Monday, December 16, 2013

Word Love Ornaments

Do you have any Scrabble lovers or word lovers on your gift list?

We picked up an old Scrabble set at the thrift store. It was missing an "i" and an "n," but that didn't matter for our project. We spread out the letters and made up as many words as we could related to Christmas. We had a set of the stands left over from a different craft project (coasters out of letters for another daughter). We divided them up, deciding how to fit them on the stands.
 I used hot glue to stick them on. You will see I am no expert with the glue gun. I quickly learned I had to work very fast to get the letters on straight.

Our son cut the stands on his scroll saw, then sprayed them with a varnish.
I attached the cord with the glue gun, making them into ornaments.
We will hang them on our tree, then let the kids pick which one they want to keep. (spoiler alert...)

Old Scrabble games are great to pick up at the thrift store - lots of uses for the wooden tiles. We will keep an eye out for more Scrabble sets whenever we are at the thrift store.  There are so many more good words we could use to tell stories of Christmas.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Light Shines

"And God said, 'Let there be light,'...
"In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Genesis 1: 3
John 1: 4 - 5

The Sunday Community

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A New Word

Two dentist appointments gave me my word for 2014.

I was not even looking for it - yet - this early, weeks away from 2014. Tell me it is still a long time until the New Year, right?

Quiet was my word for 2013. I am not a perfectly accomplished expert on "quiet." But it helped. I learned.


Our son went in for his dental cleaning and evaluation for those last six baby teeth that are causing double rows and misalignment. The diagnosis: wiggle wiggle wiggle those babies out.

The hygienist, Lisa, worked with him with patience and calm. As she concluded with his all-around x-ray, she mentioned she has an autistic son, and I understood her patience and gentleness.

The next morning, it was my turn. A deep cleaning, those pointy metal tools digging in under my gums, scraping. Lovely.

We had a pleasant conversation, probably taking more of her time than we should have because we connected, deeply. Lisa told me of her son, his struggles at school, scenarios with him in public, challenges at home with his attitudes. Although our son's situations are quite different, she recognized similarities and expressed her sensitivity (except on my gums - but that was her job).

And there was the word, with a quiet, "Ta-dah!"

Above all, she wants her son to know that he is welcome. No matter how others react to him, no matter what happens, he is welcome with her, a part of their family, in their home. She saw in us, our son and me, a similar attitude of welcome.

I think of, and work toward acceptance, but welcome has deeper levels. As I thought of the meanings of welcome, I sketched out this list:
  • invitation
  • listen
  • greet
  • hospitality
  • accept
  • honor
  • open the door
  • prepare a place
  • open heart
  • willing
  • focus on the people
  • time together
  • not too busy
  • flexibility
  • receive
  • give
The more I thought of it, there is another list. To welcome these, too:
  • inconveniences
  • interruptions
  • disappointment
  • discouragement
  • pain
  • challenges
  • criticism
  • imperfections
  • inconsistencies
  • frustrations
  • inadequacies
  • blame
  • shame
When I want to close the door - or rather (to be honest), to slam this door on uncomfortable things, my first response should be to welcome them. Ouch. Tough to do. I have much to learn.

I'm sure you could add your own ideas to these lists. What else do you think of?


I grabbed one of the refrigerator magnets to stick on the grocery list. In my hand was a cross-stitched house, underneath, the word, "Welcome." Our daughter made it years and years ago. I saw it with new eyes, new heart, and I had to smile. How many years have I seen and used that magnet, thinking only of hospitality? 

Now, it will be a reminder to welcome the good and the uncomfortable in my days and in the people and relationships around me. Our dental hygienist opened a door for me. A door with a wider perspective, a fresh view of what it means to welcome the gifts of each day. Even when those gifts are challenging and I would rather slam that door. Welcome them. Welcome the work of each day. Welcome those in my home. Welcome - throw my arms wide and say, "Welcome, come on in. Let's talk."

Thank you, Lisa. 

Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky, is hosting a link up, Tuesdays Unwrapped. "To write about an ordinary day and the miracle secret it holds."

Have you considered a theme word for 2014 yet?