Thursday, January 17, 2019

Take Three Thursday | Food Photos

Joining in with Mary-Lou's Take Three Thursday, a meme designed to help us notice more of the ordinary of our lives.

This week as I uploaded photos from my cell phone, I noticed I haven't taken many photos these first few weeks of 2019. However, I obviously can't resist snapping great food photos!

We started the year with Robbie's "Banff French Toast" and a side of sausage (for him) or bacon (for me).

As I was headed into the library last week, I took a quick peek at the cafe's cookies. They were showing their Cowboys spirit! 

This past weekend, Robbie tried a new breakfast recipe - hash brown egg pizza. It was yummy!

What foods have you noticed and/or enjoyed lately?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Review | The Call

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God's Purpose For Your Life by Os Guiness is divided into 30 chapters designed as daily meditations to help us discern God's purpose for our life.

The author distinguishes between our primary calling as followers of Christ (we are all called to full-time Christian service by Him, to Him and for Him) and our secondary calling (based on our individual giftings and situations). He states that "God normally calls us along the line of our giftedness, but the purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness" and reminds us that "the heart of the life of faith in answer to the call of God is a call to a relationship, and a relationship of love."

This book, which I received free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review, is well-written with lots of practical and historical examples as well as scripture references. The author is obviously well-read and intellectual; so, at times it is slow and difficult to read due to the numerous quotes and theological wording (as you can see in the quote below).

Throughout much of Christian history, the impulse toward reformation has been carried by the voluntary principle and the voluntary movement - whether earlier Catholic movements such as the Benedictine and Franciscan orders or more recent Protestant movements such as missionary societies and some parachurch organizations. These special kinds of reforming voluntary associations were the ecclesiola in ecclesia ("the little church in the large church").

However, I enjoyed the reminder and in-depth look at the invitation of Jesus that is both a call and a charge: "Follow Me."

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Take Three Thursday | A Year of SIGNIFICANCE Class Photos

Joining in with Mary-Lou's Take Three Thursday, a meme designed to help us notice more of the ordinary of our lives.

This week I'm sharing three photos from my first illustrated Bible journaling classes of the year. In order to begin the year focused on my word, SIGNIFICANCE, I planned these classes around that theme and created a kit of FUN supplies for each participant.

One synonym of SIGNIFICANCE is importance, so we focused our study time on the commandments that Jesus said were the most important - love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

The class techniques included scraping acrylic paint using a paint card (or old hotel key or gift card) to create a background, and everyone had a great time trying different color combinations.

As I strive to notice more of the ordinary in my life this year, I'm remembering what a vital part teaching and sharing God's Word is for me as I work toward living a life of SIGNFICIANCE. The joy of meeting with like-minded women and the FUN of using our creativity as we dive into the Word definitely make a difference in my everyday life.

What are you noticing this week?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Upcoming Class | Pray Without Ceasing (Allen, Texas)

One of my focuses this year as I strive to make a difference in my life and in the world around me is to spend more time in prayer! I am not one of those people that everyone calls a prayer warrior or one who travails in prayer. I like to think of myself as an efficient prayer who also talks to the Lord throughout the day. However, I don't take prayer lightly as it is such an important part of our walk with the Lord and our growth as followers of Christ.

Prayer is a powerful way to grow in our relationship with the Lord, and I'm excited to announce next month's Bible journaling class will be all about prayer!

Pray Without Ceasing
Bible Journaling Class with Melissa Gross
Friday or Saturday (February 1 or 2, 2019)

Join me in February as we look at what the Bible says about prayer. We'll discuss how prayer can make a difference in our lives, in the lives of those around us, and throughout the world!

This brand new 3-hour class will include a variety of illustrated Bible journaling techniques. You will also receive a kit of fun Bible journaling supplies to use creatively in your Bible or journal.

Please note: If you receive a notification that the class is sold out & would like to be added to the waiting list, please email me. If you are registered and unable to attend, please let me know before January 28 for a full refund or transfer of fees to a future class. Cancellations after January 27 are nonrefundable; however, I will be happy to mail you the class kit.

