The End of an Era via leslieannjones.com

Hello, dear friends! I’m writing today with some shocking news. Brace yourselves. Are you ready for it? OK, here goes. I’ll be closing Felicity Paper at the end of the month. But here’s some more news to help soften the blow: At the end of the summer, I’m launching a new store. It will be hosted right here on LAJ.com and will be filled with all sorts of products to encourage and inspire you in your relationship with God. Art prints, mugs, journals, t-shirts, and all sorts of goodness are headed your way.

This change has been a long time coming. For several years I’ve felt as if I’ve had a split personality. Some of you may remember that before I became a stationery designer, I was a seminary student with a heart for writing, but I had a baby shortly after graduation, and she changed everything. Though I had started regularly writing curriculum for a couple of different Christian publishing houses, I found myself lacking the time and attention to write curriculum anymore. So I put all of that on hold to return to later, at some point in the future when my babies didn’t require so much of my attention.

In the meantime, I launched Felicity Paper. I’ve always had a thing for pretty paper and design, and designing didn’t require as much of me as writing, so I went with it for the time being. I thought I would have a little business on the side…I had no idea that Felicity Paper would grow and prosper and turn into such a success. As the business (and my children) grew, I was caught in a quandary: Do I keep doing this? Or do I return to my first love?

I’ve hemmed and hawed around the issue for months. There was a part of me that wanted to give up design and focus on writing, because I have a calling, and I’ve been waiting for a long time to do something about it. But there was another part of me that wanted to keep designing, because good design makes my heart sing just as much as writing does. And so I’ve dragged my feet, unsure of where to go next.

I won’t bore you with the details of all that has led to this point, but I finally came to the conclusion that God has made me both a writer and a designer. More and more lately, I feel God leading me to marry my two halves together. To bring my love for design and my love for the Word together. And so that’s what I’m going to do.

Felicity Paper is closing. There won’t be any more invitations or announcements or stamps. But there will be journals specifically designed to lead you in your Bible study. There will be cards for you to send encouraging notes to friends. There will be Scripture cards to help you tuck the word of God in your heart. And eventually, there will be Bible studies. The shop will be a companion to my writing, and I’m really, really excited about it.

I’m spending the next few months developing new products and getting everything set up with the new shop. Stick around with me, and let’s see where God takes us. It’s my prayer this this shop and this blog will bring honor and glory to God. That through it, women will come to know and experience God more deeply. That they will develop a passion and hunger for His Word. That this will be a place where truth is spoken and hearts are encouraged. Will you pray that with me?

Until next time, grace and peace.

for the love of god, prayer journals, bible study, christian women, faith matters, spiritual growth, god, christian faith

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Hello friends! It’s a busy and exciting time around here. Eighteen months after moving out of our house in Iuka, we’ve finally purchased a new home. It’s been a long time coming. We closed on Thursday and have lots to do before we officially move in. Until then, I thought I’d share some before pictures for you.

New House - Den

New House - Dining Room

New House - Kitchen

New House - Master

New House - Girls Rooms

The painters are in the house this week, and we’ve (and by that I mean Dennis) already ripped up the carpet in the bedrooms. There’s hardware to be changed, light fixtures to update, and all sorts of other things in between.

We’re so grateful that Dennis’ parents opened up their home to us to invade and take over, but we’re excited to settle into a home of our own after living with family for so long. Things will continue to be quiet around here for a few more weeks, but I’ll update you when I can.

Until next time, grace and peace.

for the love of god, prayer journals, bible study, christian women, faith matters, spiritual growth, god, christian faith

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I know, I know. I already posted an Easter picture, but when I got these photos edited, I just couldn’t resist sharing them with you. I grew up taking family pictures in front of my Mamaw’s massive azaleas, so when they started blooming around here, I knew they would be the perfect backdrop for a quick photoshoot with the girls.

easter girls

Micah was happy because the flowers happened to be pink. Kendall was happy to be outside. And I was happy that they were both looking in the general direction of the camera at the same time. That doesn’t always happen, you know.

easter girls 2

I love the quilt they’re sitting on. I ordered it from Karmen’s Quilts for Kendall’s first birthday. She was great to work with, her prices are reasonable, and the quilt is gorgeous. If you’re in the market for a handmade quilt, I can’t recommend her highly enough.

I snapped away happily for about 10 minutes, and then my camera did the strangest thing. In between one photo and the next, everything turned pink.

pink pictures

So strange. Adjusting the settings didn’t help, and I couldn’t figure out what happened. Eventually, I gave up and came inside. The next day, the camera worked just fine again. These things only happen to me.

According to Google, it might be the image sensor (yikes), but I haven’t heard back from Canon yet. We shall see.

Hope you’re all doing well! Things may be kind of quiet around here for the next few weeks. Minted’s annual holiday challenge is in full swing, and I’m busy trying to get some designs ready for submission, but I’ll be popping in from time to time to check in with you.

Until next time, grace and peace.

for the love of god, prayer journals, bible study, christian women, faith matters, spiritual growth, god, christian faith

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family-easter-photo-2014

Easter is my favorite, y’all. Over the past week, we’ve celebrated with friends from preschool and church, hunted eggs more times than I can count, and decorated eggs with a handful of friends. We’ve opened our resurrection eggs, made (and enjoyed eating) resurrection rolls, and talked about Jesus’ death and resurrection constantly.

Because for us, Easter is so much more than new spring dresses and chocolate bunnies. It’s more than the baskets and the egg hunts and the peeps. It’s the most important part of the Christian faith. It is central to the gospel message.

Without the resurrection, Jesus Christ is just another dead prophet. Without the resurrection, death wins, and we are hopeless. Without the resurrection, we who call ourselves Christians are most unfortunate indeed. That’s what the apostle Paul says, anyway (1 Corinthians 15).

Thank God for the resurrection. Because Christ has been raised, we are confident that death doesn’t get the final say. Life wins, and we have hope for a future where there is no more death, no more tears, no more pain. There will be no more sickness or suffering or sorrow.

And that, my friends, is what Easter is all about. It’s the first ray of sunshine after a dark, dark night. It’s the preview of the main event. It’s the assurance we so desperately need that everything is going to be OK after all.

And so today, on this Resurrection Sunday, I wish you a Happy Easter. May the joy and hope of that first Easter morning flood your hearts today and every day from now until eternity.

Until next time, grace and peace.

for the love of god, prayer journals, bible study, christian women, faith matters, spiritual growth, god, christian faith

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7 Ways to Teach Kids About Easter - a collection of the best Easter activities from around the web via leslieannjones.com

Easter is about Jesus. It’s about the sacrifice he made on the cross and his victory over death three days later. It can be difficult, to say the least, to explain these concepts to small children, so I’ve gathered seven different activities from all over the web to help you.

Don’t think for a minute that we do every single one of these in our home. We don’t. I’m not superwoman. I’m just a mom trying to point my children toward Jesus on one of the most important days of the year. Sometimes we do that by reading a book, sometimes through making resurrection rolls, and sometimes through Easter crafts. It’s all about finding what works best for your family and going for it.

So, without further ado, here are a few simple activities you can use to teach your children about Easter.

1. Make Resurrection Rolls. I’ve done this with Micah on the Saturday before Easter for the past couple of years. She loves dipping the marshmallows in butter and rolling them in cinnamon sugar before wrapping them up in crescent rolls. These are a great object lesson for Jesus’ burial and resurrection. The marshmallow is Jesus, the butter and cinnamon sugar are the oil and spices used to anoint his body, the crescent roll is the tomb. While the rolls bake, the marshmallow melts and leaves the inside hollow, representing the empty tomb. These are hands down our favorite Easter activity. Eat at Allie’s has a great tutorial and recipe for Resurrection Rolls with step by step instructions.

2. Read Books that Explain the Resurrection Story. My Easter Basket and the True Story of Easter is one of our favorites. We picked it up at a consignment store when Micah was teeny tiny, and we love it. The story uses the colors in the basket and an easy-to-remember rhyme to describe the important parts of the Easter story.

3. Countdown to Easter. I love the idea of counting down to Easter with an Easter calendar – just like we count down to Christmas with an Advent calendar. Kojo Designs created the Easter egg countdown pictured here, and her tutorial includes a list of activities to hide in the eggs each day. We haven’t done this in the past, but as my girls get older, I think it’s something we’ll try to incorporate into our traditions.

4. Make Faux Stained Glass Crosses. The cross is central to the Easter story, and you can talk about it with your children while you make these pretty and simple confetti stained glass crosses. We did this a few weeks ago, and both girls enjoyed it immensely. It’s an easy enough craft for Kendall (who’s almost two) to do, and Micah had a great time as well. The crosses are currently hanging on the back door, serving as a visual reminder that Easter is right around the corner.

5. Use Resurrection Eggs to Share the Story of Easter. This is a simple and beautiful concept that you can use to point your children toward Scripture and Jesus this season. You can buy a set of resurrection eggs to use, or, if you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own like these from sugar lander, these from Delia Creates, or these from Life Your Way. Mandi at Life Your Way even provides little printable cards for each egg to explain the contents and the corresponding Scripture. So cute.

6. Create a Resurrection Garden. If I can manage to swing it, we’re going to make one of these this year. I’ve seen several versions floating around Pinterest, but my favorite is this resurrection garden from Oh Amanda. I love the fact that she replaced the wilted, dying foliage with vibrant, colorful flowers on Easter morning, a visual reminder of the new life we have in Christ. This seems like a really fun way for kids to get their hands dirty and really get a sense of what Easter is all about.

7. Use A Sense of the Resurrection to Direct Your Conversations. A Sense of the Resurrection is a fantastic e-book by Oh Amanda that includes tutorials for 12 Scripture-based Easter activities to do with your children. Some of the activities are simple, like washing each others’ feet as you explain that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples on the night he was arrested. Other activities are more involved, like the wind chime you can make to remember the Triumphal Entry. All the activities will help your children understand the different parts of the Easter story and give them an appreciation for what Jesus did on the cross.

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I hope this collection is helpful for you as you talk about Easter with your little ones. What do you do to prepare your kids for Easter? Share your ideas and inspiration in the comments section.

image credits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Find More Easter Ideas on my Happy Easter Pinboard!



Until next time, grace and peace.

for the love of god, prayer journals, bible study, christian women, faith matters, spiritual growth, god, christian faith

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