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Love Tuesday

Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Does it feel like Monday to you?  This week got off to such a slow start and this morning I should be walking right now but the hubs is still in bed, so I'll just blog a little... hahaha

This past weekend I wasn't feeling great and took it easy over the weekend. (other than cleaning the darn house)  It felt good to take time to relax and sit out in the sun and catch up on some projects that have been sitting around waiting for me to finish. One of which is this album from the trip Rebecca and I took to Paris & Bruges last year to research and get ready for THIS year's Paris & Bruges Art & Faith Creative Retreat.  It was such a GREAT trip and just getting time to jot down our memories this past weekend brought it all back.  I love that about keeping our memories in scrapbooks or journals.  I've leaned towards journals in the last few years and the Travelers Notebook Journals are my favorite by far.  They are just the right size to travel with and they are big enough for space for photos and journaling and artwork.  Here's a few pages from this journal...

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I altered this Traveler's Notebook before we left for Paris with vintage papers.  It made the journal a lot thicker but it held together and I love the look of it with our photos from Europe. 

What a GREAT trip.  I treasure those times when I am blessed to get away with one of my girls alone.  I get to have them to myself and spend time talking and laughing and gaining new memories... 

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I get to sit across from them at dinners...

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I get to embarrass them by taking goofy photos of myself... 

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I get to bug them about their stupid shoe choices...

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We get to share yummy treats together...

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And we get to watch TV together back home and say "We were there FIRST" when we see Arie (from the Bachelor) taking the girls to Paris!  hahaha

I'm so glad I was able to do this with Victoria and Rebecca and I look forward to the fun trips ahead with Isabella when she's a little older.  I think that time is truly important to spend with your kids when they are older.  I think it helps the transition from parent to friend in those last few moments they are still under your roof.  It doesn't matter WHERE you go, just go.  Talk.  Words are truly so important and I've been thinking about that a lot lately...  

I read a devotional last Saturday that really made me look at MY words.  

Are my words gracious, like honeycomb? like Proberbs 16 talks about?

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This has been ruminating in my brain for a few days and I want to dig deeper because words are uttered so quickly out of my mouth...  I think the Lord is showing me something that needs to be worked on and I'll share more with you tomorrow.  Now I need to go wake up my hubby and see what's up with that sleeping in??  Oh... and I need to work on the retreat this summer.  I am SO excited to bring another group of women to these beautiful places!  

Have a BLESSED day!

Hugs,

Laura

 

 

 

 

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Love, Tuesday...  Creative Friends.

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Love, Tuesday... Creative Friends.

This weeks Love, Tuesday will be the last "Creative Friends" post until after the New Year.  (How is it possible that we are SO close to being in 2018?!) But I wanted to add one more... because it's my DAUGHTER Victoria!

This girl has become a blogger herself and has a new blog that I think is just beautiful.

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She got married almost exactly a year ago to the love of her life, Dany Ferrara.  It's been a blessing to watch these two grow in their love as a married couple.  They both work at the Bible College and love helping and serving in ministry.  Victoria has always been in love with all things beauty and fashion.  That is where HER creative outlet is.  It's so beautiful to watch how she sees faces as a canvas and has a passion to help girls and women feel good about themselves.  She does makeup and hair for weddings and photo shoots and she is so GOOD.  

Victoria has combined all her loves into a lifestyle blog.  She blogs about her faith, beauty, fashion and travel.  She loves to travel and of course being married to an Italian I think she may LIVE in Italy at some point in her life.  I guess all those trips as a kid gave her the bug to travel!

This month on her blog she is doing a 25 days of "Blogmas" with all kinds of ideas for Christmas.  She's got great tips if you don't know what to get the loved ones in your life.  And I love that she blogged about our Christmas traditions, that definitely made me melt...  

I'm so proud of her and would love it if you checked out her website at victoriaferrara.blog

She also has an IG account and you can follow her here.

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She's had an eye for photography for many years and has some fun ideas coming up in the next year! 

It's so refreshing to see someone be so open and honest about things that may be hard to talk about.  That fact that it's my daughter and she shares her stories and her faith in such a beautiful way blesses this momma's heart so much. 

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So go check out her blog and IG and say HI!

