The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Christmas time has passed (not really, I love leaving our tree up…usually it comes down in early February)…and (tentatively) planning a new year has begun. ‎
How do you plan your year? I do not really plan out the whole year, but I try to get things on the calendar, make some goals for each month and the year.
I am planning on sharing some of those goals through the year.
Some very exciting (for me, for bigger bloggers probably not) news for Timeless Mama…..we are at 10,000+ views for the year. Yes, not huge in a lot of circles, but my first year I barely broke 1,000. This year I have almost doubles last year’s views. Thank you for all of the visits, and shares!
Part of my planning for the year is planning out blog posts better. I have a planner just for blogging this year with notes on posts for different traditional holidays and a few ‘fun’ holidays (national chocolate day anyone?).
I am also going to plan out some spots for guest posts, so please feel free to contact me if you would be interested in guest posting. I will get a page up to submit them eventually, but for now you can just email me.  I am pretty open to relevant topics (faith, motherhood, marriage, natural living, homemaking) and right now the schedule is pretty free.
Last week, Madison shared some unique and inexpensive tradition ideas for couples. It is a post geared towards Christmas, but many of them work anytime of the year (anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, birthdays).
If you got some oils or a new diffuser for Christmas, why not check out the Winter Diffuser Blends post?
Please note the newish rule for the linkup-no alcoholic beverage recipes! I still had to delete several last week. I will start warning emails, but repeat offenders will likely end up having all links from their site removed. I do not want to get to that extreme, but I would like the rule taken seriously. If it seems like it is a matter of these intro posts, or the rules themselves being read, well, that’s not much better. 
Heavy stuff out of the way, I am very excited that the link up is building. I would really like to encourage you to take some time and visit other links shared. Have fun!
On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
    • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
    • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
    • Leave as many as you like.
    • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
    • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!
    • I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.

    The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back through Sunday and check out some of the posts!
    I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
    As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
    Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
    fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
    Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


 
 

Unique and Inexpensive Traditions for Couples in Their First Year of Marriage

I am very excited to be hosting my first guest post today! The affiliate link in the post is Madison’s.

Unique & Inexpensive Traditions for Couples @godschicki @wayofweavers

Unique and Inexpensive Traditions for Couples

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a product from these links, I will get paid a commission at no extra cost to you.

Man, can you believe Christmas is actually only a few days away? I can’t! It just seems like this year flew by. I was NOT prepared for that at all!
I also can’t believe that my husband and I are celebrating our third Christmas as a married couple. It seems like only a few weeks ago we were hanging our very first ornament on our very first tree as a family in our tiny little attic apartment. That was such a fun time in our lives! 
Everything was new and we were so happy to finally be husband and wife, we couldn’t contain ourselves. I searched far and wide all over the internet for new ideas for traditions we could start together as a new family. That was something that was really important to me because I grew up in a family that loved tradition. Every year, we would look forward to doing the same fun things we did every year at Christmas time, like going to see the lights or paying a visit to the jolly man himself. I knew I wanted to add to those traditions and start our own that would be passed down to our kids someday. 
So, whether you’ve just gotten married or have been married for 50 years, you’ve always got time to start another fun Christmas tradition! I want to help you out by giving you 10 unique and inexpensive traditions for couples, especially the ones celebrating their first Christmas.
For more tradition and date ideas, come join our exclusive Facebook group for wives where you can ask questions and get advice on all aspects of wife-hood!
Unique & Inexpensive Traditions for Couples @godschicki @wayofweavers

Participate in Advent

This is something I have wanted to do since our very first Christmas but I never got around to it. Hopefully next year will be different and I can actually try this! Advent is absolutely wonderful for preparing your heart for Christmas and really diving into the true meaning of it all. There are tons of wonderful ideas on Pinterest that you can customize to your family! 

