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Jeanne Oliver

Jeanne Oliver...

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Jeanne Oliver...

We just arrived home from a week away in Maui.  It was a nice time celebrating Thanksgiving in a beautiful location with our family.  But, it was also strange to be away from home and ALL the family so it kind of felt like a mixed blessing.  If I'm honest I will always choose being home, surrounded by family and friends... 

Speaking of one of those friends. Jeanne Oliver is a dear friend who as most of you know is a very creative soul. 

Here we are in Bellagio the first time she taught with me in 2013... we look like babies! 

Here we are in Bellagio the first time she taught with me in 2013... we look like babies! 

 She is an artist whose journey I have watched for over 5 years now.  We met at a creative retreat in Los Angeles in 2012 where we taught at Kim Caldwell's "Breakfast at Tiffany's event.  There was an instant connection and I'll never forget the laughter...all weekend long!  I knew right then that this wouldn't be the last time we would meet.  Since then she has taught with me in Bellagio, Italy 3 times and launched her first Living Studio in Bellagio as well!  She's opened her home to my family, shared her beautiful town with my daughter (while she was in the middle of the busiest time of her life) and has been a supporter and prayer partner in this new journey of ours to Colorado.  I'm so grateful for her friendship, her wisdom and her creative spirit!

Jeanne has an amazing Creative Network that I've shared about before, but I'm sharing AGAIN!  And here's why...

She has poured her heart and soul into her new website... and it's launching TODAY!

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She is such an amazing artist and teacher and her classes are THE best.  But not only does she teach, she has an amazing network of artists that she gathers together on her Online Creative Network.  So you can take classes any time, at your own pace, from artists all over the world on her website.  And now it's going to be EVEN better!  She is launching her new website and you HAVE to go check it out!

Not only will she have all the classes, but she has a SHOP that will have some really exciting things in it!  This is just one of the little sneaks she gave us...

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She will also have her blog and lifestyle posts that she collaborates with some of your favorite brand name companies on.  

So go spend some time over on her new website and leave a comment!  She is having some great GIVEAWAYS today so hurry on over to Jeanneoliver.com  and see what she's up to...

You might find some GREAT Christmas presents to finish off your Holiday shopping too!

I'm on my way over to her new site right now and I hope I can grab some things before they are gone!  And I'm going to try to wrestle her into teaching in Bellagio with me again...

Hugs,

Laura

Here's my "Gluten Free" friend, a little excited to enjoy PIZZA in Italy!  hahaha  (Sorry Jeanne... had to share this one)

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Pumpkin Muffins and a heart to heart...

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Pumpkin Muffins and a heart to heart...

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Ok, these look GOOD, right?

I'm so happy to say that I have finally figured out this Gluten Free recipe switch!  I've been experimenting with a lot of our favorite baked items and I will tell you it's NOT easy.   The gluten free flour that says it's just a 1:1 ratio is not telling you the truth.  In my opinion...

I tried to make our favorite pumpkin cream cheese cookies last week and they didn't work out at all.  They weren't sweet and they crumbled so easily that you couldn't even barely pick them up with your hands to eat one.  So that got me thinking that they don't put the Xanthan gum (or similar binding agent) in their flour.  If you click on Xanthan gum you will find a link to what it is by a well known health expert.  He suggests that and other natural ingredients you can use in baking.  So, this time around I added 1/2 teaspoon to the recipe and it worked!  The muffins stayed together and baked perfectly.  I still think something to do with the gluten free flour almost nullifies the sweetness but I did not add anymore sugar.  I think you COULD, but it wasn't too bad this time and I added a little bit of cinnamon sugar on the top of the muffins to make them look pretty and have an added texture.  I love adding walnuts or pecans to the top of my muffins as well, but this time I didn't.  The girls don't like the nuts inside of the muffins so if I use them I only add them to the top of some of them... the ones I plan to eat! :)

So here is the Original Recipe:

Pumpkin - Orange Muffins

3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Allspice
1/2 Tsp. Cloves
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Oil
3 Eggs
1 16 oz. can of Pumpkin
1 Tbs. grated Orange Peel

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat sugar and oil until blended.  Beat in 1 egg at a time until fluffy.  Beat in pumpkin.  Add the dry ingredients and the grated orange peel.  Fill muffin pan and bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes (depending on the size of the muffins)

Here's the GLUTEN FREE Recipe:

Gluten Free Pumpkin - Orange Muffins:

3 Cups Gluten Free Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Xathan Gum
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Allspice
1/2 Tsp. Cloves
1 1/4 Cup Sugar (you can add another 1/4 cup if you want them sweeter)
1 Cup Oil ( I use almond oil)
3 Eggs
1 16 oz. can of Pumpkin
1 Tbs. grated Orange Peel (sometimes I don't put this in... it's up to your preference)
Cinnamon - Sugar mixture for top of muffins

I also wanted to mention that I use organic ingredients as much as possible.  I know it adds to the cost, so it's up to you.

