Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Woodland Mantel

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow… Just a lovely nursery rhyme… Today I’m sharing our Christmas mantel and the crazy mishmash of putting it together. Definitely a layering! ~ it took several weeks to put together into what it is now.

Of course I know it is after Christmas now, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our mantel anyway.

Have you ever had the realization that this sweet nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, could be allegorical? It occurred to me here at Christmastime, that this rhyme could be saying much more…

[His] fleece was white as snow. From a Biblical perspective, Jesus was sinless; he was pure as new-fallen snow.

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.


1 Peter 1:18-19

Everywhere the child went, the lamb was sure to go… Okay, maybe this part, isn’t so allegorical, but… Then again, everywhere we (humanity) go, the Lamb, is sure to follow. Meaning that Jesus follows us, that He is interested in us. He is concerned about our welfare!

There is more to this nursery rhyme and I don’t feel those lines are very allegorical, but for me this first stanza is.

I just thought I’d share that here on our first Sunday in the new year…

And I am sorry I haven’t written more about my faith this past year.

Confession time:

I visited several churches when we first moved to Texas and I was enjoying a church up in Sanger a lot. Living in our Prairie Home, our big RV, I went with several friends to this church on Monday evenings for a community dinner. Then I went to a couple of Sunday services and I was enjoying going.

One Sunday, there was a thing which happened which kinda freaked me out since I was feeling really insecure and vulnerable living in an RV and still feeling very homeless, plus being new to Texas… One of the people who used to live in the RV park shouted out my name before the service began, in the middle of the sanctuary, and I felt all eyes on me. She has little tact, and I hate saying this, but it is true.

It wasn’t good and I was mortified! I never went back because I felt called out.

I don’t know if you are secretly very quiet and private, but I often am. And though I blog, I don’t always share everything, and I think that’s how most bloggers are. Maybe I am wrong on this, do let me know!

More Type B than Type A, really.

Our new nativity found at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, before the other crash-landed.

Anyway, all that is to say that I haven’t been too keen on visiting more churches. It’s an excuse, I know.

I visit my old church, Calvary Chapel of Murrieta, from California online, still read Christian literature and donate to charities and read my Bible. I pray all the time for our students and for the safety of our school, our community, our home, my family.

My mother-in-law introduced me to her old church in Sacramento, which also has an on-line presence. Covid was good for getting churches and worksites to get online!

She flew out to California for Christmas and with Southwest Airline’s computer system crash, and her flight back to Texas cancelled… She decided to extend her stay. She needed a good visit home… <3

She didn’t get the extra year to adjust to moving out of her house of 57 years like we did when we lived at Lake Skinner.

Anyway, I just feel hypocritical, so… That’s why I haven’t written many Sunday Sentiments in a long time. Maybe you are experiencing something similar? Let me know. <3

But I plan on writing more of them as part of my New Year’s resolution, as it were. πŸ™‚

Our old Kirkland nativity (post from which this photograph was pulled) which was unbroken until a year ago. I am going to try to use car bonding to see if I can put back each figure. This very much mirrors what happened to a Nativity figure in Jan Karon’s book, Shepherds Abiding.
This older nativity’s statues were more than 12″.

I love Christmas, and nativities!!!

My mother-in-law loves them, too, and has quite a nativity collection! My own mother had a lovely old wooden creche and nativity she put out each year. One of my brothers has it now, I’m sure.

Sadly, when Mr. Ethereal was putting ours away last year, the 34-year-old box just disintegrated while he was holding it, and the foam inside fell out. The Wise Men and Joseph shattered.

We swept up all of the pieces, even tiny parts, all that we could see, and they were lovingly put into a clean shoebox.

I just haven’t had the heart to sort through the pieces and begin trying to glue them together.

So we needed a new nativity! I found a nice one, a bit smaller, at Hobby Lobby so this is what I featured on our mantel this season. This one is about 3/4 of the size of the old Kirkland one.

Choosing a nativity is such a personal thing, isn’t it?

I saw some really pretty ones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when my daughter and I were there for my niece’s wedding.

Putting our Woodland Mantel together

So, getting back to how this mantel came together, it really began with the two outlying grapevine trees. I found them on sale at Hobby Lobby in early October when I went in search of a couple of papier mΓ’chΓ© pumpkins to craft (a project for 2023!).

Hubby brought down a few Christmas boxes for me when I was prepping for November’s Pinterest Challenge putting together the Christmas tree and when I was making the little Salt & Pepper Snowman.

In those few boxes, I found the vintage style Santa tins and I added the Norman Rockwell tin I found around Thanksgiving time at a thrift shop here in Denton. Gini and I were creating gift baskets for the IOOF poker tournament fundraiser and there it was, waiting!

The little fuzzy reindeer I found at JC Penney on Black Friday with Hubby. They were so cute! I had to bring them home. πŸ˜‰

It really was a mishmash put together over several months and somehow it all works…

Really not a surprise when you think of Whom watches over us… πŸ™‚

On another note…

Have you seen The Chosen? It is a crowd-funded show about the life of Jesus from the Apostles’ perspective. I really enjoy the series and to me, it’s a really cool show!

It is Biblically based with ideas of what things the characters as real people would have talked about, in addition to portraying real events which happened during the lifetime of Jesus (and beyond, with the apostles) some 2000 years ago.

Much of what is said is straight out of scripture, and the actors who portray Jesus, Mother Mary, and the others, give their best performances. You can really feel God’s presence behind their portrayals!

Plus, I like that the actors are from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds! They make the show and Jesus so much more real.

My mother-in-law introduced us to the series last winter while she was staying with us.

I think you’ll like it! (That’s my plug). πŸ™‚

New Year 2023

Work for me is going really well. I am enjoying working in a middle school library full time getting to share favorite books with our students, giving advice and counsel as needed. I got approval for a scholarship to teach needlework to students after school; I just need to put together a purchase order for supplies. Our librarian and I are already staying late on every other Tuesday working with these girls and boys. I love seeing how eager they are to learn!

Mr. Ethereal has his own changes with work coming, so that will be a big change for us in this new year. Not my favorite thing, as you probably know… But, Life is always changing so it is nice to find solace here with you.

I appreciate you for this!!! And I thank you for your friendship. <3

Happy New Year, dear friends,

Barb πŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Woodland Mantel”

  1. What a wonderful post, Barb, filled with beauty and with deep introspection. Your mantel is gorgeous and I loved hearing the story of the tin and also your nativities. (I had a headless shepherd. I always put the head in front of him — it has sort of a bad Salome look but I never think to glue it in time or have the right glue. If I didn’t use him I’d only have one shepherd and that would throw off the balance.). It really hurt when my favorite childhood nativity drowned and disintegrated in a basement flood. But I have newer ones now so they’re just lovely memories.

    I don’t believe having a “church” (as in a building, a group or people, or minister) means a thing. But having a faith means everything You can worship in the woods, on a walk, in your own home. Faith guides how we live and who we are. The building, the service, the fellow congregants are fine — maybe even good, maybe not-so-much. I’ve seen an awful lot of Christian in church who are absolutely anything but. But what we believe guides who we are and that’s what counts. I appreciate your opennes in sharing. Your faith is powerful. And that, my friend, is what matters.

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts, Jeanie. It’s hard and I feel I mess up a lot, but I keep trying. Today, out watering plants this afternoon (because we haven’t had any rain in a couple of weeks), the leaves off the front oak were softly falling around me. Sunlight was just perfect and I felt it was a God moment; peaceful and beautiful. Anyway, thank you again. πŸ’•

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