Decorating Home or Church Ideas Archives

Here are a few ideas for making centerpieces:
• Make luminaries for the tables. Fill white paper bags ¼ way with white sand. Place candles in small jars and place jars in bag.
• Since real flowers are very expensive, use fake flowers. They are less expensive and look great.
• Use helium balloons with fancy ribbons tied to small decorative sandbags.
• Consider decorating seasonal potted flowering plants with foil or pretty paper. Before everyone arrives, place a number under one of the plates on each table. At the end of your meeting, the person with the number takes the plant home.
• Use themes Stepping Up To (volunteer, mission, bus, etc.) or In Their/His/Her Steps. Collect shoes from friends (men’s and women’s) or thrift stores. Spray paint the shoes gold or silver or your theme color. Then arrange the shoes in the center of the tables and slip flowers and candles.
• Use tissue to wrap canning, recycled mayo, or pickle jars. Tie ribbon that matches the tissue paper around the neck of the jar. Place inexpensive flowers in jar.
• For fall or winter centerpieces use free items and natural items such as pinecones, wild berries, acorns or wild nuts or anything native to your area. Use spray paint, empty cans, glue gun, and put items together for a beautiful nature centerpiece. Examples: Hollow out a small pumpkin and place a pot of marigolds or garden mums and place in a small basket with the pumpkin lid leaning against the arrangement.
• For Christmas or winter banquets, purchase a package Chinette plates. Turn plates upside down and hot glue pinecones around the outer edge of the plates. Take a bunch of the pine branches and pine needles and glue them to the plate. In the center of the plate, place a glass votive candle holder w/candle. Spray the entire plate with fake snow to make it look like it’s just had a light dusting of snowfall.
• For fall, make “scare-crow” centerpieces. Use old children’s clothing, some stuffing, and hay. Find tiny sized jeans and little flannel shirts at yard sales or thrift stores. Allow some bits of hay to stick out of the arm and leg openings. Stuff the body with old rags or even newspaper until they are as plump. Hot glue the openings shut. Make the head out of an old tan sock with features drawn on and hay or yarn glued on for hair. Place a hat on its head. Place a scarecrow on each table sitting among fall vegetables or pumpkins. Your scarecrow will probably need to lean against something unless you put him on a stick for support.
• For an elegant centerpiece at Christmas, gather long, thin sticks about 2or 3 feet long. Spray paint them white. Add a bit of glitter. Place iridescent streamers into an old, clear florists’ holder. Arrange Christmas flowers and several of the painted branches into the holder. If you can’t find clear containers, try using any kind of container (large coffee cans, anything) and wrap the containers with pretty tissue (kind of like florists wrap their pots, just bunch the paper up around the container, tie with ribbon. To dress up the area under the “arrangement”, scatter fake snow or confetti.

If you plan on lighting the candles you are placing in your centerpieces, always use candles that are enclosed in glass or metal holders.

Be Sociable, Share!

Meanings of Most Flowers

As every flower lover knows, flowers have a language of their own. Every sentiment is expressed in one form or another by these delicate blooms. Of course, even the experts disagree on the “true meaning” of many flowers and most have different meanings to different people. So, while all flowers convey thoughtfulness and love, here are some of the more traditional flower meanings.