Cookie Baking Contest

Who doesn’t love baking cookies?! Make a competition out of it with your spouse and see who can create the most Christmas-y creation of all. Make it interesting and assign a certain prize of your choice to the winner! Back rubs anyone?! 😉

At-Home Christmas Paint n’ Pour 

Have you ever been to a paint n’ pour? It’s where you go to an art studio and a teacher shows you step by step how to draw and paint a certain picture of your choosing on a canvas, and they usually have snacks and drinks during the class. It’s such a fun little party to go to with your friends and would make the perfect date night! My husband and I had a blast. The best part is that if you’re running low on money (as these classes can be quite expensive), you can easily do this at home! How do you do that? Well, there’s this awesome thing called YouTube and they have thousands of step by step painting/drawing videos that you can watch from your laptop! Set up a table in the living room, grab some canvases, paint, and a laptop, make a few goodies and grab some hot cocoa, and you’re good to go! My husband and I did this for our anniversary and we had SO much fun. My husband even asked to do it again the next day! To help you out, I’ve written a blog post with a complete list of materials, the videos we used, and even some adorable free printables! Read more and snag all of this!

Open One Present on Christmas Eve

We used to do this when we were kids, and we loved it! It just adds to the excitement of Christmas Day, when you’ll actually get to open all your presents.

Drive to See Christmas Lights in Your Jammies

With some hot cocoa and a snack. This is my favorite, just because I love cozying up in the car with my hubby 😊

Have Your Own Christmas Dinner Just the Two of You

Since our first Christmas married, this has been a tradition we have enjoyed every year. It’s so nice just to be able to have our own romantic dinner and not stress out about everyone else (until the next day of course)!

Get Professional Photos Done

This is a great time to go get dressed up, grab the family (and even a pet!) and go get some family photos done. If you’re near the Charlotte, NC area, I’d be happy to photograph your family anytime of the year! Check out my website to see my work, and contact me for the investment rate.

Buy New Pajamas for Each Other

Give each other a set amount of money, such as $10, and head to the store. Each of you picks out pajamas for the other and you don’t see them until you get back out to the car. You can’t return them either! You have to stick with the ones your spouse gives you. You can make this silly or sweet!

Buy a New Devotion for Each Other That You Can Start in the New Year

These would make great Christmas presents every single year! My 30-day devotional for wives, Becoming One, would be a great choice! Each day consists of a related bible verse, a short devotional, and ends with a challenge for you to do that will help you in your role as a wife. For your husband, Husband After God would be an awesome resource.

Have a Christmas Eve Devotional Time Together

Take time to read the Christmas story, pray together, and discuss the true meaning of Christmas. This is an important tradition you can pass down to your kids. To us, this is a must do at Christmas time. 

Take a Weekend Trip to a Nearby Town and Explore

My husband and I do this all the time! In fact we are going to Savannah, GA this year for Christmas Eve weekend. A great place to go would be the place you met, if it’s doable! If you can’t afford a getaway, try looking on Groupon. They have tons of deals and sometimes they have weekend cabin or resort stays at a steep discount. They also have discounts on attractions and restaurants as well. Also, if you have an RV or camper, the campgrounds are much cheaper than resorts!

What are some traditions you have with your spouse during Christmas? I’d love to hear about them!

Madison

Madison Weaver is a 20 year old wife and fur mommy. Currently, she is a college student working to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art Photography. She is a blogger and business owner at Ways of the Weavers, where she helps wives create the home of their dreams through DIY crafts and home decor, delicious family friendly recipes, Christian marriage and family advice, money saving tips, and family travel ideas. She is also a Charlotte, NC based photographer who specializes in lifestyle photography. 
You Can Connect With Her On Her Social Media Channels:

 

Christmas Time and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Christmas is upon us. Alright, it is next week, but less than a week away.
This time of year can be tough for many, please take a minute or two to pray for those who are missing loved ones at this time. Pray also for those who have no place to go.
I shared some Winter Essential Oil Diffuser Blends Saturday.
This week has been a busy one. Good on the whole, but busy. I know that many people are still running errands and preparing (as am I!). It is easy to fall into the pushing, bustle of grumpy shoppers.
I want to challenge you to be different. Do not let the celebration eclipse the reason for the season. Take time to be still.  Put on Love. Put on the Garment of Praise. Get drunk in the Spirit. Be joyful. Let your speech be seasoned with saltBe peculiar!
I read my post on Christmas Memories and Peace the other day and cried. I still miss granddaddy, and this time of year still stings.
My wish for you and your loved ones is that Jesus would truly be your Prince of Peace this busy week, as well as through the coming year.
What is a family tradition that you are keeping going? How are you bringing Jesus into the center of things?

