My #onelittleword …a year later

My #onelittleword for 2018 was RELEASE.

graduation nightLast year my son was a senior and I needed some focused attention toward launching him well, so I settled on this RELEASE target, hoping to bypass a potential “momma meltdown” as our first son left home for college.

During a busy spring semester, we forged through each senior activity and marched toward our celebration of his graduation. Then we careened toward the milestone of his college move-in day.

Throughout this season, my son and I did this awkward little push-pull dance of me nudging him to stay on track and him side-stepping around me with his own confident stride. Slowly, the Lord allowed me to recognize the small ways I needed to let go so that he could propel forward into his new world.

#wordfortheyear 2018

I learned that when exploring your #wordfortheyear, it’s helpful to consider all of its various meanings and usages. You may discover some you didn’t anticipate!

Bible Quilt® JournalSomewhere along in March when I was knee-deep in the final editing phases before submitting the Bible Quilt® journal to our printer, it dawned on me that this, too, was a RELEASE. It was a culmination of two years of integrating this journaling technique into my personal devotions and then developing it into a workshop format with my sister-in-law to share it with other women.

Transforming the journal into a publication allowed us to release it to a wider circle. By holding it loosely in our hands, other women were empowered to share the #biblequiltjournal with their friends, sisters, and church families. Simply through this heart-to-heart sharing, the Bible Quilt journal has trickled its way into 28 states and we’re blessed by each story we hear!Bible Quilt map, Oct 2018

It’s true that the Lord’s purpose for our lives is on a scale drastically larger than our own. Although we can attempt to narrow our focus and plod along in our devotional time to pursue a particular theme for the year, God orchestrates the details in His own intricate way.

#wordfortheyear ReleaseI thought I had this whole #wordfortheyear perspective unfolding nicely, then I had a significant realization that the Lord had been preparing my heart for something dramatically different all along.

Last summer my mother was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and she passed away within 6 months. The big RELEASE for the year was actually letting go of my precious Mom – – – my prayer warrior and constant encourager.Mom at Christmas

During the last month of her life, I slipped out for neighborhood walks as much as I could and prayed tearfully over this final “release.” Some days I would pray for God to help me release my childhood Mom – the one who took my brother and me to the zoo; the nurturing Mom who made me gooey grilled cheese and steamy chicken noodle soup when I was sick; the adventurous one who ate my questionable concoctions from my Easy-Bake oven.

On other walks I’d pray to God for help releasing the mother of my teenaged and college self – – the one who struggled as a single mother and was emotionally tapped out, but allowed me to carve out my own path even though it was so very different from hers.

Some days I’d barely make it out for a walk due to the relentless pressures of caring for Mom’s increasing needs while trying to maintain my own household. I’d pray with gratitude that I was able to provide for her and surrendered to put her needs first as she had done for us kids for so many years.

These were some of the hardest days, releasing her from the role as a my maternal advocate and letting go of her future presence in my life as a cherished confidante and friend.

beloved Bible

We are still very fresh in our grief and I’ve released to the point of feeling untethered, but I’m trusting God with the timing of Mom’s homecoming and His continued Presence in each of our lives as we lean into His grace and mercy for comfort.flowers from friends

#wordfortheyear template for Bible Quilt journalMeanwhile, I’m tucking into my new #wordfortheyear with renewed intention and, hopefully, a touch of Mom’s grit!

For those of you joining us in Bible Quilting, I added a #wordfortheyear template into our shop to help further your own personal journey.

Have a blessed 2019, friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple & Sweet

How’s your holiday wind-up going? OR, are you more of a holiday wind-down person?

poinsettiaSome days it feels as if we’re productive little elves tackling our lists and everything is falling into place.

Other days we’re sluggish and want to binge-watch all the familiar holiday shows with predictable endings.

It’s dizzying to be cast us into these extremes, yet it’s probably familiar territory to most of us.

Family Christmas card albumYesterday as I was shifting from a morning full of appointments to an afternoon at home facing a lengthy to-do list, I caught myself pausing to browse our family album of Christmas photo cards.

I smiled as I remembered the angst of assembling  outfits for professional photos at my son’s preschool. I  reflected on the fun trips that wedged their way into the Christmas card highlight for the many years we didn’t do portraits.

Snapshots in time…18 years of family life flipped through in a few quick minutes.

Christmas card Blessing Ring
2018 Christmas card Blessing Ring

None of our own Christmas cards have been addressed yet this year, but we’re enjoying the trickle of cards arriving from family and friends. As we read each one, we hole-punch it and add it to our Holiday Blessing Ring.

Several years ago I stumbled upon a trick to manage the influx of holiday cards, and it’s become a tradition of sorts. We keep a small collection of cards from previous years in a cheery red box. As the current year’s batch of cards goes in, a previous year goes out. (I think we’re saying farewell to our 2011 bunch this year.) It’s an intentional way to honor the sentiment yet manage the clutter. 

