Love, Tuesday... a day late.

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Love, Tuesday... a day late.

Sorry I've been absent this past week... lots has been going on in our lives and after this weekend I will sit down and share all of it.

Here's a little bit of what I've already shared on IG:

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This guy right here is not only my hubby of almost 28 years, he is my best friend of close to 30 years. He makes me laugh every day, he challenges me and makes me see things from a different point of view. (Even though we may not end up agreeing) I was thinking about love this week and you know what... Love is a BIG risk. To give your heart to someone and to say here it is, I'm giving you "me" and I'm loving you back 100%... that's scary!  I think of the chances of it working in today's world and it's pretty low. But when it does work... Wow! 🎯 ❤️🎉 When two people decide to say those words, make that commitment to stay loyal to each other and make a life together it is so very beautiful and SO worth it! Even the hills and valleys that you will undoubtably go through make that love even stronger!  I mean life is not all champagne and roses.  You will go through hard things.  And right now we are in one of those hard times.  So I am asking for your prayers for this guy that I love whole heartedly.  He hasn't been feeling well for a while. Little things here and there, but last week he found a large lump on his thyroid. So the Dr. took a look at it and is concerned.  Lance's mom has thyroid cancer and his family history isn't great.  So his Dr is getting him in for an ultrasound and biopsy next Tuesday.  The last few days have been a blur, but the Lord has been so ever present. Reminding us of His peace and comfort and showing us so much love through our friends and family. I've always been open and honest about our lives and our faith in Jesus Christ.  Those are the things that keep me sane.  And loving someone so deeply is worth the risk because you get to live life so full. So my advice to you young ones out there... take the risk, love deeply and marry your best friend! ❤️

We did have the ultrasound yesterday, but not the biopsy.  They said that we would get the results within a few days... but they called late the SAME DAY!  They said the two nodules on the right side are BENIGN!  Praise the LORD!  What is a bit confusing to us is that the place he found the lump is on the LEFT side... So we also have an appointment on next Monday to see the Endo Dr. and they will look at the ultrasound results and do a biopsy right there if they feel it's needed. We are taking these results and a HUGE praise report and praying that the left side with be benign as well!  

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John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Yes and Amen! This verse has come up over the last month or two soooo many times in my daily life. I guess God's trying to remind me of something. This. That we can have an abundant life because of Jesus Christ and what He came to bring us. Yes there is evil, sickness, hurt... basically junk in this world. But God came to take all that away... on a cross that broke the power of the enemy. Will we go through hard times still?? YES. Does it pretty much stink sometimes... YES. But we are not consumed! We have such a loving God that provides for us in every situation we face! I could list so many times where we have faced hard things but He was in the midst of them... providing ways out. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my Savior to turn to. Why would you want to do this life without Him in your life? The peace He gives no other person, place or thing can offer. Trust Him today. It's a peace that passes all understanding... and I for one say YES to that kind of comfort in my life. Yesterday was filled with so much love and peace. I am overwhelmed by the prayers and love we feel from all of YOU!! Prayer is powerful and we feel it! My way to get my feelings out is to Bible Journal. So I just went in my art room and painted in my Bible!! I'll post more on my @awelldocumentedlife IG but wanted to say Thank You to all of YOU and to my Jesus who is the answer to a life abundantly. If you don't know who this Jesus is, please always know I'd love to tell you about Him. ❤️ 

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His PEACE is not peace like the world gives... It truly passes ALL understanding!

We are headed on a trip... or I should say a journey.  I will share with you more on that next week when I pray we will have many more questions answered!  But here's something I'm going to send out into the world as a DREAM BIG prayer...

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Hebrews 10:23-25   "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

In my prayer time and devotional/prayer journal time the Lord has given me the words "A Gathering Place" and pointed me to the verse above.  I don't even know what that means, but I know that we are stepping out in faith and going to see where the Lord takes us!  It's scary for me to even post this sketch (I'm not really sure if you can even call it that...) more like some of the scribbles of what I have been having a vision for...  A place with land, a place to gather people, to love of people and share His love with them through worship, bible journaling, creating... I don't know what that looks like yet.  But I know that this weekend will be at time for our family to recharge in a beautiful part of our country and see where the Lord is leading us.

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Happy Tuesday!  

This is what I am LOVING this week...

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This girl!  She just turned 19 over the weekend and we celebrated with family and friends and lots of new college friends!  What a joy it is to watch her grow and follow the path the Lord is calling her to go down.  It's not an easy path when you go against what the world would try to tell you you should do... but it is a beautiful journey she is on and I know the Lord has her right where He wants to use her.

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This girl too!  Poor thing has been sick for over 2 weeks now and we have some fun trips coming up that she needs to get all better for.  We had to go to Urgent Care yesterday to have her checked again, and this time she has gotten worse and needs some strong medicine to get better.  So prayers for her recovery would be great!  She has a sinus and ear infection.

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I LOVE this quote/verse that I found on Pinterest. We ARE all meant for SO much!  Life has given us so many opportunities that can apply to this verse... at different stages of our lives.  I was CREATED to be a mom.  I was meant to be a mom to Victoria, Rebecca, Isabella and now "2nd momma" to Dany... and someday for Rebecca and Isabella's future guys!  I love my role of being a mom and a wife... but I also love the creative woman God made me to be.  As my role of a mom to little ones is coming to a close I feel like the Lord is really showing me that He does have so much He still wants to do through me.  I've been feeling this for a while and have said YES to that.  I know that is a scary feeling to open yourself up to "God possibilities" but it's also crazy AMAZING and I can't wait to see what the Lord wants to do in this stage of my life.  I think it's important to think "outside of the box" of our own ideas of how life "should be" and ask God how He wants to direct our lives.  He has Great and wonderful things to show us, if we simply ask and obey His calling.

