Saturday, March 29, 2008

Conversations with Kids

Conversations with your kids - do you journal them? Do you scrap those treasured conversations for a memorable keepsake? The years of discovery, probably through age 6 must be some of my favorite memories of time spent with our children. They are so full of questions, learning, maybe not quite pronouncing a word correctly, and sometimes they ask profound questions. Many times the phrase "from the mouths of babes comes truth" is all to apparent as they share their most honest thoughts in an open way. For our son I have journal snippets of conversations, things he said. I was not scrapping back then, but somewhere I have those treasured words in a journal. Our daughter is more fortunate in that I began scrapbooking when she was young. I started a digital 8x8 mini album a long time ago to record our talks. The album is called "Conversations With Abby", and I expect I have at least two more years of capturing amusing and profound conversations on paper. This will be a treasure of an album, and I hope you will consider starting one for your children if you have not already done so.

This week I scrapped one of those overheard conversations between our son (shared above), when he was age 5, and our neighbor girl. It was one of those moments when as a parent, you overhear a conversation, and your heart leaps for joy. It is a moment when you realize that as you teach and sometimes wonder if they get it, that they really do. It was an awesome conversation, not intended for my ears, but one I was thrilled to share.

In the NOW time, I experienced another one of those conversations this week (April 1), this time with our five year old daughter. Here is how the story goes:
Abby asked me if her friends knew who God was. I replied, “I am sure some do, but some probably don’t, but you can tell them.” “I’m scared.”
“Scared of what?”, I asked. “Telling my friends about God.”
“That’s okay,” I said, “you can pray about it and ask God to help you.”

Two story books later and it was time for prayers. Abby told me she wanted to pray alone instead of with me, and asked me to leave. I asked her what she wanted to pray about, and she said she wanted to pray to God about telling her friends about Him.

Next day… (4-2-08)

I pick up Abby and another friend from afternoon pre-school. It was sunny and the car was warm, so I had the windows cracked. The girls both wanted their windows down as far as they would go. With the wind blowing and their hairs going wild they were having a great ol’ time laughing and feeling the wind – as only 5 year olds can do. Abby’s friend held her hand by the window and said, “Thank you, Lord, for the wind!”
Abby, with a sound of shock in her voice said, “Lord? You mean you know God?”
“Well, yeah!” said her friend, in a “well of course I do!” tone. (LOL)
Abby was all excited and she replied, “My whole family knows God, too! Me, dad, mom and Kyle - isn’t it great!” And then both girls returned to being silly and enjoying the wind in their faces.
Of course I just kept driving with a smile on my face, taking in the conversation, the tone of their voices, and laughing with them at their silliness in the wind. Now, the perfect photo would be these two girls in the back seat of the car with the wind blowing their long hairs all over the place. Still trying to figure out how to capture that - since I am driving. I think I may need a friend to drive with me someday and take over the wheel!

Hey, remember a short while ago I was excited to share that Scrapbooks, Etc. had printed a thumbnail of one of my layouts in their most recent issue? Well, today I discovered in their e-mail newsletter that my layout, "Flirt with Red" is front and center of their newsletter - knock me down with a feather!!! Thanks to my Fiskateer friend Melita for pointing it out, because honestly, I have so much on my plate right now I would not likely have opened the newsletter.

What am I doing, you may wonder? Of course it is scrap related. My parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 8 days. I JUST started a digital presentation for the celebration party - but not a boring presentation. It is a digital, beautiful scrapbook. I was absolutely blown away by the appreciation collaboration kit that FaithSisters bestowed on their creative team. When I made the last minute decision to do a digital album I had to start opening the zipped files that I had not even peeked at yet, and was blown away. To keep my project from getting out of hand I chose a small portion of digital elements to be used in the album. 12 pages down and probably 50 more to go. So I better stop blogging and get into my Photoshop! I can't wait to share the album when I am done. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to walk with me on my journey. Scrap those conversations along the way that make you smile, or scratch your head. (LOL)

Cancer Sucks

Spring break is over...ah yes...back to the trenches for all of us tomorrow! I had a great 4 days off. I scrapped LOTS and cannot wait to share my projects. My family took a great day trip on Friday. Many new pictures to scrap for sure! In fact, I was going to share some of my favorite break accomplishments and photos, but instead... my friend Susie just sent a request to help promote a fundraiser - and it is to fight cancer. It is just one of those have to get it posted right away.