On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.

  • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


48 Winter Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

48 Winter Diffuser Blends @godschicki

Essential Oils-a Great Way to Make Your Home Smell Good Naturally

If you have been on my blog much before, you know that I like to do things naturally. That includes making our home smell good. Diffusing essential oils is a great way to do that!
Today I am sharing 48 diffuser blends for winter, since it is just around the corner. Christmas is just over a week away, so I want my house smelling like it!

Safety

Please remember to check out the essential oil safety page if you have not already done so. Essential oils are natural, but some are not safe in every situation.
Many of these blends are safe for children over 6 (some for children over 2), but the ones with rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint should not be used around children under 10. Purity is not the issue. They contain a constituent that can cause problems breathing in children under 10.
48 Winter Diffuser Blends @godschicki

Need an oil diffuser?

[Affiliate link] This is my favorite one that I have used. It’s a bit more than some of the ones that use water in them, but it works so much better and uses less oil.

Gift Ideas for Essential Oil UsersMaking You Home Smell Good NaturallyDiffusing Essential Oils | Essential Oil Safety Page | 29 Mood & Energy Boosting Essential Oil Diffuser Blends | 116 Autumn Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

Aprons & Pearls Linkup

Having a several productive days is something that I desperately need this week! D has been cutting his molars, so he has fought sleep and been clingy.
We are finally in the second trimester of this pregnancy, so I can use our sleep aid oil roller again, that will be a big help in turning off my brain.
I had a couple of new posts, Helping the Poor and Walking Passed God.
There are a couple of posts that I am working on for next week, so I am looking forward to that. Not a lot of time to chit chat today, so I am off to start laundry, dishes, decuttering, and cleaning…
There is a new rule this week and a note this week…

‎While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
While the linkup is growing beautifully, it seems that people are not viewing other’s links. I revamped the linkup to remove the requirement that you must comment on a certain number of posts, but please take time to visit around.

On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

    • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
    • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
    • While I personally do not see anything wrong with a glass of wine every once in a while, please do not include alcoholic beverage recipes. It is a stumbling block to many, and I am not comfortable including them. They will be deleted.
    • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
    • Leave as many as you like.
    • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
    • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

     
    I would really like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead. There is currently no hard requirement there, but it is polite to visit around.
    The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
    I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
    As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
    Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
    fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
    Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game!


Walking Passed God

Walking Passed God @godschicki
I shared yesterday about helping a homeless woman, Cheryl, out near Thanksgiving one year.
We bought her dinner, and when Cheryl was done, we all went to our van and we were going to take her offered to take her home. She said she had a sister in the area that may take her in for Thanksgiving and so we were going to take her to her sister’s house and see if her sister would indeed take her in.

Walking the Talk

At the time my family drove a van and the whole back side of it was plastered with Christian bumper stickers.
When Cheryl saw this she said “You know, you are the first person or people with Christian bumper stickers to stop and help!”.
Day after day, she watched people with bumper stickers for radio stations or just cute Christian sayings and just drive past her without so much as looking or stopping the offer to pray with her or any help whatsoever.

Words to Think About

“One day I just got so mad. I went to God. ‘Do you see how Your people are ignoring me? Driving right passed?'”
“Then He spoke to me saying ‘How many times do you walk right passed me?‘”
“I sat down right then and got my Bible out and began reading and praying. How sad is it that we just walk right by God?”
I have thought about that often.
Walking Passed God @godschicki

How many times do I go to God upset over something and all the while I do it to Him?