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat sugar and oil until blended.  Beat in 1 egg at a time until fluffy.  Beat in pumpkin.  Add the dry ingredients and the grated orange peel.  Fill muffin pan and add cinnamon-sugar to the tops of each muffin.  Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes (depending on the size of the muffins... these muffin trays made extra large muffins so they baked for 27 minutes)

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Let me know if you make them and how they turned out! 

Now for that heart to heart chat...

The Lord has been really getting me to a place where I seek HIS PLAN for my life.  To really ask and search out what He wants me to do.  I know this is the age old question for EVERYONE... "What am I supposed to do with my life?"

I also know it's different, for different stages of our lives.  I have such a heart for those who are just about graduating High School and asking themselves this tough question because it's SO important at that time as well.  In fact, I have a blog post I keep meaning to write and it would follow this one perfectly... I will try.

But for those of us NOT graduating High School anymore... 

What DOES the Lord want for us & from us in this "middle" time of our lives?  (or maybe not so middle)

That's what I think we need to ask ourselves.  Do we just think our jobs as moms are "done" or almost done and then what?  We get more time, we don't have to make school lunches and we can read!  Oh... I'm ALL for that, trust me!  But I don't think that's the answer either.  That empty nester time frame is where I am headed with two raised and the last one starting High School next year.  So all of this is on my mind lately...

Here's a question I want YOU to ask yourself.  It stopped me in my tracks/thoughts this morning and it's stills swirling around in my head...


Am I living in my own unique place of grace?

 

Loaded question, right?

I started a new devotional on YouVersion.  It's Titled "Live, Love, Lead" and it's GOOD.  Find it and add it to your devotional time.  I had a conversation with a friend last week at coffee and we both talked a little about our roles as moms and as that "full-time" roll ends what is the next step?  What is God calling us to do with our time?  I know in our society we have this mentality of "Retirement" and kicking back for those "golden years."  We think... "I'm going to retire, travel the world, golf... etc, etc."

I'm going to say something now that may totally offend... so get ready for it.

I don't think God wants us to RETIRE.

Retire from a 9-5 job... maybe yes if you don't think that is where God is calling you to be a light.  But retire from doing work... aka. His will and His purposes... absolutely NOT.  I really don't see how that is biblical.   I think those "golden years" can be a fresh start of something bigger than ourselves.   And that's EXCITING!

So getting back to that loaded question above...Here's a few more to add to it:

What does God have for you to do?  

Who does God say you are?  

...and What is God calling you to do?

think about those questions... chat with a friend or a spouse about them.  Email me if you want!  He gave each one of us UNIQUE skills, abilities, talents... GIFTS.  They are GIFTS... and He didn't do that for the heck of it.  There's a REASON you are who you are.  So ask HIM those questions.  In prayer and in His Word you will find those answers.

Hey, I'm still trying to figure those questions out too!  Why is God moving us from a safe, lovely, sunny, So Cal existence to somewhere that wasn't even on our radar 4 months ago!??

Well... probably because He has something UNIQUE and SPECIFIC He is calling us to do.

So figuring out those questions... knowing what UNIQUE purpose the Lord has for YOU... that's important.  No matter what age you are and how far down a path you have gone.  Search out the plan/path He has for you because it's going to be THE. BEST. PLAN. EVER.

Ok, the chat is over... did you just feel like your parents sat you down at the couch to talk!  I kinda feel like that and I'm the one TALKING!  lol

Before I go I want to share something my dear friend Jeanne Oliver posted today!  I think it fits with what I was just talking about because in order for us to find out what our PURPOSE is in life, we need to get outside ourselves.  We are to be the "Hands & Feet" of Jesus and this special project she created for this time of year is just PERFECT for that!

