Ecumenical Friendships

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It’s Ecumenical Wednesday....I mean Thursday ;) sorry everyone, had to push it back a day! Woot. This movement of women across denominational lines is building bridges, creating friendships, and breaking down stereotypes and prejudices. It’s a simple thing, and it’s fierce. God is in the reconciliation business, and we’re honored to help you see faith from another perspective. If you’re interested in being featured, email Kristen and we can get the ball rolling!


 You guys are pretty much the luckiest readers in the world today because you get to know my sweet friend, Christie. I am pretty much obsessed with her southern drawl and she is very practically the kind person I have ever met. She blogs at Letters from the Nest and contributes at the Knoxville Moms Blog. Christie is the embodiment of southern charm and southern snark and I just love her to pieces. Ladies and gentlemen...Christie.

How did you come to your faith?

I could answer this question by simply saying that I went to church and was a good girl growing up. But neither of those things brought me to Christ. The Lord grabbed my heart and has not let go, regardless of the good or evil that I have done. He has chosen me from the beginning as a part of His people. Looking back, it is so evident to see His hand working in my life, as I am so undeserving and in such a need for a Savior.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced with your faith?

There is such a freedom to worship in our country, especially where I am from, that I cannot say that I have been faced with many challenges as my brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries. Knowing that I have the freedom to open my Bible and teach my children the Word humbles me in the midst of so many martyrs of the faith around the world.

What does Ecumenical Friendship mean to you?

It means breaking bread around the table with those who worship the Lord as I do. Serving in the same community to help the people who reside here. We love God, we love people. Church services may differ. Traditions are not exactly the same. But the worship of the Lord IS. And that’s where it matters.

Did you have any incorrect perceptions about what the Catholic church was like? What were they and what or who helped you see things differently?

Catholicism, from the outside, seemed very strict and tradition based. And while Catholics do follow religious rituals, they are joyful and loving people. They seem to embrace the church’s teachings and find peace there.

Why do you think cross-denominational friendships are important? 

With all of the horrendous happenings in our world today, teaming up with other denominations/churches to bring light to a dark world and seeking to serve the lost should always be our goal. Working together to worship the Creator!

If you could break down one stereotype about your church, whether Protestant or Catholic, what would it be? 

It seems people believe that if you are a Protestant, you have to have your car plastered in Christian bumper stickers, your radio is permanently set to a faith based station, and your Christmas wish list is from Altar'd State. Believers come in many shapes, sizes, piercings, and tattoos. And radio stations set to 90s grunge channels. What does the heart look like? That’s what God wants. Our hearts. Not our ichthus emblems on the trunks of our cars.

If you could share one thing that you’ve learned about Protestants/Catholics with other Protestants/Catholics, what would you say?

We could all learn so much from the devotion Catholics have to their body of believers. We are the body of Christ, and we should all take to heart the importance of meeting together and look forward to it with great anticipation! Two of my Influence roommates, Jenna and Cassie, took the time that weekend and find a Catholic church in the city we were to attend Mass instead of skipping it since they were out of their hometown. I found that inspiring and challenging. Ecumenical Friendships || Christie

Do you want to be a part of the Ecumenical Friendships movement? Here are a few ways to participate in the movement :

Share your photos and stories of friendship and faith on instagram using the hashtag #ecumenicalfriendships. We'll pick a few stories to feature every month.

Email your answers to these 7 questions to with a short bio and a headshot and I'll feature you in an upcoming Ecumenical Friendships blog post

Build Bridges. Start the movement. #ecumenicalfriendships

Paper Christmas Trees Decor

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Merry Everyone!  Bringing you a simple, easy and gorgeous decoration idea for your home!  I made these a few years back and loved them so much I have preserved them through the years and have made more this year!

Step 1: Grab a Magazine

Step 2: Open Magazine, leave the front cover as is, do both the covers last
Step 3: Take top right corner of the first page and fold, crease well
Step 4: Grab then the right corner again (found more in the middle now)

Step 5: Crease the second fold
Step 6: make a crease/indent on the bottom flap using the magazine as your template

Step 7: Open the fold and bend the extra , inside, using the crease as your guide
Step 8: Fold the second fold back into place and crease well
Step 9: Turn the little tree limp over

Step 10: Repeat until magazine is all done

Tips: Feather out tree when finished and play with the shape. Use tape if necessary to get the look you want. Maybe even tape the two covers together

Step 11: Paint and Embellish to your hearts content!

