September 01, 2015

Turning 50, Tattoos, Parties, and Proposals

I think I want to turn 50 every year. Seriously, I have been blown away from the overwhelming affirmation and love from everyone in every part of my life.

So let me share with you a bit of my birthday celebrations...

First, Mani/Pedi's with my sweet daughter on Saturday.

Then off to the tattoo parlor with my daughter and one of my sons. Yes, I got a tattoo. I've been wanting one for a long time. You see, freedom is a huge theme in my life. Freedom from sin. Freedom to fly in the Spirit of God. Freedom from fear of what others think. Freedom from the fear of trying new things. Freedom from the fear of failure. (Hence my word for the year...Brave)

You see, freedom is not just being freed from something. It is freedom toward SOMETHING. Freedom to try. Freedom to feel. Freedom to fail. Freedom to chase the Spirit of God without the bondage of sin. I can run free. Unfettered. Free to fly. To soar in all that God has for me.

I chose the Hebrew word freedom (d@rowr) in Hebrew because not only does it look pretty, it expressed the same sentiment as freedom in Galations life verse. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."

Besides all that....I felt it was a brave thing to do. I'm a preacher's wife. I'm rather chubby. I'm 50. It's not your typical young person old getting tattoos. But it has meaning for me and I'm so very glad I did it.

Next up, my incredibly sweet husband threw me a party Saturday night. He worked so hard to create a Hawaiian Luau in our backyard. He had tiki lights, twinkly lights, bamboo, etc and it was fantastic! We had a feast of Hawaiian meatballs, ham/cheese sliders, fruits, chips, dips, veggies, and an incredible cake brought by my sister. He had invited family and friends from church and I had so much fun. We ate cake and opened up presents, and then the big moment came.

My husband had me stand up with him and he shared how he had proposed 31 years ago on my birthday. Then he got down on his knee, opened up a little box with a beautiful ring (that my daughter created!), and asked me for another 31 years! Oh the teary eyes...and not just from me! What a blessing my husband is to me. I am spoiled and I love it! (and I said YES!)  ;)

Today is my real birthday and when I got to work, I was greeted by sweet students singing Happy Birthday. These students-and staff - were dressed 50's style! And surrounding my desk were 50 balloons and 4 huge bouquets of flowers that had been brought by the students at my school. I was given a gorgeous cozy sweater to wear at my iceberg desk and ate a yummy red velvet cake with the staff after school.

I am so overwhelmed by all the expressions of love. I feel like the most blessed person in the world. There is no way to express the depths of my gratitude, but I shall try. Just give me a few days to get my thank you notes in the mail. ;)

I really think my 50th decade may be my best yet!

What's been your favorite birthday? Why? 

June 30, 2015

Learning to Make Printables

I finally learned how to digitize my lettering. And might I just add, it was not too difficult...especially since I took a class called Photoshop for Lettering Artists, which I found on the Besotted blog. I can't tell you the hours I spent on YouTube, trying to figure out how to get my lettering into Photoshop and do something with it, but with this class, which is only about 30 minutes long, I was able to do it with ease.

Here is the first thing I made. It's a free 4 x 4 printable that you can download. Or you can just right click and save the image.

Have a great day!

June 08, 2015

Why We Worship God

Photo by Markuso at
Some people seem to think that God is on His mighty throne demanding worship, but that is not the case. God is not one to stand apart from His creation. He is a God who stoops down to be with His people. He is with us. He engages with His creation to accomplish His mission of salvation.

So how do we know that God doesn't demand worship? How do we understand the narrative of God with us? We look to Jesus. Jesus is God with us. When we see Jesus, we see who God is. We see what God wants us to know about Himself. We see how He wants us to act and to be. We see the true narrative of God, not the distorted "high and mighty" view of God.

Psalm 113
Praise the Eternal!
All of you who call yourselves the children of the Eternal, come andpraise His name.
    Lift Him high to the high place in your hearts.
At this moment, and for all the moments yet to come,
    may the Eternal’s name ascend in the hearts of His people.
At every time and in every place
    from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets—
    may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.
The Eternal is seated high above every nation.
    His glory fills the skies.
To whom should we compare the Eternal, our God?
    No one.
    From His seat, high above,
He deigns to observe the earth and her thin skies,
    stooping even to see her goings on, far beneath His feet.
He gathers up the poor from their dirt floors,
    pulls the needy from the trash heaps,
And places them among heads of state,
    seated next to the rulers of His people where they cannot be ignored.
Into the home of the childless bride,
    He sends children who are, for her, a cause of happiness beyond measure.
Praise the Eternal!

Why do we worship God? Not because He demands it, but because He has earned it. He is worthy. He brings freedom. He saves us. He is creator. He brings life. He heals. He forgives. He brings peace. He helps us in times of need. He teaches us. He loves us with an everlasting love.

He is worthy.

We come together as a body of believers to make a big deal about God because He is a BIG DEAL.

How big of a deal is He to you? 