So look at this beautiful Advent Tree:

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This Acts of Service Advent Tree is SO sweet and lovely... and what a special idea!  She posted it early enough so you could make it and have it ready to go.  Here's the link to her blog and how to make it:

Acts of Service Advent Tree

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Inside each star is an act of service note.  Here's Jeanne's youngest cutie... Ben (aka. slim squeezy...it's an inside joke ;) getting one of the stars.  Jeanne has such awesome kids. Honestly,  I have to say how much we love them and are impressed with how Jeanne and Kelly have raised their children to be such kind and loving people.  I can't help but think that little things like THIS have shaped them.  

So before Christmas comes, let's all ask ourselves where are we headed?  What does it look like to be the hands and feet of Jesus?  What is He calling us to do?  

We have some little things we do around this time of year to bless others, but this Advent Tree is going to make me think about some more ideas on what we could do.

I think I'll have one more muffin in my backyard and think about that... ;)

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Have a BLESSED day,

Laura

P.S.  Don't forget... THIS Friday REGISTRATION opens for our retreat in Italy with Sheila Atchely next october!  I hope you can join us... it's going to be a week you won't forget!

Oh and that coffee mug... Yes!  I do believe the BEST IS YET TO COME!! xoxo

 

 

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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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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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Class Schedule -  2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

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Class Schedule - 2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

We are getting so close to another Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy!!  

I am amazed at how the year goes by so quickly as I announce a new retreat and we get the sign ups, then we get to know each person through Facebook and our email correspondence, and then we start planning for our time together.  Then it's here before we know it and we are sooooo excited to go an this amazing adventure together!  

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What they don't know (if they haven't gone on one before)  is that it is going to be such a transforming trip for them and that is what I look forward to the most!  The time spent in Italy is such a beautiful time of restoring our souls, meeting new people, and experiencing amazing places... each person comes away with a new set of friends, life long memories and Lord willing a new sense of closeness to Him.  Oh... I can't WAIT for June!

So for those of you who ARE joining us this summer in Italy, here are the classes you will be taking!  

For those who live close enough to come for a day trip... these are the classes YOU can sign up for right now, under the SIGN UP page at the top of the website!  I have always welcomed the local community to be a part of my retreats and that's what I think makes it extra special.  So if you would like to join us for a class, or 2 or 3... please go check them out and see if a time will work with your schedule and we would love to meet you and spend this time together!  I have about 10 spots I make available for local sign ups, so you will find out all the details under SIGN UP and then click on the REGISTRATION button to find each class.

Here is a sneak peek at each class we are teaching this June in Bellagio, Italy:

Class One | Creating a Junk Journal | June 26 - 9:00am

I am a huge believer that carrying a journal and a few supplies with us everywhere we go changes how we see the world. We will be creating in one of the most gorgeous locations in the world and I want to share some techniques that you can use as you explore and then also later when you return home. We will start by creating a handmade art journal full of watercolor paper, mixed media paper, vintage ephemera, fabrics and more. Each journal will have a hand stitched vintage French linen spine and will close with a leather strap.

Class Two | Stamp Carving | June 26 - 1:30pm

In this class Stephanie will show us how to create our OWN one-of-a-kind stamps!  She has been doing this for a while and will share her tips and techniques on making these fun stamps and using them in our classes during the week.  I don't know about you, but I'm excited to learn how to do this and I hope you will join us in this unique class!

Class Three | Mixed-Media Canvas | June 28 - 9:00am

During the week I will be teaching you some Bible Journaling techniques and we will be enjoying this time of art in our bibles!  But I also wanted to have something you could take home with you and hang or display in your home.  So this class will be on a thin canvas board and I will be teaching you some of the basic techniques of mixed-media.  We were learn how to create a collage base on our canvas and then we will be adding layers of dimension to the canvas.  In keeping with our theme for the week, you can add some wording with stamps and hand lettering or add your own saying to the canvas

Class Four | Prayer Journal Midori | June 28 - 1:30pm

In this class we will learn from Stephanie how to make a beautiful Prayer Journal.  She will share with us her insight on how to bring our prayer requests before the Lord and to remember to journal those answered prayers as well!  We will have fun putting this Midori styled journal together with all her colorful paints and stamps!

Class Five | Altered Journal Pages | Friday June 30 - 9:00am

We will then explore fun and easy contour sketching so you can learn to capture the beauty around you in landscapes, architecture and even people.  We will then create a two page spread in our journals as we practice mark making, collage and stitching to create beautiful works of art. My hope is that your journal will become full and well worn as you explore and create in Bellagio and back in your own towns.