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Ok, this is DOUBLE love!  Little Minnie is becoming a family member and it's about time for her to go back to her family!  Boohoo...  We have all enjoyed this little girly and I think we have established ourselves as Auntie and Uncle and need to claim weekend visits in the future!! hahaha

The other thing that I am loving is this devotional!  So good.  "Coffee for Your Heart" by Holley Gerth.  My dear friend Heather and I are going through this together once a week.  It's not only a great devotional to go through with a friend, it's really great to have that honest time with a friend to talk about the Lord and our lives and stretch each other in our faith.  I would highly recommend getting this book, finding a friend, getting some coffee and going through this together!

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Here's just one page in the book that I found inspiring!  Jesus paid the price for our sins, yet I think we can still be so stuck on them or still see ourselves as what we "aren't."  But Jesus LOVES us so much and has SO much for us!  So don't let your insecurities or failures hold you back ladies... Let your heart be OPEN to the possibilities that the Lord has for you!  

John 10:10 says: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

Read that last part over again.  Jesus came so that we may have LIFE and an ABUNDANT Life!  Don't forget that.  LIVE that.

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Oh, I love this dog too... She hasn't been in the best of moods lately!  hahaha

I've never seen a dog be jealous, but oh boy is she ever!  So she will be happy to see Minnie go and get back the rule of the home very soon... 

I'll leave you with one more "love" for this day:

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This place.  You know I love Italy... but Venice stole my heart this summer.  By the way, this photo was taken on my iPhone in the morning light, no filter needed.

I've been to Venice several times and at different times of the year, but this quick little family trip to show Isabella Venice just got to me!  So much so that I am really wanting to take YOU there!  So look for another Art & Faith Creative Retreat coming soon... It will still be in beautiful Bellagio, Italy but I will be adding Venice to the end of the trip for those who would like to go with me to Venice as well!  If you would like to be added to the INTEREST LIST for the Bellagio & Venice Art & Faith Creative Retreat you can send me a message via the Contact page up at the top of this website.  

Have a GREAT Tuesday!!

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Bible Journaling Workshop...

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Bible Journaling Workshop...

UPDATE:  Sorry for the confusion, the date for this WORKSHOP is Sept. 16, 2017.  (I had mistakenly put 2018... but it is for next month!)

Hi everyone!  

I am thrilled to announce my Bible Journaling Workshop... COMING SOON!

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I know it's been a while since I taught a class here stateside, but I've had so many local people asking me to do it again... so I'm excited to teach again, and I hope YOU can join us!

I've linked up the class on the REGISTRATION page so you can sign up and join us in Temecula, California on:

Saturday, September 15th

 

I will be sharing my story and teaching the fundamentals of Bible Journaling:

~ How to get started

~ What supplies work best

~ The inspiration to get going

~ The reasons to dig deeper

We will work on three pages throughout the day, and along with a great time of CREATIVE inspiration, we will enjoy a meal together and time to gather and talk about what the Lord is doing in our lives.

There will also be a FUN "Make-n-Take" that will be a mini version of this beautiful succulent planter I saw last weekend at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach:

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Isn't that Beautiful!  I fell in LOVE and want to see if we can re-create a mini version.  So we will be spending some time out in my backyard creating a succulent planter.  So, I would love for you to join me from 10am - 4pm on Saturday, September 16th.  All the details and what to bring will be on the Registration Page.  Just click on the SIGN UP button at the top of this website and then click on the REGISTRATION Page.  You will see the photo of my Bible Journaling and you can sign up and pay and you'll be all set to go.  I will then send you an email with further details and we'll see you soon!

Now the story I mentioned earlier that I wanted to share...

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(That was breakfast this morning... warm Blueberry Coffee cake. :)

So I'm reading a new book... "Chase the Lion" and yes, you guessed it... It's another Mark Batterson book!  If you know me, I LOVE his books and this is the continuation from the last book I was reading.  But it digs deeper.

Well I was reading it last night and one of the first things he was talking about was BIG dreams.  God sized dreams... and having courage to "chase the lion."  How YOUR own dreams and destiny are more intricately interwoven with others than you realize.  Uh... I know that is true!  My dream of having Creative Retreats in Italy and around the globe has shown me how much our little dreams can become something SO MUCH BIGGER when we place them in God's hands.  How He uses them to touch others and inspire others.  How a God sized DREAM will be beyond our abilities, beyond our resources.  Unless God does it, it can't be done!  And that is precisely how God gets the glory.  We can't take credit for them.

Well I stopped there and wrote two emails.  Things that have been on my heart and in the early planning stages... but are scary.  Not only those two emails scare me, but BIG changes we are praying over scare me.  Big prayers over where the Lord wants us, are we supposed to move somewhere else, where is the Lord leading my Creative Retreats...  I feel Him stirring our whole family and it's AMAZING and SCARY all at the same time!

Then this morning I looked at the "verse of the day" on the YouVersion app and it was Deuteronomy 31:8 "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Ok Lord. I see you...

Then I go to my bible to find the verse and find this:

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COURAGE

What?  I don't even remember stamping this in my bible?!  I'm sure I did, but it must have been a year ago?  I don't know.  And why didn't I finish the page?  Just left it with the word COURAGE under the bible verse from today...

Ok Lord... what's up.  
 

