Winter Season

Creating Beautiful Winter Letters

Serenity… stillnesss… peacefulness…

At the start of the New Year, I love spending some special time in quietness and solitude.  These are crisp, cold wintry days, and after all the busyness, excitement and celebrations for Christmas, it’s a sweet time to sit with a cup of hot chocolate or favorite herb tea, write some letters, and write in that new journal that was a gift or picked up for the new year.  For me personally, this is a time that I like to set apart to seek the Lord very intentionally in what I call the Secret Place.

The Secret Place

 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God…”
“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Psalms 42:1, 27:8.

These are two of the verses that for me are the essence of spending time in the Secret Place with the Lord… hungering and thirsting after Him, seeking His face.  It’s having a “Mary heart” to spend time away from the busyness of all the serving, just to sit at His feet, gazing at Him, hearing His voice. 

christ-teaching-martha-and-mary-anton-dorphNow it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”  

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42

God met me very profoundly during this season some years ago, so for me it’s a returning to that place of yearning after Him and knowing Him more.  While this is something that hopefully is our heart all year long, I think there’s something significant about setting apart a special time just for Him.  You may have had profound encounter with God at a different time of the year, and keep that “anniversary” time in a similar special way. 

shoppe_winter_deerHere are some resources that I have designed for encouraging our sponsored children, particularly the older ones and the teens, to seek after God.  This Secret Place ~ Winter Deer letter has these two verses on the front and back, and the download comes with the letter available in 8 different languages, making it customizable for your child.  Share a special testimony that you have as you’ve been seeking after God, maybe a scripture or promise that He gave you, and invite your child to spend some time like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing His voice.

My Secret Place Journal

This coordinating Secret Place Journal is designed for your child to record verses, thoughts, prayers, songs, and insights, journaling what God speaks to his heart as he spends his own special time alone with the Lord. 

Or if you prefer, this Lone Buck Christmas card with its beautifully embossed design can be repurposed for the cover of this journal.  Fold a sturdy sheet of card stock paper in half, glue the cover of the card onto the front, and staple extra pages inside to complete the journal.

Another idea for using this elegant card is to make a separate Bible promises small sized booklet to send in addition to the coordinating Secret Place Journal.  Carefully cut off the cover at the crease, then fold the card in half.  The design will now be on both the front and back cover of the booklet.  Trim extra sheets of paper to fit this size, and staple along the fold.  Voila! A beautiful little keepsake booklet for your child to record the Bible promises that he receives as he spends time in the Secret Place.letter-keyla-song

Exploring Art:  Mary Sits at Jesus’ Feet

Vermeer_paintingFind a copy of a painting of Mary sitting at Jesus feet to add to your child’s collection of art prints.  One option is this oil painting, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, by the Dutch artist, Jan Vermeer, 1655.  Encourage your child to observe the painting, and to share with you his own discoveries about it.  How does it compare with how he visualizes the account given in the Bible?  What does he observe about each of the characters in the painting?

Coloring Pages: Mary & Martha

Here are two nice choices for coloring pages from this Bible story of Jesus with Mary and Martha.

Jesus with Mary & Martha page 1
Jesus with Mary & Martha page 2

Unique Like a Snowflake

Write a letter to your child about snowflakes… how each one is special and different… and how he is uniquely special and different also. You might want to share some images of real snowflakes, such as these amazing and astonishing photos by SnowCrystals.com.snowflakes

While Christmas cards are on clearance, look for one with a snowflake design that you can use to repurpose for a special winter card for your child.  I found this one at Walmart a few years ago, and added the embossed stamping for each child’s name using a set of mini alphabet stamps that you can get at Michael’s for $1.50.  I love the sense of awe and wonder over the snowflake that this design evokes!

special_snowflake_card

Paper Snowflakes

I admit it… I love cutting out paper snowflakes!  There’s been many a year that I’ve cut out numerous designs, and taped them up on my dining room window.  Cut out some to send to your child, and send along some extra sheets prefolded for him to cut out his own masterpieces.  Here’s a couple of printables from Disney’s Frozen on making paper snowflakes to help you out with the folding and designs.frozen_snowflakes

More Printables from Disney’s Frozen

deb_patyWhile on a mission’s trip to Mexico to serve widows and orphans, I got to see Disney’s Frozen… in Spanish, of course! Afterwards we enjoyed dinner out at Kentucky Fried Chicken, and had plenty of crayons and Disney coloring sheets for each child while waiting to eat. Here’s Paty, pausing in the middle of her coloring to pose with me for a picture. 

frozen_coloring_pageThis is the page she was coloring of Elsa and Anna building a snowman… 

And you can find lots of other Frozen coloring pages here.

These are my favorite two Frozen mazes…

1 – Sven & Olaf Maze

2 – Elsa & Anna Maze

frozen_mazes

 And to delight the heart of your young girls, here’s a set of Frozen paper dolls to print off in black & white for your child to enjoy coloring herself.frozen_paperdolls

Snowy Day Fun Coloring Pages

Here are some of my favorite snowy day fun coloring pages. I love all the detail on this first one, as well as the quaint charm of the old fashioned pages.

1 ~ Snowy Day

2 ~ Building a Snowman

3 ~ Kids Sledding

4 ~ Downhill Skiing

5 ~ Toboggan Sledding

6 ~ Lady Snowman

7 ~ Building a Snowman 2

snow_coloring_pagesmore_snow_coloring_pages

Snowman Box

snowman_boxHow cute is this!?  And in addition to the snowman box, check out the other links on the page for other fun winter printables.  (Thanks, Kayla, for finding this one!)

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