So that is all the classes for this summer.  Again, feel free to sign up if you are local to the area and can be there for any of the classes listed.  You can go to the SIGN UP button and the click on the drop down menu on REGISTRATION and you will see all the classes and can pay as well.

If you have any questions you can email me via the contact page at the top of this website.

For those interested in joining one of these trips to Bellagio, Italy there will be another Art & Faith Creative Retreat NEXT SUMMER!  I will have all the details about that in the next month or so.  The dates for that will be most likely the last week in June of 2018.  If you want to be on an Interest List for next year you can also send an email via the Contact page at the top.

Have a GREAT day,

Laura

 

 

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2017 & 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreats...

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2017 & 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreats...

Good morning everyone! 

I thought this fine January morning with the sun shining out my window (I know, I live in sunny So. Cal but it hasn't been so sunny lately...) would be a good day to update you on the upcoming Art & Faith Creative Retreats.  

Yesterday Rebecca and I worked on this summer's retreat, thanks to her knowing how to put together nice Excel spreadsheets!  That is one aspect of my business/ministry that I am not so good at... so a big shout out to Rebecca for taking three years of business classes in High School!  And making her dad so very happy that when he asks me business related questions I may actually be able to show him the answers now.  :)

I really can't tell you how excited we are about the things the Lord is doing through these retreats, and this summer looks to be the biggest event ever! I have always wanted my art retreats to have a faith element to them, but when I finally felt the Lord calling me to put Him FIRST in these retreats...THAT is when He blew the roof off of them!  I've said it before and I will say it again:  When you give the Lord the control and yield your will to His, that's when He shows you how incredible He is and how His plan is WAY better than yours.  I LOVE how He shows us this and that He truly gets all the glory for it. Yes & Amen!

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If you've come to one of my retreats in the past you know my girls are my helpers.  I have been so blessed to have them love what I do and it has been even more of a blessing to see where the Lord is leading them THROUGH these retreats.  Rebecca specifically has such a heart for this ministry and is praying about joining me full time after college!  And the ladies LOVE her and all that she bring to the retreats so it would be a joy to have the Lord use her in this way.  

So this summer can't come quick enough!  If you have signed up for this retreat, we are SO excited to meet you and see what the Lord is going to show you during our time together in Italy!

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How could it not be a GREAT time with these two humans?!?  I knew right away when the Lord told me to start doing the faith based retreats that these two were who He wanted me to teach with the first time and I asked them right away!  And I am so honored that they want to come back... AGAIN!  So this year I will be teaching, and laughing, and learning with these great ladies!  Sooooo looking forward to the time we will have together this June and what the Lord will put on our hearts to share with all the people coming.  And speaking of "all the people coming"... right now we are at 32 people!  WOW... that is by far the biggest group I have had, but I know the Lord is going to do amazing things and He has brought each person to this week in Italy for a reason.  

Looking forward to the future... Rebecca and I have been praying over what that looks like.  I know I have mentioned on here that we want to do a Paris Art & Faith Creative Retreat and that is in the planning stages right now!  It looks like it will be a Summer of 2018 time frame and is going to be the LONGEST retreat as well!  

So we are THRILLED to announce that we are planning a Paris-Bruges

10 day Art & Faith Creative Retreat!  

We will start it off in the beautiful city of Paris and explore the city we all love and dream about.  Rebecca and I have been to Paris many times and we love to show the ladies all the hidden jewels of this city.  We will explore some of the not so well known places and little cafes and stores that we love, as well as take everyone to the famous icons of this enchanting city!  Then we will visit some places outside the city to get a feel for the countryside of France.  And then on to Bruges, Belgium for a couple days to enjoy what that storybook town has to offer.  This is one of our favorite little towns in Europe and if you ask others who have been to Bruge, they will agree with you!  Then we will come back to Paris and end our 10 day retreat right in the heart of Paris where it all started.  We can't WAIT to spend this time with everyone! If you are trying to plan ahead for this trip, the dates are not set in stone yet, but it looks like it will be:

Paris - Bruges:  July 14 - 24, 2018

If you have sent me an email to be put on the Interest List, I will be sending you an email towards the end of the month with more specific details on pricing and what will be included.  This will be a much smaller retreat than the one in Italy, so if you haven't put your name on the list yet, go ahead and send me your name and information via my Contact Page at the top of this website.  