THEN... I read my other devotional from Our Daily Bread and the main verse for that is:

John 15:16 "I chose you & appointed you so that you might GO and bear fruit - fruit that will last."


OK, Tears flowing...

People please listen, He knows our heart.  He speaks to us through His Word and He WANTS/DESIRES to do things THROUGH US!  He wants to show us and if (key word here) we are WILLING... He's going to blow our minds with what HE can do!! I know this to be true, over and over again.

That's not the end of the story here though.

After I was done crying, writing in my journal and praying I opened my email up.

You guessed it...

I got a response from BOTH emails.

Rebecca and I are headed to France for a GOD SIZED ministry opportunity!  I don't even understand it yet, but we are walking through that door and we said YES to God.

The Lord is working and showing us what He wants our Art & Faith Creative Retreats to look like, and it's our prayer that He shows us the where, the what and the how to serve Him through it.  And we KNOW He will!

The other email I will share another time.  That involves the WHOLE family and it's a HUGE deal for all of us.  We feel the Lord moving and we are dreaming BIG.

I would love to share more with you on what the Lord is doing in our lives and what He wants to do in YOURS.  I hope you will join me in September for a great time of Bible Journaling, fellowship with other women and a fun time being CREATIVE.  Remember you can sign up NOW under the Registration Page.

Have a GREAT day,

Laura

Here are a couple quotes I'll leave you with from Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson:

"May you discover your God-sized dreams...and have the courage to chase them."

"God honors big dreams because big dreams honor God."

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Good morning!

I have so much to share and not enough time to share it in...  

This morning the Lord really, really showed up and spoke to me, and believe me... tears were flowing!  I want to share a story with you, unfortunately I can't do it right now because I have to go off and run some errands!

But here's a little SNEAK…

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This was in my bible this morning... in the page that I went to because the "verse of the day" on the YouVersion app was:

Deuteronomy 31:8 "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

It was ALREADY there... the word COURAGE.  I don't remember stamping that in my bible... maybe I did 6 months ago, a year ago?  But it was meant for THIS. Morning.

I'll share more later today when I come back on here to open up my 2nd

Bible Journaling Workshop!!

Yes!! I am so excited to teach again here in my home and I wanted to give you all a heads up on it. It will be on Saturday,  September 16 in Temecula, California from 10am - 4pm and we will be Bible Journaling, sharing a meal together and I have a little "make-n-take" that we will go out in my backyard and make!  

Want to see a SNEAK of it?

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I saw this last weekend at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach and fell in LOVE!  I used to make floral arrangements and things like this years ago, and this has motivated me to do a mini version for our class!  

So if you are interested in an afternoon of CREATIVITY, come on back later today to sign up for this fun day together!

Stay tuned...

Laura

 

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

I posted this photo a couple weeks ago and told you that I'd share more about this Bible Journaling page and then I forgot.  So on this Love, Tuesday let me share a little about what inspired this page.

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First off, can we take a moment and talk about the beautiful setting this is?  I'm at Jeanne Oliver's house in this photo and I was enjoying her gorgeous view and doing my morning devotions on our road trip through Colorado.  It was a real treat to spend time with her and her family and to enjoy time on their beautiful land.

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Are we living radically different lives from the world?

That's the question that smacked me in the face a few weeks ago while I was reading the @ourdailybread devotional. Romans 12:2 says to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind... So what is our example to look to?? Yes, Jesus. He modeled the Father to us, and we have the Holy Spirit in us to help us model Christ to this world.

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I know it's not easy, it's going against the culture of the day or even (dare I say... )maybe the traditions of the church. To be radical in our love for others, to go against what the world says is cool or acceptable.  It's seeking to share His love with a broken world. It's sharing the JOY we have in him with the person next to us at the store, or across the ocean.  Getting out of our comfort zone (our little bubble we live in) to go to the places we don't feel so safe in.

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It's radical... and I want to be all in!

The green "sea glass" is actually a piece of glass from Lake Como... in the shape of a HEART! It's been such an incredible journey to see where the Lord is taking our Art & Faith Creative Retreats and having Rebecca feel the Lord lead her to step into it as we are praying BIG prayers over where He wants us to GO, is so amazing!  Yesterday as we had our "mommy & me" day before she heads off to college we hiked Torrey Pines State Reserve and just talked and about what the Lord is leading us to do... and even though it's scary and "radical"... we know He is in it.

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This page was inspired by that devotional from Our Daily Bread and by my dear friend Jeanne Oliver who taught such beautiful classes in Italy this summer at the Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio. She has taught with me three times now in Bellagio and every time it's over I just can't imagine her not coming back again. I even hosted HER own, very first, Living Studio in Bellagio back in 2014.  So you will probably see Jeanne back in Bellagio one of these years... because I just adore her and I know she has such a God given talent to teach and inspire others!