I go to Him feeling alone. The truth is that I am never alone. He is with me always and I have just walked right passed Him.
I go to Him when I feel that I have been wronged or treated unfairly. How many times have I sinned against Him, treated Him unfairly?
I feel ignored. How often do I ignore the fact the God of the Universe wants to commune with me?
Is it wrong to take all of these feelings to God? I do not believe so, but often we need to shift our focus. It is okay to have those feelings, but not dwell there.
What a blessing I would have missed out on if we had just turned a blind eye to Cheryl’s need! If we had dismissed her as so many had.

Have you ever been blessed by helping someone? Were you blessed as a result?

Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Helping the Poor

Christians and the Poor @godschicki

Living The Difference

I have thought much about her over the years. She held a small cardboard sign saying “homeless sick need money for medicine God bless”.
Some backstory: my mom when I was growing up I always followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting to help those in need.  Very often somebody was asking for help we would do it, even though we struggled with finances ourselves.
Cheryl was one of those people.
We were driving a neighbor to her son’s house for Thanksgiving when we saw her on a street corner exiting a busy shopping center we just had in from lunch and we didn’t have any cash with us.
We dropped my neighbor at her son’s house and came back and praying the whole way back that if it’s for us to help her, let her be there. She was so we helped.
My mom had had my sister and I take our little siblings to a pet store while my mother took Cheryl to the buffet in the shopping center.
When Cheryl was done, we all went to our van and we were going to take her offered to take her home. She said she had a sister in the area that may take her in for Thanksgiving and so we were going to take her to her sister’s house and see if her sister would indeed take her in.
At the time my family drove a van and the whole back side of it was plastered with Christian bumper stickers. When Cheryl saw this she said “You know, you are the first person or people with Christian bumper stickers to stop and help!”.
Day after day, she watched people with bumper stickers for radio stations or just cute Christian sayings and just drive past her without so much as looking or stopping the offer to pray with her or any help whatsoever.
What she said next was so profound I often think back on it, and think about it as a life lesson. I will share about that next time hopefully, but I just can’t help but stop and think about how many times people with Christian bumper stickers don’t stop to help those in need.
If we had not helped her, I would have missed out on the deep spiritual truth she shared.
It is becoming less and less common to have bumper stickers on your car or to wear Christian shirts out. At the time it was quite a fad to do so, but you know, even if we do not boldly wear a Christian t-shirt or put Christian bumper stickers and our car we are called to help the poor.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:34-40

In Matthew 6, Jesus does not say IF you give to the poor, but WHEN.

Going With The Flow Or Being Different

All too often the church follows the world’s view. Unfortunately, helping the poor is one of those areas. It really breaks my heart.
I hear “Well, you can’t trust them to not buy alcohol.” or “they just need to get a job.” all of the time from Christ followers, but what does the Bible say?
In this fallen world it is easy to become cynical and jaded, but we who claim to follow Christ are called to be different. To live and love radically. To be peculiar.
Christians and The Poor @godschicki

The Bible Says…

That we are to honor God with our wealth (Proverbs 3:9).
Happy (blessed) is he who is gracious to the poor (Proverbs 14:21)
He who is gracious to the needy honors their maker, but those who mock the poor mock their maker (Proverbs 14:13, 17:5)
Those who shut their ear to the poor will not be heard when they cry out (Proverbs 21:13)
That God made both the rich and poor (Proverbs 22:2)
That the generous are blessed for giving some food to the poor (Proverbs 22:9)
Those who gives to the poor will never want, but those who shut their eyes will have many curses (Proverbs 28:27)
That the righteous are concerned for the poor (Proverbs 29:7)
The Proverbs 31 woman extends her hand to the poor (Proverbs 31:20)
The Jerusalem council made it clear that caring for the poor was important (Galatians 2:10)
Acts 2 talks about the early church going to sell their things to be able to give to anyone as they might have need.
That we are to labor so that we can have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28)
While talking about faith and works, James says:

 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

1 John 3:17 says:

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Hebrews 4:16 says that we are to:

draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We are to show hospitality to even strangers (Hebrews 13:2).
There was a skit that we read in Sunday school when I was in high school that was very much about this.
The new Pastor gives out a box of food and $20 to a man that just goes to churches looking for handouts. A member comes in as the man is leaving and tells the Pastor what the man does. She tells him he’s been taken advantage of.
His reply is “So, what?” And shares that he had done nothing wrong, and if he’s indeed being taken advantage of then it is on the other person, not him.
He would rather have it on his conscience that he was foolish than having a legitimate opportunity to help and not taking it. The skit ends by reading Matthew 25:31-46. (If you are interested in the skit, it is “So, What” in the What Would Jesus Do Playbook by Chuck Neighbors)
Indeed, we are called to be different. To be Jesus to the world, not fall in line with the world’s mentality. We are called to love as Christ did. To help those in need.
More With Less Mom has an excellent, eye-opening post on What the Homeless Really Need. She is having trouble with her servers at the moment, but you can find it here on the WayBack Machine. I hope to do my own post on making blessing bags soon, but for now, please check this one out.
Do you give to the homeless? Have you been blessed by it?
Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Christmas time is here! We got our tree up last week. The kids have been watching Christmas movies. Last night we went to a walk-through of lights that was pretty awesome. D is learning to touch the tree with just one finger (though the lower half of the tree is pretty bare as far as ornaments go). Shopping is done except for one or two little things.
I am almost done with a few posts that I am very excited about sharing with you. I am just waiting for a couple of resources to come in. It is a topic that I am very passionate about.
Friday I shared some Christ-centered Christmas Activities. There’s still time to join in with any of them. If you are still looking for a gift, why not get one that gives back? But you will want to hurry to be sure to get it in time for Christmas!
Hubby has been reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe aloud to us the past week. That has been very nice. I loved the movie growing up. Once we finish the book we will watch that.
On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
fe0da277-145a-4965-b39e-a835bbc51409
Now, to the link-up! Just click on the blue button below to add your link, and to check out all of the links left by others! Links are sorted randomly, so no need to worry if you join us late in the game.


Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Christ Centered Christmas Activities @godschicki
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The Christmas season is here. Are you looking for a Christ centered alternative to Elf on the Shelf? Ways to make Christmas more meaningful for your family? I have compiled a (short) list of some of the great alternatives out there, and in this post I am sharing them.
Faith at home is something that is very important to us. Living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Some people start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, others December 1st. I am more of a year round kind of girl. I can watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music year round.
One thing that we try to do is make the season about Christ, and not Santa or gifts. We are still working on our traditions.
We do not hold being naughty or nice over the children’s heads. God’s gift of grace is completely undeserved, and we should strive to live holy lives not because we might not get a treat if we are naughty, but because we love Jesus. Santa is not the all-seeing, all-knowing being that many make him out to be. Only God is. An Elf sent to spy on the kids does not quite fit with our goals for the Christmas season.
A lot of families do Elf on the Shelf, but I’ve been looking for more Christ centered Christmas/Advent activities. I found one that I really like, I think we will try to start it next year, but here are some ideas for you. Some are very much like Elf, others are printables, or other activities.
Christian Elf on the Shelf Alternatives @godschicki

The Heart of Christmas

Since the kids are little, I think we are going to do The Heart of Christmas Ideas from Premeditated Leftovers. It is simple enough and I can tailor it to fit my kid’s age levels.
I love this idea. Basically you take a baby Jesus (I will be using a Little People Nativity one), and hide Him around the house with special instructions for the day for various acts of kindness and ways to focus on Christ. The idea being that each morning, you seek Jesus and His instructions for the day.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger box set includes everything you’ll need to bring the spirit of service into your home. As your Christmas season unfolds your hearts and home will be filled with more joy and love than ever before. This tradition will become a family favorite year after year + it will create some of your most cherished Christmas memories.
We believe in this product and the way it can help shift the focus of Christmas to serving. To us this is more than a business. It’s a way to spread kindness + promote service.  Your support means the world to us!

