Living an ART filled life…“Creativity is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special. It is an openness to doing old things new ways…The creative spirit is part of our heritage as children of the One who created all things. And nurturing our creativity is part of our responsibility as stewards of God’s good gifts.” – Emilie Barnes, The Spirit of Loveline
It’s good to have a chance to sit down and write. I may not have long, so I will try to be brief!
I am in the stage of life where I often alternate between taking care of my aging parent (91) and my precious grandchildren. (Ages soon to be born-9 yrs.) When my first granddaughter was born, I felt stronger. I was of course, almost 10 years younger! Back then, it was my Mom who I cared for…now that she is gone, it is my Dad.
It’s hard to see your parents slowly lose their identity. This is especially true for those who do not have a close relationship with our Lord. Those who seek their identity in people and things. This was/is both of my parents. For my Mom, she curled up with the resentment of a lifetime of hurt, for my Dad, he still reaches to find acceptance from others.
I see myself in them both, they are in my genes, and influenced my youth. I am eternally grateful that my loving Father in heaven, rescued me from these things. They would have been my destruction. I chose to look up, and He pulled me out of the pit.
Many of us grow old (if we are given the time here) and must face the symptoms of aging. If we cling to God, He will continue to give us purpose, and provide what we need to accomplish it. I’ve always looked at aging as God’s mercy. For many, a lifetime is lived pursuing self. We get to the end of our rope, and we find that we can’t muster up what we really need. What we’ve been looking for all our lives. Our Savior.
So, in God’s loving mercy, He slowly strips away our reliance of self. This is when we might finally realize He is with us, and then take His hand.
I find this verse in Isaiah so comforting.
I’m so weary of the demands, and even the wounds of the past…but, I know that if I continue to look up, God will provide for me the compassion, perseverance, patience, wisdom and strength needed to be the daughter He calls me to be.
Click on the image above to print 🙂
Many hugs to those of you out there caring for the aging. It is hard, but we might each be there one day. I try to remember that, and love (with God’s help!) even when my flesh wants to run.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of an Emma Stone Fangirl. She makes me laugh:) She was in a movie that I wouldn’t recommend (due to it’s content/theme) however, there is a scene in the beginning of the movie that keeps this song on repeat for me when I think of her:)
When I listen to this song….I think of JESUS. …my Pocket Full Of Sunshine:)
I like what Billy Graham has to say about sharing your pocket full of SONshine…below is an article from
Do not be conformed to this world … —Romans 12:2a, ESV
“Being a light” sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s also a little abstract. How exactly do you become this brilliant beacon to people around you? Here are 4 practical tips:
Be careful what you say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Yikes! That’s pretty serious. And that’s how we should take our speech—seriously. Maybe a parent once told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s not bad advice, even as an adult. Words are powerful and can be used for good or bad. You might even post this verse somewhere as a reminder: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Read How to Tame the Tongue.
Consider your entertainment. Where do you go for fun? What shows or movies do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Would you go to the same places, watch the same things or listen to the same music if Jesus were sitting next to you? Or would you be embarrassed? It might sound silly, but asking those questions is a good way to keep yourself in check, whether you’re alone or with others.
Use social media wisely. People are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not. Think about the things you’ve posted recently—articles, comments, photos and so on. Could they be seen as prideful? Self-centered? Rude? What’s your motive? To put others down or make them jealous? Hopefully not. Aim to make informed, respectful posts that represent the One you claim as Lord.
Think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject. When you encounter a difficult person, remember that they were made and are loved by God. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).
Point 2 is something that I’ve personally learned the hard way! It critical what you “put in.” I’ve heard this argument from my kids as long as I can remember… “Watching gory movies, won’t make me a slasher Mom.” Well… It does change your heart over time. It subtly shifts the way you see yourself, others, and even God. You become numb to things, and the line between right and wrong becomes blurred…God’s voice gets more distant, and you walk further and further away from Him and the Love, protection and provision He provides. This is the journey we often take towards the mess we can make of our lives. I’ve made plenty of messes. Every point on this list hits home for me, and it’s important to be reminded of them….especially in the culture and climate of today.
“Draw near to the Lord, and He will draw near to you.” -James 4:8
The rest of this verse goes like this… “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
We don’t like to admit that we’re double-minded. The Holy Spirit keeps our thoughts clear on this.
We can’t ride 2 horses…
Stay close to the light, and you’ll have enough Sunshine in your pocket to share:)
I have recently purchased a new little toy that many of you may have seen out there in the Big Wide Creative Net. Maybe you have one yourself! If so, this is the post for you!