But if you don't want to wait for another Art & Faith CR in Italy, then I highly recommend taking one of her workshops in her Living Studio in Colorado.  The picture at the top of this post is her studio and let me tell you... it is INSPIRING!  I want to take a class there!  We got to visit her a few weeks ago and going into the studio was just...in one word, LOVELY.  I wanted to go through and look at each nook and cranny because it is just filled up with all of her love and passion for art. You can feel it and it's a beautiful thing to see how it all came together for her.  So if you ever get the chance, go to a workshop there! (and maybe I'll be at one with you :)

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It was a blessing to be there, to sit out on her gorgeous patio, look out at the amazing Colorado mountain view from her home and I have to say it really put a stirring in my heart to be out in God's amazing "Big Sky" country again. (even her furry friends wanted to come outside and enjoy the view... haha) 

I've lived in California my whole life, but spent most of my summers growing up and exploring in the Rocky Mountain states.  It left a deep impression on me and I feel like it's pulling at me now in some way.  So maybe the Lord is going to do something radically different in our lives... from the "world" we are used to here in California.  Maybe He is shifting our focus somewhere else... right where He wants us to be??  If you follow my blog then you know I've talked about the 40 Day Prayer Challenge that Lance and I did back in January & February.  One of those BIG prayers was that if the Lord wanted us to move, He would show us.  Well after this summer I have felt Him moving in MY heart, but I've asked the Lord to move in Lance's heart separately.  So that I would know that it's not just my longing to move out of California, but the Lord putting it on both of our hearts.  It's crazy... and radical... and it's goes against every reason why we SHOULD stay here!  But if He wants to do something through our lives, then we need to be open to it, right?   

So I'm thankful for this summer, I'm so thankful for the beautiful people the Lord has put in my life through these Creative Retreats that HE designed for me to do... and my hearts desire is to do what these verses in the bible journaling page above are calling us to do:

Romans 12: 1-3 "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  ❤️ 

Have a beautiful Tuesday,

Laura

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Let us Make... Part 2

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Let us Make... Part 2

If you are following the "Let us Make" class on Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network, then by now you are loving Sheila Atchley's class AND even more, her fun spirit and heart for the Lord!  

I have been learning so much from Sheila and have tried some of her techniques IN my bible.  I will also be working through all of her classes in the original media that she is teaching them in, but I wanted to incorporate the ideas in my Bible Journaling.  Some of the chemicals and art supplies that Sheila is using won't transfer over well to the thin pages of a bible, so I've had to make a few adjustments and that's what I wanted to show you here...

The page below was inspired by Sheila's "Day 2 Firmament Art" class.  (You can look back in my blog for the Day 1 Class in the post titled "Bible Journaling Techniques")

I titled this page "The Heaven's Declare His Handiwork"  Here's what I posted on my @awelldocumentedlife IG:

The heavens declare His handiwork. That is truth right there! How can you look at the beautiful puffy clouds, The starlit night sky or go through a loud thunderstorm and not see God? Genesis 1:6 talks about the expanse or firmament and how He separated the waters from the expanse of Heaven. If you sit out in a boat in the ocean or huge lake and see the horizon, you see this separation. How little we truly are when we look at how great the Heavens and the earth are... yet He made us as well... And even one better, he made us in His image! I am in awe of His handiwork in nature so many times, but it's not just there... it's in you and me and how He created us each as a unique person. Remember that "purpose" from yesterday?? I think we need to get on that... what is your story? How is all of this connected in your life? Would love to hear your thoughts. Journaling this class by @sheilaatchleydesigns in my bible is a little different than on the right medium like watercolor paper or canvas. Bible pages are very thin and almost transparent. So some of the products she is using for the class I can't use in my bible. I'll be sharing some of the supplies and techniques I'm using for my interpretation in my bible over on my blog late today. Have a great day and let's praise Him in the Heavens today! Psalm 150:1 #journalingmyfaith #biblejournaling#jeanneoliver #sheilaatchleydesigns#letusmake #illustratedfaith

It's very important when you are journaling and doing art in your Bible to prep your page.  (You can find out more in the blog post I linked above)  It is also very important to use products that won't bleed through to the other side of your page. This can be a scary process as you just don't know every single product and how it's going to work until you've tried it.  

What I have found is that most pigment based inks work really well and will stay on the top of your page and not bleed through.  If they are water based or dye based then they tend to show through.  

I have a whole list of products in the post I linked above, but here is a list of the inks that I like because they stay on top of the page and don't bleed through:

Chalk Inks (several different brands)
Stamp Markers by American Crafts (these are ink based pens)
Faber-Castell Brush Pens & Gelatos
SEI Tumble Dye sprays
Liquitex Professional Ink

Now as you see in the photo above, I have other products like the black ink and not pictured were some old Tattered Angles Inks that I used.   Neither one of those were great on the page and in fact bleed through.  Here's a photo of the back side of this page:

It's not horrible and I can deal with this... but I'd rather not.  Also, if I had not prepped my page with gesso beforehand it would have been much worse!

If you look at the top of this blog post you will see some of the examples of Sheila's art.  This was based on the 2nd photo in that collage of her art.  Because this is again in a bible and not on the right type of art paper, I could not go as dark and heavy on the inks.  So this interpretation is a much more subtle version... but I love the ethereal feel of it! 

The gold detail lightly glides through the "cloud-like" page and I just LOVE how this turned out! I tried the gold ink AND I tried the gold gel pen for this.  I truly liked that I had more control over the gel pen and that is what you mostly see here. The Bible Verse that I decided too use for this study was found in Psalm 150:1 "Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary, praise Him in His mighty heavens!" 