Cancer robs. It robbed DH of his dad when he was 4 - he has only one slight memory of his father, who died at age 32 of a brain tumor. My best friend has battled it - and she is a beautiful survivor, but as a co-worker during this time in her life I could see the sickness and general yuck cancer can afflict. I have seen people lose their loved ones, I see friends suffering from various forms. Cancer when Susie asked me to post...I immediately felt the need to do so. Please check it out!

Scrapbook Raffle to help the fight against Cancer


To enter go to: and donate $5. For each $5 you donate you will be entered once. Donate $20 and your name will be entered 4 times, it’s that easy and all the money goes toward a good cause. All donations must be made between March 31 and April 9th. Winner will be chosen on April 9th 8:00 pm Pacific Time. Winner will be contacted by email or go to after 9:00 pm on April 9th and the winner will be posted on the website. Anyone can enter and your donation is greatly appreciated. 

2 Scarlet Lime Scrapbooking kits: February and March main kits

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist 6 colors: Periwinkle, Cherub Pink, Sea Glass, Patina, Graphite, and Pink Ink

Maya Road Chipboard: Microchips Motif Buttons Neutrals, Fresh Chipboard Hearts and Bird Coaster Album

Bohemia Embossed Chipboard “Bliss” Shapes

Me & My Big Ideas – Glitter Chipboard-Dark Pink

Teresa Collins New Scrapbooking paper lines of Damask, Journal-it, Bella Girl, and Boardwalk

Making Memories 9x9 Coral Mini Album

7 Gypsies Seal Stamp

4 mini composition books (3.5” x 4.25”)

Thickers: Roller Rink and Platforms

Foo-a-la Savannah Glitter Chip Alphabet

Heidi Swapp Chipboard Kits: 3 Rectangles Grass-White, Jet-White, Icee-jet & 1 Circles Pink-Brown

Queen & Co Felt Fusion: Football-brown, Basketball-orange, Vehicles-red, Vine-black, Eggs-pink, Vine-green, Soccer-black, and Fish-blue

Queen & Co Felt Board – Bold Black and Pure Purple

The Craft Collection Adhesive Roller refill

Glitz Frosting – Yellow & Red Bazzill Cardstock Strips- Chablis, Rio, and North Sea

And just for donating you get 1 Team in Training t-shirt & Scrapstrong bracelet.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lovin' Life!

Today is the day.... I am turning 45! Wow, five more years and it is half a century of living! But I don't mind getting older. In fact, I find I am lovin' life more and more as each day passes. I am happy, content, joyful - truly at peace with who I am as a person - a wife, mother, and daughter of the most high King!

Memory Makers is also celebrating a birthday today! So while I have the day off, determined to learn how to use my not so brand new KNK element die-cut machine, I am checking out the Memory Makers blog often for updates and more chances to win a prize.

The layout I shared above was created for this week's scripture challenge at FaithSisters on the word "listen". I was thrilled to find that photo of our son on my digital camera when I downloaded Easter photos. The beauty of digital cameras is I can let my budding photographers have the camera - rule is - "strap around the neck" - and I let them take any pictures they want. Our son took some cool architectural photos at church on Sunday morning. The photo in "Listen" was amongst a myriad of blurry photos - taken by our five year old. I love the angle, the composition - and the reflective mood of our son doing what, I am not sure.

On Good Friday we had some tough questions to answer as parents. "What does the Easter bunny got to do with Easter? "Why do we call it Easter when it is not in the Bible?" I love that Kyle is learning and asking questions. I relayed a bit of history of early Christianity and missionaries converting the Pagans - and thus tying in some of the Pagan rituals into Christianity so as to be more readily accepted. THus, I believe, the bunny is symbolic of fertility in a Pagan celebration of Spring. The history of the word Easter led to some on-line research. But without the research my husband and I both decided that from now on we would try to refer to Easter as Resurrection Day. A much longer greeting than "Happy Easter" - but definitely more true to our Christian celebration. So anyhow, the verse on listening jumped out at me as we try to "raise our child in the way that he should go".

