Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Winner, a Sneak Peak, and a Little Art Journaling

A week ago, in response to having won a stencil in a Stencil Girl giveaway, I decided to pass on the fun and do a giveaway from my Etsy shop. The winner of a vintage paper pack for making art is:
Brenda F. !
Brenda, please send me an email at and I will email you back with the information I need to personalize your goodies! 

Thank you to everyone who left comments and participated in the giveaway!

For quite a while I have had an idea for a class that combines exploring faith, identity and creativity ~ "Be Who You Are". It has been a bit of a struggle pulling all of my thoughts together into something cohesive and translatable to other people. So, I have pulled together a group of 6-7 ladies from my church and we are doing a trial run to enable me to get my thoughts and ideas out of my head and made into flesh, so to speak. We begin this Monday and will meet together for five weeks. At the end of this time I hope to have gained a better understanding of how all of my ideas and the paths God has led me on can fit together in a class format. Then, I hope to be able to put it together and offer an online class as well as develop it more for future use at my church. Below is a little sneak peak at the notebook I have been using as I have studied Scripture and tried to compile my thoughts and my art ideas.

Some recent art journaling ...mainly for The Documented Life project.

Week 30 challenge: do a smash book style page using receipts, etc.
I am off to help my in-laws move. We have Vacation Bible School this week. Looking forward to hanging out with the 4-6 year olds! It's my favorite age group and I'm excited that my little neighbor girls who are 5 year old twins will be joining me this week! I'll try to post some progress from the class next weekend.

May you enjoy your week and make white space for being creative and filling your soul!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July Art Journaling

In July I have been playing catch-up in my Documented Life Project journal.

Week 19 challenge: A random act of kindness

Once my June pages were finished my DLP journal could hold no more! With July's pages I began a DLP volume 2 journal for the second half of the year.

And in my everyday art journal this month:

Stencil Girl Products hosted a blog hop last week for the Documented Life Project and I won one of their stencils! It was fun opening the mail yesterday to see which stencil was inside. So, today, I'd like to share that anticipation and excitement with one of my blog followers. Simply leave a comment on this blog post by next Friday (7.26.14) and then on Saturday 7.27 I will draw a name from the comments and that person will receive a lovely package of vintage papers and ephemera. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


For the past 5 months I have been immersed in studying and reading about Sabbath. I have been a part of a team who studied Sabbath in preparation of developing a theology of Sabbath for our church community.

We (our church congregation) spent six weeks in May and June on a theological journey through the Bible, and a little history, and discovered what it means to keep a Sabbath Day according to God's design. Sabbath is not something we hear a lot about in the Christian community. It has mainly been relegated to denominations such as Seventh Day Adventists or Seventh Day Baptists, or as a Jewish tradition. What we learned in our journey is that Sabbath is a practice modeled by God in the recording of Creation in Genesis 2:1-3. As beings created in His image, God's people model God. Sabbath is a gift from God where we can pause from work and find rest in Him. The other important thing we came away with from our time of study is that we cannot regulate Sabbath observance and practices for others, thus making it legalistic. Jesus had much to say about man regulating and legalizing practices of the heart in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). Sabbath practices will look different for each of us. For example, yard work would be tiresome and dreadful work for me, but to my husband it is recreation and relaxation, and even a way in which he spends time connecting with God. Sabbath observance may happen on different days. Being in full-time ministry and working half the day on Sundays, I have practiced Sabbath on Friday for years. In response to our study, our congregation is going to stop scheduling meetings and classes after church on Sundays to free people up to practice Sabbath and spend time with their families.

For me, the thing that has spoken to my heart the most is that of leaning into God to create a rhythm of Sabbath throughout the week. The idea of taking mini Sabbaths each day with an extended Sabbath day once a week fits well with my practice over the years of keeping white space in my calendar. I really connect with the idea of receiving God's gift of Sabbath and pausing my day and my week to connect more with Him and to accept His gifts of rest, love, enjoyment, and refreshment.

We have a practice of ending each series with a Sunday devoted to celebrating what God has done in that series. I led our service that morning and below have included my call to worship that morning.