Day 3 class was on Nature... and this one MOVED me deeply.  Here's what I wrote on IG with this post:

Delight in His Creation. Ok, @sheilaatchleydesigns you are really tugging at my heartstrings girl! I should say the Lord brought me to this point though... I grew up in the concrete jungle of the suburbs of L.A. but my summers were spent in Big Sky country. Horses, raft trips, country road walks ... outside in God's playground! And something is pulling me back to that... I feel it deep inside. I need to be outside, in the quiet, with the trees and birds and His still small voice. My soul is craving it. Maybe it's my age?? Hormones?? Idk but when I watched the video from day 3 of "Let us Make" on @jeanneoliver Creative Network it made me bawl. Like ugly cry people. 😂 The last few minutes of the video she just shows the scenery, the butterflies enjoying the flowers... and I lost it! So this is my interpretation of Sheila's Day 3 class in my bible. I added a vintage hymn "This is my Father's World" and it just brings me back to those days of walking down country roads in Montana, picking berries and wild flowers... and of this summers road trip to beautiful places. Thank you Jesus for bringing things back to our hearts in small baby steps... ❤️#journalingmyfaith #biblejournaling#letusmake #sheilaatchleydesigns#jeanneoliver #jeanneolivercreativenetwork#anyonehavelandforsale 😬

Sheila shared such a COOL technique that I wasn't able to do in my bible because of the chemicals, but if you sign up for her class you will LOVE this Day 3 class and I can't wait to do the actual "experiment" when my supplies get here!

So this Bible is an "interleaved" Bible which means that every other page is blank.  It's specifically for people who want to do art and journaling in their Bibles but don't want to do anything over the words.  Just a quick comment about that for those who are a bit timid to do this in ANY Bible.  That's completely us to you and your own feelings about it.  Bible Journaling/writing in your Bible has been going on for centuries... there's a great book by Lisa Nichols Hickman "Writing in The Margins" and I've linked an article by her about this, but grab her book on Amazon or at your local bookstore if you are at all interested in starting this journey INTO your bible!  I have gotten over that thought process by realizing I have a LOT of Bibles and the ones that I do art and journaling in are not the ones I take to church.  If I cover up the words with paint, etc. I don't think that's a bad thing, it's my expression of what the Lord is showing me.  If I need to reference the words that may be hidden I have several other bibles that I can go to.  That's where I have landed on this topic, but again, it's each persons preference and you can absolutely do this kind of art in an art journal.

This left page is the blank page and I wanted to collage in a hymn.  It's from an old Hymnal that I found on Etsy and this specific hymn just brings me right back to my childhood IN the outdoors of beautiful Montana.

These flowers are from my backyard and I know they will wither and dry up and I plan to go back in after they are dry and apply a coat of Modge Podge over them or a sealant of some kind that won't damage the page.

The Bible verse is in Isaiah 55:12 "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;"

Sheila talks further about this verse and what inspired her about this and how she ties it to nature... I'm telling you, you really need to take this course! :)

Ok, I'm going to go get out in nature... (my backyard pool... hahaha)

I will be back next week with more pages in my Bible AND share what Jeanne inspired me to do in my Bible as well!  Oh, and Rebecca and I have been working in our "junk journals" from Jeanne's class in Italy this summer while she's been recuperating, so I'll share some of our pages next week.

Have a GREAT weekend and I hope you will take the time to "Be Still" in God's beautiful CREATION.

Hugs,

Laura 

 

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Serve Week...

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Serve Week...

I guess I left you hanging last Tuesday.  I didn't finish my post about our road trip and the SERVE week with my brother's church...  

This is my brother's old church and where he brought his youth group for SERVE week this year.  We've been coming here since Victoria was in Junior High so we were so glad to be back and see so many people we know.

Rebecca was on the Barnabas team again this year.  

And this is the guest speaker, Jolene DeHeer.  I can't really put into words how awesome this lady is.  I've mentioned her before and the heart she has for these kids each year, but she is just the greatest servant.  She has so many amazing life stories of God's incredible power and she's such a funny lady who is just REAL, like really real...  I'll have to share some of the stories with you that she has shared over the years because they are God sized miracles and I know this lady has moved lives in deep ways.

So during the week they all split up into teams and just serve the community in all kinds of ways.  I think Isabella's team cleaned up the lake one day, offered a free car wash one day, helped a widow with all her yard work that she wasn't able to do anymore, painted a house... there were so many jobs around the town that were getting done, it was great to see these kids works SO hard for others each day!

While we had fun... hahaha

While my kids were working hard all week, I got to spend some time with my sister-in-law and the girls!  We went to the Dutch Village...

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The Farmer's Market...

I was able to walk to Lake Michigan from their house and be on the beach by myself and do my devotions.

It was such a peaceful time to "be still" with the Lord at the beach.  

We also had to do a little shopping downtown Holland!  This is one of my favorites stores, Spring Sweet.

Dawn & I also got to go out for the night and get a babysitter so we could have dinner and shop by ourselves!

This was a GREAT store in Saugatuk... don't you just LOVE everything about this front porch of the store??

Such a great sunset after dinner with Dawn.  I just love this place and feel so blessed to come here just about every summer!

We did get to visit Isabella and Rebecca during the week as well.  We would go visit them on a job site, or at the church at night for dinner.  These cousins love each other and I'm so happy they are getting this chance, even though we live so far apart.

These are the 2 "Becca's" and they are both going off to college this Fall.  Rebecca's made such great friends through this experience and it's been a really neat thing to watch these friendships continue and grow even though they only see each other once a year.

Of course you can't talk about SERVE without mentioning "Tuba"... He's such a part of this and has worked along side my brother for so many years.  He's just Tuba... and he's always doing SOMETHING.

My brother text me this photo early on in the week and it just made me SO happy.  My girl's first year and she was already making some great friends!  It's always hard the first year that the girls start SERVE.  They don't know anyone expect for their Uncle and they are coming into something where these groups of kids already have their friends.  But it's been so great to see each of our daughters step into something thats a bit scary at first and then grow in their independence, learn to make friends and fit it, and then get deep friendships out of it through the years.  So excited Isabella is doing the same!