So how am I celebrating this day? I took the day off, slept in, finished a bible study, enjoyed a mocha latte at the coffee house and chatted with friends whom my husband had called to surprise me there. I am relaxing -and refuse to do more than empty and fill the dishwasher re: housework today. Our daughter is singing in the chair beside me and I am remembering 5 years ago this day that I was enjoying her as my best birthday present ever.

I loved using Scenic Route for this layout and had fun creating this simple page, remembering the happy phone calls I made to announce the news that our daughter had arrived from Korea. I don't think any birthday will be as memorable as my 40th.

So what are you celebrating today? Your children, a great relationship, a cancer-free check up after your last chemo treatment? Maybe it is the little things - like the pleasure of listening to the song birds as they begin their spring courtship trills and whistles. Whatever it is - just remember to celebrate the life you have been given and celebrate the special person that you are!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bad or Good?

Our son is 10 yrs. old, and Good Friday has been on his mind this week. He wants to know why Christians call this day good? Afterall, Jesus was brutally killed on the cross this day. If a young believer is questioning this day, it makes me wonder what non-Christians around the world think. Here we are, "celebrating" the death of our Lord and Savior.

The first "good", or Holy Friday was obviously not a joyous occasion for our Lord. He knew he must die for our sins, but our lack of realizing who he was hurt him greatly. His suffering was immense, his sorrow great - yet he did not let the cup pass from him. By his death, and RESURRECTION, Jesus claimed victory over death so that all believers may have eternal life. This is the GOOD news of Good Friday. Our lives here on earth are so temporary, fleeting really – compared to living eternally, forever with our Father in heaven.

Good can come out of bad. I have experienced this firsthand with the events of 9-11-01, a tragedy that affected and changed our world forever. How did good come from this? For my own family we were struggling at that time with the desire to adopt, without the financial means to do so. Because of 9-11 the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates. Mortgage rates dropped so much so that we were able to refinance our home and maintain almost the same house payment, taking out funds for the majority of the adoption costs. Good came out of the bad – we are now blessed with a beautiful little girl.

I am so glad that I have a relationship with Jesus, the One who loves me enough to have died for me. Giving up my old life to begin a life that brings glory to His holy name was difficult. I certainly had my relapses, but through the years, as I continued my journey and continued to grow I find the journey becomes easier. Not easy in the sense of lacking trials, or hurt, or loss - God does not promise a Christian life filled with happiness. But there is joy and peace...which extends beyond happiness, beyond sadness.

I remember so well the time of my rebirth in Christ. I was ready for deep spiritual renewal. "Crucified In Christ" by Phillips, Craig and Dean was a hit on the radio, and it made a huge impact each time I listened, reaffirming my desire to die to my old self, and live for Him.

Here are some thoughts from Jesus2020 - are you seeking the kind of joy that can get your through trying times?

God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

If you want to accept Christ as Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
"Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

To learn more visit Jesus2020.

Digital Elements in "Crucified":
Red Patterned Paper: Kjoi Studios Love Collaboration Kit
Cardboard frame by Kara Jones at Kjoi
Newsprint flourish by Krystal Hartley at
Torn paper by Sande Krieger
Journal spot and stitching by Elash from Trevor’s Treasure Kit from TreasuresToScrap
Chipboard Heart by Valjs downloaded from DigiShopTalk
Crown by Sal, Sailor and Lulu Designs from Shabby Lane downloaded from DigiShopTalk
Fonts: Clarissa, Army Chalk, Jayne Print, Swiss 721 Cn Bt

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Giving courage to one another. It is how we grow as individuals. Children are given courage to try new things…from the tentative first steps into toddlerhood, to the first attempt at pedaling a bicycle, and even to try out for sports, the arts and other activities during the school years. Sometimes we are fortunate to have an older sibling who is able to encourage, teach and offer a hand of guidance and protection. This is the relationship I often witness between our two children, with five years between them. I see our daughter wanting to be like her older brother, there is not a whole lot about her that is “girly girl”. During these moments I see “the look” in our son’s eyes as his little sister follows his lead, looks to him for teaching, and takes his hand to walk through a crowd of strangers to the play equipment at a community concert in the park. He is proud of his position as the older brother, and takes his role seriously.

