Sunday, October 26, 2014

{SCRLLC14} Scripture Lesson #18, Strong Tower

As my daughter faces her upcoming back surgery, I thought we would look at this song this week"Strong Tower" by Kutless. Let's begin by looking at a few of the words.

I go running to Your mountain
Where Your mercy sets me free
You are my strong tower, shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty everlasting King
You are my strong tower, fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I see

In the middle of all my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You're my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunders all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

To see the rest of the lyrics to this song, click here. And you can listen to this song here.

This song talks about God being our strong tower, our shelter, and our everlasting King. It makes me think of one of the prayers my daughter has requested for her surgery—"I would greatly appreciate prayers for My King to give me peace." She has asked for other prayers too for the surgeon, the staff, her recovery, etc., but I love how she knows where her refuge and her hope is during this storm in her life. She has even requested that she not be given any Versed (a medication to relax and feel sleepy before surgery) because she wants to be alert when we pray with her before they take her back to the OR. Would I be that strong? Would my fear overtake my desire to hold strong to the One who will be with me, who will comfort me, and give me peace? I pray I would be as strong as she is being.

Psalm 61:3 "For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe."

Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

She is running to Him. She knows where she feels safe. I praise God for her amazing faith! So who do you run to when you are scared, uncertain, lost, etc.? My prayer is that you would run to Him for everything. He is always dependable, and He is always faithful.

Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He."

Psalm 71:5 "For You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth."

All of Psalm 71 talks of God's constant help through our entire lives. I encourage you to read it and study it this week. I love what the commentary in the Life Application Bible says "We realize He is our constant help. We must never despair, but keep on expecting His help no matter how severe our limitations. Hope in Him helps us to keep going."

Does your hope in Him keep you going? Oh, how I pray it does. If it doesn't, go to Him in prayer. Ask Him to give you His strength for whatever lies ahead.

Today I decided to create a Bible journaling page. My daughter loves the Psalm 71:5 verse so I wanted to document this into my Bible. We need to remember this difficult time in her life and how God has remained her hope.

I used my washi scraps to punch three hearts for this page. If you missed my washi scraps tutorial, click here. I always have lots of fun scraps to choose from and use. I also used a quote from Dr. Henrietta Mears that says "Faith puts God between us and circumstances." I felt it was perfect!

Remember to use Keyword SCRLLC14 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here. Have a blessed week ahead!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A {Card} and a Layout for Blue Fern Studios

Well, it's the 21st which means it's my turn to share some Blue Fern Studios inspiration. For my creations this month, I created a card and a layout for you. Let's look at each of them.

When our identical triplets daughters turned 20 this past September, two of them were away at college. Celebrating a milestone with them away from home was hard. So, I enlisted the help of one of their friends at school to have some special surprises waiting for them on their special day. In order to thank her for her help, I created this card and included a gift card. 

I started with the new Blue Fern Studios Montage papers (Now and Then and Fairyland). Then I added a sentiment from the Arrow Words chipboard set. 

To color the chipboard, I lightly tapped on some black gesso. You can still see some bits of the natural chipboard showing through. I wanted it to have a more textured look instead of painted just black so I was able to achieve that by painting it in this way.
Papers: Blue Fern Studios Montage Now and Then and Fairyland, Paper Trey Ink cs 
Blue Fern Studios chipboard: Arrow Words (dabbed with black gesso) 
Embellishments: Wild Orchid Crafts flowers, Petaloo New Camelia Tangerine flower, Prima Color Bloom gilded mist, misc. lace, drywall joint tape, misc. enamel dots, black thread, sewing machine

For this 8 1/2 x 11 layout, I started with the new Blue Fern Studios Mercantile paper. I toned down the background just a bit by putting down a thin layer of gesso. Once dry, I added some stenciling and Gelatos for color.

I used two chipboard pieces from Blue Fern StudiosAdore, Love, and Cherish that I used for the title, and the Wild Flourish Frame. To cover the title chipboard, I just covered in black gesso. To cover the flourish chipboard, I first coated it in gesso. While the gesso was wet, I sprinkled on two different colors of embossing powder.

Papers: Blue Fern Studios Montage Mercantile, Fairyland, Bouquet, and Now and Then
Blue Fern Studios chipboard: Wild Flourish Frame (painted with gesso and embossed with Lindy's golden angel wings and hibiscus rose orange ep); Adore, Love, and Cherish (painted with black gesso)
Stamp Ink: Archival jet black
Stamps: Unity Give it all Meaning, Unity Retro Bubble Borders, Tim Holtz Ultimate Grunge

Embellishments: Prima Corine flowers, Petaloo blue/green mini pearl daisies and New Camelia mantis green, The Crafter's Workshop cosmic bubbles stencil, Gelato cotton candy, Wild Orchid Crafts leaves, Tim Holtz mini paper clip and tiny attacher, flair from Glorie, sewing machine

Thanks for stopping by, and remember there is still time to join in the Blue Fern Studios October Sketch Challenge. Click here for details. Blessings,

Friday, October 17, 2014


Today's post comes as an update and apology. First, my apologies for not getting the Scripture Challenge posted last Sunday. There has been a lot going on here, and I physically and mentally could just not get it done. Please forgive me. Now a little bit about what has been going on.

