Tag Archives: blessings

Family Scrabble Tiles

Since things are changing around in my family room with the addition of new furniture, I am finally decorating how I have always wanted it.  My thought?  Make it warm and cozy — and pretty!  One idea that had been floating around in my head for a while is doing a Scrabble Wall.

I want the family room to be just about that — FAMILY.  So it was either going to be a family tree on the wall, or family scrabble tiles.  I opted for the latter.

I printed out some graph paper, and started to plop our family names onto the grid. You can erase and redo until you come up with a configuration that you like.  It took me about 4 tries to come up with something I liked!

Once I knew the layout, I figured out how big I wanted the tiles to be.  You don’t want the wall over powered, but you don’t want them dinky either. Finding the right balance is key to this project.  Based on our wall, I decided on 5″ tiles.  So now it was time to put handy hubby to work 🙂

He cut out 30 tiles out of so oak boards he had laying around.

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Then I had to decide on coloring.  Since we were using oak, I really wanted to be able to see the wood grain come through, but stain the wood dark.  For this project, I used a dark walnut stain.

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Now, as a focal point, i decided to make our last name painted in my accent color, which is teal {if you haven’t figured out already, I LOVE LOVE teal and dark brown together}.  So I made 5 tiles teal and left the rest dark brown with stain.

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For the vinyl lettering, I looked long and hard to find a company that would do the lettering for a reasonable price.  I went with www.doityourselflettering.com – I actually emailed the owner explaining my project and gave him dimensions for the lettering and the font I liked.  Since my tiles were 5″, I didn’t want my lettering to be any more than 4″.  He gave me a great deal and they shipped fast.  The other reason I liked using this company, is that they guarantee the lettering.  If you mess up, they will replace it for you for free.

Take a look on how the lettering went on:

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The lettering went on like butter.  So smooth!  Thirty tiles later, they were ready to go on the wall!

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Here is the FINAL PRODUCT!!!

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This is on a focal wall in our family room.  We see it literally every time we sit on the couch.  And every time I look at it, I love it even more.  Seeing everyone’s names on the wall reminds me of just how blessed I am to have these sweet people as part of my family.

Is there a way you can remind yourself of all of your blessings daily?

Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17)
Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21)
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14)
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19)

Moving Forward From Regret

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Countless times I have worried, stressed out, or lost sleep over something that already happened.  And a lot of times, it did no good.  Today I was hit in the heart by a my devotional on this very topic.  We are so good at looking back and blaming ourselves.  Looking back and wondering what could have been.  Looking back and being mad at ourselves for situations, words, or people that we have either hurt or wronged, or been wronged by.

We run away when things get too hard.  We settle into the comfortable.  We try to dodge the difficult things in life instead of persevering or staying the course.  We try to reroute ourselves to something easier, nicer, or calmer and turn our back on the “hard” in life.

Well those hard times, challenging times, stressful times are not all bad!  We have a Savior that can be trusted — NO MATTER WHAT!  Did you hear that?  No matter what we did, said, or forgot to do, He still is with us — He won’t forsake us — He won’t leave us.  He just continually wraps His loving arms around us because we are HIS children.

The current devotional I’m reading is called Jesus Calling (click here for a link to it).  It has brought me such great reminders of Christ’s love!  Here is an excerpt:

“Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties.  ….. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been.  Start at the present moment — accepting things exactly as they are — and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.” (page 23)

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the midst of difficulty, it is so hard to find the blessings!  But friends, they are there.  God has intertwined blessings into difficulty!  The best ever example is His time on the cross!  Terrible and difficult, and yet full of blessings for you and me.

Take time to let those words soak into your soul.  Find the blessings in the “hard parts” of life.  And be sure to thank God for them.

Blessings Time!

BLESSINGS

Time for a heart check everyone.  I wanted to let you know what the Lord’s been putting on my heart today.  He has been speaking in profound ways in a variety of areas of my life.

