Saturday, March 29, 2008
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 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 sucks...so 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: http://www.active.com/donate/tntgla/give2thebucket 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 http://www.active.com/donate/tntgla/give2thebucket 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
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
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 FaithSisters.com
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
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.”
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.
You can share links to your layouts in both forums and double chance of winning!
Tristan’s Room Digital Kit by Kara Jones
Stitching, ric rac and rusty staple by Connie Prince, Digi Diva Designs
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."
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!
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 ado...my tag list - 7 bloggers that I hope will share 7 random facts about themselves are:
Kitty (cuz we need more pickle juice!)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
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 because...you 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.
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 magazine...one 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!