The Phomemo is a tiny little portable thermal printer, that creates stickers and labels on the spot from your iPhone, Android, Ipad or Computer.
The model I have is the MO2. There is a MO2S available for about $20 more, but I am still unclear as to the difference between the two? (I am awaiting a reply to this question from the manufacturer) One roll of paper comes with the printer, but you must purchase paper/sticker paper separately. There is DEFINITELY a BIG difference between the papers available including plain white paper, white sticker paper and transparent sticker paper. NOTE: each paper has a specific duration for ink clarity. Some paper states the prints only last 2 years. Look carefully before you buy; my advise is to purchase the “longer life” paper that promises 20+ years.
If you are printing temporary mailing labels, notes, etc., the 2 yr paper is fine:)
You will also need to download the free Phomemo App to your device. In this App, there are lots of free printable graphics, & labels, along with a banner function and “Notes” section. If you want to add text to an image, you will need to save the image and download it to the “NOTES” section and there you can add text. Here you can also adjust the size of your image.
I think the Transparent Sticker Paper is my favorite for use with my Bullet Journal or Bible Journaling. If you fussy cut the design, you can add simple color to the page with markers or watercolor, and then place the clear sticker image on top. Below are some examples that I created this way.
I have not experimented with all the paper available. There are lots more options, including blue ink print and gold, just to name a few.
I’d like to share these images with to try! If you don’t have a Phomemo, you can print these images on 8.5 x 11 transparent label/sticker paper:) The download file is linked below.
Below is a link to these images. These images were illustrated by me, and are for Personal use only please! Art copyrighted by 1Arthouse.
We’ve all been stuck in a boat that is caught in a storm. I’ve been in quite a few…some of my own doing. I STEPPED WILLINGLY INTO THE STORM.
I have a dear friend who has been in the boat such a long time. The thing is, her kids are in the boat with her. Their storm is a very physical one. Medical issues that are unrelenting.
not yielding in strength, severity, or determination.
My heart aches with her…Her kids are fighting a storm of health issues that are NOT YIELDING IN STRENGTH OR SEVERITY…DAILY. If you are a Mom, you can probably relate to the deep pain you experience, watching your children suffer in ways you cannot relieve…if you could, you’d gladly take this pain from them…but lack the power to do so.
These are the circumstances when we have NO CHOICE but to completely LET GO OF OUR GRIP …we must let go of the stern to take hold of Jesus hand. (Mark 4)
“Mortal words” never make a dent in the wall of suffering some endure…
What has gradually changed my perspective on my life, my child, and my family’s struggles is that it’s never been about me. When I believe that life is all about my happiness, when I think that I could do more if I didn’t have this hardship or that I am missing out on what life could have been, I get discontent, anxious, and downcast. But when, by God’s grace, I trust that nothing happens apart from his will and sovereign plan, I am encouraged and strengthened, knowing he is working in and through even my darkest days, to make me more like him. It is in the midst of our darkness that his light shines most brightly to those around us.
As much as we would like answers and help for the painful, confusing, overwhelming circumstances, we must remember that Christ himself is the answer that we need in both an earthly and spiritual sense. He knows each member of our family intimately and is working out his good purposes in each of our lives (including the children he calls home and those living with disability or illness), often in ways we never would have expected. As we learn to trust Christ in our grief, despite what seems hopeless, we can begin to grasp more deeply the profound hope of the gospel.
If you have been entrusted with a road that has been marked by loss in your parenting and are struggling to see beyond the pain, I pray that you will be strengthened by remembering that your family has been divinely chosen to display God’s glorious redemption story. Although we aren’t promised healing (physical or mental) on this earth, we are promised that Christ will not waste one tear we shed over the painful effects of sin and brokenness within our world. You are not hopeless, you are not alone, and your losses will not have the final word.
Entrusted with this pain? How can we ever wrap our human mind around this truth? How did Job do it?
In a recent post, I shared a story Tony Evans told about the Shoe Cobbler.
“I work down here, but I LIVE UP THERE.”
I only know of ONE WAY to reconcile the storms of life we find ourselves in… “THIS IS NOT OUR HOME, and GOD IS GOOD AND ONLY HAS GOOD FOR US.” <—- ok, maybe that’s two ways:)
ONLY the Lord can give us peace in the storm…hope, in the storm, power, in the storm. He promises these things to His children. We either believe Him or we don’t. If we do believe, then the next VERY DIFFICULT STEP is to let go of the stern and trust Him for everything we need to keep moving forward… cause let’s be honest, there are days when taking another step feels absolutely impossible. Our head know that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH CHRIST, but our heart has a bit of trouble with this.