And I get to spend time with my nieces!  We walked along the beach one day and I pulled some "sea grass" and made them a wrap bracelet and headband.

These girls grow up so much each year, it's great to get spend time with them.

And a walk by the beach just isn't complete without ice-cream at the General Store!

Basically this photo sums it up.  Arms wide open... full of good times and lasting memories!

Next summer is the last year for Isabella to be in Serve as a student.  Later on as they get older they can be on the Barnabas team, but I'm sad to think it could be the last time we go for SERVE week.  

We usually stay after its over for a few days, but since we did the road trip we needed to get back home quickly for Rebecca's surgery.  It was a fast 3 days getting home... picking up my car back in Nebraska, spending part of a day with Jeanne's family again(and spiderman & some strange horse head ;)-  had lunch with some of my family in Colorado, and then tried to make it all the way home from Jeanne's but got stuck in a huge traffic accident (we were fine) and could only make it to Vegas the last night, when all we wanted was to be in our own beds.

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But God is good, He protected us all the way home and it was a fun road trip we won't forget...

Have a GREAT day and I'll be back later this week to share more about my Bible Journaling with Sheila Atchley's class!

Hugs,

Laura

 

 

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Bible Journaling Techniques

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Bible Journaling Techniques

Hi everyone!

Thanks for coming to my blog, it's where I share my passions of Art & Faith and all that comes from that.  This week I have been following Sheila Atchley's class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Ning site and it is incredible!  She is such a beautiful heart, full of such wonderful words of wisdom and to top that off... she's such a talented artist!  

I will be honest with you, I don't usually take classes.  NOT that I am this talented artist b/c I am NOT.  But it's because of my own desire to, in my own art,  not copy anyone else.  But something tugged at my heart when I saw Sheila's class and so I talked to Jeanne and told her what I was feeling.  She totally gets where I'm coming from b/c we had just talked about it when I was at her house last week, but she thought it would be fun if I took the class and interpreted it through Bible Journaling... which she knows I am passionate about!

So that is what I am doing and it has been SO fun.  The first few minutes of Sheila's class she delves into Genesis 1 and WOW... her depth and wisdom made me write about 2 pages of notes!  You really can't help fall in love with this lady's heart for the Word of God and her fun personality too!  I feel a teaching for Italy coming on... :)

(If you're new here, I have an Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy each year... and you are WELCOME to join us...)

I thought I would blog a little about the classes and let you see how I have been inspired to do them IN my bible.  Now Sheila's class is in-depth and she has a list of art supplies and goes through each one and shows you step-by-step how to create these beautiful pieces she has created!  But with the very thin and almost transparent pages of a bible I have had to change things a bit and use different products to achieve a similar effect.  So I want to show you what I have done and give you some ideas and products you can try when you are bible journaling.

These are the basic steps I use for every page I create in my Bible.

Step 1: Always prep your pages before you start.  I wish I could say that I have done this each and every time, but I forget... and when I forget I am not happy about it because it usually ends up in having the artwork show through to the back page.  

This is very easy to do but really important, so try to remember... (unlike me ;)  I like to use Art Basics Clear Gesso.  It doesn't have the "grit" of other brands so when you are working on your page you don't feel that sandpaper texture.  Just take a bit out of the jar and spread it on the page in a very thin layer with an old room key or used gift card.  Let it dry for 15-20 minutes or you can run a heat tool over it to set it quickly.

Step 2:  While this is drying gather all your supplies.  Depending on the kind of bible you have  (if it has blank pages or if you are going to be doing your art over the words) you will want to be careful on the supplies you use so it doesn't ruin your bible or go through the pages.  The gesso works wonders for that, but it's not a "go ahead" for all kinds of art mediums.  Here is a list of some of my favorite things to use that I know are not going to bleed through the gesso'd pages:

Inks: 
Pigment based ink-  Illustrated Faith has great ink pads
Chalk Inks - Prima or Ranger
Stamp Markers by American Crafts (These are pens you can use on stamps or directly on the page)

Paints:
Watercolors work GREAT and don't bleed through
Faber-Castell Water Color Pencils
Distress Inks by Ranger
Acrylics also can be great, but you need to watch the type. Pebeo paint are great
Winsor & Newton Galleria acrylic paint
Studio Calico color theory paints

Pens & Markers:
Copic Pigment Liners
Prisma Color Premier Markers
Faber -Castell PITT Artist Pens
Pigma Micron Pens

Crayons & Pencils:
Crayola Twistables
Faber - Castell Mix & Match Art Grip
Faber - Castell Gelatos (use dry and gently rub, use with a paint brush with almost no water or use on stamps for a light color)  These are one of my FAV's

Sprays:
Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye

Be careful when using sprays so it doesn't go everywhere.  I like to control the area with paper covering the areas I do NOT want to have color on and I also have lots of paper towels handy to wipe any excess ink away after I spray.

Step 3: This probably could be started at the very beginning, but if you haven't already, protect the other pages in your bible before you start coloring.  I like to use regular parchment paper or if I don't have any, I use wax paper.  I layer that underneath the page I'm working on, underneath the whole bible and on the page next to the page I'm working on if I don't want to get that messed up.

Step 4: Get creative!  I like to put on worship music, pray, see what the Lord is showing me and then just start.  There are NO mistakes in what the Lord is showing you and even if your page does not look like those you see on social media... that is NOT what this is about.  This is about you drawing closer to God through His Word and through the creative spirit He is giving you.  I don't consider myself an artist in the sense that I went to Art School or had any kind of natural ability is art class when I was in grade school... or beyond.  But... it is a part of my.  Being CREATIVE, using my hands, being INSPIRED to worship the Lord is this way.  It is something I started about 2 1/2 years ago and had drawn me closer to the Lord like never before!  I have learned so much about His Word, His heart for us, His beautiful story that He has for each one of us... and it has filled me up completely!   The JOY I have found through this "art form" is immeasurable to me.  I hope that you find that too...

