Saturday, October 25, 2008

To Love or Not to Love

Everyday we choose to love or not to love. This statement came from a parenting course John and I studied a couple of years ago called,"Growing Kids God's Way." As women we are wives and mothers in the home. We also are mothers in our communities and our churches whether we have natural children or not. This statement is the backdrop of the course of generations to follow. Our choice to love each day is the greatest opportunity for success we will ever have.

We should never discount the value of everything we touch in our homes. Creating a warm and loving haven for our families is vital as well as finding special ways to s how our family how much we love them. It does not take much money-just a bit of time and creativity.

A few weeks ago, I shared that starting in the Master bedroom is important because your relationship with your spouse is the most important in the family. Making this room the most elegant in your home shows your husband that you honor and respect him. Our second most important relationships are with our children. Their rooms are a reflection of them and should be a pleasant place for them to rest, read,and play.

Since we just moved here, I have not purchased many new things for the home. Therefore I have been praying and asking the Lord to help my creative juices flow so I can create a beautiful home for my family on a shoestring budget. Here is a project I did last week with my preteen daughter, Sara. She wanted to give all of her "pink stuff" to her little sister and make her own room look a bit more like a room for a teenager.

The photo on the top right is a mural we created together of photos that are special to her. This is great for a preteen room. You can make as many of these as you would like and even hang them as a grouping on the wall.

1. Find a large frame around the house you are not using. It could be from an old print or large photo frame with a matting for various photos. Remove the matting or print. You can even paint the frame if you would like the frame to tie into the color scheme of the room.

2.Search your home for unused fabric. Some ideas would be a table cloth you have not used in years, colorful sheets, cloth napkins, or material from an unused curtain. You will be amazed at the amount of unused fabric you have stored away. Since my daughter Sara wanted her color scheme to be mostly red and brown, we used a set of deep red cloth napkins for the background of her collage. (See photo)

3.Using the cardboard backing of the frame, glue the material pulling tightly. You may want to trim down the fabric. The mural we constructed used two cloth napkins.

4.Allow the material to dry. We used Elmer's glue. Gather photos and arrange them on the background. Either tape or glue the pictures. You may even use various items to accentuate the photos such as ribbons, stickers, etc. We used artificial leaves for a fall theme. We did not glue these as they can be removed and other accessories can be used later for different seasons.

5.Carefully place into the frame with the glass. Hang on the wall or prop the collage against a night table or dresser.

This project was free to create. The only thing it cost was about an hour of our time. It was something we did together to create something "cool" for a teen room. Most importantly we made a special memory. With the holidays just around the corner, this would be a great and inexpensive gift idea for any age person.

I did spend a small amount of money on a few room accessories as Sara wanted to change the entire decor. So we went to Walmart and bought a few simple accessories to decorate. The red pillow on her bed was only 6 dollars. The brown bed spread was only 14.99 at Walmart.

For the window treatment. We used the remainder of the red cloth napkins as well as some white cloth napkins I do not use. We folded them once into triangles and alternated them across the top of the window to create a valance. We used small pin nails to hold the napkins.

As a creative "earthy" backdrop behind her bed, we used 4 woven placemats and created an "Indian" style mural that looks like miniature rugs.(See photo)

We have more ideas to create for the room. However, I mainly wanted to share the fun and the simplicity of bringing warmth into your home without spending a lot of money. The best part of it all was spending time together and creating beauty with my daughter.

If you have any "shoe string budget" ideas for creating kid's rooms, please email me at I would love to read about your ideas and even post them here to share with others.

Remember that investing in our families is the most important deposit we will ever make. It does not need to be costly in money, but it will cost your time. Isn't that the way to spell love: T-I-M-E?

Morning Bagel-Love one another.In the same way I loved you,love one another. This is how everyone will recognize you are my disciples-when they see the love you have have for one another. John 13:34-35 (The Message Bible)

Daily Hug- We can be assured that we hold within our very being the God given capacity to love. 1 John 4:7-8 commands us to love one another for love is of God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Obviously love is very important to God. He created us in His image.(Genesis 1:26-27) Therefore we have been given by God the capacity to receive and give love. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 that others will know we are His people by the love we demonstrate toward one another. The only way we can be filled with the unconditional love of God is to know Him and walk with Him daily. When your child is receives God's love through you, he or she will be confident in your love and will learn to love others through your actions and example.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity You have given to me this day to give my family my love, but most importantly Your love. This day I choose to give love. However, I cannot do this without You filling me with Yourself.

Come and fill me Lord with You
May Your love flow
In all I say and do.
May the touch I give
To my family today
Bring a splash of Your presence
I earnestly pray.

You poured into me
Now help me be
A fresh breeze bringing blessings
To precious others with need
Make me a message
That my family can read
So they may know
And they will believe.

May my smile be as a gift
And my hugs a cozy cape
And the time I give my family
Be a letter of Your grace
May all I create
And even the mundane tasks I do
Be an eternal stamp
Exclaiming, "I LOVE YOU!"

In Jesus Name. Amen.

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