Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Verses

forgive others to experience peace this year
Happy Sunday! As we prepare to begin a new year, most of us spend at least a few minutes thinking about how we want the year to be different. We think about our hopes and dreams for the future and for many of us, that includes some resolution to live a more peaceful and centered and loving life. Peace begins within us, but when we harbor anger and ill-will towards others we will never know peace. Forgiveness is hard. It is difficult to forgive others who have wronged us, who have never said they were sorry, who may not even acknowledge that they hurt us. But, God asks us to do it because he knows forgiveness sets us free. Forgiving others does not mean their behavior was okay. It does not mean the wrongs are swept under the rug and forgotten or give someone a free pass to hurt us. It does allow us to heal, to draw closer to God, to experience peace. Let's start the new year experiencing the peace that comes from forgiveness.

Friday, December 29, 2017

These are a Few of my Favorite Things 2017

some of my favorite projects from the past year
How is it that 2017 is coming to a close already? Wow, time really does fly when you are busy and as you get older. I always like to take a few days at the end of the year to reflect on the past year and share with you a few of MY favorite projects. 

I am telling you, a blog is a great "diary" and really does help you feel like you accomplished something over a year. Many projects I forgot about and found new homes. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday Verses and Merry Christmas

devotional about the good news of Jesus's birth
Happy Sunday and Merry Christmas! I can't imagine how I might have felt if I was there with the shepherds when the angel appeared to them. I am guessing I would have been frightened, but also amazed. What I love about these verses is the angel calls his announcement GOOD NEWS. He says that it will bring GREAT joy to ALL people. Jesus came to earth to bring us love and joy, not condemnation and judgement. Jesus came to love you exactly the way you are, unconditionally without reserve or demands. And that is GREAT news and a reason to celebrate. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Junk Favorites, Past & Present Blog Hop

One week until the BIG day, are you ready? I am for the most part. I haven't done any Christmas baking yet, but that will happen this week. If you still have a few projects you hope to complete or a few gifts left to make or just want some inspiration for next year, I have a treat for you.
many easy ideas for christmas made with junk and reclaimed wood

Today, I am teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you some last minute inspiration. We are sharing some NEW ideas with you and some favorite past Christmas projects. So, settle in for a long winter's perusing and enjoy!

make an easy christmas sign on reclaimed wood in an hour or less
I had this sign pictured in my head for awhile now--creating it was even EASIER and QUICKER than I thought. If you have ever been in the woods when it is snowing, you know how peaceful it is. I wanted that same feeling with this sign--peaceful and simple. The sign works great throughout the winter, not just for Christmas.

Sunday Verses

devotional about light overcoming darkness
Happy Sunday! Being someone who enjoys taking pictures means that I am always looking for good lighting--the right light, perfect light. And just as light changes photographs, the light of the world, Jesus, can change us. This verse from John brings us hope that even in the darkness, even in the hard times, LIGHT continues to shine. It is changing things, changing us, overcoming the dark. Jesus came to be light that triumphs over darkness, hope that wins out over despair, peace that prevails over strife, love that conquers hate. Today and in this season look for the Good Light and know that it, HE, can and will change you and will overpower the darkness.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Day 12 Light Bulb Garland

12 Days of Easy Christmas Ideas
On the twelfth day of Christmas
Beyond the Picket Fence gave to me
A light bulb garland for the wall, banister, or tree.
vintage christmas bulbs from the thrift store

Why did I revive the rhymes this year? Anyway, we have FINALLY arrived at day 12 of projects. When I spied this bag of red vintage style Christmas light bulbs for $1, I had no idea what I was going to create with them, but said what the heck, I will come up with something.

The big bulb lights like these always remind me of my dad. He was a fairly meticulous man and worked hard to decorate the outside of our home with lights like these. They were all red a few years and colorful others. In those days (the seventies) it was popular for kids to steal the bulbs. I remember him getting pretty mad and frustrated to find missing bulbs, but he would replace them. The memory makes me smile. 
make a cute garland from vintage style christmas light bulbs

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Verses

devotional for advent on slowing down
Happy Sunday! It is advent, a time to reflect and prepare for the joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. BUT, for most of us it is all about being too busy and too stressed and having too little time.. This verse, one of my favorites, makes me want to take a deep sigh. It reminds me that God is not looking for busy religious activity from us. He does not want big, complicated performances and gestures. He simply wants us to walk with him, to look around us for those that are right in front of us who are in need, and to then act mercifully with those people. In this season of advent let's practice slowing down and enjoying the season. Let's breathe and look for those opportunities where God wants us to act justly and walk humbly with him.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Day 10 and 11 Christmas Entryway

12 Days of Easy Inexpensive Christmas Ideas

On the tenth and eleventh day of Christmas
Beyond the Picket Fence gave to me
Old book ideas and a decorated entryway.

Um, ya, that doesn't rhyme and yes, I am "cheating" and combining two days again because there are all sorts of thrift store Christmas decor ideas in my entryway.

pallet wood shelf decorated for Christmas with thrift store finds

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Day 9 Hot Cocoa Station

12 Days of Easy Christmas Ideas using thrift store finds

On the ninth day of Christmas
Beyond the Picket Fence gave to me,
A station for hot cocoa, coffee, and tea.

I am not sure who came up with hot cocoa and coffee stations, but I must say they are one of my favorite new traditions for the holidays and winter. They welcome family and guests and just say, "Stay and be cozy and enjoy."

I have been using an old drawer for mine, but decided I wanted something a bit smaller and not so obtrusive. A thrift store wood tray was the perfect item to hold and organize my hot drink goodies.
use thrift store finds to create a hot cocoa station

Monday, December 4, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Day 8 Gallery Wall

Make easy and inexpensive christmas decor from thrift store finds
On the eighth day of Christmas
Beyond the Picket Fence did exclaim,
"Let's upcycle a thrift store frame!"

So, today's thrift store upcycle for Christmas is certainly nothing new, but it is an EASY and INEXPENSIVE way to create something new for Christmas.

Make easy and inexpensive christmas decor from thrift store finds

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Verses

Inspiring Devotional about Grace
Happy Sunday! Do you ever wish you had a "pass" to get through life--you know, something that would make the wrongs right, give you a fresh start, and make life more doable? Thankfully we do, we have GRACE. Grace is the thing that makes enduring through and enjoying life possible. Grace is the gift of pure love, it forgives all things, it transforms us. Grace tells us that there is nothing we can do that will change God's love for us or his behavior towards us. And while grace is not a free pass to DO anything we want, it is the gift that brings us justice and mercy and love every day and I am thankful for it.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Day 7 Simple Centerpiece

create easy and inexpensive decor for Christmas with thrift store finds

On the twelfth day of ChristmasBeyond the Picket Fence was very pleased,to share a simple, thrift store centerpiece.

We recently downsized from a seven foot long table to a round table that has two leaves. After all, there are only three of us living here these days (with two adult boys out of the house) and a seven foot table was a bit much. 

A new table meant I would have to rethink my centerpiece for Christmas because I typically use a rectangular tray. I knew I wanted something round, something simple, something with some height, and candles.

use a metal game board and siple items to make a christmas centerpiece