ACACIA – Concealed Love, Chaste Love
AMBROSIA – Your Love is Reciprocated
AMARYLLIS – Pride, Pastoral Poetry
ANEMONE – Forsaken
ARBUTUS – Thee Only Do I Love
ASTER – Symbol of Love, Daintiness
AZALEA – Chinese Symbol of Womanhood
BACHELOR BUTTON – Single Blessedness
BEGONIA – Beware
BLUEBELL – Humility
CACTUS – Endurance
CAMELLIA (PINK) – Longing for you
CAMELLIA (RED) – You’re a Flame in My Heart
CAMELLIA (WHITE) – You’re Adorable
CARNATION (PINK) – I’ll Never Forget You
CARNATION (RED) – Admiration
CARNATION (PURPLE) – Capriciousness
CARNATION (STRIPED) – No, Sorry I Can’t Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You
CARNATION (WHITE) – Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love
CARNATION (YELLOW) – You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection
CATTAIL – Peace, Prosperity
CHRYSANTHEMUM (GENERAL) – You’re a Wonderful Friend, Cheerfulness and Rest
CROCUS – Cheerfulness
CYCLAMEN – Resignation and Good-bye
DAFFODIL – Regard, You’re the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining when I’m with You
DAISY – Innocence, Loyal Love, I’ll Never Tell, Purity
DANDELION – Faithfulness, Happiness
FERN – Magic, Fascination, Confidence and Shelter
FIR – Time
FLAX – Domestic Symbol
FORGET-ME-NOT – True Love, Memories
FORSYTHIA – Anticipation
GARDENIA – You’re Lovely, Secret Love
GERANIUM – Stupidity, Folly
GLADIOLI – Give Me a Break, I’m Really Sincere
GLOXINIA – Love at First Sight
HEATHER (LAVENDER) – Admiration, Solitude
HEATHER (WHITE) – Protection, Wishes Will Come True
HOLLY – Defense, Domestic Happiness
HYACINTH (GENERAL) – Games and Sports
HYACINTH (BLUE) – Constancy
HYACINTH (PURPLE) – I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Sorrow
HYACINTH (WHITE) – Loveliness, I’ll Pray for You
HYDRANGEA – Thank You for Understanding
IRIS – Fleur-de-lis, Emblem of France, Your Friendship Means so Much to Me, Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Valor, My Compliments
IVY – Wedded Love, Fidelity, Friendship, Affection
JONQUIL – Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire, Sympathy, Desire for Affection Returned
LARKSPUR (PINK) – Fickleness
LILY (WHITE) – Purity, Majesty
LILY (YELLOW) – I’m Walking on Air, False and Happy
LILY (CALLA) – Beauty
LILY (DAY) – Coquetry, Chinese Emblem for Mother
LILY (EUCHARIS) – Maiden Charms
LILY (TIGER) – Wealth, Pride
LILY OF THE VALLEY – Sweetness, Return to Happiness, Humility, You’ve Made My Life Complete
MAGNOLIA – Nobility
MARIGOLD – Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
MISTLETOE – Kiss me, Affection, To Surmount Difficulties, Sacred Plant of India
MONKSHOOD – Beware, A Deadly Foe is Near
MOSS – Maternal Love, Charity
MYRTLE – Love, Hebrew Emblem of Marriage
NARCISSUS – Egotism, Formality, Stay as Sweet as You Are
NASTURTIUM – Conquest, Victory in Battle
OLEANDER – Caution
ORANGE BLOSSOM – Innocence, Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness
ORCHID – Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children
ORCHID (CATTLEYA) – Mature Charm
PALM LEAVES – Victory and Success
PEONY – Happy Life, Happy Marriage
PETUNIA – Resentment, Anger, Your Presence Sooths Me
PINE – Hope, Pity
POPPY (GENERAL) – Eternal Sleep, Oblivion, Imagination
POPPY (RED) Pleasure
POPPY (WHITE) – Consolation
POPPY (YELLOW) – Wealth, Success
PRIMROSE – I Can’t Live Without You
PRIMROSE (EVENING) – Inconstancy
ROSE (BRIDAL) – Happy Love
ROSE (HIBISCUS) – Delicate Beauty
ROSE (LEAF) – You May Hope
ROSE (PINK) – Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
ROSE (RED) – Love, I Love You
ROSE (TEA) – I’ll Remember Always
ROSE (THORNLESS) – Love at First Sight
ROSE (WHITE) – Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You’re Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
ROSE (WHITE AND RED MIXED) – Unity, Flower Emblem of England
ROSE (WHITE-DRIED) – Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue
ROSE (YELLOW) – Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care
ROSEBUD – Beauty and Youth, A Heart Innocent of Love
ROSEBUD (RED) – Pure and Lovely
ROSEBUD (WHITE) – Girlhood
ROSEBUD (MOSS) – Confessions of Love
ROSES (Bouquet of Mature Blooms) – Gratitude
ROSES (Single Full Bloom) – I Love You, I Still Love You
SMILAX – Loveliness
SNAPDRAGON – Gracious Lady
SPIDER FLOWER – Elope with Me
STEPHANOTIS – Happiness in Marriage, Desire to Travel
STOCK – Bonds of Affection, Promptness, You’ll Always Be Beautiful to Me
SWEETPEA – Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time
TULIP (GENERAL) – Perfect Lover, Frame, Flower Emblem of Holland
TULIP (RED) – Believe Me, Declaration of Love
TULIP (VARIEGATED) – Beautiful Eyes
TULIP (YELLOW) – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile
VIOLET – Modesty
VIOLET (BLUE) – Watchfulness, Faithfulness, I’ll Always Be True
VIOLET (WHITE) – Let’s Take a Chance
ZINNIA (MAGENTA) – Lasting Affection
ZINNIA (MIXED) – Thinking (or In Memory) of an Absent Friend
ZINNIA (SCARLET) – Constancy
ZINNIA (WHITE) – Goodness
ZINNIA (YELLOW) – Daily Remembrance