Have a GREAT Tuesday,

Laura

 

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Love, Tuesday...  Creative Friends

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Love, Tuesday... Creative Friends

I have some AMAZING creative friends!  When you get to do what I do and host CREATIVES in Italy... you get to see all kinds of inspiration.

So today for Love, Tuesday I wanted to highlight one of those creative friends that is doing some amazing things.

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Stephanie Ackerman.  This girl... not only is she creative, but she is FUNNY.  I wish I could be funny like her.  I LOVE to laugh, but I just can't come up with the stuff she does.  This girl has been in the scrapbook/mixed-media industry with me for many, many years.  She may pre-date me actually.  We would run into each other at the CDA shows and say Hi and then go about our lives.  It wasn't until a few times of that, that we actually got deeper and found we had so much more in common.  I think we are the same age and when we friended each other on FB years ago we noticed we had a mutual friend from our childhood days!  How cool.  But what I love most is that her heart is so REAL.  She is open and honest and I just love that and am thankful for that.

So this girl is doing some GREAT things.  She has taken her love of the Lord and her love of being creative and blended them into a business called Documented Faith.  Her style of art is so easy to recognize if you are ever on Pinterest or surfing Instagram.  

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Everyone LOVES her style.  So she has just had her art journaling published in a new book called "Faith Journaling For the Inspired Artist"  and it's a GREAT book to have, so go check it out via the link above.

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She gives you all kinds of techniques to use in your art or bible journaling and gives you great advice on how to draw closer to Jesus.

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Stephanie has taught twice with me at my retreats in Italy and I'm sure that won't be the last time you will see her at one of my retreats...

Go find her on IG @stephanieackerman1 and say Hi!

Next Love, Tuesday I think I will continue this series and highlight another CREATIVE friend.

Hope you enjoy your day!

Hugs,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Happy Valentines Day on this Love, Tuesday!!

Love is from God and I am so thankful for all the love he has brought into my life. 

This guy... who takes me on a Vespa through Paris, and so much more!

These two... who give so much HOPE to those waiting on God to find their love.  And give us parents so much joy to watch grow in their love,  and know that our prayers were answered from when this beautiful woman was born and we prayed for her future husband.

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This family... the Lord has blessed me with!  Family is my life, but it isn't easy and no matter how many perfect looking photos we can post, it takes the Lord in the center and a lot of work to grow a family that truly loves each other.   I wish parenting came with an owners manual! 

This girl... who has grown stronger in the Lord through the good and the bad!  I am amazed at who she is and what the Lord is doing in her life.  WARNING: When you pray for your kids to be a light in this dark world... well then you know the enemy is going to try and destroy that light.  Pray HARD for your kids, they are the future and need to be bold in their faith, but make sure you are praying for a protection around them as well.  It's a scary thing to pray bold prayers on your children but the Lord didn't intend for us to live in a bubble of safe christianity...  

More on that in the next few blog posts.

And this girl... who is growing up WAY too fast in some ways, and still the baby in other ways. :)  This is the child who we didn't think was possible, so we are thankful for this miracle baby and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.

I LOVE that I get to bring woman together in beautiful places to share our lives together and grow in our love of the Lord and in our love of being Creative.  

And I love that my hubby knows me... 

I hope you all have a great day of love.  No matter who you are sharing this day with, or if you are alone by yourself... know how much the Lord loves you and is waiting for you to cling to Him.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

8 Love never fails.

Hugs to all,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

So you know that #onelittleword I chose for 2017??  HOPEFUL...

It's been a real challenge to feel hopeful lately.  All I have to do is go on Facebook (which I am really limiting lately) to see such sad division among so many people.  Just read the news or watch TV and boy oh boy,  is this world going NUTS O'  or what!!??

A friend of mine let me vent last weekend and I really appreciated her helping me find the right perspective... to

LOOK UP!

Here's the verse from the bible journaling page above:

Psalm 121

My Help Comes from the Lord

121 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

This world isn't easy and pretty all the time is it? It gets messy and ugly and even though we know God is in control, we can let our own fears and doubts and frustrations overtake us. I love that the Lord brings people and His Word to us right at the right time in those moments! Thank you Jesus. Bible Journaling is also that perfect peaceful place for me... where He speaks right to the core.  Isn't Psalm 121 so great! Read the whole chapter above and tell me how that wouldn't lift your soul and make you HOPEFUL again?!? So look up people... the Lord will be your help.❤ 

I've been thinking about the girls lately and how they are growing up.  Actually 2 of the 3 ARE grown.  Victoria is now married, Rebecca is deciding on colleges right now and pretty soon we will only have Isabella at home with us.  When our kids are little and all at home with us we know we can protect them and they are pretty much always in our care.  As they grow there is freedom in that and it's how it's supposed to be... but it also creates a little anxiety for us mommas.  