So finally getting to the pages I have done so far with Sheila's class... here are the two I have done so far:

Here class delves into the Beginning, as in Genesis 1.  Let there be light.  So the first class exercise was to draw a face!  Yikes... that is my least favorite thing to do and I probably have only shown 1 or 2 faces from my artwork, ever!  But we learned the different in values and finding that in a photo of your face.

This is the picture I used for this exercise.

And this is the page I created.  I have LOTS to learn... I know... but it was something that really stretched me and it actually made me want to work on faces more.  Sheila's was much more abstract then mine, so I would like to keep trying this outside of my bible to get better and finding the light with color and not trying to be so realistic in my art.  Love that she pushed me though and that I really got so much out of her bible study on Genesis.  

Here's what I wrote on IG with this post and a few more photos:

REPOST FROM IG:  Really enjoying @sheilaatchleydesigns class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network! I'm going to be posting all my art and bible journaling over on my @awelldocumentedlife IG account so if you want to follow along, please follow that feed. On day one it already challenged me and was so inspiring! It's not to late to sign up and join the fun!
Purpose. That word keeps popping up everywhere lately. Last weekend my hubby and I talked about it, then Sunday in church the guest speaker talked about it, and then yesterday @sheilaatchleydesigns brought it up again! I guess the Lords trying to tell me something?? I listened & watched only the first 3 videos from Sheila over at Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network and you can't help but fall in love with this ladies heart and the words coming from that heart! I don't draw faces people... this may be the 2nd time I've dared even show one online! But, Genesis starts with such an impactful first sentence that is directly connected to YOU & ME that I dared to paint...me. (With way too much hair, haha) IN the beginning, GOD. There is so much in those 4 words that you can rest on, I so encourage you to take Sheila's class IF ONLY to listen to her study on that alone! (I think I wrote two pages of notes yesterday!) Little did I know if I scrolled down there were lots more videos! 😂 But listen, God not only created an incredible World, He created you... and it was for a PURPOSE. Did you hear that? Sit on that today, thank Him for that, ask Him what that looks like... because when you know what He is calling you to, there is a party going on in your soul! I took these photos in the morning light which was awesome to catch but I know these are a little dark and may not show the true values in the painting. Oh and I decided to start this journey with Sheila in my new journaling bible! It's the ESV Interleaved addition and its thick and chunky and leather bound, and I love it already! ❤️ Have a great day and let me know if you've joined in on "Let us Make" by Sheila Atchley!

Since this was such a long post on the basics of Bible Journaling, I will go ahead and do another post later of the page I finished and put on IG this morning.

If you have any questions about Bible Journaling feel free to email me or send me your questions via the Contact Page up at the top of this website.

Have a Blessed day,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let us Make...

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Let us Make...

I am SO excited to be a part of the Bible Journaling Team for an incredible class by Sheila Atchley over at Jeanne Griffin Oliver's Creative Network. It starts TODAY but it is a “go at your own pace” class,  so it's not too late to sign up! You can find the course description at the end of this post or watch the trailer below.

Sheila is someone I have just recently been introduced to and I can already tell that we would really have a blast together! Maybe in Italy someday??? Anyways, I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to take her class and interpret it through my own bible journaling.  That is where my passion is and I'm excited to see what the Lord wants to reveal through Sheila and this class.

I hope you will feel lead to join in on this journey and take that step to opening yourself up to what the Lord wants to speak to your through art and faith.

You can watch the course trailer here: https://vimeo.com/221530263 

and then sign up here: http://jeanneoliver.ning.com/

and JOIN the FUN!

Let me know if you are already signed up or plan to so we can chat and have some deep discussions with Sheila!

Hugs,

Laura

 

Here is the Course Description for you to look at:

Course description:

An artful, playful exploration of creation, purpose, theology and story, as we rediscover them all in Genesis chapter 1 of the bible. 

This course is built around each of the “6 days of creation”.  We will take one day at a time to make art based on “let there be light” (day 1)…firmament art (day 2)…botanical art (day 3)…moon art (day 4)…birds and fish (day 5)…culminating in day 6, where we create art celebrating a land mammal and, most of all, human beings who are Imago Dei:  made in the image of God.  

Even though we are taking our text from the bible, you do not have to be a Christian to take this course.  This class is for anyone who loves nature, art, and spirituality.  Together we will play with techniques such as abstract flow art, mixed media, collage, botanical art, and expressive portraiture.  We will try our hand at painting things that fly and things that swim, and we will "paint with light" at least two or three different ways.  

If you’ve ever wished you could have an excuse to make art and spend more time outdoors; if you’ve ever wished you could gain some perspective on your own story, and come to know for sure why you are alive, this is the course for you.  

All these things will be explored through art and scripture, in a safe, nonjudgemental, even playful atmosphere.  I’m excited for you to join me in “Let Us Make”

Again, you can sign up now and it even later, but it starts today so jump on in with me!  You can sign up here.

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

We are back from a very long 2 week Road Trip to Michigan and back.  If you're wondering what possessed us to do this, it was due to the fact that we came home early from Italy and our flight was supposed to be from Italy to Michigan... so coming home changed that and we thought... "why not just road trip it!"  Ya about that...Can I just say I know now why flying was invented.  ;) 

We probably won't be doing this anytime soon, but here are the highlights from our trip:

Had to get coffee to get us going...

