in the room because Jesus is the reason we celebrate this season.

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In order to make this appear a little larger, I put a stack of books under the nativity scene and draped this fabric across to cover the books. Notice the word JOY on my candle holders. You will find this word throughout my home this Christmas season.

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Garland and a few ornaments nestled into the chandelier add a little touch of Christmas!

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The slim tree that I used in the music room last year works perfectly nestled in the corner of the dining room. Decorated with ribbon and poinsettias to carry the touch of red through the house.

Sunroom- This is room our family lives in and I wanted it to have a festive yet more casual feeling. So I went with a relaxed Woodland theme.

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Our Woodland tree in the sunroom. Don’t you just love the little fox?

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I love the new addition of this bell above my kitchen sink that opens to the sunroom.

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This little nook was a perfect place for the Santas.

This concludes my Christmas Home Tour 2017. I hope you are inspired to make your home a lovely place to gather friends and family this holiday season. My prayer for you is that in the midst of a what can be a very hectic season, that the love of Christ will fall afresh upon you and that you will rest in His love.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6 ESV

Make sure you sign up to receive my free Holiday e-book to help you have the Holiday of your dreams!

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In need of a Christmas Miracle!

I love the holidays! There is excitement in the air, and for most people, the holidays are filled with peace, love, and joy. For some, however, the holidays can be a time of great poverty, sadness, and loneliness.

This year I am burdened with a loved one, a dear one who is lost and scared, and in need of a Christmas miracle. It is easy to get caught up in our own little worlds and miss the fact that there are hurting people all around us.

Take heart, there is hope, and we have good news…

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In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, the prophecy of the good news is given.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.- Isaiah 9:6

This is the beauty of Christmas, a message prophesied so long ago. The Light that breaks the darkness is the Word made Flesh in John 1. The Christ child—fully man, fully God come to save the world. His name is Jesus, and He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He is our Savior, and the only one who can take away our sins, and reconcile us to the Father.

Those that want the gospel, walk in darkness, and in the utmost danger. But when the gospel comes to any place, to any soul, light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine into our hearts, and make us wise unto salvation. – Matthew Henry Commentary of Isaiah 9:6

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This Christmas season, let us earnestly pray that the gospel shines through us to bring hope to a lost and hurting world. We as believers are anointed to bring the good news to the weary, the poor, and the lost.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound -Isaiah 61:1 ESV

Jesus Christ came to bind up the brokenhearted, to liberate those who are held captive by Satan and sin. My heart is heavy and burden for those I know who are lost. My prayer is that the Light of Christ will come into their darkness, and they will be saved.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. – Acts 2:21 (Berean Study Bible)

Bible Basics: Book Review & Giveaway!

When my boys were very young, I would snuggle up with them in a blanket in my comfy chair and would read aloud to them. We created the sweetest memories in those early days of homeschooling when I read out loud all the time. Forever etched on my heart is the excitement and thrill of reading The Chronicles of Narnia out loud for the first time. So many amazing books! When I started homeschooling, my dear sweet husband told me that he would never tell me no to books. That is a very dangerous thing to tell a homeschool mom!

I was always on the hunt for quality books that were full of beauty, wisdom, and truth. Trips to homeschool conferences and bookstores would result in the purchase of many bundles of books. We quickly outgrew our little book shelf in our school room.

I not only wanted to read good quality books to my kids, I also wanted books that would teach them about their faith and be theologically sound. This is one of the reasons I created the apologetics booklet I talked about in  (Un)Apologetic Parenting. Because I am passionate about finding these good books to read to our kids, today I am so excited to share this giveaway with my readers!

It is difficult to find quality books for children that teach sound spiritual concepts…

Until now!

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I wish I had a copy of Bible Basics when my boys were young! Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer incorporates beautifully illustrated pages with sound theological principles in a sturdy hardback book for little ones.

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I was impressed with the beauty and simplicity with which this baby board book handled difficult concepts, such as Jesus’ nature being fully God and fully man and the Trinity—both which were explained poetically and artistically through quotations from Scripture, hymns, and early church writings.

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Baby Believer Primers are designed to grow with children, from early infancy through early elementary school. By reframing abstract, but vitally important Biblical content into manageable concepts such as numbers and letters, the Primers expose children to the vocabulary of basic theology in a format that will help them categorize and retain the information.- www.catechesisbooks.com

I am excited to give away a copy of this special book just in time for Christmas! This would make a perfect gift for your grandchildren or for any parent with a baby and or small children!!

Subscribe to Misty Phillip  to be eligible for a chance to win!

This is the first book in the Baby Believer Primers series, and I look forward to the other books in the series! Author Danielle Hitchen (left), a mother and talk radio producer, and the illustrator, Jessica Blanchard (right), a mother and an award-winning graphic artist, have created this artistically-designed and eye-catching board book that is pivotal for children’s spiritual formation. unspecified

For more information and to purchase this book visit Catechesis Books

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.