"Today is a day of celebration.
Over the past 6 weeks we have slowly unwrapped a gift –
A gift that helps us pause and take in the glory and the grace of God.
We are busy people.
We live in a culture that values busy-ness.
There are always things to get done – in our jobs, in our homes, our lists at times seem never ending.
But today is a day that has been set apart by God where we can pause-
We break the rhythm of everyday life.
Let’s practice that right now-
Everyone sit still for a moment, breathe in deeply. Let it out slowly.
We have paused the week,
we have stopped the hurry and the running around, the focus on worries,
The busyness of everyday life.
This morning we have gathered together,
In the tradition of our people,
And we enter into the rhythm God has for us, His people.
We breathe is His love.
We come together to celebrate who God is
And to celebrate who we are in Him.
We come together to worship Him.
We come together to enter into His rhythm.
We offer up to him all that we are.
We offer up to him the heavy loads of busyness, responsibilities, trials and suffering, the hassles of everyday life.
And today we receive from Him the gift-
 to pause, to breathe, to celebrate, and to remember who God is and who we are.
Sabbath is a gift from God and today we celebrate what we have heard through this series on Sabbath."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Around Here Recently

I have been absent from this little blog for too long - almost a month.I have so many things rolling around in my head that it's hard to focus. You see, this little blog has become one of my tools for getting out the many thoughts and ideas that float around in my head, my heart, and my soul. In combination with journaling prayer and art journaling, this little blog helps me collect those thoughts and put flesh to them, make them concrete. So now, after an absence that was much too long, I find myself overwhelmed by the many things that are going on inside of me. I think that is what has kept me from writing on this little blog over the past week - I couldn't narrow down my thoughts in a cohesive enough manner to write one single blog post. Last week I received an email note via Facebook from a follower of this little blog. (Thank you Pamm.) She simply asked if I was okay and that she missed my blog posts. I appreciated that note of encouragement.

So, in an attempt to collect my thoughts and get re-connected with this little blog and all of you, here is a little collection of what has gone on around here recently.

1. The last week in June our first group of kids went up to Youth Haven Ranch in Jackson, MI for summer camp. Youth Haven is a wonderful Christian ministry to disadvantaged children. Their staff is incredible at showing the kids God's love and making sure they have a great time at camp. It is a tradition that when Toledo kids are there for the week, we go up on Thursday night and serve ice cream sundaes to the staff and kids - 120 of them! We stay overnight, join them at chapel and then drive the kids back to Toledo on Friday afternoon. I love this drive home. I love to hear about what the kids learned about God during the week and about their favorite experiences at camp.

2. We were blessed the weekend after the kids went to camp with a visit from some of the camp staff. My ministry partner, Rox, and I and our husbands shared dinner with the team and hung out with them Saturday night. Then after church on Sunday we held a lunch for them and all of our kids who attend camp, plus all the volunteer drivers. Our kids had a blast having the Youth Haven team at church! I loved it too, but was exhausted! The team ranges in age from 19 to 24 and they have much more energy then I do!

3.The next week my daughter flew in on Wednesday night and we traveled to my sister's house for my nephew's wedding on July 4th. It was a great weekend with family. It was also a lot of work as they held the wedding and reception in my sister's backyard. It was a perfect setting for a wedding and the weather cooperated wonderfully!

After the weekend I had to take my daughter back to the airport in Detroit. I have been putting her on planes since she was about 8 when her dad moved to Florida. It isn't any easier now that she is 34. I miss having her live close to me.

4. The next weekend was an 80th birthday celebration for my father-in-law at our local AAA baseball team's stadium ~ the Mud Hens. My father-in-law loves baseball so whole family gathered there for dinner and the ball game. Then the next day there was a bridal shower for my sister-in-law. Good times with family! Plus I had to squeeze in a fishing rodeo the church sponsors with the City of Toledo. Busy weekend!

So, that has been my life recently. A lot of activity and celebrations with family in addition to the everyday goings-on in work, ministry and life. My next post will catch up on art and my creative life.

How has your summer been filled so far?