"Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin–inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night."– John J. Geddes
It is true that real Christmas trees seem to embody the years they spent outside under the stars and in the snow. Of course they did spend time in the hot sweltering sun too but during this time of year I prefer to imagine them in gently falling snow, in cold crisp air under the clear star-heavy skies.
I've been in the Christmas spirit since before Halloween. Halloween just doesn't do much for me anymore. I do love the Fall and the spirit of Thanksgiving but the whole spooky side of halloween just doesn't appeal to me anymore. So over the past several weeks I've been slowly working on Christmas things.
I had these horribly bland oranges, inedible in my opinion! I decided to turn them into decorations. The following pictures are sneak peaks into the process towards the end product. I will post again before Christmas!
I cut up the oranges and then dehydrated them back in early November. I stored them in this mason jar waiting for the next step!
I also stitched these little guys and turned them into ornaments. I worked on these sporadically between other projects for the past year! I just love how they turned out and can't wait to put them on the tree.
It is misting heavily as I type this and is rather gloomy in the grey dusk but here is a nice picture of the first snow we had instead.
The word Grace has really been part of my inner vocabulary lately. It's not a word I say out loud. It is a quiet word setting up home in my heart. I had to actually look up the meaning so I didn't just assume I knew what it meant. Have you ever had those words in your vocabulary you mostly know what it means? You have used it many times but when you really think about it, you wonder "do I really know what it means?" Well the word "grace" was that for me. I know this word sat there in my heart with a spiritual meaning. This is one definition from wikipedia
"Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin."
This didn't quite fulfil what I was feeling inside when I inwardly felt the word grace. So I went to the Christian definition.
Grace in Christianity is the free and unmerited favour of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowing of blessings. Common Christian teaching is that grace is unmerited mercy (favor) that God gave to humanity by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross, thus securing man's eternal salvation from sin.
While this also doesn't quite ring as the "only true definition" for me, it embodies more the feeling. I feel God's mercy lately. Outwardly, in this world, it sure is hard to believe Grace even exists, right? I know, I truly know how this is a valid observation! Yet spiritually I feel this overwhelming mercy, a love from God despite my shortcomings, despite the hardships I've been through. I should be bitter, I should be skeptical given my life experiences. I am skeptical by nature! But of late, I have this indescribable divine mercy and love within me. It is peaceful and joyful. I don't proclaim to know the way to it, I am simply basking in it and I am so grateful for it. It doesn't change me outwardly, I haven't turned into a saint! I am the same but more peaceful, more joyful inside. Maybe it will express itself outwardly one day.
It has been such an important word, I had to stitch it into a decorative piece. If you want to know the names of the charts, please send me a message. I won't clutter your reading time with these types of details :)
and by night...
I had read Max Lucado's books many moons (decades) ago and always loved his way of writing. It is simple and homey and usually comforting. I saw this book below a couple years ago. What drew me in was the cover. Who makes books like this anymore!? When I saw the author was Max Lucado, I thought..."why not?" I am not religious in reading this; Once in a while I pick it up and receive some spiritual peace and teachings from it. I have picked it up again this past week or so.
I don't always agree with it. I sometimes argue with it. Always use your own discernment when reading or exposing yourself to spiritual teachings. One must never feel traumatized by spiritual teachings.
I think I will end this post here as I know I will be posting soon with more Christmas mood soon!
I wish you peace and grace in the meantime,