If you remember this layout below, it shares a bit of the things we have been dealing with this year. Well, things have really been hard this month and lots of things have happened in just the past 17 days.

Kody Boy
First, we had to make the terrible decision to put down our Kody Boy on Saturday, October 4th. He was only 3 years old and had epilepsy. On October 2nd, he had a seizure that lasted six minutes, and at that point the vet and our family knew it was time to make a decision. Since August 2013 we have been trying to get his seizures under control but were never able to. He had been on many different meds that he took 5x each day, he had been to the ER vet countless times, and we did all we could for our precious boy. We are thankful he is no longer suffering but the decision was so difficult especially since he was only 3 years old. Rest in peace our Kody Boy.

Surgery Scheduled
Then one of our daughters has been dealing with a disc herniation since July. A second MRI on October 7th revealed that it has gotten worse. Since October 7th, we have had countless hours and days at various doctor's offices. And we found out Wednesday of this week that our daughter will have back surgery within the next couple of weeks. This surgery is usually 85% effective but in her case they are only giving her a 50% chance of success. Our choices are to leave her "as is" and not do surgery or give this a try. She currently has a handicap tag and a wheelchair because she cannot walk far at all. Leaving her "as is" was not an option. If she has worsened this much in just 3 months, where will she be by January without surgery? Prayers for a successful surgery, outcome, and recovery would be much appreciated. We are looking at a surgery date of either 10/30 or 11/4. We are waiting to hear from the neurosurgeon's office.

Then during this time, my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary with family and friends in Ohio. We could not attend because of my daughter's back issues and many doctor's appointments. It was so hard to miss such an amazing milestone in their lives. Here they are as a young couple in their first year of marriage. Dad was career Air Force as a fighter pilot, and Mom was by his side through it all raising the family while he was in Vietnam and through many TDYs, moves, and you name it. My parents are a great inspiration to me, and we love them so much. Happy 50th Mom and Dad!!

But through all of this we trust that God is the author and perfector of our faith. We use these times to grow and glorify Him. He has the plan, and we completely trust that.

Hebrews 12:1a-2a "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

With Him we will not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 12:3). Thank you all for your prayers and understanding during this time. Joyfully in Christ,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuesday's {Tip} Scrap Printer Paper

Yes, I realize it is Wednesday. I had this post mostly complete yesterday but had to take my daughter to an appointment that ended up being a 9 hour ordeal. So, I thought I would go ahead and share it today instead of waiting for next week. :)

I don't know about you but I have a lot of scrap printer paper. Sometimes it's small pieces; sometimes it's a half sheet. Even packing slips that come with packages are great to save. Here is what I love to do with these paper scraps.

First, I trim these papers down to about 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". Sometimes they end up a bit smaller or a bit larger but it doesn't matter. Then I clip the stack of papers together with a binder clip. I have several of these stacks around my studio. 

I also keep a stack in my Journaling Bible/Planner supply bag. I will be sharing that bag soon. Hopefully in a video. :) Be watching! Anyway, when I need to test a stamp, a pen, or anything else, I just grab this little pile of scraps and use the top sheet as a test sheet. Once that scrap is full of 'tests', I throw it away. Love this, and I always have a scrap piece of paper laying around. So, save those scraps and make a few stacks of your own to use. Have a blessed Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's a Very Special {Layout} and a Sketch

It's October 1st, and that means sketch time for Blue Fern Studios. I can't wait to share this sketch with you because I had so much fun with the photo I was able to scrap. Let's look at my layout, and then I will share the sketch.

This photo is very precious to me. This is my daughter that went on an 8-week ministry trip this summer as lead guitarist for a worship band called "The Difference." I am so proud of her. She is also my daughter with Chiari Malformation. She is in pain daily but God gets her through each day. If you do not know what Chiari Malformation is, I encourage you to read about it here, and please join us on the awareness walk across the U.S. next September! I will post more about the walk next August or so. Our goal is to educate and make people aware. It is as prevalent as MS but you certainly do not hear much about Chiari. Anyway, sorry for the speech. Yes, I get a little passionate about it. LOL! And here is my 8 1/2 x 11 layout. The photo is of her playing during chapel at school.

Now, a little more about this layout. First, I used the new Blue Fern Studios Montage paper line. I love, love, love this paper line. It is so versatile and gorgeous! And the Icon Set One chipboard set was perfect for this layout as it has a guitar in the set. I covered the guitar with Inka Gold graphite. Then I added some smudges of Gelatos in black licorice. I think it gave the guitar a nice effect. I also wrapped some twine around the top of the guitar for "strings."

For the rest of the layout, I used the Chunky Words chipboard set for the title. I covered that chipboard piece in Gelatos and Shimmerz Dazzelerz.

