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Discover 5 New Ways to Celebrate a Natural Christmas

 

The older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life.

Celebrating Christmas often puts us into a frenzy as we try to create the perfect holiday for ourselves, our family, and friends. In this post, I’ve curated some natural holiday ideas that I love because of their focus on nature and simplicity and/or the true meaning of Christmas. Try one or try them all, but I pray that you will have the time to experience the love and blessings of God this Christmas season.

A Natural Christmas

  1. 5 Ways to Make Your  Home Smell Good for the Holidays. This amazing post from the Herbal Academy is full of wonderful ideas. Many of them would make a fun activity to do with children. I can’t wait to try #5, the Holiday Spice Potpourri. The spices in this blend are some of my favorites, and besides that, it’s a visual treat for the eyes too.
  2. Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls from Mother Earth Living. Remember the popcorn balls we used to make and eat as children? Here’s a recipe to enjoy. Even though they purposed this for Halloween, I always associate popcorn balls as a special treat of Christmas.
  3. 55 Last Minute Herbal DIY Gifts.This post by Joybilee Farm has an incredible assortment of herbal gift ideas that you can make. Inspiration is just oozing here. From beverages and food to oils, candles, and beauty products, your biggest challenge will be deciding what to make.
  4. The Twelve Herbs of Christmas. I like this post because it lists 12 different herbs historically associated with Christmas and explains their meaning in the Christmas story. For example, did you know that tradition has it that Joseph cut branches from a thyme bush to make bedding for Mary and baby Jesus? Also along those lines is a post of mine on Essential Oils in the Bible and how to use them today. It includes a recipe for creating a frankincense and myrrh skin blend, which would make a lovely gift for someone or to keep for yourself.
  5. Natural Nativity. Finally, I’ve included my natural, rustic nativities. Each fall, I make these miniature nativity scenes from tree bark from Hickory & Oak Sawmill and Lumber Company (my brother-in-law’s sawmill) and from beeswax. I sell them at Christmas in my Etsy shop if you would like to add one to your home.

What is a favorite way you celebrate a natural Christmas? I’d love to hear about a tradition you have or a new idea you want to try this year.

Merry Christmas!




Wounded Lives. Healed Hearts. Week 6: Simplicity

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Jane and I welcome you to Lesson Six of Wounded Lives. Healed Hearts. We are very excited to join you during this journey into encouragement  and healing. Jane and I are praying that this week you will make some changes that will enable you to live simply in Christ.

Weekly Homework Each week we will add your assignments to a password-protected post. Look for the password every Tuesday evening in your email. Below you will find homework for each level of study. Feel free to change from Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3  as your schedule allows! Remember, there is no pressure to complete every activity. These are just options for your growth. They can be accessed at any time, even after the study ends.Week 6 aHealed jpeg copy

Level 1, Study: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 6, watch the video posted below: The Wailing Wall
  • Complete pages 85-98 in Luke: Discovering Healing in Jesus’ Words to Women.
  • Feel free to do any of the other activities from Levels 2 and 3 as your time allows.

Level 2, Community: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 6, watch the video posted below: The Wailing Wall
  • Complete pages 85-98 in Luke: Discovering Healing in Jesus’ Words to Women.
  • Answer the question on the Speak Your Mind comment section at the bottom of this post.
  • Don’t forget to check out our private Facebook page. Leave your comments about this week’s study, post your prayer requests, or share any insights/questions you may have. Only members of our Bible study group will see these posts.
  • Join the Community Call, Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. EST on Talk Shoe (information on TalkShoe is in your weekly email.)

 Level 3, Opportunity: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 6, watch the video posted below: The Wailing Wall
  • Complete pages 85-98 in Luke: Discovering Healing in Jesus’ Words to Women.
  • Answer the question on the Speak Your Mind comment section at the bottom of this post,  and join the Community Call on Wednesday night on TalkShoe.
  • Complete the Digging Deeper questions in the margins of each lesson.
  • Don’t forget to check out our private Facebook page. Leave your comments about this week’s study, post your prayer requests, or share any insights/questions you may have. Only members of our Bible study group will see these posts.
  • Take advantage of the Help for Healing resources by clicking on the links below:

Early Will I Seek You Blog

What is the Simple Life? Blog

 Rest Prayer

 

Week Six Video

Please take a few moments to worship and express your gratitude to God through music for His many blessing and gifts.

Questions of the Week (Please respond in the Speak Your Mind section at the very bottom of this page).

In what ways is God asking you to simplify your life?

 

 




The Simple Life Week 1

Week One:

Profound Simplicity and Gracious Acceptance

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

Jane and I welcome you to Week One of The Simple Life! We are very excited to be with you during this journey intoScott Shoes the simple. In the weeks leading up to this study, we have been praying for you. Thank you for answering God’s  call; it is not an accident that you have joined this study. God is calling you to leave the complicated and embrace the simple.

Weekly Homework

Each week we will add your assignments to a password-protected post. Look for the password every Tuesday evening in your email. Below you will find homework for each level of study. Feel free to change from Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3  as your schedule allows! Remember, there is no pressure to complete every activity. These are just options for your growth. They can be accessed at any time, even after the study ends.