Here are a few examples of different variations I made and the ladies who attended November's Kreative craft night had the option of making too!

Peg Doll Nativity Set // DIY

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peg dolls, they are a "thing" right now and well, I am jumping on board...because they are so darn cute! I thought Gigi, would love them too, so I set out to make a nativity set for her =) Here is how I did that...


15 peg dolls: varying in size and how many you want to do (I got mine with the sizes I needed here)
Paint Colors: Blue, Brown, Red, White, Gold, Gray
Paint Brushes
Tacky Glue
Wood Beads: At least 4 (for the animal legs)
Sticks: for donkey ear and tail, and shepherds staffs
Cotton Ball: for lamb tail
Wire Cleaners- metallic gold for halos
Decorative beads or jewels for the wise king's gifts 

Here is how I did each piece, forgive me they are not perfect by any means ;)

3 Wise Kings;
 Painted them gold and glues a different gold decorative bead on each for the gifts


Painted Brown and Red and painted sticks for their staffs gold. Glued staff to doll with tacky glue.

Donkey and Lamb;

Donkey: choose a peg doll and put it on its side. Paint peg doll and two wood beads and sticks gray.  Glue sticks for ear and tail and also glue wood beads at the bottom for legs.

Lamb: choose a peg doll and put it on its side. Paint peg doll and two wood beads white.  Glue wood beads at the bottom for legs and also cotton ball for tail.


Paint body white and paint head gold. Take a metallic gold wire cleaner, size to head of doll and glue. 

Holy Family

Mary- painted blue and gold middle
Jesus- painted white with gold middle
Joseph- painted brown with gold middle

And here is the whole gang together!

 Here is the entire set together in there cute little home, which I found all scuffed up at the thrift, but nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix!  I added the star at the top and still might add some glitter to it!  Now to decide to glue them to the structure or let them be so my daughter can play with them? Thoughts? What do you think?

**please advise the small peg dolls are chocking hazards, so not advisable to have around children under 3**

Don't have time this year? PIN IT for later!

Filling the dead space with Life - Practical ways to pray without ceasing // Part 3

Monday, December 15, 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing"
I am excited to continue on this fun Advent series to help myself, and hopefully you remember to pray more often and invite God IN more into your day. 
So far we have covered some dead space zones to bring life into- especially concerning activities done in the bathroom- like brushing your teeth and showering.

This week's dead space we are bringing Life to is-
Any morning ritual. Think of something you always do every morning- washing face, make-up, making breakfast. For me its- COFFEE. Love it and do it everyday. So some of these rituals take a minute or less, so you can pray during that minute or do something different and just say the name of Jesus whenever you do that activity. There is power in His name, so lets remember to say it more 

Fill the dead space. Pray. Let Life In.

Handmade for the Holidays // Jewelry Gifts // Whole Parenting Goods

Friday, December 12, 2014

Jewelry. Everyone loves receiving it and there are a million different ways to make it that is budget friendly. 

From Morgan over at Pepper Design Blog

Handmade Gifts: DIY Giant Beaded Necklaces |
DIY Giant Beaded Necklace

Handmade Gift: Gradient Wooden Bead Statement Necklace |

Wood Bead Necklace

And don't forget to support local and handmade during the holidays! Our Etsy Shop feature today is Whole Parenting Goods, they have the cutest kids clothes, knit scarves and blankets to keep you and your little one cozy and stylin.
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Nell is a mother of three, recovering lawyer, mommy blogger, and handmade textile artisan. She knit organic cotton blankets & soft wool scarves. She designs & sews little leggings & twirly skirts. She painstakingly makes bandana bibs & contoured burp cloths for her own teething burper. Sourcing locally & organically as much as possible, her etsy shoppe Whole Parenting Goods is a place of joy & delight. Hopefully for you, too, in the this season of holiday cheer. 

Visit her blog to find more about her and her littles, Whole Parenting Family.

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