Papers: Blue Fern Studios Montage Now and Then and Invitation 
Stamps: Penny Black Butterfly Suite, Tim Holtz Ultimate Grunge, Technique Tuesday Good Times Arrows, Becky Higgins date stamp 
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink black soot, Hero Arts charcoal 
Blue Fern Studios chipboard: Icon Set One (guitar painted w/Inka Gold graphite and Gelatos black licorice), Chunky Words (painted w/Gelatos tangerine and mango and Shimmerz Dazzelerz dreamscicle) 
Embellishments: Wild Orchid Crafts flowers, flair from Glorie, Manor House Creations die cut, May Arts black twine, misc. cheesecloth, sewing machine

The Sketch
And now here is the wonderful 12x12 sketch. Remember, you can use this sketch for any size layout, a card, anything. Use your imagination and have fun!

To see the details of the contest and the prize package, please click here. We would love for you to join in the fun! Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed Wednesday!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

{SCRLLC14} Scripture Lesson #17, He Knows

These past couple of weeks, God has been talking to me about burdens. First, as I was listening to KLOVE driving to an appointment, I heard Lisa TerKeurst say, "Don't miss the blessings because you are focusing on the burdens." I immediately called my daughter and asked her to write it down for me so I would not forget. Such a beautiful quote that I needed to hear. Then my second daughter calls me from college, and she asked me if I have heard of the new song by Jeremy Camp called "He Knows." I told her I had not, and she told me that I needed to listen to it. So, off I went to search for the song. It is a new release so it's a bit hard to find but if you click here, you can listen to it. Look what the chorus says:

He knows, He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering
He knows, He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the One
Who knows, He knows

To read all of the lyrics, click here. I encourage you to read them because they are very powerful.

And did you notice that word againburdens? Moses in Numbers 11:14 cries out to God "I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me."

Notice how Moses turns to God with his burdens. Are your burdens pushing you towards the Lord to seek Him and trust Him more? Or are you heavy on complaining? Our reactions to our burdens and trials reveal our true spiritual maturity. We need to trust Him, depend on Him, and glorify Him. When we truly rely on Him, we are not shaken by the burdens and chaos among us. He gives us purpose in our trials. His love and peace are abounding! If you feel like you are burdened and your load is too heavy, remember the Lord is there to help you. Will you trust Him?

Psalm 68:19 "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

1 John 5:3-4 "In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."

I decided to do an 8 1/2 x 11 page today. I printed some black and white images of the things that are going on in our family nowspinal problems, canine epilepsy, Chiari Malformation, etc., etc., etc. If I focused on these things instead of the Lord, I would be utterly overwhelmed, miserable, and defeated. Do I struggle each day? Yes, but I must remember to make Him the focus knowing He has a plan and that we need to glorify Him through it. I trust that, and it's what keeps me going.

I used black and white photos because these 'things' needn't be my focus. The colorful paper with the scripture is what should be my focus. I need to cling to Him and His Word! I also used a sketch that I have had pinned for a while. You can see the sketch by clicking here.  And finally, I used the new Blue Fern Studios paper line called Montage and the chipboard pieces Circle Code and Adore, Love, Cherish.

Papers: Blue Fern Studios Montage Wisdom and Invitation, Paper Trey Ink cs 
Stamp: Our Daily Bread Designs Scripture Collection 7 
Stamp Ink: Versa Fine onyx black, Tim Holtz Distress Ink black soot 
Blue Fern Studios chipboard: Circle Code (painted w/Adirondack Dabber lemonade and Jenni Bowlin Dabber malted milk), Adore, Love, Cherish (painted w/black gesso and Glossy Accents)
Embellishments: Wild Orchid Crafts flowers, Prima Bistro Blooms Nugget and Soubrette orange flower, Prima packaging, Bella Blvd. washi tape, misc. cheesecloth, sewing machine

Remember to use Keyword SCRLLC14 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here. Blessings, and I pray that you allow Him to carry your burdens!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Journaling {Bible} Mark 6:48-51

Have you ever heard that there is no such thing as a coincidence? Well, there certainly is not, and when I see those moments of what people would call a "coincidence," that's when I see God so very clearly. That is what happened with today's scripture.

I was going through my old sermon notes to see what I wanted to study and put into my Journaling Bible when the words at the top of a page caught me. They said "Jesus is Enough." I knew then that this is what I would be studying again and putting into my Journaling Bible. Well, a week passed, and the notes stayed open on my desk. I hadn't had time to create or study further as we have had a lot going on. Two of our daughter's have been having many health issues, and so I put this aside. Then on Sept. 11, one of our girls called from school and told us how bad her sister was doing. She said "Mom, we heard in chapel tonight that Jesus is Enough, and I told 'sister' about it and reminded her that He is enough!" I cried as she had no idea that those were the exact same words that God reminded me of the week before. I knew for certain that this is what God wanted our struggling daughter to hear. I have shared it with her almost daily since this happened a couple of weeks ago. She even has it pasted on her bathroom mirror in her dorm room now. God is SO good! So, if you are struggling, remember:

"Jesus is enough. He is enough for us to weather any storm."

It's not that we are enough or that we have what we need to make it through the stormsit's all Him! Rely on Him. He will carry you and help you through any storm in life that comes your way.

And if you want to know how to make the colorful circles I used on this page, please see my tutorial I posted yesterday by clicking here. I hope you have enjoyed today's post and that it ministers to you in some way. Joyfully in Christ,

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