And we're off!

We basically followed the storms all the way to Colorado.  We went through 5 states in one day!  California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and all the way to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  We had no plans so we just drove until we couldn't drive anymore and then stopped.  I can't believe we were able to make it so far but happy that we covered so much ground in one day!  The next day we headed to our friends house to spend some time with them for a relaxed day before we were back on the road.

Colorado was so beautiful we had to stop along the way and take some photos.

This cutie fell in love with Colorado.  Last summer we went to a family reunion in Montana and she  really realized that she loves the mountains and the great outdoors...

What we ALL realized on this trip though is we LOVE Colorado!  It reminds me a lot of Montana and that's where my heart has always been with so much time I've spent there growing up.  But Colorado has a lot of that beauty AND lots of family and friends on top of that. 

Yup... that's the friends we spent time with!  We like to call friends like this  "framily"  and it was such a beautiful time spent with them!

If you follow Jeanne on IG or FB you know what a beautiful artist she is and how she has such a wonderful touch with styling her home.  It was a joy to get to see it in person and see what an amazing place they have and it was an honor that they opened up their home to us.  

We even got to stay in this darling room that was just finished the day before with that gorgeous wallpaper!  They had just had a photo shoot of their home the day before we came so it was amazing to see the house and it's easy to see why it's going to be in a magazine.  What's funny is as we saw this wallpaper it reminded me of another one I've seen in the past and I couldn't remember where... until I was shopping in downtown Holland the following week and went into my FAV store there... Spring Sweet and upstairs is a Bridal Boutique with this wallpaper on it:

Isn't this a gorgeous place to shop for your wedding dress??  But it also looks so similar to Maddy's wallpaper, just a giant version of it.

They took us around exploring their land and seeing all the beauty of this part of Colorado.  That night we had dinner, sat out on their patio, played a great game and just had a blast.

These cuties were checking out the view the next morning when I woke up... wishing they could go outside and sit on the patio. hahaha  I would too if I lived here.

And I felt very blessed that I did get to spend a little time out on that patio with God and his beauty.  I'll share more photos of this bible journaling page later... it was actually inspired by Jeanne's class in Italy!

And then we all took a hike through their neighborhood that morning.  Love this family so much,  and it's great to find people who like to do the same things and have so many things in common! So wish we lived closer to each other.

Then we got to go antique shopping at some of Jeanne's favorite shops!  I could have bought SO much...

Is this foot stool not the cutest?

These kids.  It was such a blessing that Jeanne was able to take her whole family to Italy this summer and these people had so much fun in Italy together, and then bonded even more on this trip.  How could you not fall in love with Ben... aka "Slim Squeezy" and he even matched with Rebecca that day!

Jeanne and I just can't seem to get a selfie by ourselves... but it's ok when you have such cute humans behind you... :)

But then it was off to Nebraska and Iowa and Illinois and Indiana and then FINALLY Michigan... whew.  What were we in for??

The next night we were able to visit more friends along the way!  Our friend Lora and her three daughters live in Nebraska and were so sweet to invite us to stay with them.  I can't forget to talk about Ed.  This guy was so lovable... and how cute is he on this vintage chair in their home?

Lora was amazing and made this beautiful cheesecake for us.  OH MY Word was it good!!

And can we talk about this beautiful bed I got to sleep in?  It was sooooo comfy!

Each morning it was so hard to leave our friends.  We wish we had many more hours to just chat and play with cuties like Ed...

Here's Lora and I on her front porch.  Her house was the most adorable historical home I've been in.  She has the kind of house I would want if I lived in a town with these historical houses.  So great to get to see friends all over the country and get a peek into their lives and homes.  I am beyond blessed to have so many connections with people around this world through my retreats. I wish I could go to each city and visit each person that has been to Italy with me!

Then it was back in the car and onto Michigan... well I wish that was the case.  We actually got in the car at Lora's and the car wouldn't start!  After a couple minutes it finally did but the control panel didn't work and it was kind of scary so we called to find a dealership in Nebraska and found one about 2 hours away so we headed straight there.  In fact they even told me not to stop the car in case it wouldn't start so we coasted into the dealership with 5 miles of gas left!  But we were very blessed to actually find a dealership that was on our path and they were able to find the problem and could fix it while we were in Michigan.  We had to rent a car but I think it wasn't even 2 hours and we were back on the road with a rental and on our way.  We needed to get to Michigan by Sunday afternoon for the SERVE week to start and that was Saturday afternoon.  So we drove straight to Holland and got there about 2:30am on Sunday morning.  It was only by the grace of God that we were able to have everything work out  (i.e. find a dealership, find a car rental place, find super nice people who helped us) and get there on time!

So a few hours of sleep and we were up and ready to go to my brother's church.  It is a new church for him so we really wanted to see it and spend some time before SERVE started that afternoon with him.

Ty is a Youth Pastor and had worked for many years a different church in Holland.  This church is in a town about 30 minutes away from Holland and he's been working here for a little over a year I think.  But this is the youth building at the church and he got to show us around and see where he works.  It was a joy to see him back at what is definitely his calling.

Ty and I don't get a lot of time together since we live so far away from each other.  But he is such a great brother and has such a heart for people... especially the youth.  It's a joy to get to come here just about every summer and spend this time with him and his family!

I'll share more next time of the SERVE week that we have come for each year, and more photos of our trip home...

Hope you LOVE your Tuesday...

Laura

 

 

 

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