Thursday, February 25, 2016

Take Heart!!! John 16:33

I was riding along in the car yesterday while the kids were at school, and thankfully remembered that I was a grown up and did not have to be listening to Strawberry Shoetcake!  I switched over to KLove and heard Building 429's I'm Not Home Yet. I was singing along, rock'n to my jam when the line "When the earth shakes I want to be found in you" 
This phrase jumped out at me! I've heard this song before, but the Lord used it this time to remind me of his power!!! I was recently reading in John 16 where Jesus was telling his disciples that he was about to leave them. The disciples were confused and a little scared at what Jesus had said was going to happen, so at the end, he wrapped it up with
 ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NIV
Take Heart!!! HE has overcome the world!!! If there was ever someone to cling to in times of upheaval, despair, or everyday "earth shaking," it would be the ONE who has overcome the world!!! ***insert war cries, cheers of jubilation and high fiving!!!***
Now, to OWN IT!!! What an amazing truth!!! Those trials, uphill battles and daily struggles? Hand. Them. Over!!! Jesus knows they're hard! He went through worse! But he OVERCAME them so he could carry your stuff too!!! 

Wow. Right?!  Let that sink in! So, when your world shakes, run to Jesus. Hand him your stuff. Heck, throw it at Him and cling to him!!! Trust me, he's big enough to carry everything AND wrap you up in his arms!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happiness- Gratitude Journal Page

I have always known happiness to be a human emotion that is usually temporary and based on life's circumstances, where as joy is eternal and comes from the Lord. So, as I began this page, I felt that I needed to "know" the actual definition of happiness!
1. Good fortune. 2. A state of well-being and contentment. 

Contentment! Now there's a word I recognize!!! My good friend, Paul, talks about this in his letter to the Phillipians, and boy does he have some stories to tell!!!

Paul is able to offer a surprisingly optimistic perspective on life, especially after the types of persecution he had endured. In his letter he wrote,

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
Paul tells us that it's not what we have, who we're with, or how much money we make, but rather letting Christ's love being us happiness!!!

This truth is one that I need tattooed on my forehead!!! My happiness is often times tied to the moods of my kids, the circumstances of the day or how I feel when I'm hungry (can I get an Amen?!). I really struggle with removing myself from all of that and finding contentment in Him!!!!
Look to the Lord for your strength, joy and happiness and keep your eyes on things above!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beauty- Gratitude Journal Page

Our small group has been studying 1 Peter together for the last month or so, and man, is that book crammed full of goodies!!! Seriously! So many wonderful topics to dive into!!! So, when I hit the Beauty page of my Gratitude Journal from Illustrated Faith (yes, that was a November project!!!...lets just say that I'm really taking my time with being thankful 😂) chapter 3 vs. 3-4 spoke to my heart. 

"It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or find clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside to you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God." 

As we talked in small group, we discussed extensively what these things look like when we live them out. What does it mean to have a gentle and quiet spirit with our husbands? Should we not be wearing make up and pretty clothes? (Woot woot!!! Yoga pants and tshirts Capsul Wardrobe?! -just kidding!) How does our beauty come from within?
My Illustrated Faith Whatever is Lovely collection helped me answer that last question beautifully!!! Philippians 4:8 says, 

"Whatever is true, Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy of the – think about such things."
You see, God is far less interested in if our outfit looks OK, or if our hair isn't doing just the right thing today, then he is about how her attitude is about those things! All he wants is us. All of us. And when we began to dwell on that fact, our beauty is going to shine from the inside out!
Our inner beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Donatello and the Jaguar

I just spent the better half of my morning trying to calm a 5 year old who is clearly struggling with the most basic component of our human souls...and I'm pretty positive this won't be our last discussion of the subject ;)

I sat and listened to my exhausted son sob over the fact that he would no longer be allowed to get a Lunchable because of the choices he had made earlier in the day. I watched as he admitted repeatedly that although the rules had been clearly set before him, he had chosen to ignore them, and the consequences, because "I just wanted that toy!!!"

No matter how I spun the conversation, he kept returning to the fact that he just "wanted it!!!!"  After reminding him that he had just received MANY toys a mere 3 days ago at his birthday party, he sobbed, "but I just want to have ALL the toys so I can have more toys than anyone in the galaxy!" I have no idea where he gets his dramatics from. I blame Big A. ;)

Clearly I wasn't getting anywhere with my lengthy convo, so I resorted to visual aids. I must admit that I was pretty proud of my resourcefulness in choosing my characters, and feel that I truely captured my audience. Giant Donatello playing the part of our Heavenly Father?! Um, yeah, I nailed it.

T-man was played by a tiny jaguar. A very respectable animal, but significantly smaller than Donny.   I showed him where God wanted us by having Donny hold the jag. Then I showed him how each complaint that he had thrown at me all morning moved him further away from the Lord, BUT God never changed. He just stayed the same. Never moved, never turned away. Just waited for he jaguar's return.

