Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Train Up Tuesday: Words of Affirmation and Homemade Gifts

Okay, let's just get it out there. It's NOVEMBER!!! I know it's still too early for most to think about Christmas, and I certainly DON'T want to rush my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving), but if you've been following the Roof for a while, you know that the ADVENT season is one of my favorite times of year. I always wait until almost the end of November to mention it, so I'm trying to get a jump on it this year. I love the "anticipation" of it all - not just the countdown to Christmas, but instilling the love of "anticipation" for our Lord's return.

So, if you are filled with this "anticipation", I'd like to offer some ideas over the next few weeks on what you can do as you await Christ's return AND an idea of how you can prepare for the coming holiday season.

If you recognize the phrase "Words of Affirmation", you may know the book "The Five Love Languages". (And if you don't know the book, it is WELL worth your read!) In case it doesn't ring a bell, it is the love language that uses the spoken (or written) word to encourage someone you love. Oddly enough, it is often people we think who don't need these words (extroverts, performer types, those managing or directing others) who often need them the most!

Recently, God has "blessed" my family with a few opportunities to use kind words (we started calling them "healing words" in light of our recent memory verse: Proverbs 12:18) in public situations dealing with people who work in some form of customer service. In a couple of different situations, women were struggling with either the boundaries of their position or their inexperience on their new job. In the one situation, we did not have the opportunity to "give" healing words, but in the car ride home, my oldest son asked if we could pray that the lady would have a better day (because it was certainly impacting those around her!). In the second situation, my boys heard me encourage the young lady that her day would get better, which led to another prayer for someone we didn't know.

I say this, not to brag on my "perfect" (*snort*) family, but to encourage you moms to take captive of those little opportunities to bring "healing words" to someone your family encounters THIS week! As a stay-at-home mom, I have to hunt and keep my eyes peeled for such encounters.

Homemade gift (#1)
Over the years, my family has experimented with different gift-givings to try to bring it all back into the right focus. We've done "Make, Bake, Sew, or Grow" (where the gifts you give must fit one of those categories thus making it somewhat homemade); with my kids we've given just 3 gifts (to represent the Magi) and last year we did 4 gifts for each (something you Want, you Need, to Wear, and to Read). We'll probably stick pretty close to the latter again this year. However, I always try to make at least one of the gifts I give (can you tell what MY "love language" is?).

This year, I'll try to share with you some easy-peasy gift ideas that you, too, can make (trust me, it'll be pretty easy....with 3 boys running around, I can't really get into too many crazy hobbies and craftiness)!

One gift that has been fun for me is decorating wooden peg dolls. I found loads of inspiration on and one year I made little families for my nieces and one set for our family (and if I can find a pic, I'll post one later).

This year, I hope to make peg superheros for at least one of my boys who is really into Spiderman lately. I found these cuties on Pinterest (but you can by these through an Etsy shop):

You can buy wooden pegs at Hobby Lobby (wait until unfinished wood goes on sale or take a coupon). If you want more shapes and sizes (as I did), you can buy them from Etsy as well. You can even use the old wooden clothespins (without the springs). Have fun with it, add "hair" or fabric if you are so inclined. OR, if you have a crafty one on your gift list, give them the supplies they need (paints, brushes, glue, pegs) so they can design their OWN peggies. I've even seen some drill little holes, attach a small hook, and make a cute necklace out of their peg people!

Peg people - it's a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive crafty gift!

Happy November!

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