Week of sharing

Happy Monday lovely people! This is going to be a special and interesting week for me. I’ll be taking each day this week, Lord willing, to share a little bit about myself and Valentine Handmade.

I must be honest, it was a bit difficult for me to take the leap on Valentine’s Day, just to say to the world, “hey, I’m here”. I so wanted to have everything figured out. I so wanted to have an online presence that was without spot or wrinkle. Lol. Not so, I still don’t have things figured out. However, I did come into this knowing it would be a journey of discovery. For me, the victory was in taking the leap. I would learn, then I would share.


Sometimes I even find it difficult to put things into words. It’s like my spirit knows a thing exactly, but getting it to my head and out of my mouth or hands can be challenging. We’ll give it a whirl this week. If you’re interested, I hope you will stop by and hang out with me for moment. I would even love it if you asked me some questions that might further help me to process. Is there anything you would like to know about me, my family, Valentine Handmade, etc.

Ok, so there’s one thing about me you should know right off the bat, I LOVE QUESTIONS.

I love the art of asking questions. I think it is a most beautiful thing. I’m generally the one asking questions in my effort to soak people up. I like questions because they help me learn. They help others get to information they otherwise would not have without a question. Stories are fascinating, and I’m determined to get to the bottom of each one. Of course, this doesn’t happen, but the process is fun.

Oh, and I love to savor thoughts, ideas, memories, encounters, etc. Some think you can only savor food. No, no my friend.

Have you ever taken a good thought or memory and dissected it into a million pieces? If not, you should try it. I don’t know why we don’t do it for the good stuff as much. We’ll take the bad stuff and beat it to a pulp replaying it over and over in our minds. Hmmm, this must be why we are encouraged to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy (you get the idea). It’s not that we live in denial about things that are “not so good”, we must not allow that to become our new basis for decision making. Gotta get back to the truth.

Either way, this week I’d like explore my “why” for Valentine Handmade. I’ll share the topics now, and take a day to expound on each one starting Tuesday.

-to create items that meet practical needs and are beautiful

-to build something to invite my children into

-to be life giving to other children

-to create a nimble lifestyle through financial freedom


Going back to the thought of good memories, I’ll leave you with a story I’ll call “The Gift of Liquid Gold”.

Abe birth

We brought our sweet baby boy home from the hospital after a beautiful labor and delivery experience. He has proven to be my “water baby” in every sense of the word. He was born in the water, and it is a life-line to him today. It is his place of calm and happy. Our first couple months were hard. I struggled with low milk production despite my feeble attempts to amp up my supply. In some ways I felt like a failure, not being able to give my child the very thing he desperately cried out for. I gave him what I had, but it was not enough. I guess it wouldn’t have been so bad if he drank formula. I tried everything I could get my hands on. His body would not keep it down, or he would cry for hours in protest. At 3 months old, my baby had finally made it back up to his birth weight. He was tiny. One day I received a call from a dear friend offering to give me her extra breast milk. She had given birth a week before I did. From what I understand, it was the first of her three pregnancies where she had a surplus of milk. Hmmmm. Coincidence? Not in the least.


My baby took the milk immediately and without hesitation. My body was less tense. I was able to sleep better. His belly was full. We had peace. The supply we were given, held us and our little baby over until I could wrap my mind around a homemade formula. Which I happened to run across during the pregnancy and decided I would read up on it because it sounded intriguing. Not that I would need to use it, I was just super curious. Ha! Turns out to be the exact formula I started making to feed our son. After the donated milk was consumed, he transitioned to the homemade formula without a hiccup. I know even the thought of homemade formula may send minds into, “Wha?” But when your little one won’t eat, you do what works. You do what’s necessary. We were truly grateful for the gift of “liquid gold” from a friend. Her sacrifice was truly priceless. Each year I remind him of how God sent a raven to feed him.

Retelling his story to him is one way we build joy.

I kicked off the first day sharing a couple of things I like. Do you like to do the asking, or do you like answering questions? Thought about any good memories lately?


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In addition to Valentine’s day being on the February 14th, my family celebrates another special event. It is the day we have chosen to be our youngest daughter’s “blessing day”. Well, the day kind of chose itself. I did not have a formal shower for her during pregnancy, but knew I wanted to celebrate her in a special way.

Some of my dearest friends gathered together to have a “baby blessing shower”after her birth. I asked those in attendance to bring something they felt was specific to Contessa and would contribute to her spiritual vitality.

This was one of the gifts presented to the baby

It is important to me to have other people pour into my children. It is equally important that I invest in others’ children. It really does take a village, or in our day: community. Others have wisdom and insight I don’t have, so I am grateful for those that are willing to share.

Just as our physical births are celebrated each year, we wanted to incorporate a day to celebrate the growth of our spirits. I believe we have three parts that make up our humanity:


I think our culture gives high priority to our souls (mind, will, emotions, intellect, etc.) and our bodies, which is not a bad thing. However, I do feel we could be more intentional concerning our spirits. This celebration is exactly just that. When I say “be more intentional” I don’t mean adding more routine activity. I’m talking about noticing the uniqueness of each person’s design and attempting to create an environment where they will thrive.

The goal is that this day we specifically set aside will, over time, become another “high point” in the person’s year.


Just as birthday’s are highly anticipated and celebrated. What would happen if our spirits were preparing months in advance for blessing day? What would interaction with God look like at that time of the year?

Here is what we like to touch on during these “blessing” days:

  • Revisit the concept of identity beginning with the significance of their name.

  • Do a “year in review” where we recap what we have observed in them. Mountain times. Valley times. In between times.

  • We set up a strategy for the year ahead to be intentional about spiritual growth

  • We present anything special we have for the person

  • We may do some type of activity depending on what the family member likes

In no way are we master’s of this, and it is certainly not a mandate from God. There are no hard and fast rules here, and I’m certain there are plenty other creative ways to encourage spiritual growth. The way I’m wired is such that I thoroughly enjoy looking at life as a treasure hunt. Once those treasures are found, the next best things is to celebrate! This is only our second year doing this for 3 of 5 family members. For the remaining 2 it will be the first year. So, we may have years ahead of us before we see substantial growth.

This year I wanted to give Contessa a special handmade item. I was thinking about the scripture Isaiah 60:1

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

I thought about how with each passing year it seems that the darkness just gets darker. In contrast, I believe the light gets brighter. One thing I will be praying in this year ahead for Contessa is that she will be light in darkness. Just as stars put forth useful energy and light into the earth, I pray that she does the same throughout her lifetime.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

Psalm 92:1-2

Sounds like the sun, moon and stars (and whatever else) have some special things going on up there! What are they saying?

I decided Ms. Contessa would receive her very own star pillow! (graphics added) I love to see her bop around the house carrying stuffed toys we’ve made.

Shine little one, shine! Not every day will be sunny and bright, but this is part of who you are.



And this is how I make sewing meaningful.

If you are interested in having your very own star, or to gift to someone else, you can find them here. They would also make a wonderful addition to various home decor projects.

P.S. If you like birth stories, you might want to check out this one that our photographer wrote about Contessa’s birth.


With Love,