Be Sociable, Share!

Last Wednesday, June 19, 2013, we  celebrated our son and  his wife’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. It was such a special service with a wonderful reception following in the fellowship hall.  Here are a few of the ideas that I used to plan and decorate for this occasion.

25th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations

The silver 25th anniversary is a milestone wedding anniversary. The couple has weathered 25 years together. They have raised children, sent them to college, and faced the loss of special friends or family members. They have experience many triumphs and many trials. Today, if a couple has remained together and endured two and a half decades, it is very unusual, and they should be recognized.

Ideas for Gifts:  Silver Photo Frame, Silver Paper Weight, Silver Key Ring, or Silver Jewelry

Selection for Color Scheme:  Use silver in the color scheme for a 25th anniversary reception.  Personalize color scheme with a complementing color.  If the couple enjoys the beach or ocean, use blue as a complementing color.

Decorations for the Reception:  I decorated  as if I were decorating for a casual wedding. For the centerpieces, I placed three fresh white roses in silver vase for each table.

You could decorate with a complementing silver and blue (or favorite) color scheme.  If it is a night celebration, you could use strings of lights and candles.  Sprinkle silver glitter,   confetti, and tiny white hearts on the tables. Light silver candles in white candelabras or white candles in silver candelabras.  Buy large bouquets of silver balloons and fill the ceiling.  To cut costs, put single stem white roses in silver bud vases on the tables.

Buffet Table: Use silver or white table cloths for buffet table.  Place a bouquet of 25 roses in a silver vase in the center of the table. Accent remainder of table with white candles under clear globes. Position a few white silk flowers at the bases of the globes.  Place finger foods on silver trays lined with white paper doilies.

Cake Table: Order a two-tiered wedding cake with either a wedding or 25th topper. For the cake table, layer a translucent silver cloth over a white table cloth. Place an original invitation or some saved mementos from the couple’s original wedding on this table.

Pictures of the Couple:   We showed a DVD of portions of  their original wedding. Their original VCR tape had been transferred onto a DVD.  I placed original wedding pictures in black frames on each of the tables for guests to view.

Linens or Paper Goods for the Tables:  I used all silver and white on the tables. I covered round tables with silver table cloths and  used silver plastic ware. I placed  beautiful 25th anniversary white napkins in the plate and sprinkled tables with 25th anniversary confetti pieces.

