So sorry I missed our coffee date on Saturday. My weekend was a bit of a marathon and I didn’t really catch my breath till Sunday evening. September has been one of those months when everything collided, but knock on wood, the busiest parts are behind me and things may just slow down to a steady trot instead of a marathon of sprints.
Even though this month has been intense, it has also been filled with wonderful opportunities to meet new people and share A Homemade Year. When my book first came out I said “yes” to each and every opportunity related to promoting it.
Book signings, crafting demonstrations, speaking to church groups, and whatever else people asked me to do. And I was so excited and grateful for each and every invitation. But after a couple of months I grew a little weary of always being ‘on” and on the go. Over the past few months I have learned a lot about what I really enjoy and what is honestly more work than I can afford to expend at this season in my life. A season that includes working full time outside the home, and being a. mom, wife, friend, helping care for my elderly grandparents and doing this blogging thing.I have discovered, through trial and error, that what I really love is getting to speak to a group. Getting to share stories and lessons from the book and the experience of writing the book itself, and hopefully getting to shine a some light and grace in the process. I want to erase the idea that if we cannot do something perfectly (craft, cook, entertain, celebrate our faith at home) then we shouldn’t even try. I also love having the time to get to know those in the group. To see their eyes light up as they try new things, and hear words of freedom, is a beautiful thing. I try to pour out words that encourage instead of words that exhaust, and I pray before, during, and after each event, that every person will meet Christ’s love and tenderness through something they hear or see or experience that day.
These things, light and love, inspiration and freedom- these are the heart and soul of A Homemade Year.
Two weekends ago, I had one of my most fun and sweet engagements to date related to promoting the book. I had the honor of leading ten families from a local church in a Family Retreat that focused on preparing for Advent and Christmastide. I loved this event because I got to really dig in and encourage families as I helped them create their very own “Christmas in a Box” using crafts from A Homemade Year.
The event was held at a local church campground and retreat center, and the weather was nearly fall. Such a perfect day to spend with young families. We began by giving everyone a plastic tub filled with supplies for each craft – including these great log slices for their Advent Wreaths.
The families that came had mostly young kids, primarily five and under, so I tried to chose crafts that I felt most of the kids could help with in some way, even if that meant that they “contributed” by tearing up magazine pages while their parents made their collages.
Note: I have never been so happy ever before to see all the Christmas items in stock at Hobby Lobby so early! I usually fuss that the store is head to toe Christmas before Halloween has even arrived, but this year instead of complaining, I was singing their praises!