Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Musings - Not Crushed

It's been a long three weeks since I posted here on my blog: weeks that I've spent struggling emotionally, physically, and spiritually, just focusing on one day at a time. When my Mama was re-admitted to the hospital several weeks ago, my emotions spiraled from despair to anger to deep sadness at the way mental illness has affected my family over the years. Dealing with the family dynamics while working to cancel my upcoming classes (contacting participants, issuing refunds, notifying event coordinators, finding a replacement teacher, etc) has left me emotionally and physically exhausted.

Unfortunately, it's during times like these that I feel like the Lord is so very far away. In my mind, of course, I know that He never leaves me, but I begin to question my worth, my calling, and my ability to encourage others. I just feel so beat down!

Yet, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 reminds me that because of God's power, I may be "hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed...struck down, but not destroyed."

So, I've stepped back from much of the busyness right now, taking time to process all these emotions and to rest physically and to allow the Lord to fill me with His peace.

(Please accept my apologies for not getting around to comment on your blogs. I'll be back soon! In the meantime, if I've missed something you know I'll want to read, please email me or leave a comment below.)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sing Praises

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing today, I pray you'll find time to sing praise to the Lord!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Couple of Layouts

Spent a little time scrapbooking yesterday and completed two layouts. This first one showcases photos from my January Bible journaling classes. I used a sketch from an old BPC class as a starting point and really enjoyed adding the strips of journaling.

I watched another of Shimelle's videos from The 20 Project class as INSPIRATION for this next layout showcasing a favorite photo from January.

I have a few bits & pieces to put in a pocket page to finish up January, then I'll start on our February photos. How are you coming on your 2018 scrapbooking?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Musings - The Lord Will Go Before You

When the prophetess Deborah reminded Barak that the Lord had commanded him to deploy troops against the oppressors of Israel in Judges chapter four, Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!"

Deborah agreed to go with him, although she pointed out that Barak would receive no glory because of his unwillingness to go along. At the appointed time, she said to Barak, "Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?"

Just as the Lord went out before the Israelites to pave the way for victory, He will go out before us as we follow where He leads.

Will we be like Barak when the Lord calls? Insisting that the someone else go along and, therefore, opening the way for someone else to fulfill God's purpose? Or will we walk boldly into our calling knowing that the Lord has gone before us?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quick Thank You Cards

I recently needed a couple of thank you cards and decided to use the items that were on my craft table at the time (hymnal pages, papers & stickers from the Illustrated Faith Bright and Bold collection, and a few miscellaneous bits & pieces). I cut a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half to create two card bases, and these cards came together very quickly.

Sometimes I avoid making cards because I think it will take more time than I have, but this was a good reminder that I can grab a few coordinating pieces and put a card together quickly!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Using Embossing Folders for Illustrated Bible Journaling

Embossing folders are a great way to add design and texture to illustrated Bible journaling pages. By simply placing the open folder underneath the Bible page and rubbing over the page with the side of a colored pencil lead, you can create a background for additional journaling and illustrations (as in my example HERE).

These folders can also be used to add color and design within a shape that's already been traced onto the Bible page. On the example below, I used one folder for a very light gridded background, then another one inside the hearts.

The intensity of the color for the background or within the shape is determined by the color of the pencil being used as well as the pressure applied while going over the folder.

This technique works especially well on Bible pages because the paper in most Bibles is very thin. These designs can be combined with lots of other products and techniques to create unique illustrations of the lessons we learn in our study of the Word.

This quick and simple way to add color and design to any page is just one more way to use that collection of embossing folders in your paper crafting stash. Have you tried this technique?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Oh Those Pulitzers

Slowly but surely I'm working my way toward completing my goal of reading all the Fiction Pulitzer Prize Winners!

The 2011 winner, A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, was, quite honestly, confusing and hard to follow. There are lots of characters and the story moves back and forth through time, across many years, and it's often difficult to determine who a particular chapter is about until several pages in. In fact, there are some characters who appear once and don't add anything to or are barely related to the original story. Basically, the story begins with Sasha, who is on a date and steals a ladies wallet while she's in the bathroom. Throughout the book, we learn snippets of her story (as a teenager she spent time broke wandering around Milan, she was a chronic thief, etc). Through one chapter that is written completely as a PowerPoint presentation, we learn that she eventually married and had kids. I didn't enjoy the story, the format or the characters, so I obviously don't recommend this book.

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (the 2003 winner) from the library. This is an extremely well-written story with lots of details, flashbacks, and descriptions that are easy to follow .... despite the unique topic. The book is written from the perspective of Cal, a 41-year-old male living in Germany. Cal is a hermaphrodite - someone who has both male and female organs. I was not familiar with this term before reading this book, so I learned something new.

When Cal was born, the doctor announced that his parents had a girl, and he was raised as Callie until it was discovered that "she" had male organs at the age of 14. In a way, this was a relief because Callie had unusual feelings for other girls and didn't understand what was happening to her body. However, at this point, well into the book, she runs away from a hotel in New York (after reading the doctor's report) and spends several months in California. Before this, the story, while somewhat eccentric, was believable as Cal reported on his life and middle-class upbringing in Detroit; while this discovery was obviously life-changing, it did not seem to suit Callie's personality to up and run away across the country.

There is a lot of background information in the book about how the mutation that caused this condition came about - basically through lots of inbreeding from the Greek island where his grandparents grew up. In fact, his grandparents were brother and sister who "married" on the boat to America and kept their secret for many years. Obviously with all the explanations, there are some explicit scenes in this book, yet they are done in a way that doesn't distract from the story. Honestly, this was an interesting read if not necessarily something that I would have chosen or plan to read again.