Oh, you are in for a treat! My friend and co-author of my first two books, Trish Smith is here today. She is a crafting whiz and Jesus-lovin’ gal; glue gun in one hand; Bible in the other! That’s my bio on her. Got many of her homemade wares in my home. And some from the online decor business she has too. (You are gonna love it!)
Now, for her professional bio: (gotta keep it classy!)
Trish Smith is a wife and Army mom, co-author of the books, Homespun Gifts from the Heart and Homespun Memories for the Heart. She is an independent consultant for Blessings Unlimited and is an active crafter and knitter. She loves to weave Scripture into her crafting and gift giving to share the story of what God has done in her life. Check out her website at http://www.myblessingsunlimited.net/trishsmith
MAKING SCRIPTURE THE HEART OF YOUR HOME
As a child I longed for a quiet, peaceful home like the one my friend lived in – a clean, serene place where friends were invited, family was embraced, and supper was eaten together around the table.
Because of these beginnings, as an adult with a home of my own, I have made it a priority to create a haven for myself and my family. I wanted to create an environment of rest and nourishment away from the bustle and chaos of the world outside my home.
I felt that I, as well as my family, needed to be able to come home to a haven of rest and relaxation so that we could head back out into the sometimes harsh world of school, work, and just plain life, refreshed and ready to meet the challenges.
Over the years, the conviction has grown in me that, as a Christian, I just can’t keep this to myself – I need to remember to invite others into my haven as well and share that refreshment! This just wasn’t something that I learned to do as a child – it wasn’t even allowed. Maybe some of you are in the same boat – you might not have seen how to do this growing up. But it is something we can learn to do. Just pick up the phone, make yourself do it if you have to. Guests probably won’t care if your house is as clean and neat as a magazine cover, they just want to know they are welcomed and loved!
As I have worked at creating and sustaining this environment of peace in my own home, I have become convinced that a crucial part of that is surrounding and immersing myself with Scripture, even in my decorating.
As I look at and absorb the truth around me, it focuses my mind on what God has done for me. When we sprinkle verses around our homes, those who enter will see our testimonies, planting a seed inside their hearts that, when watered, will produce a harvest. So, here are some ideas to get you started…
~ Write the verse “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105) on the bottom edge of a lampshade. Simply write out the verse in pencil in your best handwriting first, and then take a fine-tipped permanent marker to go over the pencil lines. This would be great on the lamp where you normally sit to have your quiet time with the Lord – a reminder to focus your mind on what He has to teach and where He is directing.
~ On neutral-colored burlap or linen pillows (handmade or store bought), again, write out a verse in pencil. Then, use a simple backstitch to go over the handwriting with your favorite colors. How about “Love is patient” with an outline of a heart below? I can’t tell you how often these pillows reminded me to be patient with my family while I had them displayed for Valentine’s Day! Or, get a package of 2 standard pillowcases in the color of your choice and stitch the words “I am my beloved’s” on one, and, on the other, stitch “my beloved is mine” from Song of Solomon 6:3. I just gave a set of these pillowcases as a bridal shower gift – they were a hit! But, if you make some for yourself, what a great way to focus your thoughts and emotions on the blessing lying right beside you – just as your head hits the pillow!
~Do you have a favorite hymn that helps focus your thoughts and desires back on the One who made you? Try taking a photocopy of the hymn, enlarged to fit in a frame whatever size you desire. Then, dip a paper towel in some tea and gently dab the tea on the paper, taking care not to get the paper too wet. Just a little will do the trick – you just want to antique the paper a bit. Then, simply place the picture in the frame and hang in a place of prominence in your home.
~For a small chalkboard, I simply took an old silver platter from a garage sale (the more patina, the better!) and painted the inner tray with chalkboard paint. I used a plate hanger to hang this on a wall in my kitchen to help me with memorizing Scripture. I can always wipe off the verse I’ve just learned and move on to the next. If you have the room, try painting an entire wall with chalkboard paint. Then, keep track of schedules, chores, menus, and add a memory verse for the whole family to learn. You can even make your own chalk paint in whatever color you want by adding 2 Tablespoons of unsanded tile grout to each cup of flat wall paint. You’ll want to put on 2-3 coats. Wait until dry and rub the whole area with chalk to condition the paint. Wipe off and you’re ready to fill the space!
~For many years, I have been making Scripture signs to sell, for friends and family, and for my own walls. Just print off a banner on the computer and cut out the letters with a small utility knife. Place the stencil over a base-coated board whatever size you choose (I like to use crackle paint for my base coat). Then, use a stencil brush with a small amount of paint on the brush to gently tap or pounce the paint into the cut-out letters. The trick is not to have too much paint on the brush at any one time. You can always go back over something, but it is much harder to take paint away if it bleeds underneath your stencil. Choose your verse based on where the sign is going in your home. I have “Create in me a clean heart, O God” above my laundry area. What a great reminder to me to come to Him in confession and repentance. He gives restoration!
~Here’s a great idea for blessing those who enter your home. Again, first with a pencil, write out these verses from Numbers 6:24-26 above and around your door frame. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Then, simply use a paint pen to go over the words with paint. As your guests leave, say a short prayer over them that includes this verse. What a way to help your guests feel loved!
~Finally, there are many companies that offer lots of home décor and gift items that emphasize Scripture. Blessings Unlimited is one that I am involved in. I just love all the products – reminding me of my faith, the truth of Scripture, meaningful beauty. Everything they offer is encouraging and uplifting, both to me around my house and, hopefully, to all those who enter. Check out the catalog at www.myblessingsunlimited.net/trishsmith for our full line of products.
These are just a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing. Think about where the Word of God would fit into your home décor and would minister to your family and guests. Have fun with it…it just makes the verses that much more memorable.
For the GIVEAWAY today, I am going to send one of you a mug from Blessings Unlimited. You can have a choice of one of the four Reminders of His Love mugs: Beauty, Blessings, Gratitude, or Wonder. Click here to take a peek at them.
There’s a verse inside the bottom of each mug – so cute!! Choose the “Gratitude” mug if you need a Thank You gift. Or, choose the “Blessings” mug if you simply need a reminder after your last sip of coffee that “Each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me.” (Psalm 42:8)
Reply to the post below to enter the giveaway and make sure you mention which of the Reminders of his Love mugs you would like to receive! Blessings to you today!
REMEMBER: For tomorrow’s idea swap and share, be thinking of your best decorating idea, tip, object, theme, centerpiece or DIY project. Bloggers, get a post ready. Others, you can leave yours in the comment section with a description or a link to what it is you like so we all can see.
Finally, we are also interacting over at Karen Ehman’s Book Studies on Facebook. Click here to “like” the page & join us.