Creating Gifts January 11, 2011
One of my goals this year is to save money by making gifts. Well, Ella had a birthday party this weekend, so to the craft store we went. This is what we came home with…
We’re both pretty pleased with the resulting journal and pen. Not bad for a first attempt…
This morning after lifting my son from his crib, he took a long look at my face and gave me the sweetest grin. He put his little arms around me and placed his head on my shoulder. It was one of those life moments that I wished could linger on forever. The feel of his soft hair on my cheek, the smell of the back of his neck after a good sleep, the pat, pat, pat of his chubby hand on my back. I wanted to drink it in to my memory and cement it there.
As I cried over the tenderness of the moment, I heard a sound coming from the next room that every mother dreads – that choking, coughing sound of a vomiting child. I put my son down to play, and ran into my daughter’s room to find her using the throw-up pot we had put her to bed with. My face still wet with tears, I automatically kicked into mommy-nurse mode.
After taking care of the necessities of the moment, I had to laugh. It’s just such a perfect example of the reality of motherhood. Times of blissful sweetness smashed right in there with the more difficult (and/or gross) ones. It’s funny to me that the latter are just as important and special to me as the former. Every moment I have with these babies is a gift from the Lord, and I am thankful for His reminder today to cherish each experience (whether nasty or nice) that I have with both of them.
Your cinnamon rolls are delicious,
Your brisket and lasagna are too,
Hubby’s tastebuds nor mine
Know what we would do without you!
Thank you for sharing your genius
With those of us who lack it.
No more empty boasts in the kitchen,
I now have the food to back it!
Lately God has been challenging my thinking regarding those things I accept as necessary ingredients to a “good” Christmas. Every year seems to be the same for me. I struggle to cram Jesus into our crazy December schedule – right in there with the stacks of Christmas cards that I feel obligated to mail, the half a dozen or so parties we must attend, and the frenzied visits I have to make to the mall. The “I-Wants” seem to get the best of all of us, and even I end up making a long list of things I just have to have. I don’t want to have my focus hijacked by consumerism each December, but it sure happens anyway. And every year I’m left feeling disgusted by how I allowed stuff to steal my attention away from what I really want to be celebrating: my Redeemer, my Rescuer, Jesus.
We made quite a few changes this year, trying to focus our energy on what matters, and distribute our resources in a way that more accurately reflects our family’s goals and convictions. I recently stumbled upon some interesting resources online that God has been using to challenge me to make even bigger changes next year. I hope you enjoy them too.
Advent Conspiracy. About a month ago, I stumbled across this video about the staggering amount of money that is spent on Christmas gifts every year, and how a just a small portion of that money would be enough to save lives.
Happy Birthday Jesus. One of the things we are going to do this year is have a birthday party for Jesus, complete with gifts that we give to Him. This site offers some great free resources.
Buy Nothing Christmas. This site presents an intriguing argument against celebrating Jesus’ birthday by spending obscene amounts of money on gifts. While I’m not ready to say I agree with everything here, a lot of it did make sense to me and definitely started me thinking. I really loved their purpose:
“Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites who offer a prophetic “no” to the patterns of overconsumption of middle-class North Americans. They are inviting Christians (and others) all over Canada to join a movement to de-commercialize Christmas and re-design a Christian lifestyle that is richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving to people less-privileged.”
We’ve decided that some of our gifts this year, and an even greater number of our gifts next year will be handmade. Here are some of the websites where I found great homemade gift ideas:
Ruby Glen. This website had some great inexpensive handmade gift ideas.
Get Rich Slowly. This site offers cool ideas for homemade gifts.
Not Martha. One of the ideas on the Get Rich Slowly site referenced a project for homemade magnets. I thought they were adorable, plus it led me to a site that offers lots of great craft ideas. And, I love the name of the site: “Not Martha”, as in Stewart…
Family Crafts. This site offers lots of great gifts kids can make.
Moms Who Think. This site offered handmade gift ideas for different age groups.
- a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend.
- in love with Jesus, and striving to be more like Him every day.
- proud of my kids.
- working on being a better friend.
- not the best cook.
- a thinker. I spend months at a time contemplating ideas. Last year I chewed on the idea of Jesus fulfilling women’s romantic longings (which He does!). Right now I’m thinking through two things: what does it mean to fear God, and what does an all-in, totally sold out, “radical” follower of Jesus look like.
- occasionally struck by the overwhelming need to express myself creatively, usually in photographs (hence the creation of this blog).
- not very sentimental.
- working on controlling my tongue.
- grateful for the invention of digital cameras. (I take LOTS of bad photos – I’m so glad I don’t have to pay to develop them.)
- the wife of a pastor.
- kind of goofy. Okay. Really goofy.
- at times, a failure.
- thankful for the Bible.
- incredibly indecisive.
- a recovering scorpion-phobe.
- a chronic merchandise-returner.
- ashamed that my hiatus from the treadmill forced me to start over with the Couch to 5K training. Eek.
- a reader.
- very stressed out by chaotic situations.
- never sure what to serve my kids for lunch.
- striving to do all things without complaining or arguing.
- a homeschool mom.
- currently trying to define my role in ministry.
- not a self-starter.
- a home-body.
- married to my best friend.
- a phlegmatic / melancholy split.
- really, really grumpy when I’m hungry.
- still trying to figure out how I daily can feast on God’s word AND have a powerful prayer life. I have had both, but rarely, if ever, simultaneously.
- a huge fan of going to the movies.
- sure that no one will be interested in any of this, but hopeful that I have finally found a way to capture those quiet, every-day moments in my life that I hope to never forget.