Renewal of Wedding Vows Ceremony:  Renewing wedding vows can make a 25th Anniversary Celebration very special. This does not have to be an elaborate ceremony, but it can be a simple exchanging of vows before close family and friends.   It is always nice to include children and immediate family members in the ceremony.  Many couples do not get additional or different wedding rings, but sometimes a groom will give his renewed bride an eternity ring (a gold or silver band)  to commemorate the occasion.   A child of the couple could create a poem or story or do a reading about his parents and present it to them during the ceremony.

Example of a Reading: (Read by son Justin Lewis)
We can’t believe it has been 25 years since your wedding day.
The times have changed, but your love has stayed strong.
You have survived some very difficult times, yet you have weathered them.
When we look at the love that you have for each other today,
We are both proud and inspired by the life that you have built together and for us.
So today as you renew your wedding vows,
We all join you as you celebrate your love all over again.

 Music for the reception:  Play Christian Wedding Songs softly on the piano. We played a CD of wedding songs through a sound system.

Miscellaneous Ideas:

  • Make a Memory Tree using a big branch painted silver. Decorate with silver ribbons and fill branches with pictures of major events in the couple’s life.
  • Make a Time Capsule.
  •  Leave small cards at each place setting and have guests write a favorite memory of the couple on the card and place the card in a basket or large glass jar labeled Memories. The couple can read the cards later.

Renewal of Vows Ceremony

Husband’s Vows: (Wife’s Name), twenty-five years ago, I pledged my loyalty to you, as your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony. I promised to love you, comfort you, honor and keep you, in sickness and in health. I also pledged that, forsaking all others, I would keep myself only unto you, so long as we both shall live. During these twenty-five years, I have been faithful to those pledges.  Now again, at the beginning of our twenty-fifth year together, it is with deepest joy that I renew my vows to you.   So today, in the presence of God and our family and friends who have gathered for this happy occasion, I vow to you to continue to be to you a loving and faithful husband.  I vow to perform my headship over you as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires that I have for my life.  I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, and my most tender care.  I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus by following God’s guidance through His spirit and His Word.  I renew these vows to you today (Date) and pledge myself to continue my devotion to you as long as we both shall live.

Husband Exchanging of Rings:  I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness. As I place it on your finger, I recommit my heart and soul to you. I ask you to wear this eternity ring as a reminder of the vows we have renewed today on our twenty-fifth anniversary.

Wife’s Vows: (Husband’s Name), twenty-five years ago I pledged my loyalty to you. I promised to love you, obey you, care for you, and ever seek to please you.  I know that God has prepared me for you so that I am able to ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout the remainder of our lives, no matter what may be ahead of us, I renew my vows to you today (Date). I pledge to continue my devotion to you as an obedient and faithful wife as long as we both shall live.

Wife’s Exchanging of Rings:  I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. As I place this ring on your finger, I recommit my heart and soul to you this day and forevermore. I ask you to wear this ring as a reminder of our renewed vows to each other on this our twenty-fifth anniversary.


Be Sociable, Share!

Decorating? What Style Do You Like?

The first step in decorating is to decide what style you prefer.

Since there have been many books written on decorating, I will not be presumptuous enough to think that I know everything there is about the subject. My goal is not to impress you with my knowledge of decorating, but it is to give you a few pointers which may help you decorate your home in an attractive and comfortable style. By using your imagination, you will be able to decorate your home in your own special way. When you use your individual way of expressing yourself, your personality will shine through, and your home will become a place where others will feel warmth and welcome.

When you begin to decorate, remember there is a wealth of information out there. Look for ideas in fabric stores, paint and wallpaper stores, furniture store brochures, free samples, and catalogs. Check magazines and newspapers for the dates of home shows. Locate a home show near you and invite a friend to go with you just to get some ideas.  Today there are television cable decorating programs, and the library also has a wealth of information. Through the years, I have watched many decorating shows—I have viewed videos from the library—I have searched through books and magazines looking for ideas to use in decorating. If you keep your eyes open and use your imagination, you can make your home a real haven for entertaining.

