Friday, February 5, 2016

A New Someone to Love

 Valentine's Day is coming! Valentine's Day is coming! One week from Sunday. ONE WEEK!

Okay, we're a little excited about February 14th this year. We'll be adding this sweet little lamb to our family that day.

Aww, puppies!

We still don't know her name, and we have about a hundred things to do before she comes home, but we know one thing...she will be loved!

{Today's Brew: stamps from MFT, Memories ink, Lawn Fawn stitched frame die, PTI card stock, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors}

Blessings on your weekend, cafe friends!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fear Not, Little Flock

I'm trying something a little different today. I'm walking you through my bible journaling process, showing you every step through photographs while I illustrate my mental process through words and scripture.

I'm currently in a bible study with some women at my church, and this one has been a struggle for me right out of the gate. The author and blogger is very popular, and her book was turned into a bible study by Lifeway. I read the book. It was okay, kinda like a gimmick that someone uses to have material to blog about (think "Julie and Julia"). But as far as bible study goes, it leaves a lot to be desired in the sound theology department.

We are encouraged to look at all the areas of excess in our lives, to examine our "first world problems" in light of real third world problems. And I get it. Really, I do. But as the weeks have progressed, I've noticed that this study (which leans heavily on social justice with a big absence of grace) has the women in my group becoming increasingly worried and fretful and anxious.

Philippians 4:6 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Let's just say that there's no peace of Christ in this all.

The author pits the haves against the have nots, with some vague thought that if we give everything we own away (The Rich Young Ruler), we are being more like Jesus. But wait, I'm confused. Jesus said that salvation came to Zaccheus' house, and he only gave away half his possessions (this story isn't mentioned in the study...huh). Will half earn me a spot in heaven? Two-thirds? One hundred percent?

The author confesses that she worries about her stuff. She worries about her children's stuff. She worries about her closets and pantries and ipads. And she is torn, because she wants to impress you (her words), but how can she do it without her stuff?
Worry. Worry. Worry. I think that she really believes if she worries about these things, she has a heart like Jesus. And my real problem is that I do not know where her heart is.

But here's what I do know.

The study brought up the words of Jesus "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also....You cannot serve both God and Money."

Worry about that, people!

And there, it stopped.

But if you just read the next verses, it put it all into context!

Jesus tells us to NOT worry about our clothes, our food, our possessions. Yes, you can think about them. And yes, you should think about sharing what you have with others. But don't worry about them and make them your all consuming thought every day. The Father knows that you need them. He will provide.

Do not worry about tomorrow.

And here's why.

Worry is the thief of joy.

Let me say that again.

Worry is the thief of joy.

And who is the thief?

Jesus tells us in John 10:10: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Here's what I know about worry. Worry is a slippery slope that leads to depression. And depression is where the Devil wants to keep me, in a place where I do not believe in God's promises, where I miss out on the grace.

Can I borrow a few words from Oprah Winfrey?

"I been down that road, Honey Child!"

(Ha ha ha! Every time she says that on the Weight Watchers commercial, I literally laugh out loud.)

I heard someone once describe worry as putting a loaf of bread into the oven to bake. But instead of leaving it alone, worry opens the door every few minutes to check the bread. But every time I open the door in worry, I let out the heat that bakes the bread. And in my constant worry, that bread never gets a chance to bake in the oven!

And here's what Jesus says about worry in Luke:

"Fear not, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

Oh how I love those words!

I love it that Jesus calls us the sheep of his flock. I love it that I have a Father in heaven who wants to give me the kingdom! I love it that it pleases my Father to give every good and perfect gift from above. What on earth could be better than that?

My hope and prayer is that the women in this study come away with more than clean closets and a guilty conscience. Let's face it. What good will it be for a man if he can Konmari all his closets, yet forfeits his soul?

Because in the end, it's not about our closets, or our pantries, or our ipads. 

It's about the heart.

I will probably never have clean closets or pantries or checking accounts. But what I really desire above all is to have a clean heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Give me pure motives. Let me love on your people in response to your great love for me. And let all praise and honor and glory be yours, Father!

And this is for you, Vikki H! You wanted to know what the other side of the bible pages look like. Yes, they do bleed through. But I'm not going to worry about it! (Remember, worry is the thief of joy!) If I ever wanted to journal on the other side, I can use a paper overlay or I can cover that side in gesso. No worries!

Fear not, little flock! The Lamb sits on the throne!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting Rooted in 2016

Last month, I mentioned here that my word to meditate on and ponder in 2016 is "rooted".  For this wandering gypsy, "rooted" is a lovely word.

I've been actively pursuing ways to become more rooted this year.

I've been in bible study and fellowship with our new church family. Here are some of my sweet sisters in Christ at my bible journaling workshop:

We had a great time getting inky and laughing together!