If you're wondering about a 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy... YES, there will still be one!  We haven't picked the exact dates of that yet as well, but most likely it will be towards the end of June.  If you are interested in that retreat you can also send an email via my Contact Page above.  

And if that is not enough for you... we are also planning some U.S. Art & Faith Creative Retreats!  I know a lot of you would love to join us and have expressed interest in having us do these locally.  So, with that in mind, we are planning for a Fall 2017 retreat locally in So. Cal!  We love where we live and in the Fall it is just beautiful here and we would love to share that with you!  We are SO excited about this and you can check back for details on this here or send an email via the Contact page as well.  

 

Eventually, we will be planning 3-4 of our Art & Faith Creative Retreats each year.  Rebecca and I feel the Lord moving us to do more to touch more lives and to bring the love of the Lord to as many people as He gives us the opportunity to!  We are so blessed to have this opportunity and we look forward to what the Lord is wanting it to look like.  There are lots of ideas in our heads right now, but we are praying for guidance as He shows us what that looks like.

Thank you to everyone who has been on one of our retreats and has had such kind words to say!  We feel such a JOY getting to serve you for the week and sharing our love and passion for being CREATIVE and sharing in our FAITH with everyone!  And to all of you who email me or leave a comment, THANK YOU!  I also know many woman who would love the opportunity to come on one of these retreats but just don't have the way to make that happen.  We are praying for the Lord to make a way for that to happen if you are prayerfully considering joining us.  I think that is why the Lord is putting it on our hearts to do this here in the U.S. as well so we can make it more affordable and easier to get to.  

Much to be thankful for as this year is just beginning!  And much to be HOPEFUL about.  (my #onelittleword if you haven't read the last blog post)  We hope to see YOU some day and share time with you at one of our retreats!

Have a GREAT day,

Laura

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Today's the day!

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Today's the day!

Hi everyone! I hope and pray that you are having a great start to your 2016.

I posted on January 1st a little about the "Listening - Finding the Quiet" video series that Jeanne Oliver is doing over on her "ning" site.  

Well guess what...

TODAY'S THE DAY!

 

Rebecca is sharing her heart over there and I would LOVE for you to take a listen! 

If you are not a member of Jeanne's ning site, all you have to do is go over to her site and sign up.  Here's the link  It's FREE and the whole series of Listening is FREE so just sign up and your good to go.  I'm telling you it will really be a blessing to listen to all of these men and women share their hearts with you.  The Lord is speaking through each one of them and it's beautiful to see.  It's not like all these people have their lives perfectly put together.  They are just like you and I.... but they have been WILLING to share what the Lord is doing in their lives, how they find the quiet in their busy days and they've opened up their hearts in the way the Lord would love ALL of us to do so.  

I know, I know... I'm a bit biased because Rebecca's my sweet daughter... but I really believe what she has to say is for anyone, at an age.  She is sharing her "listening story" about trusting the Lord through EVERY situation we are in... and then LEAVING IT in His hands.  That's not easy right?  Well, she has a wisdom beyond her years and I'm so blessed by her and I hope you will be too!

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Would love to hear what blessed you over on Jeanne's "Listening - Finding the Quiet" series.  I'm over there listening along as well.  You can leave a comment here or find me over there leaving little comments after the videos as well.

I was blessed today to listen to TWO videos!  I haven't had the chance to keep up every day, but that's OK because the series will be up for a long time and you can go at your own pace.  But today I listened to Rebecca's video and then listened to my friend Junelle Jacobsens!  What a dear woman she is.  She has such a lovely heart and quiet spirit.  I met her at the Creative Retreat in Italy that Jeanne and I did together in 2014.  She is an amazing woman and her story is just incredible!  She doesn't really share all of it in detail on this video series... but I know she will be sharing much more THIS September in Italy... Because I've asked her to be one of the teachers at my 2nd Art & Faith Creative Retreat!  I'm so excited to share her with all the students and I know they will fall in  love with her too.  She is an amazing artist and I can't wait to learn so much from her.  But also, I am honored to have her share her faith with us and I know everyone will be SO blessed by her heart. You can check her out on her blog here.