***This post is from the notes taken from John Ketchersid's sermon on June 7, 2015.

June 01, 2015

Monday Musings From the Heart

First cucumber in the garden
I've got so much swirling in my mind these days. Some good, some bad. Some serious, some silly. So here is what is on my mind today.

  • God is good. He is. All the time. Even when I feel like things are disappointing, He is there, doing His work in the midst of disappointment. 
  • I love it when God brings visitors in to church, especially when we have so many out at various times. It is so encouraging to find others seeking Him and His community of believers.
  • The sunshine does wonders for my outlook. After weeks of rain, the sun soothes my soul and brings such hope. There's something about the light shining on all the lush green grass (from all the rain) that makes me smile.
  • I wish I could communicate my love of Jesus better. 
  • I'm so thankful for sales on Etsy. I'm shocked every time I here the etsy app go "cha-ching" (like a cash register ring). 
  • I wish my children could find places of worship that speak to their hearts and souls. It is sometimes difficult to find a place to belong.
  • I really, really love gummy bears.
  • I'm praying that this last week of school will go smoothly for me at work. There is so much to do as a secretary and PEIMS clerk, and I already feel a little very overwhelmed. 
  • I need to buy some more canvases and journals to create on. I love having money to "re-invest" in myself.
  • I want to be a light to those around me. I want to radiate His love so that others may see and hunger for Him. (I wonder if turning 50 this year has made me more introspective...I feel like time is running out and I haven't been a good steward of the mission He has given me.) Time is speeding up!

Well, there you have it. Just some musings from my heart on this Monday morning.

What is on your heart today?

May 27, 2015

The Weekend Artist...and Eater

This has been my secret name for myself lately, as playing in the art room has become my favorite place to be on the weekends. And this past weekend I had an extra day to play....and eat. Whereas I like to paint in my free time, my husband likes to cook. I LOVE that, but it sure it hard to lose weight when he grills hamburgers, torches creme brule, and stuffs jalapenos. Soooo delicious!

So here are a few good things that happened over the long weekend...

1. My husband found a 4" king size memory foam at an estate sale for only $22! My bed is so incredibly soft now. We also had to purchase new sheets to encompass the now-thicker-than-normal bed. (and it's so pretty!)

2. I planted impatiens in the flower garden right before the rains began again.

3. I finished a custom job that included staining boards and painting lettering over it. I wasn't too happy with the lettering and if I ever do something like this again, I will need to practice a lot more before I agree to do it. Yikes...

4. I purchased Photoshop and watched a ton of tutorials to teach me how to use it. It is not intuitive, for sure, but I'm determined to learn it so I can create digital art to sell. The above photo (BRAVE) is my first attempt and because I need you to be my guinea pig, I would love for you to download it and tell me if it prints okay.

You can download it HERE

5. I slept late Monday...until 9:45 am! That is almost 5 hours later than I normally sleep, so let me tell you, I felt so rested. Just what I needed.

6.  I experimented with some monoprinting on a canvas. Next time I need to make the paint more runny so that it will drip off the canvas. As it stands, it will take a month or so for the canvas to completely dry!

How did you spend your long weekend? Did you do anything fun, or did you get a chance to relax?

May 18, 2015

Being Brave...the ongoing saga

My word for the year is BRAVE and it is rather funny to me what kinds of things I consider brave. Here are a few things that have caused me to gather my courage and just "do it".

1.  Open up a bank account for my business venture. I consider this brave because it makes it real. There will be tangible evidence of whether this venture is truly profitable or not. Plus, I had to stand in line to wait...I hate crowds.

2.  Try something new for my Etsy shop. I don't know what possessed me to purchase these mini canvases. I mean really....who in the world would buy a 2x2 canvas? But they were cute and I thought I could make them look good. (Here they are in stage one, with just some paint on them.)

3. Finding a way to correct a mistake.  I totally flubbed up the writing on a journal, so I decided to cover it up with a gelli print. I thought I would just keep it, but I think I will be brave an put it in the shop.

4. Taking custom orders in the shop. It is so much easier to just put stuff in the shop and sell it. It is a whole different ballgame to do custom orders. What if I do a mock up and they don't like it? What if I can't please them? What if I am not talented enough to do what they are asking? See? It takes a ton of courage to do something that challenges your creativity.

So that is how I am being brave lately. How are you gathering up courage to be BRAVE this week?

May 15, 2015

Fun Friday Five

I love my friend, CJ's Friday posts, so I'm gonna copy her and share my favorite 5 things that happened this week.

1. The Young One came home from college today! My husband picked him up and when I got home (early) he was asleep in bed. life. :)

2. I got my 3rd commissioned Etsy request. It's surreal, let me tell you!

3. I got to be twins with my sweet friend. We are SUPER!

4. Castle's season finale was Monday night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm soooo sure that Beckett will NOT run for the Senate. No way.

5. I found a new App that makes me laugh. ChatterPix. You take a picture. Draw a line for the mouth. Record yourself saying something silly. Play!  Seriously...I giggle every time I create one. So here is one I did about there being only 15 more days of school. (that was a few days ago)


So what was your favorite thing this week?

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