Most days, all I can do is lovingly listen to my friend…then pray. There are no “words.”
I know that there are times when we have weathered a storm so long, that we stop asking for help. Do you know what I mean? We think that others are bored with our struggles and needs…but this is not where a TRUE friend resides.
I’m posting this Bullet Journal spread for those who are participating in the study with me. (Live at my home church) These pages are meant to be used to prayerfully process and record what you have been learning the last 4 weeks!
For those of you following along online, please feel free to create these on your own. If you have any questions about the material, contact me anytime!
If you’re not following along with the study guides, I’m hoping you’ll gain some inspiration, to use however you feel led!
A Spring Bible Study Session that includes Bullet Journaling
WEEK 4 / The Virtue Of Contentment
Small Group Discussion Outline
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Rejoice in the Lord always because He is near. Replace anxiety and fear with grateful prayer in every situation and the peace of God will be yours. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. To live “right” you must replace “wrong” thinking. Focus your thoughts on righteous things. (Noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellen, praiseworthy) PRACTICE what you the Lord has taught you.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
Commit and take hold of the purpose you have in Christ, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Keep moving toward the Lord, for He is the “prize” …and our goal is becoming like Christ for eternity.
-In what areas of your life do you find it hard to experience
joy? —-> roots? (Fear, worry, anxiety, pain)
2 Timothy 1:7
Do you access God’s power in your life?
Why or why not?
Do you lack peace? Could lack of peace (relating to lack of joy) be a measure of God’s power in your life?
How can you operate (day to day) in God’s power? (Practical application)
(“Do not be anxious about anything, in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” )
– Phil 4:6,7
–What do you think Paul means when he says: “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”?
-Why do our hearts and minds need guarding?
Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it. -Proverbs 4:23
“Our voluntary thoughts not only reveal what we are, they predict what we will become. All conscious behavior is preceded by and arises out of our thoughts. THE WILL CAN BECOME A SERVANT OF THE THE THOUGHTS AND TO A LARGE DEGREE, OUR EMOTIONS FOLLOW OUR THINKING.” (Insights from Tozer)
–Can you explain wrong thinking vs. righteous thinking?
(Limited human thoughts vs. thinking with a mind like Christ)
(Wrong thinking leads to wrong action which leads to conflict and distortion of truth)
READ: 2 Corinthians 10:5
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
–How can we actively take every thought captive?
-Were you able to focus on your thoughts this week? (Whatever is true, noble, etc.)
-What does Paul mean when he says “not that I have obtained all this”
(Achieved perfection, still growing…)
WEARE A WORK IN PROGRESS, NEVER ARRIVING AT THE FINAL GOAL UNTIL THE “DAY OF COMPLETION.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:6
Phil 3: 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
–Do you tend to look back or dwell on the past?
-How can this be avoided?
You don’t drive by looking in the mirror. You drive by looking ahead out of the windshield. But it’s helpful to take occasional glances in your mirror and use the information to make decisions about how to drive safely in the present and future. But if you spend too much time looking in your mirror, you’ll probably crash because you’re not paying attention to the present.
In the same way, we need to take periodic glances backward, but we also need to put the past (good and bad) behind us, accept God’s grace which enables us for the present…moving on with what He is calling us to do now
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10
-Were you able to spend some time prayerfully processing your gifts and purpose? (Bullet Journal exerice) Did God give you insight this week?
-Do you live a purposeful life? It is something you think about or talk to God about?
Below are some images of the Dutch door pages we used this week to record prayerful consideration of our purpose.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Paul
Our ultimate goal is to move forward each day —>becoming more like Christ…operating in the good purpose God has called us each to, as we utilize the gifts He has blessed us with for our unique calling.
Below is a second Dutch door layout to stay intentional with our thoughts leaning into what Paul instructed in Philippians 4:4-9
AND…to stay aware of our daily goal to keep moving towards God and not away from Him.
The bottom daily “Digital Detox” area is to focus on putting down our phones so that we can be present!
I’ve included a few Doodle 101 handouts I gave to my class this week 🙂
A photo of our class project is below. We used Acrylic paint on water color paper, black microns, white uni-ball signo, stencils and stamps for background:)
Hope my post today is a help to you on your Spiritual Journey with the Lord! Next week, I will post a few more Bullet Journal spreads as well as a review of our study The Virtue of Contentment.