AND, September isn't that far away ladies... I would LOVE to have you join us in beautiful Bellagio!  I don't have very many spaces left, BUT just like last year... I am keeping the doors open to each and every person who the Lord is speaking to and wants to come and be a part of this awesome week of spiritual and artistic growth.  I've had such an outpouring of love from all the women who came last year and I can honestly say it was THE BEST week we had just soaking in the beauty of where we were, who we were with and what God was doing in our lives during that week.  I pray you will consider joining us this year for a week you will remember and feel changed by for the rest of your life.

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Have a GREAT week everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Hi everyone!

We are 20 days into 2015 and I don't know about you guys but I'm kinda falling short of some things I wanted to focus on the year...

Some of those things I talked about in my "one little word" post and some things that I didn't talk about but have been pressed down by for a while.

I'm going to be honest with you, I just don't have time for everything.  You probably don't either. At least I think I'm not the only one...  But boy don't we think when the New Year comes around we are GOING TO!  lol  

We have been remodeling our house and are STILL in the process of a complete make-over on the backyard.  We started this process last March.  I was REALLY hoping that we would be done by now.  But not so.  Tomorrow starts another big project; organizer closets in every bedroom!  It's very much needed as the builder of this home seriously didn't think people would have STUFF to put away.  But it's a HUGE undertaking and I just am tired of all of it.  I wanted to be focused on other things this year and there's still SO much to be done on the house.

Other things are still lingering too...  My health issues are not resolved yet and I know a surgery of some type is coming up soon.  I also know that there are a ton of little projects that need to be finished before we can call this remodel DONE.

But I say all this to let you know that even when we get down and are bummed about what we DIDN'T accomplish or didn't have time for... it's OK.  I try to take a minute and just step out of my thoughts and think LONG TERM.  Will all this be a big deal 2 years from now?  Will I look back and really care if the closest or the remodel got done in January of 2015 of June of 2016? Does is matter 5 years from now when my surgery was or is it just important to take care of our selves and do what needs to be done regardless of the timing...  We ARE making progress on things, and even though it's slow I know one day we will get to enjoy the benefits of the beautiful back yard we are creating and we will be happy when we have actual SPACE in our closets for the stuff we have and I will be back to walking and being healthy again.  So I need to remind myself these things and just BREATHE...  

Do you need to "just breathe" too?

Ok, here's my Health Tip of the day:

Go ahead... I'll wait for you.  Breathe in for 7 counts, hold for 7 counts, and breathe out for 7 counts.  (At least that's what Dr. Weil's says to do)  I actually do this breathing exercise at night in bed a lot and it really does help! I do it about 10 times and it just calms me down any time of the day. 

But I also have found that another thing that helps me is my bible journaling.  I don't have a lot of time for it, but when I am in the WORD, it helps me focus on what really matters.  Journaling in my bible is such an AMAZING new thing for me and I really can't say enough about it.  I love the Word of God and I love being creative.  Being able to blend these two things together brings me so much JOY.  Honestly, I really wasn't reading my bible every day before this.  I was doing a devotional a few times a week but if I'm being honest I just wasted focused on reading the word of God and having it be a daily part of my life.  I am so THANKFUL that I found this new way to connect with the Lord and use the talents HE gave me to draw close to Him and be IN THE WORD.  It's such a huge blessing and I really encourage everyone to give it a try!   I can't WAIT to share this with all the ladies at my Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy this Summer.  It's going to be a part of our day each morning after breakfast and I'm so excited to see what comes from this... So here is a page I just did when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed the other day:

Luke 12:22 - 31  

Do Not Be Anxious

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[b] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his[c] kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

I wrote "You are SO valuable" because if he loves and cares for those little birds every day, how much more does he LOVE us, and care for us and TAKES CARE of all our "stuff"...  So needed to hear this.  Now I can "just breathe"

I hope this blesses you as much as it did me. 

You can find more information on bible journaling on Pinterest (my Pinterest link is at the bottom of this website if you want to see my pages) and you can also join the "Journaling Bible Community" FB page to learn more and get started with this great little community.

Have a GREAT Tuesday everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

 

P.S.  There are just a few spots left for my Art & Faith Creative Retreat this summer.  If you are at all thinking about joining us, send me an email soon.  I have one apartment left but I can try to get another or a hotel room next door.  I don't want to have to say no to anyone who feels lead to come to this because I know the Lord is going to work in the lives of these ladies and I can't WAIT to see what happens!  And I know Stephanie Ackerman and Jeanne Oliver are SO excited about it too!  Just today we were all talking about it (and booking flights) and it's going to be SO FUN!

 

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