Sunday, March 17, 2013

Are you ready for Easter?

I wish I could say that I spend more time preparing for Easter than I actually do. It tends to sneak up on me. This year my excuse is that there's still snow on the ground and my son's birthday falls the weekend before Easter. I can really only handle one thing at a time and the fireman birthday party comes first!

That said, I really do look forward to Easter! The snow is melted and Spring is on its way (well, maybe not this year, but one can hope!)... egg hunts ... Easter basket goodies ... Spring colors ... brunch ... coordinating dressy outfits for my boys ...

But most of all, I love the celebration at our church that takes place on Saturday evening and Sunday morning when we remember that Christ conquered death — and that makes all the difference! 

I'm also looking forward to teaching our almost 3-year-old about Easter. I love the excitement that a preschooler has for learning new things. What will you be doing with your kids? Do you need some ideas? Valley put together some great Easter resources for families. We'll definitely be doing the Resurrection Eggs this year!

And finally, here's a free printable for decorating your home this Easter. All you have to do is download, print, trim and put in a cute frame. It's really that simple!

I love linen card stock, so that's probably what I will print mine on — the same card stock that I use for all the prints in my Etsy Shop. (I promise it will go up on our mantel just as soon as our little boy's fireman birthday party is over!)

My Redeemer Lives Printable

Playing around with chalkboard style. What do you think?

These printables are for personal use only. Feel free to share by linking back to my blog. And don't forget to like my Facebook page!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's in a name?

Picking names is not one of my strengths. For me, it's an overwhelming task. First it was naming the first member of our family, our dog. I let Tommy do that. Then a task of even greater importance – naming our children. It just seems like one of those decisions that's so final you better not mess it up!

Neither of our boys had names until they were born. And, as you might guess, #1 was named by my husband. (Our options were narrowed down to two names.) Minutes after his birth, Tommy was on the phone with his brother and I heard him say that our son's name was "Levi." News to me! But I went with it, and I'm thankful I married a good decision-maker!! 

Oh, and I named #2...on the second day of our hospital stay. It was quite an accomplishment for me to commit to a name!

I had the same challenges with starting this blog. I've had this idea for a couple of years, but just wasn't sure what to call it or even really what it would be all about. I've been waiting for the perfect name to hit me over the head and for the perfect timing to launch something that is so close to my heart. 

I've finally realized that while God's timing is perfect, there is no perfect time in the midst of raising two young boys to stop all the craziness to begin a new project. (As I write this, #1 is having a not-so-quiet, quiet time and #2 finally gave in to his nap.) I also have to finally let go of some of that perfectionism in me and just put it out there, whether it's perfect or not.

So now we get to the naming part...  It might not be perfect, but I think it's pretty close!

Psalm 84:1-3

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young‚
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

I love this Scripture! And I love the song too! I've learned that whether we realize it or not, everyone's soul yearns to dwell in the presence of the most high God. He is lovely, and perfect. In Him, we find a place to dwell and find rest.

While participating in a Bible study a couple years ago, this idea first came to me. The topic was remaining in the love of Christ. Remain. Abide. Dwell. Dwell.

How does my life reflect the love of God? How do I dwell in that love every day? Tangibly?

Scripture is one way. Hiding God's Word in my heart.

I don't know about you, but I'm a visual person. I need visual reminders and I like my surroundings to be visually pleasing - pretty, lovely. I prefer aesthetics over function more often than not.

For me, a visual reminder of God's love, faithfulness and goodness needs to be personalized (how He is speaking to me in my life) and let's not forget – lovely. After all, our God is a creative God and the Creator of beauty. Well, I'm kind of a design snob and there just wasn't much out there that fit the bill for my taste and style.

At the same time I came across an amazing blog by an equally amazing woman and was inspired by her lovely Scripture art prints. I even purchased one.

So that's where the graphic designer in me kicked in and I began creating.

And the idea of Lovely Dwelling Design was born – to create custom, Scripturally-based, inspirational artwork to decorate our homes with reminders of who God is and where He has called us to dwell – in the center of His love. I gave some of my prints as gifts to friends and family and thought about doing more with them.

Then life got crazy. We sold a home. We bought a home. We moved. We had baby #2. And now, 2 1/2 years later, we are in our new home and my desire is to make it a lovely dwelling place for our family – a haven – a place where we are loved by God and each other.

Maybe you have that desire too?

My plan is to make prints available for sale on Etsy, post free printable artwork for various seasons or holidays and also share things I love that other designers have created.

So that's what Lovely Dwelling Design is all about. It's a blog, it's a business, it's a place where I will post what I'm inspired by, it's a leap of faith. And from time to time, it will be a place where I will shamelessly post pictures and stories about my two precious boys!

Because God has blessed us greatly in this earthly dwelling He's given us, and it's just a small picture of our perfect dwelling place one day with Him.