A couple of Rebecca's college choices are close to the beach so we walked along this beach and had dinner that night on the waterfront, just talking about her future and what the Lord is showing her.

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This verse came to me while we were away for a couple days and I wanted to bible journal these verses to remind me that they are ALWAYS under the Lord's protection and that is WAY more than I could ever do.

"But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield." Psalm 5:11-12

Discover JOY in His protection...

I LOVE these verses in Psalms.  This is for anyone! When you feel pressure on every side, when you are overwhelmed with life and the decisions you need to make, when you are anxious because your babies are growing up and you no longer have them at home... remember the Lord God's got this!! There is complete JOY in that ladies! Rest in His protection and lean in.  He wants to show you that He is your rock and He will take care of it all. 

And, with everything going on in this world...  With all the "stuff" that is happening over the past couple weekends in our country... with EVERYTHING that may weigh us down, cause us to be burdened by all the chaos in this world and question WHY there is so much division... I want you to STILL BE HOPEFUL!

So are you ready to feel His shield and take refuge in Him?  I know I am!!

Jeremiah 33: 1 "The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: 2 “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."

Now if you're like me... you may need to be reminded EVERY. DAY.  And if so, that's ok.  For me it is a struggle to stop feeling saddened by the world we live in when I turn on the news or look on FB.  There is a lot to be anxious about.  It is true that we live in a world full of hurt and evil.  I will talk more about that next time... and what the Lord is putting on our hearts to GO & DO.

But I encourage you to find HOPE today! Because there is a GOD that does love us.  He is THERE for us and wants us to call out to Him in time of need... In time of anxiety, in chaos, in sadness... in ANY time.  He doesn't want us to be anxious about anything!  And the GOOD NEWS is that He can take it away.  He can give us that HOPE and PEACE that passes all understanding.  In the bible journaling page above it gives me so much hope to know that He wants us to call on him and that He WILL answer!  

 

And if you're wondering how He answers...

Just "Be Still"

"Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth~" The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Psalm 46:10-11.

This is what I posted on IG with this Bible Journaling Page:

"Be still and know that I am God."  Something I am trying to do more of.  So many things are out of our control and it can sometimes overwhelm me.  I was overcome by this feeling last weekend and had to take a step back, get off social media and BE STILL.  Here's what I know... The Lord will be exalted among the nations, and in all the earth!  Yes, there's craziness in this world, yes there's much to be done, and yes we are called to be a light to the darkness.  There's a lot of darkness and much love of God to be shared!  At 48 years old the Lord is awakening me to this and I am willing to be used.  But at times we need to "be still" and wait on the Lord... And know that you know that you know... That He is our fortress, that He is there for us, and that He will show us, in His timing.  That His will will be done. Take time to be still today... and look up.  Will share more in the weeks ahead what He is moving in my life.  This page was inspired by a verse photo on @focusonthefamily a week ago and gave me such a peaceful feeling I wanted to re-create it in my bible. 

So that is what I am finding more and more as I draw closer to Him daily in His Word.  He is truly AMAZING and He wants to be the focus of our lives... not the craziness of this world.  Because ultimately He will be exalted, His WILL will be done.  There may be crazy stuff going on and we may feel like there is too much going on to take the time to "be still"... but I truly believe that is the place where we are going to HEAR the Lord speak to us.  To give us His peace, to show us what He wants us to do, to help us find His calm in the storm.  

So I encourage you today to get off of Facebook for a while, turn off the TV tonight, put that magazine down, even let the laundry stay in the dryer for a little while longer mommas...  :)

and instead, read the Word of God.  He will put your life into His ETERNAL perspective for you!

Have a GREAT week everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

P.S. Next week I will be sharing what the Lord is showing my husband and I as we are doing a prayer challenge that has really been a game changer!

 

 

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