A few years ago my dear friend Carmella recommended a book to me. It took awhile for me to get around to reading it, but when I did, I quickly understood how this book had meant so much to her. Ann Voskamp”s “One Thousand Gifts” was a game-changer for me. It has helped me shift from a more natural negative bent, to one of gratitude & expectancy to see God even in the tough moments of life. Though God still has much to show me in this area, we are on this journey and He has been so very faithful in helping me “get it”.
When her new book, “The Greatest Gift” came out, I actually paid full price for it at a local bookstore, so I could prepare for this journey of advent. As written on the book jacket, “Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day”s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn”t blurred past you but your heart”s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you”ve always yearned for.”
The book comes with a free download of ornaments to be printed out & hung on a Jesse tree each day in December as we journey to the coming of Christ on Christmas morning. Wanting to add this to our advent preparation each year, I decided to use wood for our ornaments. The imperfect process was pretty much as follows …
I picked up two pieces of 8″ x 36″ x 3/8″ thick beech wood from Hobby Lobby. Ripped them down the middle and then cut each piece into 4″
squares. The “I” is actually somewhat plural here, as my husband helped me figure the circular saw out & gave me the “you go girl” pep talk that I couldn”t really mess it up before this whole adventure started. A circular saw is quite positively NOT the recommended tool for this project, but it is what we had & I almost always prefer to go with what I have…. We did add some tape & draw our cutting line on the tape, in hopes that the wood wouldn”t split too much. It mostly worked.
So … the end result was that some of the blocks kind of looked more “gnawed at” as opposed to “sawed” but it”s all good. When I had fleeting moments of ugly perfectionist flesh rear it”s ugly little head, I could hear myself quoting the Nester, “It doesn”t have to be perfect to be beautiful”. In the end, I rather like the imperfection of it all. It”s a little more rugged and authentic when I think about the humble entrance that the King of Kings made into this world. It seems to fit.
But, I digress …. After the squares were cut Dette er en relativt rett frem spilleautomat uten innviklede bonusspill og funksjoner. I sanded the rough edges off & whitewashed them with some primer I found in the garage. The technical reason for
using primer you ask? Why, because it was the mostly empty can of white paint that I found in the garage paint stash. I added some water to it & put 2 coats on the blocks. I printed out Ann”s 4 x 4 ornaments onto cardstock & put a thin layer of modge podge on the back of each paper & front of each block. There were very few bubbles to press out once I had adhered the paper to the wood.
As soon as they were dry, I inked them with some stayz-on in a medium brown. Yep, it”s what I had in my craft closet – thanks to my Momma! I somehow convinced Steve to drill the holes at the top for me, I was a bit concerned that I would get the wrong angle & drill too close to the edge. I really didn”t want to mess them up & have to start over on any of them. So, I marked the first few & stacked them for him while he used a finished block to determine the exact location of each hole. A little jute twine at the top & voila, that was that!
I had several different ideas as to where to store or display them until we put them on our tree decided the little wooden manger the kids made years ago was the perfect spot. Mason even seems to be curious about the ornaments, but somehow has enough respect for advent to not use them as a chew toy.
Our lives are quite chaotic with basketball, wrestling & the work & school schedules of teenagers. Some days we read “The Greatest Gift”
at breakfast, other days it is at the close of the day and a few days it will be on our own. Not necessarily the plan I would prefer, but it is working for us. With the busy lives of teens, it is nice to have them asking to read and to see them choosing to sit down & spend time in His Word soaking up His truth. My prayer is that we will focus on Christ”s coming instead of our own material blessings.