Additional details for classes at my home:
*Be sure to bring your Bible (or a journal) to work in, along with your favorite journaling pen.
*I will have supplies available for you to use in your journaling, but you are welcome to bring along some of your favorite supplies as well. (Please note that space will be limited as we all gather around one large table.)
*There will be some yummy snacks and bottled water for us to enjoy throughout the day. If a hot coffee or ice cold soda enhances your Bible journaling time, please feel free to bring that along with you.
*Space is limited for each class (it's the same on both days), so don't wait too long to register! Your spot is reserved once payment is received. Within 48 hours of payment, you will receive a confirmation email with my address and directions

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunday Musings | Are You A Mary or A Martha?

We first meet Mary and Martha in Luke chapter 10, a story many are familiar with as we see Martha working hard to serve Jesus and the disciples while her sister Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. Martha becomes frustrated and actually complains to Him; however, He gently reminds her that Mary has chosen what is best and that it will not be taken from her.

As I was reviewing and re-studying these scriptures for an illustrated Bible journaling class last year, I re-read a couple of books that shed more light on Mary and Martha and the world they lived in.


Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver is a wonderfully written book with lots of personal anecdotes and other stories to illustrate the lessons we can learn from Mary and Martha as we seek "a joyful life of intimacy with Him that flows naturally into loving service." The author discusses all three instances where Mary and Martha are mentioned in the Bible (Luke 10, John 11 & John 12) and includes a study guide at the end that really helps us apply the lessons.

Martha: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor is a fictionalized account of Martha's life that intertwines various stories from the gospels. This well-researched novel gives a glimpse into the lifestyles and current events happening during the time of Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. It's a great thought-provoking read.

If you're not familiar with the stories of Mary and Martha, I highly recommend finding them in scripture, then checking out one or both of these books to dive deeper into the lessons we learn from their lives.

If you are familiar with the story, how do see yourself - are you a Mary or a Martha?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Handmade Canvas Mini-Journal

I've had a strip of canvas in my paper scraps bin for quite a while; so, I was happy to watch a canvas-covered mini-album tutorial during The Life Book Creativity and Well-Being Summit a few months ago.

I folded the canvas in half to create the journal cover and chose other papers in various sizes from my scrap bin to create the album pages. 

To pull everything together, I added pink, yellow and brown watercolor to the individual papers.

I outlined each page with the brown while simply creating different patterns with the pink and yellow on each one.

I didn't follow the tutorial exactly, which created beautiful watercolor backgrounds instead of the playful squiggles and circles I added.

I pulled some embellishments from my scrapbooking and Bible journaling stash to add to some of the pages.

This was a FUN way to use up some scraps and simply enjoy playing with watercolors.

I don't have a specific plan for this album yet - I think it would be great for recording favorite scriptures or prayers. It would also be easy to take on a trip to use to practice lettering or record adventures.

For now, it makes me happy just seeing these happy colors mixed in with my stash of journals ready to use! Do you have a stash of journals? Are any of them handmade?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Take Three Thursday | FUN iPhone Photos

Joining in with Mary-Lou's Take Three Thursday, a meme designed to help us notice more of the ordinary of our lives.

This week I'm noticing the FUN random photos on my iPhone as I work on uploading and organizing my digital photos.

When I scheduled my first illustrated Bible journaling class after a three-month hiatus, Robbie gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to display on the snack table. (Yes, he still showers me with flowers, even after seventeen years of marriage!)

Being married to a collector means there might be banana stickers hanging on the edge of the cabinet. This batch is waiting to be added to an album with other FUN stickers! (Of course, I make sure to check for new stickers when I'm doing the grocery shopping.)

Occasionally Robbie finds a new treasure for his collectible toy collection that needs a little TLC; so, I've been known to hand wash and hang to dry all sorts of outfits. (Unfortunately, this suit had faded unevenly … but at least we know it's clean now!)

What are you noticing this week?