Simple activities strung together year after year build some family cohesiveness during the busy season.

Our advent countdown certainly has varied throughout the years as the boys have gotten older. We keep using the same scraps of folded paper that we did a decade ago, notes scrawled quickly then yet  holding treasured memories now.

The unique clanky notes of a musical snow globe call us together…another “tradition” that just sort of happened, but has become a sweet way to remember the grandmother who gave it to us years ago.Advent box This year another grandma is living with us and is part of our cobbled-together advent time.

When we engage in silly games we played with the boys when they were little, we’re drawn closer to one another through those collective memories etched into our hearts.Christmas bingo

The other night’s advent box prompt was “find Christmas bingo and play it.” We joked about the age of the macaroni we continue to use as bingo markers, a throwback to elementary art projects.

Some evenings we double up for previous nights we’ve missed. We share memories of past Christmas shenanigans: the Christmas Eve when our oven shorted out and shot sparks across the kitchen, torching our special dinner inside as it went out in a blaze of glory ...last year’s Christmas tree falling over and crushing ornaments in its wake …the year 9 out of 10 family members got the stomach flu. Each memory is strengthened as it’s shared again with a slightly enhanced perspective.childhood Christmas books

Simply reading a childhood Christmas book together slows us down and lures us into family snuggle time.

Some of the books are traditional, a couple are written by childhood friends, and others reflect the quirky sense of humor of our extended family.a child's letter to Santa

Occasionally we’ll find a sweet surprise tucked into one of the books.

Recently we discovered our son’s 2007 letter to Santa. This simple wide-lined page of his careful 1st-grade handwriting sparked a host of memories and launched a discussion about other wish-filled magical letters.

As Decembers pile up on one another, we’re often left with a beautifully  compressed memory of home and family. When the hustle feels like it’s too much, I turn to these small reminders of treasured ordinary moments that are Simple and Sweet.

handmade snowflake
handmade snowflake on family Christmas tree

 


“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17



Audra and Di at Open House
P.S. Our last Bible Quilt session of the year is tonight. Come join us!

 

Love Is A Language

To that gentle, weary woman I stood behind in the grocery line this morning:

I saw you. I heard you in your “resolved calm” as your 3 babies in the cart made their presence known. I watched one make faces with me while you unloaded your cart to the conveyor belt, (I made faces back). I watched you gently put the second one’s leg back into the cart from the side as he tried to attempt a bailout. I listened to the cries of the one in the baby carrier; screaming for release. I observed your presence of peace.
“How PEACE in the midst of such a crazy season???” (I remember that season so clearly; not always peaceful.))
muddy warriors
I watched the looks of irritation, and I heard the huffs of disapproval from some…I could sense the judgments that you were surrounded by.  And yet, you were CALM. Your demeanor was Peace and Calm; that is a beautiful reflection of Christ. That is what I saw. Some may have thought you and your cartload a nuisance, but I saw an example of LOVE. Thank you for sharing that treasure.
The 5 Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell is a well-known book that I have loved from the first reading of it. I read through and could identify various people with this or that attribute. I found the main  Love Language in myself, my husband, Mom, Dad, etc…
My heart was really stirred to pick the book up a month before school began and read it again; this time with 4 different colored pens for each of my 4 sons.
The knowledge of the Language types intertwined with the heart-connect for loved ones is a phenomenal thing to unfold! I just can’t recommend it enough!!
Understanding that all 5 types of Love are important to all of us is one thing…but then matching someones personality and character to 1 or 2 Languages…and then seeking out what that looks like in tangible Love for them is exciting!!!
I have 2 sons that relate the most to Physical Touch. Through the book, I learned that they really love gifts like cozy pjs or soft blankets; a flannel shirt is epic to them.
Another son gravitates toward Gifts. I never truly understood this language; since we all love getting gifts… but now I see that the package, presentation, etc. of the “gift” is treasured and noticed more by this personality type. Something that is made special or personalized; a favorite meal…all go a loooong ways for this one.
And so, after reading The 5 Love Languages for Children again, I made a little list that has become my go-to sheet when trying to relate to one of my children the best way I can. I highly recommend doing this for your family! I wrote down each child’s name, and then put their main Love Languages beside them, while writing out ideas to do with or for each son. I refer to it a lot; especially on hectic days when my brain needs a little reminder and I’m grasping for Peace. I found myself reflecting, praying and loving each child much more intentionally since this book. Go get a copy, read it, ask the Lord to show you your loved ones through His eyes, and be blessed while blessing them.  

Love is a Language, the greatest is Love!

Holiday OPEN HOUSE

~ ~ ~ Join us for some Bible Quilting fun! ~ ~ ~

Mother-daughter Bible Quilt kit
Mother-daughter Bible Quilt kit

~ ~ ~ Holiday Open House ~ ~ ~

Thursday, November 29th 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 1st 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

$2 admission at the door OR contribute some washi tape to our BQ community supply table!

