My Christmas letter to you;
I would much rather deal with a choice in paths than a huge obstacle in my way. At least that's what I'm telling myself today.
I'm at the fork...which way do I go. Decisions should never be made under stress, don't you agree? Time to ponder and consider all options is the best way to go. So therefore that is the path I will choose at the moment.
Of course this path means, no link party tonight or for the rest of the year. I think people are tired and they need what little extra time they have, to be with their families. Me included. My blogging here has been minimal as I have other priorities that I needed to attend too.
Shopping for Christmas would be a big priority if I could just get my Christmas decorations finished. It's probably safe to say that redoing the den right before Christmas was not a great choice, but hey...it's done and we are so happy with the results. And to think this all began with one door frame; another story for another time.
Tonight I would like to share a few things that are important to all of us, not just this time of year but all year long.
Christmas is a time to reflect on the year gone by, I don't dare wait until the new year. My reflection begins at Thanksgiving and goes through January. You can't help but get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday frenzy, but my reflections of things I'm thankful for, helps keep me grounded and sane. I've only had one mini meltdown and once I spoke my mind in a firm but gentle manner, the stress evaporated. But most of all, at this writing I am so very thankful for all of the wonderful people I have met here on this blog and our facebook page. You guys are truly warm and wonderful. Three very special peeps I want to thank right here and now are Michele of Tierra Verde Soaps, Norma of Texas Eagle Gallery and Diane of Home Sweet Homemade. My guest bloggers who came to my rescue when I needed them the most. I have found a wonderful kinship with all three, but I will continue to nurture all of the wonderful friendships that have started here.
Christmas is a perfect time to set and hold tight to your boundaries. People can't take from you more than you allow them to take. That includes your time and energy. With so many places that need volunteers this time of year, and the volume of gatherings, through church, end of year parties with work, shopping, cooking, kids, homework, extra activities that come with the holidays...one more thing and "momma" might snap. Know your boundaries and stick to them. My favorite line is; "not this time, but thank you for asking". I pray that in my attempt to highlight Texas and it's amazing talent, that I did not cause undo pressure or stress on anyone. If I did, I apologize. I hope that most of you came away with a sense of pride for all of your accomplishments.
As many of us prepare to gather with our families over the next few weeks, I find myself thinking about those who don't have someone to share the holidays with. I used to cry about this and let it torment me, however now I use that energy to pray for those who are alone, those who are far from home, those who have a loved one in the hospital or some might even have a loved one that is incarcerated for a time. Many are widowed and don't have children near by. Many have lost jobs this year, homes and their dignity. I pray that God will hold them tight and bring them joy in the midst of their loneliness. And then I embrace my family and thank God for the time I have with them. I get pretty stingy with it too. Weekends are extremely precious times in our home as work and school schedules dictate the week, kid's social activities can steal my time with my teens, so I'm a little stingy and require my kids to sit in the nest for at least a family dinner and a movie. They don't complain...it wouldn't do any good if they did.
Some of you have shared with me, over the last few months, of illnesses, moving, loved ones not coming home...thank you for sharing your burdens so that I could pray for you. What a blessing it is to pray for others. I hope you keep sharing with me. As artists I truly believe that God gives us these gifts of creativity as a way to express our burdens as well as our joy.
This leads me to the last thought...
Some love to talk about their faith, others shy away from sharing their faith. There are some who don't have a faith. Still others that don't want anything to do with faith. Me, I prefer to live my faith. I don't always do this well. I mess up more than I get it right. But when I do mess up, it usually doesn't take long to see the error of my way and (this is my favorite part) I stop long enough to admit my error, ask for forgiveness and move on. I try not to dwell on it too much. This is what my faith has taught me, I'm not perfect, I will mess up, but I have a standard to follow, someone to look up to and to emulate, a teacher a savior. Come on now, you didn't think I would not include Jesus in my Christmas letter to you. He's my rock and my salvation. That is my faith. I pray you have yours to guide you. If not...let's talk :)
So what's next you might wonder. Well, I don't know...Handmade In TX is growing. And I know it will continue to grow as more hear about it. So the blog is here to stay, but I don't know exactly how it will be used in 2012. Our Facebook page is edging it's way up in followers, this week has brought new friends to us. It's a great platform to chat and share our creativity, so I see it remaining healthy into the 2012 year. Now...Pinterest, that's a fun place to be. I opened a Handmade In TX Pinterest page last week and I've been pinning away in my spare time. It's fun and I'm slowly filling up some boards. Again this is all an attempt to bring Texas arts and crafts into a forum where people can browse all types of designs and go to the online shops to see more. And it just creates more opportunities to be found. YouTube...I might be wondering what the heck happened. Well, I'm still putting a few more videos together, but what pulled the reigns back on that ride was the copyright issues with music for the videos, hench the reason why the last one was silent. But when I get some extra time, I will find out what needs to be done to get it right.
As I close I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family and friends. If you are not, then send me a shout out in the comments. I'll make sure you get a Christmas email from me.
I would like for you to share with me how you would continue Handmade In TX into the 2012 year. What would you like to see the Handmade In TX family do? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or share on our facebook page. Here is a list of links that you can use to market yourself and your shop or your blog. If you are already on these sites, then you should use the venues that are already set up for you under the Handmade In TX logo.
Google + page