Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Do you need to do it all?

sparkler image

So are you ready?  Are you ready to say goodbye to all that happened in 2014 and move on to an all new you in 2015?  Don't we wish?!
 It never really happens like that.  We sometimes imagine ourselves as this amazing crafter with delicious food and intelligent and polite children.  Think about it.  Don't you sometimes put these pressures on yourself and try to do it all? 
Martha Stewart and the like have been my role models in years past, but then I heard about what kind of marriage she had and how stressed her relationship was with her daughter.  After obsessing about eating clean, teaching kids everything I can before kindergarten, trying to be green and self-sufficient, and whatever trend seemed relative to our lifestyle; I came to a realization.  Stop.
This isn't something new, but I think it needs to be said out loud.  It's okay to do the minimum, as long as you are trying to take care of you and the family around you.  This is not a license to abuse others around you and be a slacker. 
There are just so many pressures on moms to be everything to everyone and it just ends badly, really badly.  There is an epidemic number of alcoholic moms, moms on depressants, and shattered marriages.  There is nothing good that comes from having it all! 
Will you sit in your rocker one day and tell your great-grandchildren about all the cool things you decoupaged or about the Christmas that all the kids were so sick you almost didn't have Christmas?  Does all the cute and crafty stuff matter in the end?  Maybe if you are earning a living from it, but it's who you are earning for and what is being done with it that matter. 
There is nothing wrong with being a Crafty Cathy.  Busyness is the root of the problem.   I can't wait to get out my paints and markers some days, but it comes when I can devote time to my crafting (and God) that doesn't come at a cost to anyone else or anything else. 
 I am not a fan of some of the language in the book, but Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets, by Lisa Quinn, is a swift kick in the pants.  Lisa is an Emmy award-winning TV host, author, and mom who has been in many publications and appeared on HGTV and Oprah.  She knows about busyness.  She brings to light just how important the little things are to our kids, but not so much to all the outsiders looking in at your shabby chic refurbished thrift store finds.
There are a few things I would like to work on in 2015.  The biggest being the busyness I can't seem to get away from.  I have a stockpile of recipes that my family can happily eat for months.  Three out of the four kids are in school.  And we finally live in a home that accomodates six people.  This should be a time of life that I should be able to let the craziness of trying new recipes and growing herbs from my windows go.  My focus now is my family and my God.  What do you need to let go of from the past and what do you need to hug tightly in the present?  Happy New You!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Practice Fun

Finding items for my Bible journaling that are already made for that purpose are very limited.  At least I thought so at first.  I felt like I should follow the online protocol of examples that have been shown over and over.  Sticker, washi tape, and pen.  Then I discovered that many others are inventing their own style while discovering their love for the lord.

I recently made a trip to my local Hobby Lobby and found several choices for faith themed stickers and sticker packs.  This will work nicely, but they are limited in their color choice.  Most of them are chalkboard style or black and white.

You can find tons of alpha stickers just about anywhere that carries paper crafting supplies.  Pens of all sorts can be located at any office supply store or big box store.  Washi tape is starting to appear just about everywhere.  Colored pencils can be bought anywhere you get school supplies.  The basics are pretty bountiful everywhere.

Then there are the artists that can just whip out a beautiful drawing of a pregnant mother riding a donkey and you can actually tell what you are seeing.  These works of art are moving.  They tell the story without even reading the passage from which they are inspired.  I can't do that.  I am not a natural artists, but I am practicing. 

Practice hand lettering in my notebook with my kidsOver and over I have heard, "Practice makes perfect."   I just have to sit down and practice.  I am beginning with a book I checked out from the library, The Art of Whimsical Lettering, by Joanne Sharpe.  Joanne teaches in a step-by-step way how to create beautiful lettering by just writing in your own handwriting.  So far, I have been very happy with the progress that I have made by doing the exercises in the book.

Next, I hope to tackle a book that is intended for children, but I feel would work for my needs.  I had picked up a discounted You Can Draw by Parragon publishers at Marshall's recently. 

When I have a few spare moments, I grab a drawing journal that I keep with these books and sit down with my younger children to draw and color.  The other day, as we lit our Advent candle I asked them to draw what they thought of when they heard the words joy, peace, love, and hope.  While they did this I wrote out some words in my journal. 

Crafting and coloring with my children while I art journaling in my Bible.I want my children to be part of my growing process and to have fun WITH ME.  I so often, get caught up doing chore after chore and I don't get time to enjoy.  This is one of the few things that we can sit peacefully and explore something together.  We talk about what each of us are doing and why.  It's fun to hear the explanation of a preschoolers drawing. 

Sit down and practice having fun with your children this week.  It may just spark your creativity.  If nothing else, it will spark your relationship with them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Year's is not fun!

Most of us really enjoy the Christmas season.  It brings cute little angels singing carols, sweet smelling cookies, and family gathered around the fire (or TV).  However, New Year's Eve doesn't always appeal to everyone.