Our Father in Heaven is proud of us as well. When we look to Him for teaching, when we seek instructions on how we are to live in His holy word, when we take His hand to be in relationship. Nothing gives the Lord more joy than when we trust in Him for courage during times of trouble.
Jesus was an encourager to the disciples. As he saw their fear when He walked on water he said to them, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." As Paul was judged before the Sadducees and the others Pharisees, the Lord came to Paul in the night and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." As a storm threatened the life of men on board the ship with Paul as he sailed to Rome, God sent an angel to Paul who said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” Paul thus reassured his fellow shipmates, “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

As you can see, God gives us courage so we may encourage one another. Remember that as we face earthly trials that God has promised to never leave or forsake us. He sealed this promise with blood, the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no greater courage in this world than the courage of a person being persecuted and put to death for faith. As He was being put to death, rather than save himself, instead Jesus pleaded with His heavenly Father. He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Never forget the grace that accompanies that statement. Our Lord and Saviour showed mercy to those that killed him, and took upon himself ALL our sins, forever - that is courage beyond measure. It is with this kind of courage that we are to live our lives, strong in faith and sharing the testimony of God's saving grace.

Now, if you read all of that, I want you to know that "Give Courage" was created for my monthly inspiration challenge posted in the Kjoistudios challenge forum. To participate in this challenge all you have to do is create a layout with any number of Irish quotes listed in the challenge thread, and use the color green. You have until the end of March to participate and have a chance to earn a gift certficate to the Kjoi Prize Vault. Check back every month for a new challenge to my, and other challenges that can earn you multiple GCs to the Prize Vault.
However, if you are a true blue traditional scrapper, you have a through the end of the month to participate in a similar challenge at the Scrapbook Playground. This challenge offers the same Irish quotes, but different elements from which to choose. For each layout completed and linked in the thread, you will have your name placed in a drawing for a $10 gift certificate to the Playground store.

You can share links to your layouts in both forums and double chance of winning!
Elements for "Give Courage" layout downloaded from
Tristan’s Room Digital Kit by Kara Jones

Cardboard grunge frame and wings also by Kara Jones
Stitching, ric rac and rusty staple by Connie Prince, Digi Diva Designs

Be of Good Salt

Each week Faithsisters has a scripture word, brought to us by Patter. For week ten the word was “grace”. With Holy Week and Good Friday…there are so many verses that came immediately to mind in that regard. But then when I got into the bible and searched for the word grace…the verse from Colossians 4:5-7 jumped out at me. How very appropriate that God would show me this with certain trials in my life. Please take this scripture to heart and remember to “be of good salt”. Before you speak, at home, at work, in a store...remember that the words you say will reflect upon your faith. Do you wear a cross, sport a bumper sticker, wear or display anything that indicates you are a Christ follower? If so, then it becomes even more critical that your words always "be of good salt", and add only good flavor to the gospels of Christ.
As you face trials, tribulations, rejection...remember Jesus words found in Matthew, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Now, let me be clear – I do not see those who bring me trials or those who reject me as enemies. Rather I see them as hurt individuals who could use a whole army of prayer warriors intercessing on their behalf. Speaking to such individuals with a flavor of good salt can be undoubtedly difficult, but it is what God calls us to do. If you are facing adversity in the workplace these Words, which have been my strong hold, may offer a helpful perspective. Colossians 3:22-24 (New International Version) “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

With these words in mind I make it a point to work even harder and be even more conscience of what I utter in the presence of people in and outside the workplace. Remember it is God, and His people that we serve no matter where they are. Today I will leave you with this flavorful verse from Mark 9, verse 50: “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