In a few months, I will be turning the big 4-0.  It really doesn’t bother me to be entering into the next decade of my life, but it does make me want to reflect more about life and where things are at for me as a mom, wife, and Christian.  I told my husband that I really want to go away for my birthday – not to run from it, but to recharge because of it.  

At first Mark thought I was joking about going away by myself, but now, I think he understands that I am serious!  Now, I would love to go away with him, too — so after much thought, I asked him if he wanted to come with me somewhere.  Of course he agreed!  So we did tons of research on Punta Cana, Cancun, San Diego, Florida Keys, Arizona, Alabama…..But guess what?!  The more  we looked into going away together, the more God kept stopping that from happening and closing doors to that idea all over the place.  I have to respect those closed doors!   As much as I really, really want to go away with my husband!

I think overall, we are all really good at ignoring those doors closing all around us {I’m raising my hand to this because I am very guilty of it!}.  We want to do it anyway.  Do things our way. Chose our own destiny rather than heeding God’s word. But God’s way is ALWAYS better.  Not some of the time, but ALWAYS.  The Bible says, 

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NIV)

So friends, I encourage you this week to be vigilant and watch for closed doors.   Pray about your decisions and God will open your eyes to His way, which is truly the BEST way.  As for me, I am going to pray about going away on my own for a weekend to recharge for my 40th.  I will see what God’s lead is on that.  

May blessings be abundant for you this week!  Remember, blessing others is a great way to bless yourself!

Live Christmas Nativity

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This past weekend, we had the privilege of attending the “Walk Through Bethlehem” at Southside Church in Sheboygan, WI.  This is not our home church, but when we heard of this event through social media, we made a point to take the family there.  This church created a live nativity for families to experience what life would have been like had we been able to walk through Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth.IMG_6883

While we were waiting in line to enter Bethlehem, a Roman soldier plowed his way around the people.  He spoke in a harsh way and was heckling the people he passed by (in good fun, of course!). This kid’s reactions to this brute force coming through was a bit mixed.  I was glad they were able to understand what the soldier’s role was at the time of the census.  A bit of fear, intimidation, and humor were the main emotions that were displayed from the modern-day crowd.

Next stop on the journey was a short video to set the stage for the happenings in Bethlehem at that time.  The visitors were taught about the census and the hardship of travel to native cities.

Bethlehem awaited us!  It was filled with poor beggars, merchants, peasant girls, innkeepers, and best of all, Mary and Joseph!  The poor, worn out mother of our Lord was desperately looking for a place to lay her head after their long journey.  But the innkeeper kept telling them there was no room!  (sidenote:  Sometimes I think Jesus feels that way about us — we are weary and worn out, and yet we refuse to let Him in.) Bethlehem was very active and bustling with people!

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”  Luke 2: 4-5

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From the marketplace, we moved into the fields (literally outdoors at this point!) to see the shepherds, wise men, animals, stable, and the blessed family.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:8 -12  

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There were also visits from the wise men, camIMG_6945els and other animals.

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And finally the stable, where the blessed family rested and stayed.  Where Mary gave birth to Our Savior.  Jesus didn’t come into this world in a fancy hospital room, or a fancy hotel room.  He was birthed in a dirty, smelly stable where the animals resided.  It was a lowly place for Our King to enter the world.

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“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.”  Luke 2:16

Our Savior came down from heaven FOR US.  He left the safety and security of heaven FOR US.  He chose to be born in a smelly stable FOR US.  He chose to pay for our sins and take them upon Himself FOR US.  He didn’t have to.  He could have chosen not to help relieve our sin debt.  But He did.  He chose us. Friends, that is where our blessings come from.  From Him and Him alone.

Would you do something for me this Christmas season?  Would you try to bless one person?  Comment below if you are going to take the Blessing Challenge.  You can share the blessing given, or if you received a blessing, tell us that too!

Thank you Lord Jesus for coming down from heaven in the form of a sweet baby boy. We will never be able to repay You for the ways You continue to bless us each and every day.