Level 1, Study: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 1, do chapters 1 and 2 in Becoming A Woman of Simplicity.
  • Remember to focus on Jesus.
  • Feel free to do any of the other activities from Levels 2 and 3 as your time allows.

Level 2, Community: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 1, do chapters 1 and 2 of Becoming A Woman of Simplicity.
  • Answer the question on the Speak Your Mind comment section at the bottom of this post.
  • Join the Community Call, Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. EST on Talk Shoe (Information on TalkShoe is in your weekly email.)
  • Listen to the Podcast for information on the discipline of silence and solitude. Simply click on the link below.

Silence and Solitude podcast

 

 Level 3, Opportunity: Weekly Goals 

  • For Week 1, do chapters 1 and 2 of Becoming A Woman of Simplicity.
  • Answer the question on the Speak Your Mind comment section at the bottom of this post, join the Community Call on Wednesday night on TalkShoe, and listen to the Podcast at the link provided up above.
  • Don’t forget to check out our private Facebook page. Leave your comments about this week’s study,post your prayer requests, or share any insights/questions you may have. Only members of our Bible study group will see these posts.
  • Your Simple Challenge activity for this week is Solitude.  Before next Wednesday, set a goal to take four 15-minute mini-retreats n a quiet peaceful place where no one can find you. It is in the quiet places that God has our full attention and often reveals things to us that we miss in the rush of the day. Unplug everything and rest in God. He is waiting to refresh you.
  • Take advantage of the Extra Simple resources by clicking on the links below:

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Simplicity, A Not So Simple Choice        

 

ID-10035297  May She Rest in Peace

 

For your listening and worshiping pleasure, please be blessed by the beautiful music of Paul Cardall:

Questions of the Week (Please respond in the Speak Your Mind section at the very bottom of this page).

1. How did you feel about your mini-retreat this week? What did you feel or what did you notice? What did God teach you through this quiet time?

 

Week 1 Community Call

For those of you who missed the Week 1 Community Call on Talk Shoe, here is a recording of it. Simply click on the sideways arrow to listen to the call.

 

 

Image courtesy of evgeni dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Online Bible Study: The Simple Life

New! Online Bible Study at Only By Prayer

Fresh from our Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks 2013 Writers and Speakers conference, Mary and I are flush with ideas God has given us for Only By Prayer. We’d like to share with you one of the big things that will going on here this fall:

Imagine doing your Bible study with your small group without ever having to leave the comfort of your home, dorm room — or back deck. If this sounds like your kind of study, we would love for you to join our first ever online Bible study. This  six-week online Bible study starts on Wednesday, September 11, and will help you to simply your life by:

  • Focusing on the One
  • Living in the present
  • Embracing simplicity

We will be using Cynthia Heald’s Becoming a Woman of Simplicity Bible study. To simplify the process, you will each purchase your own book from your local Christian bookstore. We’ve also included a link to the CBD online bookstore if your prefer to purchase it that way.

Christian Book Distributors:

066634: Becoming a Woman of Simplicity Becoming a Woman of Simplicity

 

A Bible Study for All Levels of Maturity

Challenge your faith by choosing one of three levels of involvement.

  1. Level 1:  Study. Simply complete the work in your Bible study book.
  2. Level 2: Community. Complete the work in the Bible study book and participate in weekly community conversations (blog/Facebook) about what you’re learning.
  3. Level 3: Opportunity. Complete the work in the Bible study book, participate in community conversations, and complete application activities that will be emailed to you.Simple Life pin#2

In addition, each Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST, Jane and Mary will host an optional call on Talk Shoe that will include a teaching time on that week’s lesson. But remember, you are free to do your work at any time during the week that fits your schedule.

Sign Up for The Simple Life Bible Study

The cost to participate in the online Bible study (same price for every level) is only $5 (in addition to your book fee that you purchase). If you’d like to join us in this fall’s study of The Simple Life, please click on the button below. You will both pay and register through this one button. Once you have signed up, you will be emailed a link to confirm your registration. You must click on that link to be put on the list for the Bible study.

Thanks so much for your participation. Feel free to invite your friends! Please click on the link below to register and pay. You will be given the option to pay either with Pay Pal or with your credit card. If you don’t have a PayPal account, simply click the option that says “Check Out.” Clicking on that will then open another screen and one of your options will say: “Don’t have a PayPal account?” Click on this option, which will bring up a screen that will let you either pay with a regular credit card or open a PayPal account.

Questions or problems with registration? Click on this contact button to email Jane.

Click Below: The Simple Life Online Bible Study





Lent Day 26, Yes Be Yes

Welcome to Lent Day 26! Today is our last day in our focus on simplicity. We will take a look at the importance of our words. We’ll learn how important what we say is to God.

To read today’s devotion, just click on the link below.

Lent Day 26 Yes Be Yes

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Lent Day 24, Ways of Your Household

Welcome to Day 24 of our Lenten Devotional! We’ve been focusing on simplicity this week, and today we have to take a clear look at our homes. Are our homes places of organization and peace, or are we floundering in disorganization and clutter? Join us by clicking on the link below as we look to the ways of our households.

Lent Day 24, Ways of Your Household

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net