Subconscience Scrapping

I found myself digi scrapping with products by three fab designers at FaithSisters on Sunday night: The above page uses these elements: Quick page -- Journeys with Jamie, scalloped frame - Gretchen Tripp (Faithfulness Kit), alpha by Jannylynn (New Bag kit). When I saw the quick page format awaiting three photos I immediately started scanning the many photos I took one Sunday as we hunkered down indoors while ice pelted the roads and every object left open to the sky. Then I had to come up with a title. I remembered that day, and how absolutely silent it was outdoors as I carefully trudged through snow drifts to take photos while all sane people remained indoors. Because of the slick conditions, there was not a sound of traffic, and I cannot ever recall having heard such silence before. It was like being in crystal temple, in which God Himself had touched everything and made it a thing of beauty. It was inspiring, and so few of my photos actually give justice to what I experienced (strong winds blowing did not help in producing clear photos that day).
As I pondered a title, the condition of the day spoke to me, and I came up with "Iced Silence". This morning, I looked at my layout again, and read the Irish quote below.“I believe in the sun when it's not shining, I believe in love even when I feel it not, I believe in God even when he is silent.”
I felt like I was smacked between the eyes. The title, the quote....what a message God was sending me! Have you ever been looked down upon for something you stand for? For who you are as a person, as a unique individual or as a person of faith? If you are involved in the secular world you may experience rejection fairly often if you are a person who "wears faith on a sleeve". And yes, even in the world of religion one can experience rejection as people of different religions do not see eye to eye. So often we fail to see that we are all one body in Christ - reading the Bible, yet not truly grasping and living those words. It really is no wonder that the non-believers of this world look at Christians and see hypocrisy in how they treat one another.
Many times rejection is met with silence. Because you may be different people will take a stance of avoidance. Or, will greet you with forced cordiality and then politely go on their way to busy themselves. These types of environments can leave you feeling cold, and sometimes lonely. It is an icey silence, and such coldness does not foster healthy living. But you know what? God does not promise us a life of peace and happiness. We live in a fallen world, and our journey is sure to experience turbulence. However, Deuteronomy 31:8 assures us, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
When you don’t feel love – know that God loves you always. When all you hear is icey silence – know that God is listening. In that silence listen for Him, and He will speak to your heart. As the Psalmist writes in 59:16, know that God is your strength, sing of his love in the morning and He will sustain you through the day; He will forever be your fortress and refuge in times of trouble.
Isn’t it amazing that as we may feel icey silence from others that are a part of our journey, we can feel His warmth and love in that same situation? I urge everyone who experiences rejection to bury yourself in the Word. God will have a message for you. I have done this over the past week and it is revolutionary. I have actually come to greater compassion for those who reject, and empathize with what they must be going through to come to a point to hurt others. It only makes me want to offer intercession with more fervor, and pray all the more for reconciliation, forgiveness and unity so that we may all work together in service to God with love.
When you face adversity it is natural to want to flee from it. Sometimes, this is best, and may be necessary for safety. Rejection can be overcome. It happened to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem, and yet had the ultimate victory over death. Ask God for guidance, listen for His direction. There are times when we need to meet adversity with love and compassion, and who knows…relationships can heal. With God anything is possible.

Coming up next: Be of Good Salt

P.S. Hey - check out my new "What Inspires Me" song video. We sang this on Sunday and it was so spot on for what is happening in my life right now. Music moves. God rocks. Jesus is victorious!

A Little Bit Larger Now!!

Ya know...what a little tease that scanned magazine page was in my last post - my apologies. If you have eyes like me, you probably have a hard time making out the image on the kite layout below, so I decided I would be generous with less than 20/20 vision viewers and show a larger image of my Scrapbooks, Etc. "debut". (LOL)
The photos are rather old, seeing as how our daughter is now 5, and don't forget that half! Very important to a young lady to add on that half year to her age. Just wait until she is mine - she will want to deduct those 6 months! When I took this photo of the butterfly kite we were flying I knew right away I would want to do a tiled look to mimic the stained glass pattern of the kite itself. Rather than split my photo up, I simply cut a frame from black cardstock. It reminds me of the attic windows quilts I used to enjoy making.
Today the talented and inspiring Julie Overby has tagged my blog. I admit, a lot of times I do not have the time to carry through on a tag, and I apologize to anyone whose tag I did not pursue. Julie has made this easy on me, asking only for 7 random facts. That is doable, and here they are!
1. I pray a lot and try to stay focused on Jesus.
2. God has blessed me with a tremendous family.
3. I love circles and curves - absolute elements in my layouts.
4. Julie introduced me to Fiskateer-dom and I am number 2490!
5. I was a writer long before I scrapbooked (especially poetry)
6. Always dark chocolate
7. This is my favorite number!

Without further tag list - 7 bloggers that I hope will share 7 random facts about themselves are:
Kitty (cuz we need more pickle juice!)