Do you lean toward formal or informal? Remember the goal in decorating is not to impress, but to reflect you and your family. Look through magazines and books for ideas. Start a file of pictures of rooms that you really like.

Are you drawn to modern furniture with glass or are you drawn to a colonial farmhouse?  Do you prefer wall-to-wall carpeting or do you prefer Oriental rugs with wood exposed around the edges? Do you enjoy hosting formal dinners or do enjoy casual get-togethers with close friends and family?

There are three styles of decor in decorating. They are traditional, contemporary, and transitional. Traditional style is the style which refers to any historical era. This could be the style from 1600’s to the 1900’s. Contemporary style refers to the time after the 1920’s. Transitional style is a mixture of the two other styles. Although transitional is the style most of us use, it is the style that takes the most skill and planning. Not having a plan when you use transitional can cause confusion and chaos. It seems to be easier to stay with one style, but blending the styles can be beautiful if you remember to keep balance, proportion, and scale. No matter what style you choose to decorate your home, the end result of your decorating should be to make others feel comfortable and welcome.

Be Sociable, Share!

Girls With Grace Ministry

This is a ministry for teen girls to help prepare them for the Lord’s work.  This preparation could be for working full time in the  ministry  or  for assisting the Pastor’s Wife with her duties.

Grace Hardy presented this ministry at a ladies meeting that I just attended.  Results of her intensive training with the girls that she trained were phenomenal. Grace was gracious enough to give me the notes that she used for her presentation.

Girls With Grace Ministry
After serving as a pastor’s wife for 30 years, there are many things that I don’t miss about the position. However, there are some things that I do miss and one of those is what I’m about to tell you about. It was not until my last few years at Eastland that I formed a group of young ladies between the ages of 15-18 years of age who showed an interest in ministry. The girls chose to name the class Girls with Grace.

Theme Verse: But grow in grace in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Goals: To develop personal growth in their lives and to help them see the beauty and joy of ministry.  My personal goal for them is to develop a love for the ministry, whether it be serving full time in the ministry or serving alongside their pastor’s wife.

·  Met for 2 hours the first Saturday of each month
·  50 minutes for Biblical teaching or training. I used this time for to teach or for the girls to present a lesson.
·  20 minutes for fellowship and refreshments provided by 2 girls working together. The girls were to decorate a small table with a theme and to provide refreshments. They were not allowed to just throw refreshments on the table, but they were required to make a pleasing presentation of the food.
·  50 minutes of practical training
Cake Decorating
Floral Arranging
Theme Dinners
Serving Refreshments
Time Management
Hospitality in the home
Hospitality in the church
Coordinating Weddings
Ministering at Funerals

Ministry Preparation:
1.    Public Speaking with evaluations
·         Practice tongue twisters-fun
·         Scripture Readings-reading the Bible aloud with feeling
·         Public reading of poems or special readings
·         Prepare personal testimony and present it in class
·         Chose one aspect of Proverbs 31 lady, prepare and present the lesson
·         Prepare and present a lesson (Choose target audience, primary, junior, teens, adults)
2.    In Service Training
·         Nursery
·         Devotions at Ladies’ Meetings
·         Junior Church
·         Helping on Ladies’ Retreat Committee
3.    Study
·         How to study the Bible
·         A book study-I used some of Elizabeth George’s books
4.    Relationships
·         Working with people in group projects
·         Leadership skills for working with women
5.    Guest Speakers
·         Ministry wives
·         Missionary wives (question answer time during Mission’s Conference)
Theme Song:
Lord please make us sanctuaries
Pure and holy, tried and true
We’ll be a living Sanctuary
Lord for You!
·         4 Missionaries
·         1 Evangelist’s Wife
·         2 Church Secretaries
·         Music Director’s Wife
·         Pastor’s Wife
·         Several are not in fulltime ministry, but they are heavily involved in the ministry of their churches.

Be Sociable, Share!