I've also begun working as a preschool teacher again! God put this on my heart last year, and in one of His mysterious ways, he placed me in bible study with the director of the preschool (a wonderful woman of faith who can pray like nobody's business!). One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was the substitute teacher's aide "on-call".  It has been a joy to interact with little ones again.

Last weekend, we made the decision to add a new member to our family. We realized that to feel truly rooted, we needed a dog. We met this sweet little girl, and she instantly wiggled her way into our hearts.

That face! I just want to kiss it all day long!

The new puppy will come home on Valentine's Day. How perfect is that?

We don't have a name for her yet, as nobody can decide. Sophie? Daisy? Winter? Olive? Annabelle? Pearl? Please, help us name this puppy!

I made a card today that pretty much sums up my feelings on this matter.

{Today's Brew: Birdie Brown's You Have My Heart stamp set (MFT), MFT stencil and scallop edge die, stitched frame die (lawn fawn), Simple Stories Homespun papers, COPIC markers, kraft card stock }

Puppies are just good old fashioned heart medicine. We cannot wait to bring this little golden girl home. It's been a LONG time since we've had a puppy in the house. Any and all dog training tips are appreciated and welcomed!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Bushel and a Peck

" I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."

My parents used to sing this song to us. I think it was a Doris Day tune (and Mom always jokingly referred to Doris as my Dad's girlfriend...ha ha!).

I don't know which one I loved more in this Birdie Brown stamp set...the sentiment or this adorable mouse. I paired it with a brick stencil from My Favorite Things.

{Today's Brew: Birdie Brown Harvest Mouse (MFT), brick stencil (MFT), Kraft card stock (PTI), Simple Stories We Are Family papers, stitched frame die (lawn fawn), Memories ink, COPIC markers}

It's a cold rainy day here...a good day for groundhogs like Phil to see no shadows, go back to bed, and sleep until an early spring. I think I'll brew a vanilla latte and add a sprinkling of cinnamon. Mmm. Enjoy, cafe friends!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New for Ewe

I can't tell you why I love sheep. I just do. I have a hard time passing up a sweet little lamb, and that's why I have so many of them scattered about my home. I call them my flock. :)

So when this new Birdie Brown stamp set was released at My Favorite Things last month, I could not resist!

In our town of Batavia, Illinois, you will see windmills everywhere. I think this windmill reminds me of the one that's featured at the Fabyan Forest Preserve here in town.

Hello, Sam!

{Today's Brew: Ewe Are The Best stamp set (MFT), card stock (PTI), Lawn Fawn stitched frame die, COPIC markers}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Proclaim! (Bible Journaling With Paper Smooches)

Yesterday, I did a little bible journaling from my sermon notes on Sunday. Our church had a mission and ministry launch that day for 2016, and it seemed very appropriate that the sermon was from Luke 4, where Jesus announced and started his ministry.

Proclaim, proclaim, proclaim. The word appears three times in the scripture that Jesus reads in the temple from the scroll of Isaiah.

Pastor said something that really stuck with me. He said (and he may have been quoting from someone else here) "The church is not a purveyor of religious goods and services. The church is meant to go and proclaim the good news!"

From my notes:

God assigns each believer a powerful platform to proclaim the truth. (our homes, our jobs, our communities)

God's people proclaim the truth triumphantly!

It's extremely important how you live your life for the Lord.

Do I have a heart for the poor, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed? God does! We must have a heart for them to carry on what Jesus started until he comes again.

Here are some of the products I used for this page. Wow, this one came together so easily. Three squirts of Distress Stain, some stamping, a little marker, and done. Alphadots from Paper Smooches is one of my all time favorite alphabet stamps. So easy to use, and perfectly imperfect every time.

Thanks for visiting the cafe today! I hope to make quite a few cards at this weekend's crafting event, so hopefully I will have more to show you next week.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What I've Been Prepping For This Week

Hello cafe friends! If some of you were wondering "Hey, where's my barrista? My coffee is getting cold!", well, fear not! I'm here! I've been a little preoccupied this week as I prepare for an event at our church this weekend.

Ladies Crafting Day is this Saturday, and I volunteered to give a demonstration on incorporating scripture into artwork and paper crafting.

I've been gathering together some articles and periodicals on bible journaling.

I'm bringing along some of my favorite books for inspiration.

I will have my journaling bible, along with a few of my art journals.

I also volunteered to put together a Make and Take for the ladies in attendance. I figured that we could make book marks that can be used in our bibles, but my plan is to show how these items can also be added to the pages with some washi tape.

{Today's Brew: Beautiful Butteflies (PTI), Beautiful Blessings (PTI), Hero Arts inks, Distress Spray, Glimmer Mist, Mister Huey Calico spray, corner rounder punch, hole punch, SU ribbon}

I'm so excited to have the chance to spend a full day crafting with other ladies! This is something that I really miss.

Now my next dilemma: how do I pack the entire contents of my craft room to take along with me? :)

Blessings, cafe friends!