The jag, however looked like he was getting attacked by a bee- running back and forth, to and fro, trying to make the "right" choice. Thankfully, at this point, T-man new exactly what the jaguar needed to do to return to a close hug with Donny. He told me the good choices that he COULD HAVE Made that would have allowed him to be closer to God, which he admitted was where he wanted to be.

The knowledge was there, but let's face it. His little heart was struggling something fierce!!! As I summed up what I thought to be a home run in the "life lesson" department, I showed him Romans 7:15-25.  Don't worry, I totally summed it up In kid version because SERIOUSLY, I have to read those verses about 20 times to get everything straight. Sometimes graphs are involved just to keep my thoughts straight!

Bottom line: I make bad choices. It's my sinful nature. I don't always want to make bad choices, but I usually do. I try hard to be "good," but it's hard and I can't do it on my own. So, PRAISE JESUS that he fights that battle for me!!!

Good stuff, huh?! I finished my epic presentation with a summery, at which point my son hit the harsh reality that he was REALLY NOT going to get a Lunchable...and began the fit again. :/

...this must be how God feels with us.

I also used this book as a great learning tool, which is where the quote on my bible page came from!

Monday, August 17, 2015

He Won't Give Up on YOU!

It's good to be back in this Bible!!! I have been working in my Notetaker's Bible for a bit, and was missing my bigger bible! Not to mention, I thought I had LOST it!!! 😩

I was in complete panic mode when I went to work in it, and couldn't find it ANYWHERE!!! Thankfully, I had just left it at church after small group! Whew!

Our church has been doing a series on "FindingYour Way Back to God," through studying the parable of The Prodical Son.

For the longest time I really didn't like this story because I tended to relate to the "good" brother, and didnt think that that stupid brother who broke all the rules deserved a party AT ALL!!! (Anyone with me here?!). BUT, once I got more into life and realized that I, myself, didn't really make the best choices all the time, I saw this story completely differently! I had a NEED and a YEARNING for that grace that the Father (my Heavenly Father) so willingly threw at the "bad" son!!!

My most favorite part of this whole parable is Luke 15:20, "But, while he was still a long way off..."

Good grief, does that just sum me up!!! (Can I get an "Amen?!") I am still a LONG WAY OFF!!!

I have recently been feeling inadequate in pretty much all areas of my life. Nothing I do seems "good enough."  So, when I read God's words in Jeremiah 31:3, it just hugged my sad little heart!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again..."

Well, Praise the Lord that He will Not give up on me!!! What a powerful truth!!!

I hope that if you have found yourself not where you want to be, or should be with the Lord, that you will take heart!!! He is eagerly waiting for you, even if you are "a long way off!!!

To see the whole process video, click the link below!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Bible, New Technique

My mom found these new little bibles recently called Noteworthy Bibles by Zondervan!  They are a little larger than pocket size, and my FAVORITE part is, get this, there is only text on the left side of the page, leaving the whole right side open!!!
I love creating in my other journaling bible, but I sometimes feel limited by the space that's given. I've really had fun working on a whole page!
So, as I was working in my notetakers bible today, I realized that I have done all of my painting WITH MY FINGERS!!! Ha! No brush, no credit card scraping, just my fingers...and I love it!!!
I think one of my favorite things about painting is the fact that I can spread and smear the paint with my hands if I want to, and there is just something so freeing about that!!!
I also haven't done a video of working in my new bible, but I will get right on that!!! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Illustrated Faith

This summer has been a great break for me to get a chance to work in my journaling bible!!! I love documenting the truths that the Lord has shown me through using the talents he has given me!!!

I've actually made videos (which if you follow my Facebook page, you've seen) of each of the pages shown here!!! I've been really excited to create, share and teach through this whole process! 

This spread is to remind me of the VBS that Brittney and I decided to do for the sweet little preschools from our weekly Story Corner!!! Ironically, as we were "letting our lights shine," it was pouring all 3 days!!! 😂 but, these moms and kids were faithful, and The Lord "reigned" through it all! ( see what I did there 😉)

This flap page is one of my favorites!!! The heart is made up of bits and pieces glued together, but when the velum lays over it, it's one beautiful piece-just how God sees us through the blood of Christ!

Aaaah, the passage of John 1:40- "I will make you fishers of me." Not only T-man's life verse, but SO much to absorb!!! I heard some amazing teaching on this passage from a husband and wife team last year at Bible Study. I was so furiously writing everything down because it was just so good!!! Now I'm having to add tabs into my bible just to get all of that meat in there!!! I totally love this journaling card, though!!!
Be sure to follow my Facebook page to see more process videos!!!