** Contact ordinarythreads@gmail.com for directions

 

Celebrate Ring for the Holidays

Bring your Bible Quilt journal to add some creative holiday embellishments.

  • New holiday templates
  • Blessing, Celebrate, Prayer & Gratitude Rings – Great TEACHER GIFTS!
  • Gift ideas for College students
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Kids Club kits
  • Sunday School packets
  • Washi Tape Tree

We’ll have some fun stations set up for you to add some holiday flair to your own Bible Quilt journal or you can add some personal touches to your gift journals.

BQ craft stations

Bring a friend and browse…

College Corner of BQ Templates
Personalize a Collegiate Bible Quilt kit for your favorite student!
Template Holiday Wall
Template Trios on Holiday Wall
Love & Marriage templates
Marriage template for Engagements, Anniversaries, or Weddings
Washi tree
Select your favorite pen pouch from our Washi Tape tree!

Hope to see you soon!

~ ~ ~ We’ll have some hot cocoa ready for you! ~ ~ ~

 

Christmas Ornament template
sneak peek of our new holiday templates
Di & Audra showing off Tree templates
It’s always fun to see how different the same template can be!
**Visit Ordinary Threads Online for Shopping in your PJs **

 

Holiday Template Trio
Holiday Template Trio now available!

Holiday Blessings: Gifting to others with Intention

~  ~  ~ Happy Cyber Monday, friends! ~ ~ ~

Gratitude Ring for the Holidays
Gratitude Rings make wonderful TEACHER APPRECIATION gifts!

 

The Holidays are a wonderful time to share meaningful gifts and offer something with underlying purpose

Blessing Rings can be given with a personal card that’s already hole-punched for the recipient to attach and immediately put it into use

*Gratitude * Celebration * Holiday* Prayer* Blessing*

 

Our Bible Quilt journals provide an invitation to connect with someone about their faith and offer them a simple tool to deepen their time in the Word of God.

Bible Quilt®️ Bonus kit
Bible Quilt®️ Bonus kit

Browse our online shop and we’ll help you get some things checked off your Christmas list!

 

Home template
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

10% off $25 purchase this week with code: BIBLEQUILT2018

 

Christmas Joy page in Bible Quilt journal
Christmas Joy page in Bible Quilt journal

Locals, come visit our Open House later this week:

Thursday, Nov 29th 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Saturday, Dec 1st 10:00 am – 1:00 pm


*****

#31daysof_____: Day Thirty-One

Day Thirty-One

 

Yay! We’ve come to the end of our October challenge. Celebrate this little hurrah as you read your devotional today.

fallen leaf on turquoise table
fallen leaf on #theturquoisetable

 

How are you recharged? 

In what ways are you renewed in your efforts to get into the Word daily?

Who might you invite to join you as an accountability partner to continue your daily Quiet Time throughout the busy holiday season?

Preparing our hearts will help keep us grounded.

Chasing Quiet Day 31: Lasting Beauty

 

Bible Quilt your selected verse: If you’ve kept your template page loose, go ahead and attach it to your journal page. We like to add washi tape around the border to frame it and keep it more secure.

#31daysofquiet #day31

Now that you’ve completed your 31-day pages, you can display them by standing your journal upright on a counter or table. It’s a colorful reminder to you, your family, and guests of God’s timeless truths each day.

31 days of Quiet on #31daysof_____ template for #biblequiltjournal

Your #biblequiltjournal can also be used as a prayer reference.

“I am” template for the #biblequiltjournal

Claim specific scriptures for particular people for whom you are praying.

Sometimes I’ll snap a pic of a portion of a Bible Quilt page and text it to a friend, simply adding that I’m praying this verse over her.

Sharing the Word of God, personalized in your own handwriting, can have a powerful impact…for both of you.

Pray.  Lord, thank you for the guiding truth of Your Word that is timeless and applicable for us today. Help us lean into it together, supporting one another in the beauty of your scripture. 

 #31daysof_____ template set

Moving forward

Leaf template with watermark
LEAF template for the #biblequiltjournal

We hope this 31-day series has been fulfilling to you!

Our prayer is that you’re able to use your #biblequiltjournal as an enticing tool to stay in the Word, to fall a little deeper into the beauty of scripture.

Fall into God - template for #biblequiltjournal
“Fall into God” page on LEAF template

We just added a fun new template to the shop for FALL!

It can be oriented either direction and adapted for a multitude of topics.

We invite you to grab a friend and have some creative time in the Word together!

Collectively, we enjoy the camaraderie in our Ordinary Threads FB group to share ideas and pages. Drop in and join us!

 

daily life transformed by God into extraordinary tapestries

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