FLY'in High - What a SB Etc. Surprise!!

Does this count?? I had a few goals for 2007, one of which was not attained. That goal was to be published in Scrapbooks Etc. magazine. Let's face it - for me, it is a "tough egg to crack." Seldom are there any open calls (or if there are I don't hear about them). Once in a while I will complete what I feel is a pretty awesome page, so I will submit it as a general - never to hear a peep. Oh least I tried! (LOL)
2007 overall was a great publication year for me - God is and continues to be good! Still, in my PC file folder where I place all my published works (purely so I don't make the mistake of resubmitting them) - one sub-folder remains empty. Scrapbooks, Etc. I love the magazine, so of course I am not giving up and made it a goal once again for 2008.
It has been a very busy, busy weekend. I spent 3 hours with Abby at the WalMart on Saturday shopping for household basics, looking for shoes and boots for the kids without success, checking things off a list that had grown in the past two months since we began writing it out. I did not plan to spend my entire Sat. morn shopping. Jesse figured we stopped at a scrapbook store for sure -once Abby mentioned she had new stickers. But NOPE! Had to peek in the craft department hoping to find a new kid project deal (and yes, no SB deals that interested me either). We got home, made us some lunch, finished a mock up of a prayer journal due for display at church today (for a class I am teaching there soon), and finally got back to working on taxes at 4 pm. Five hours later I had everything completed, but for the data entry part into an Excel spread sheet.
This means my Sunday, which I try very hard to keep as a day of rest and fun, was spent almost entirely doing laundry. I was gone last Saturday for Fiskars demonstrator laundry was REALLY behind. Finally today, after supper, I was able to RELAX and peruse the April issue of Scrapbooks, Etc., which I believe arrived a week ago. Typically I browse the table of contents and go right to the topic that interests me most. But tonight I just started at the beginning. Nonchalantly turning pages, and sipping my re-warmed coffee that I never had time to finish on Sunday morning. I yelled "WOW!!!!" and my family just looked at me blankly. Then I pointed to the magazine and a little thumbnail of a layout - it was MINE!! Woo hoo! I was stoked! Granted, this may not count as an official pub... it is simply shared in the "from the web gallery" portion of the feedback column - but none the less - I have a layout, be it ever so small, in Scrapbooks, Etc.
So hey, should my 2008 goal not come to pass officially - I am ok with that. I will take whatever the Lord wishes to give me, and accept it with gratitude and praise. I know that all things, all desires, all wants - come in His perfect timing, and He also knows what is best for me.
All I know is that on this Sunday, as I had fun giving Abby her bath, as Kyle and I had some great laughs as I cut his hair (you had to be here to understand), and as the four of us snuggled on the couch to watch a re-run episode of Mr. Ed (d0 any of you actually remember the talking horse show from the 60's-70's?) before the kid's bedtime, is that God has truly filled my life with blessings. Each and every day I am becoming more aware of His blessings, whether it be a small thumbnail on page 10, or the huge feeling of love and togetherness that fills my heart as I journey with my family along that pathway to heaven.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

An Artist's Prayer

It's been a busy week -trying to get everything ready for the accountant. Tax time...I never look forward to this time of year because it takes me away from creating. After each tax season I vow to be more organized and log receipts throughout the year, but that never happens guessed it - I just can't pull myself away from the creative process. I am such a left brainer...well, I am organized in many other areas...guess it is just numbers/accounting - that type of thing. So although the right side of my brain functions fine, I guess I am just happiest using my left brain! (LOL)
I want to share the inside of my leather journal, as promised in my last post. I simply covered the chipboard jacket with scraps of Fancy Pants papers I already had. I also meditated upon God's word and the gifts He has given me. I have been reading the book of Mark for my Wednesday night women's bible study. What I see happening throughout, as Jesus gets nearer to the cross, is pride. Pride in the chosen disciples as they argue who will be seated at Jesus' right hand. Pride in the pharisees as they manipulate the Law for their own purpose. Pride occurs time and time again. It seems like the characters in the Bible have blindfolds on, and cannot see Jesus for who he is. In contrast, we have the blind man, healed by the Messiah, who recognized Jesus as he walked near him. This man did not need vision to know who Jesus really was, and he had complete trust and faith in his power. The passages in Mark have caused me to take a look at my inner-self. I fear pride. I fear it will cause me to not give glory to God in all things. I fear it will trip me up as I journey here on earth with hopes to finish the race in the victory of the eternal kingdom. As I experience modest success with my scrapbooking endeavors, I want to be certain that I give God the glory in every aspect. I have more thoughts on this, but I know I would ramble until this entry became much too long. Instead, I just want to share a prayer I wrote. I printed it on cardstock adhered to the backside of my chipboard cover. Each time I make an entry in my journal for a layout sketch, idea note or written journaling - I will see this prayer. I will read it and it will remind me from whom the creative mojo comes - and to Him shall be the glory for any success I may have.