The Shepherd’s Search

The Shepherd’s Search is very much like the Elf on the Shelf, only he is on the search for baby Jesus.

Truth in the Tinsel

A great way to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season. Each day of advent, Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of Scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your children.

What God Wants for Christmas

What God Wants for Christmas is an interactive learning experience. Seven gift boxes to open will bring your child on a journey to Bethlehem, learning from the Biblical characters the true meaning of Christmas. The only down side to this is that is only a week’s worth of activities, but especially if your kids are little, you can do it for a couple of weeks before Christmas. Children learn best through repetition. 

Star From Afar

Star From Afar is another Elf alternative. You set up your nativity and every night you hide the star. The next day the children seek out the star and move the wise men to its location and read the corresponding Scripture. Repeat each day until Christmas eve when you place it over the stable so that the wise men find Jesus on Christmas morning. I will quibble with the fact that the wise men are the ones finding Jesus on Christmas morning, as Scripture says that Jesus was a toddler, mostly likely between 1 and 2 by the time that they came, but it is a fun activity and you could easily explain that to children.

The Good Deeds Manger

The Good Deeds Manger is a Christian activity for the holidays highlighting the importance of doing a good deed daily and treating others with kindness. This family activity centers on an empty manger during the weeks before Christmas. If you do a good deed, you earn realistic looking pieces of hay to put inside the manger.
Since it’s not likely that the hay will stay put with small children in the house, this is probably better suited for older children.

The Shepherd’s Treasure

This is the one I want to get for next year. The Shepherd’s Treasure is very similar to the Elf, only your shepherd is searching for treasure. Your Shepherd shows up next to the book that he comes with. You read it as a family, name your shepherd, then the search is on. Each day your shepherd has adventures looking for the treasure. On Christmas Day, he finds Jesus, the ultimate Treasure. There website has a bunch of ideas for your shepherd’s search. If you watch their Facebook page closely, they do run some great Black Friday Specials, but they sell out quickly, so check early. Right now, all of the shepherds are of European descent, but they plan to add more next year.

The Twelve Names of Christmas

The Twelve Names of Christmas is a 12 day ornament base advent activity pack. There is an ornament and two page story for each day. You can hang all of the ornaments at once when you decorate the tree and then have kids find them, or hang one each day as you tell the story. The ornaments are pretty and brightly colored. A good alternative for any age.

A Jesse Tree

This is another one that I would love to incorporate in our home. Based on Isaiah 11:1, the Jesse Tree is an advent tradition the uses 25 ornaments to tell Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus. There are many, many vendors that sell ornaments (I personally love these), but one of the great things about this tradition is that you can also make your own, either to start with or each year. The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas is a great resource, as are Pinterest and Google.
 

I reached out to some fellow bloggers for their advent and Christ centered Christmas ideas, here is what they shared with me:

Lora over at Crafty Designs shared her beautiful DIY Advent Calendar with Scriptures, as well as her DIY Advent Wreath.
Kristen at Joyfully Thriving share her Reverse Advent Calendar.
Jessica at Cutesy Crafts shared her adorable felt Nativity Advent Calendar.
There is this awesome Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for Kids over at Wonder Mom Wanna Be.
Uncommon Designs has a whole collection of great Advent Ideas.
Angie over at the Country Chic Cottage has her some great Advent Ideas as well.
Randi over at Dukes and Duchesses has a lovely DIY Chalk Board Advent Calendar , a cute Daily Advent Reading for Children, and 24 Acts of Service Advent Calendar.
Sustain My Craft Habit’s Jane and Sonja share their Ribbon and Burlap Advent Calendar.
Katelyn at What’s Up Fagans has some great coloring pages for kids, as well as her take on the three gift tradition, and great nativity set ideas for children.
 

What are some of your special traditions?

Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki