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Sneak preview of Christmas with Balsam Hill

I try really hard not to think about Christmas before Thanksgiving. Okay. Backup. That’s a lie.
I try really hard not to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

That being said, I ordered a few things from Balsam Hill and I couldn’t let them stay all locked up in their boxes for another six weeks. I thought I’d show you just one tiny picture of my new mini-wreath in our room.

Balsam Hill mini-wreath

Isn’t it darling?! I ordered two of them. And a huge wreath for our front door. And an extra-long garland for the mantle or the door or somewhere. See, I can’t even tell you where the garland will go because I’m trying really hard not to think about Christmas before Thanksgiving.

This was my first time ordering from Balsam Hill, and I loved working with them. If you have time, request a catalog from them for all kinds of Christmas inspiration.

I’ll be back in early December to show you where everything ends up. I’m joining Jennifer Rizzo’s Christmas tour of homes again this year!

Lynda - Such a pretty little wreath, and I really love that sign in your room! That is one that I believe I will be needing! All very pretty.

Brooke - I can’t wait for the parade of homes!!! No doubt yours will be gorgeous! :) xo- Brooke

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Simple Thanksgiving Tablescape

Have you met Bre from Rooms for Rent? She is a creative genius, and I can honestly say that when I find time to read blogs these days, I love popping over and getting lost in her virtual home with a good cup of coffee!

She has spent this whole week giving some fabulous thanksgiving tablescape ideas. You can see Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.
Today is the day she invited me and several others to join her in showing our thanksgiving tables, so be sure to head over to get links to all the other blogs for more inspiration!

If you’re like me, you like less words and more pictures, so I’ll put a sock in it and get busy showing you our dining room! I kept it simple and used what I had at the house. I spent $6 on the decorative cabbage, which I’ll plant outside as soon as we finish our Thanksgiving meal.
Just kidding. I’ll wait til everyone leaves.

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Here’s a quick glance at the other side of our dining room: We recently built these shelves with some reclaimed wood. I kept my fall decor simple with pumpkins and my favorite fall print and some beautiful cotton, picked fresh from the fields near our house!

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I hope you’ll visit Bre to find the links to all the other Thanksgiving tablescape ideas!
xo,
Tara

Thanksgiving Graphic

Thanksgiving Tablescape - Finding Silver Pennies - […] Design Between You & Me City Farmhouse Clean & Scentsible Craftberry Bush Ella Claire Finding Silver Pennies Liz […]

Modern Rustic DIY Candle Holders + Thanksgiving Table - […] Design/Between You & Me/Clean & […]

Autumn Tablescape | More Inspiration - […] Design Between You & Me City Farmhouse Clean & Scentsible Craftberry Bush Ella Claire Finding Silver Pennies Liz Marie […]

Danielle - I LOVE the simplicity of your tablescape! Absolutely stunning! x

Bre - Tara!! It is beautiful!! I’m dying over your centerpiece and wooden pedestal!!! Thank you so much for joining me, and your kind words!! XO You’re the best :)

LUCY - This is really gorgeous! Simplicity always speaks to my heart, no words needed…xo

michele - Love it all, wish I could come sit around that table for a delicious meal and wonderful converstation. :]

Lori H - Hi Tara! Can you see me? I am waving really hard!! So good to find your post in my Feedly today :) I think about you often, wondering how classes are going and how God is using your talents in counseling. Now I will have to go check out Bre and her blog, but first let me say that I love love your T-day table. Simply perfect! Can I ask where you found that lovely seascape?
Have a great weekend!! Lori

Alice W. - Love everything! It’s perfect! ~Alice

Kristen - Oh Tara, this is so lovely! I have never thought to use the cabbage plants before but they are so perfect! I love every detail!

Fall and Thanksgiving Dining Room - Clean and Scentsible - […] tablescape and fall decor ideas be sure to check out these beautiful posts… AKA Design / Between You & Me / City Farmhouse Clean & Scentsible / Craftberry Bush / Ella Claire Finding Silver […]

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living - Beautiful tablescape. I love all your natural elements.

13 Thanksgiving Tablescapes - Beneath My Heart - […]     AKA Design   *****************************         Between You & Me   *************************************         City Farmhouse   […]

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{2014} CHRISTMAS signs in the shop

I can’t believe I’m advertising Christmas signs before I light my first fall candle in the house, but I am.

We’re excited again to be partnering with several other bloggers this season, who will show off their favorite Christmas signs in their homes for us, so stay tuned for those in the next few weeks. They’ll be offering coupons for you to use in the shop, and a couple of them will be offering a give away.

Visit our shop to order your favorite sign of the season…and find me on Instagram to find out about give-aways and coupons for Christmas orders in our shop!

NEW SIGNS::

The Weary World REJOICES

The weary world REJOICES

Joyful, Joyful we ADORE thee

Joyful, Joyful we adore thee

MOST POPULAR FROM LAST SEASON::

O Holy Night 2x2

joysign

Merry little Christmas

O Holy Night 4x2

let us adore

Silent Night

Peace on Earth

MaKaela - I am a huge Christmas fan to begin with, but with us expecting our third baby in December, the first sign and fourth from the bottom nearly make me cry. There will be weary hearts rejoicing in our home and we will need a night divine. I hope to purchase one of your signs very soon! Loving them!

Rebecca W - I would be happy to show off one of your signs for you if you need :) They are beautiful.

Lemonade Makin Mama - Oh girl I just cherish my sweet sign. I was just thinking about where I want to hang it up this year… Ha!!

Lisa - These are my absolute favorite signs!!! Thinking I may just need one for my new mantel!!!

Andrea - I love your signs and hope to get one this year. I also wanted to say I miss your blog. I know you are living the life God intended but I miss you none the less.

Jenni - Your signs are just beautiful! So happy to have just discovered your shop and blog via Instagram as I am in the uk and have spotted your scripture signs on other blogs and wondered where I could find them! Do you ship internationally? God bless and thank you for creating such gorgeous art which blesses others so richly!

laura@top this top that - love the new sign. are you and andy going to be at country living this year

Tara - We only ship to Canada…the shipping elsewhere is unbelievably expensive.
Thanks for your kind words!

Tara - Thank you so much for your kindness. :)

Sam - Your signs are gorgeous and I would absolutely love to buy one but I’m in the UK and the price of postage would probably be more than the sign! Have you ever sent one to the UK? Do you have a rough idea of cost? Thanks x

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A Praying Life.

A Praying Life Book Review

I haven’t done a book review in a while, so I thought I’d share with you a book I’ve purposed to digest slowly over the course of the summer. I’ve read a lot of books on prayer over the past 20 years because it’s something I’ve always struggled to understand, and quite honestly, it’s something I’ve always struggled to do.

It has only been in the past five years that I’ve come to understand why it is that I have struggled so much with this spiritual discipline in my faith. As I have unpacked my story over the years, it is clear that it is the stronghold of independence in my life that keeps me from fully surrendering myself to a life of prayer.

Prayer is the ultimate vulnerability. God created us to be naked and unashamed before him.

At our core, we long to be one with Him, whether we recognize it or not, and our souls aren’t satisfied until we are.
C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

I’ve known for years {YEARS} that I wasn’t really living “naked and unashamed” before the Lord. The best way I can describe it is a block. Do you know what I mean? I felt as close as I could possibly feel to the Lord, but not really. There always seemed to be a missing piece. A dissatisfaction.

I never really wanted to talk about it to anyone other than Andy and a few close friends, because I’m prideful. We’re in ministry, and I was convinced that I needed to have my act together, or at least die trying to look like I did!

I rock “continuous prayer.” You know, praying breath prayers all through the day, like Paul encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 5. I convinced myself through the years that those prayers were enough, until I just knew that they weren’t. Deep down there was a nagging feeling that reminded me over and over that there was more. All the excuses and justifying in the world weren’t working anymore because CS Lewis knew what he was talking about when he said nothing in this world can satisfy.

Paul Miller wrote A Praying Life, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read on prayer because it’s an honest approach to understanding why we all struggle to pray. He breaks the book up into five parts: Learning to pray like a child, Learning to trust again, Learning to ask your Father, Living in your Father’s story, and Praying in real life. He candidly shares that he has learned to pray through his suffering. He shares story after story of how he has learned to survive and thrive in a world of stress and disappointment.
This book brings to life the truth found in 2 Corinthians 1:5:
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Suffering is the hang-up for most of us. We just don’t want any part of it. It’s painful and uncomfortable. Yet, it’s inevitable. It was part of Christ’s life, and it will most assuredly be part of our lives here on earth. I really believe that an intimate prayer life starts with honesty. We have to be honest about whatever it is that we feel like keeps us from fully trusting God when suffering and trials come our way. We have to let Him ask us the hard questions, and we have to allow him access to those places in us that seem determined to take care of ourselves. And, ultimately, we have to submit our wills and our hearts’ agendas to His will and His plan and trust that He is good and He is with us and He is for us. You know what else we have to do. We have to believe that He is able to raise dead things to life. We have to know that He always brings beauty from ashes.

When I look back at the amazing, miraculous work God has done in my own life over the past five years, so much of what he has done has been exactly what Paul Miller unpacked in these five parts of his book. Somehow, I’d like to share this summer how each part of his book mirrors my own story, so stay tuned for some kind of series.

Katie - This book sounds awesome. Definitely put it on my to read list. Years ago, I read Becky Tirabassi’s “Let Prayer Change Your Life.” I felt the same way about that book.

Tracy - I need this book! Wow, you are taking the words right out of my mouth. So glad you are back to blogging. You’ve been missed my friend. And HEY…good luck on Monday, you go girl!!! That’s awesome.

Caroline - That CS Lewis quote is my favorite of all time. I found your blog through something I had pinned on Pinterest. (distressed white table with glass bottles and the worded sign above it) I enjoyed reading!

Lisa - I have read and re read this book about 3 times. It is so good. Honesty in suffering is so necessary and very opposed by christian culture. I need to get this book out again.

Kristina - This is so true for my own life, thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Kristina

Maureen - So glad you are back! I have missed your wisdom

Starr - My copy arrived in my mailbox today! Can’t wait to start.

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - Yet another book we’ve both read and loved. I’m pretty sure we could swap libraries and have almost the same books! This was a good one. xo

Lynn Richards - Sounds like a really solid, good book. Thanks for sharing about it. I’m looking forward to hearing more.
The book I’m devouring right now is by Bonnie Gray, “Finding Spiritual Whitespace”. I’ll have to pick up the one you are reading when I’m finished.
xo
lynn

bluecottonmemory - Wonderful book review! I’m trying to build up a book selection in my thinking room for my growing boys to men – and I think this would be a good book to slip in there for all of us.

Grace White - This book offers a real-life approach to prayer for busy families and connect the broken pieces of our life to God. Thanks for reminding :)

Carolyn - I have recommended The Praying Life so many times! I always qualify it by saying that it is not just about prayer, it is about Life in Christ!

Denise - Tara – as usual you have written what I needed to hear. I too am a master of the “arrow” prayer. I can shoot those off quickly and easily. I will be looking for this book! Thank you.

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