“For you created my inmost being...” Psalm 139:13a

An Artist’s Prayer
God the creator of all things,
Who designed all things,
Whose word is written for my heart...
May I always acknowledge
Your creation, and the creativity
in me that comes from You.
May I always see Your design,
and give glory to the designs that
come forth from me because of You.
May Your word speak to my heart
so that I may write words that
bear fruit and give testimony
to all that You have done for me.
May You continue to inspire me,
and I pray that I remain humble as
you use me for Your divine purpose.

If you are a fellow believer and are experiencing success in your life, I pray that you will also recognize from Whom your blessings come. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that God is to be praised beyond all others, and most of all, instead of self. Humility is a difficult robe to wear when one experiences success, but in my desire to be more like Him, and I pray that pride never causes me to fall.

Face Lifts for Ordinary Things

I had wanted to share a leather journal case with you - been hankering to do so for the past several days. This was a WOW discovery in a bag of old portfolio cases, binders and file folders my mother had sent home with me one day. Most of the items were made of paper product or fake leather, but not this baby. One deep inhale and I could smell the leather! (Took me back to days in the saddle riding through the countryside as one with Dolly, my Arab/Quarterhorse as a child!) I opened it up to see three rings that held ruled notepaper sandwiched by chipboard. Holders for several pens, business card pocket, and a zippered compartment for essentials, like lipstick. I love to journal - so this was a treasure.
I inspected the inside to see rolled leather edges and a tag that read hand-made leather - just a beautiful piece of workmanship all around. I was in love. My father-in-law, horseman that he is, had the perfect leather conditioner and helped me give it a good rub down and brighten it's worn appearance. I contemplated how I could personalize the leather case to make it more me, and found some rub-ons by Fancy Pants that blended wonderfully with the buttery leather color. I knew that PaperCrafts had a call for creative use of rub-ons, so even though I thought it was rather simple I submitted it. I never figured they would actually want to publish it, but they do! I have grown to love this leather journal case in the short time it has been with me, so it is with a bit of sadness that I pack it off for the upcoming October issue. I am still surprised Paper Crafts wants it, and that just goes to show that you never know what editors are looking for. So SUBMIT everything, even when you don't think it is good enough.

I am in the process of covering my chipboard, so I will share that with you when I get it done, hopefully by Friday.

Another happy surprise today was having a layout I had created for Hall of Fame 2006 picked up by Scrapbooking and Beyond today. I gathered from a recent Memory Makers call that magazines are probably in the throes of filling fall issues. On another whim, I sent some never before shared layouts off with fall themes. One to this to another. I figured I would give a few days and then resend to another. I never really expected a request in less than 24 hours, but have to say - the layout requested has remained one of my very favorites. It was my journaling piece for the HOF contest, and will be published this fall when the very journaling, in which I talk about a photo giving me a glimpse into the future, will become reality as Abby begins kindergarten this fall. I am very excited to have this particular layout picked up for publication, and it will be my first time published in Scrapbooking and Beyond.

God has been very good to me these past several days, with Memory Makers requesting three layouts for the upcoming Scrapbooking Ideal Gallery annual to be released in October. This has become an annual that I love to submit for, and the first time I have had multiple pages picked up for it. What a blessing!!

I continue to be amazed at how God uses me - He has given me a gift that allows me to share my story with you, and the readers of magazines when I have projects published. Through my stories I hope that each will show a reflection of who I am, who my family is, and how important our faith is in daily living. I pray my work continues to inspire, and encourages you to try something new, whether it be creatively or personally. May your journey be filled with Spirit and mojo!