A Spring Bible Study Session that includes Bullet Journaling
Small Group Discussion Outline
1 Timothy 6:3-10
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. 5 They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
It is crucial to believe that the Whole Council of God (The Bible) is (the ultimate) truth and provides sound instruction for our daily lives. Apart from the revelation we receive through the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the ways of God. If we try to reason with our limited human mind, we are often led by pride and understand nothing. If we lean to our own understanding we develop unhealthy interests (often self focused) which draw us to controversy, quarrel, envy….(corrupted minds) We are robbed of truth pursing (little g) godliness for personal gain. Temptations are traps that lead to destruction. Love of money is a root of all evil and leads to grief. / “Pride comes before the Fall.”
All of these things separate us from our Father, and keep us in a state of discontentment.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Life is more than food and clothing. These physical necessities will not yield fruit (love joy peace patience, etc.) God provides ALL we need if we rely on Him.
“Look at the birds of the air”, if the Father provides for them, He most assuredly provides for His children!
Worry and anxiety create chaos and “does not add a single hour to our life.”
The Father knows our every need, and if we seek FIRST HIS Kingdom and His righteousness all these things (that we need) will be given to us as well. Our God is a promise keeper.
Live one day at a time, relying on God, moment by moment, through our helper the Holy Spirit.
IN THE WORKBOOK
1 TIMOTHY 6:3-10
Our truth meter is God’s Word. (The sound instruction of Jesus Christ)
Read Acts 17:11 / What does this instruct us to do?
(Measure all teaching with God’s Word for yourself. Don’t assign truth to anything you are taught without searching the scriptures yourself to see if it is true)
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scripturesevery day to see if what Paul said was true.
Another word for conceit is pride. Pride leads us to turn inward, placing ourselves at the center of our focus. What are the results of this kind of thinking?
(self focus, lack of empathy, division, lack of compassion for others, inability to give sacrificial love, need for control, stepping into God’s shoes, frustration)
In what ways has pride come before the fall in your life or those close to you?
PRIDE LEADS TO DISCONTENTMENT BECAUSE IT CAUSES US TO TURN INWARD (self focus) AND AWAY FROM GOD. Pride leads us to the pursuit of ourselves (being right, financial gain, division) and takes us down a road of destruction.
“It is impossible to be content when our hearts are SET on gaining MORE. A desire for godliness (placed before God) is quickly eroded by a greedy covetous spirit. (Pg 52)
Good deeds or godly behavior can be a source of pride in our lives.
Read Matthew 23:25-28
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
-Did anyone in your group do the PRAISE LOG? (See Example below)
-Was this practice helpful in —-> replacing “cravings/desires” (& pride) with gratitude
-Were you able to record some of the things you are anxious about?
-How do you try to handle these worries on your own?
How does this relate to pride?
-Were you more aware of giving these worries and fears to the Lord this week?
Trusting God to provide all our needs requires obedience
“When God instructs us to do something based on our knowledge of Him, He moves our relationship from mental to experiential. God doesn’t just want us to hear about Him, but to see and experience Him in our lives.” -Priscilla Shirer
Contentment is something we can learn. We heard this from Paul in our first week. So, why does it continue to elude us? We tend to keep tripping over the most common stumbling blocks that prevent us from living the life of Contentment God created us for. This week we took a closer look at Pride and Anxiety.
Our Father is very clear…we should not rely on our own (human) understanding…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Leaning on our own limited thinking, leads us to a place of pride where we have no true understanding of truth…this leads to self focus & discontentment.
God is also clear that He is to be our sole provider. We can trust Him, for He has proven to be faithful. Lack of trust in our Sovereign God leads to anxiety and fear….this moves us further from contentment.
The bullet journal exercises this week, are to help instill a practice of releasing our fear and anxiety to the Lord. (Worry Jar)
We are to work on replacing our pride with praise, and to work on stepping out in obedience as we become more aware of the role pride plays in our life and relationships—->To recognize it, and then surrender our behavior as we listen to the Lord’s correction and redirection through the Holy Spirit. As we are able to set aside our pride (through the help of the Holy Spirit), God will allow us to see beyond our limited understanding to see with His perspective…Beyond the circumstance we are in, to the hope He has for us! This develops fruit in our lives, and leads us to Contentment, and living a life like Christ.
Watercolor, Unity Stamp, StazOn black ink pad, Micron 005 & 01, Bold white uniball-signo pen.
FOR THE PRINTABLE/TRACEABLE script above click on the image for pdf