My parents used to go out for the traditional 'ringing in of the New Year' when they were young parents.  But after we got older, they quit celebrating much.  We just watched the ball drop with Dick Clark every year. 

When I got old enough to party, it was just a big let down.  A had a date that showed up at 7pm drunk.  I sent him packin'.  Then I had a fiancĂ© that didn't make reservations for New Year's dinner and we drove around til we found a fast food restaurant that was open.

As fate, or God, would have it; I met my husband on New Year's Eve at a bar.  Okay, I hear the gasps.  A friend set us up without me knowing it.  We were engaged a year later! 

We have celebrated the holiday with the same group of friends for the last 16 years.  We have even changed things up a bit to include all of the kids.  It's a little different now with 10 or more kids running around screaming while the parents catch up on the past year.

BUT, as soon as January 1st hits it's all down hill from there.  We have to take down all the decorations, re-do the calendar, purge all of our files, start shredding, and collect receipts for income taxes.  Yuck!  I really don't like the busy work of January and February.

I came upon a group of mostly ladies who use their talents to craft, paint, design, and draw their faith.  At His Kingdom Come Scripture is your muse.  These folks have inspired me to delve further into my Bible and my art.  They also inspired me to DO SOMETHING beginning in 2015.

I have begun to pray and meditate on His Word in order to sense a Word of The Year for 2015.  The gals at HKC have started a group that will explore your word for the year.  Something to look forward to rather than to dread.  Who wouldn't love making canvas art that says "Step out in faith?"  Somehow, making a chalkboard plaque with "lose 10 lbs." just doesn't seem as cute.

There are a couple different groups to get involved with, depending on your talents.  Find your word or phrase for 2015 and see where it leads you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How I started my journaling Bible journey with only $2.

There are a few choices out there for journaling Bibles, like the ESV Wide Margin Journaling Bible, but we are a family on a strict budget.  Even a Bible doesn't warrant the extra money spent! 
In only a way that God can answer prayer; I found a wide margin Bible at the cheapest thrift store in town!  I spent 50 cents on it!  It's a brand new Cambridge Wide Margin NIV Bible.  I think it had been a wedding gift, because there was a couple's name engraved on the front. I covered it with a strip of ribbon and figure I will alter it later if needed.
It's kind of ironic.  The Bible I found at the thrift store is a very expensive alternative to the standard journaling Bible, but God has a very ironic sense of humor.  At least with me He seems to.  While at the thrift store, I found a Lutheran Hymnal and a David Jeremiah Devotional along with some other fun things to use for journaling or inspiration. 
On a previous trip I had bought Jesus And His Times, as well as These Were God's People, A Bible History.  Both have some interesting and vintage illustrations that I thought would do well as inspiration or to decoupage into my new Bible. 
These items from the thrift store along with my stash of journaling, scrapbooking, paper crafting, and stamping supplies have been more than enough to get me started.  I am a firm believer in using what you have and trying to thrift what you need when it comes to journaling and crafts.  It's a hobby.  It shouldn't have to affect the budget for more important things.  PLUS, the thrift store I go to is helping Veterans.  Who doesn't like a double whammy?!
Be blessed and have fun exploring your faith while honoring God!
Journaling Bible supplies that I found at the thrift store for less than $5.

A Lutheran Hymnal that I found at the thrift store to use for art journaling.

Using ribbon to cover an inscribed Cambridge Wide Margin Bible that will be used for journaling..

The first entry into my art journaling Bible.

Luke 1 and 2 in art journaling Bible with stamped tip outs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Packing for the journey

December is usually packed full of chaos for everyone.  Why would I decide to take an adventure like this...and now?  God.  I felt the gentle guidance that God was pulling me in the direction of beginning a journey with a blog for several reasons.  I have been through so many challenges in the first half, hopefully more, of my life.  There was a tugging on my heart to help others who are facing some of the same challenges.  There was also an overwhelming sense that there were other people out there who were interested in many of the same things I am, but there wasn't much content out there. I am.
To let you know who I am and what has shaped me would take way too much time to read.  How about a list?  I'm all over a list!  I have gone through, been there, or done that concerning the following:

  • Obsessive crafting
  • Crafting and sewing and needlepoint and paper crafts and journaling and.....
  • Kids with ADD
  • Kids with anxiety
  • Faith that has been tried over and over again
  • Being the spouse of an adult with ADD
  • Surviving the death of a sibling to suicide
  • Mentoring young women through purity
  • Mentoring Mothers of Preschoolers
  • Working retail
  • Working in the financial world
  • Deciding to raise our children instead of working
  • Surviving on one income
  • Living fully on one income
  • Loving Bible Journaling
  • Fostering imagination and creativity in my kids
My hope is that I can continue to grow in my faith and see just where He takes me while enjoying that ride with you.  As my kids say TBC (to be continued).