Come on in!

Welcome, friend

Have a cup of hot tea and some zucchini muffins. CupofTeaIn case you are like me and are allergic to wheat or have issues with gluten, these muffins are safe and delicious! Thanks Joan for finding them for me. Who would have thought to look at T.J.Maxx! BreadMixSpiceTeaThis is my favorite cup of tea for fall and winter. It’s spicy and orangey.

Since the holidays are times for inviting in friends, I’m hosting this little open house just for you. It’s really such an easy way to entertain! I don’t have to show you the unmade bed or cobwebs in the corners. I don’t even have to vacuum before you show up!

Let’s begin with the tree. I had no idea that teddy bears were such a theme in our ornaments. I’m sure all of these were purchased for Jennifer or selected by her. It took me so many years before I could look at these ornaments that remind me of her childhood. Give yourself permission to change traditions or even put them on hold when your grief is too raw. From my experience, there is no particular schedule or reason for holiday grief to show up. This year just happens to be a year that I can look at these memories without pain.

Teddybears

This little angel has survived so many years of packing and unpacking. It was one of the first ornaments Jennifer made in pre-school.

This little angel has survived so many years of packing and unpacking. It was one of the first ornaments Jennifer made in pre-school.

JenHorse

The rocker was hers as well as the teddy bear. She made the plate at school one year, and it always held cookies for Santa.

The rocker was hers as well as the teddy bear. She made the plate at school one year, and it always held cookies for Santa.

The kitchen table looks like this for every day this Christmas. KitchenTableCharger plaatesThe plates on the wall above the table are a craft project from last year. Saw it on some HGTV show I’m sure. Buy chargers which are on sale right now. Cut out felt circles to fit the inside of the charger. Use a stencil (found online) to cut out some Christmas shapes. Glue the felt on. The more intricate plates come from a project for Christmas sweatshirts. Remember those? I just can’t throw that stuff away. And I’m not showing you my craft/sewing/project room!

I made this bulletin board a few years ago and slipped in a few of those Christmas pictures we received this year. BulletinBoardDecided to keep it less cluttered this year and used a few flat ornaments here instead of on the tree.

This stocking was quilted by Larry's cousin who is no longer with us. I love to have some of these items from loved ones.

This stocking was quilted by Larry’s cousin who is no longer with us. I love to have some of these items from loved ones.

Before we head upstairs I want you to see just one shelf of a bookcase. This display of old dishes that belonged to Larry’s mother usually looks like this but for Christmas I added the ribbon (actually came off a package with the gold balls included) and a few other elements. The white dresser scarves were handmade by a great aunt.bookcaseThis ornament is another handmade item from a dear friend who died from cancer. Liz was so creative, and one year she made these ornaments as little artifacts from the original rock chapel of our church. When they tore it down for a major remodel, Liz gathered some of the limestone rocks, place small pieces inside ornament balls, and painted the chapel on the outside. BixlerSo many of the decorations I pulled out were saved from Christmas past. The wreath at the foot of the stairs has been added to and changed as well as hung on several different walls as well as the front door.Wreath

One last project to show you in this brief Open House – upstairs in my office. I moved Jennifer’s Blessing Chest to the little alcove under the window where it just fits. WindowSeatDon’t know why I haven’t tried this before now. I made a cushion for the seat with cording I made myself. Not that I’m proud. This is where I sit for morning devotions and sometimes open the top window if it’s not too cold. It’s a good alternative to the front porch or the deck in the winter. Window2I have family across the Atlantic in Europe and others are scattered about the US. Since they weren’t able to be here in person, I hope this visit brought back some memories of past years. The weather this week in Tennessee has felt more like winter for a change. We’ve had lots of gray days lately and even a little snow, so the Christmas lights have been burning day and night. Makes for a warm glow!

May you and all those you love feel the love of God surround you whatever your situation today – – physically, emotionally, spiritually.

What wondrous love that came down to Earth from our Father in the form of a baby!

Thanks be to God for all the blessings we can find through grace from our Redeemer!

JoyMartell

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3 thoughts on “Come on in!

  1. Kimberley

    Thank you for always being so honest about grief and your daughter. It has helped me deal with my feeling about the loss of my own daughter. Much love to you in the coming new year.

    Reply
    1. JoyMartell Post author

      I am so blessed to know that my words have helped you. That has been my prayer each time I write about this journey. My heart aches for your pain. I pray that you can find that peace that only comes from our Father, the Healer.

      Reply

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