Creating a Pleasant Atmosphere

Special touches that create warmth and welcome

What is atmosphere? Is it really important in entertaining and showing hospitality? I thought about this for some time and I have come to believe that atmosphere is the most important part of hospitality. Atmosphere is everything that is around you. It is the sounds that you hear. It is the sights that you see. It is the smells you smell. Atmosphere is everywhere. If you hear someone cursing or using the Lord’s name in vain, you have a tendency to shy away from that person because he is creating a negative atmosphere.” Smelling certain odors (good or bad) creates atmosphere.   In entertaining, I want to create an atmosphere where people will feel warm, welcome, and accepted.

One touch that creates warmth and welcome is to play good music. God must have thought music was important because He mentioned it 1028 times in the Bible. Music is very powerful. It can be stimulating, calming, or exciting. Music can provoke a thought or an emotion. Music can create bad memories, or it can create good memories.  Sometimes when I hear music of a past era, that music stimulates my thoughts in an unspiritual way, and it reminds me of events that occurred before I was saved. I hate those carnal thoughts, because they remind me of my ungodly past. When my children were small, our family listened to children’s gospel music as we traveled. Today when my grown children hear those songs, it reminds them of those fun times, and that music stimulates good memories in their minds.

Good music can be therapeutic to the soul. Music is said to lift people out of depression. Think of Saul when he was in his desperate state, he called for David to play music. Music can make stimulate you to feel patriotic, or it can move you to dream of far-away places.

For outdoor events, I don’t want to create the same atmosphere that I would want to create for an indoor event on a cold February evening. During outdoor events,  people will be laughing and talking, while children are running and playing. During indoor events,  guests will be enjoying more peaceful activities and conversation.

To create a calming atmosphere as guests arrive, play soft Christian instrumental music.

Make sure your music is not playing too loud, when your guests are visiting with each other.

While guests are eating meals, play music that will have calming effect.

For overnight guests, play cheerful music such as Celtic or Old English Hymns while your guests are preparing for the day and eating breakfast.

For a Fourth of July picnic, play energetic, patriotic music.

For a Mexican Fiesta, play Spanish music for your background music.

For an Italian dinner, play soft Italian music for your background music.

For a western party, play old cowboy songs for your background music.

Another touch of atmosphere is lighting. When I entertain, I like to dim the lights. Although usually right after I dim the lights, my husband comes through the rooms and turns them on bright. This is a good example of how men and women view things. I like to use low watt light bulbs and many candles. There is just something magical about candle light. It is inviting and warm.

Place votive candles in crystal dishes and place them on a silver tray or mirror.

If you have a fireplace that is not being used, place five or six candles in the fireplace.

If you are trying to create atmosphere in living rooms or parlors, it is better to use lamps rather than overhead lights. (Interior decorators say for best affect, light the four corners of a room with lamps).

Illuminate areas where you can emphasize beautiful displays.

Although candle light is not necessarily for very small children, older children do appreciate its beauty. My grandchildren love it when I use candles for the holiday season and at special meals.

Luminaries can be used to line walkways and driveways, or placed on porches.

Note: A luminary is made by placing a votive candle in a jar filled a quarter of the way with cat litter. Place the jar in white or colored paper bags and position them along a pathway or on a porch. Light luminaries just before guests arrive.

The last touch of atmosphere is smell. My husband and I love to stay in Bed and Breakfast Inns. One summer we stopped in Pennsylvania and stayed in a small home that had been converted into a Bed and Breakfast. When we walked in, the fragrance in the home smelled wonderful. The inn keeper was burning Yankee Candle’s fragrance Home Sweet Home. Today that is one of my most favorite fragrances.

Buy a new candle fragrance and create your own atmosphere of smell. “Why do we love certain houses, and why do they seem to love us? It is the warmth of our individual hearts reflected in our surroundings.”       –T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Be Sociable, Share!


Through this blog, I will suggest ways to make your entertaining experiences less complicated and stressful. In addition to these suggestions, I will also offer counseling tips and ministry pointers for women in ministry.

Be Sociable, Share!