Pray Anyway

Creative Hearts Paper Studio

How many times have you found yourself in a situation and at a total loss for words? Prayer can be the same way! The great thing is that God doesn’t need an eloquent prayer to meet our needs… He knows our heart and only wants us to trust Him enough to turn to Him with our hopes, our dreams, our cares, and our scares.

A couple years ago my daughter and I began talks of opening an Etsy shop – she had dreams of custom paper designs – invitations, party designs and such. I had thoughts of sharing Faith art… like many plans, life pushed those ideas to the back burner….

I still had a desire to share Faith art and chose to create projects with one of our church outreach ministries, art for the children’s program, and a few other projects here and there. But I was never brave enough to pursue the Etsy shop on my own… truth be told, I was afraid…. afraid of rejection – now isn’t that silly?

I so easily bypassed all the truths I knew and jumped straight to failure. Once again, I stuffed God on the shelf and decided, albeit unconsciously, to sit out on a dream instead of trusting God to do what was best for me.

Thankfully, God is ever patient! He coaxes me closer and closer showing me time and again that He is trustworthy. He is faithful. The success of the Etsy shop has nothing to do with acceptance, rejection, or sales. The success is about sharing God’s Word – His Truths – His Love. My job? It’s simple: obedience.

And so I’ve taken the first step! I opened the Etsy store yesterday and shared a few pieces of art…stay tuned to see what God does with a little obedience.

What’s on your heart? What have you put off praying about and trusting God for? You don’t need the perfect words or plan. All you need to start is an open heart willing to share and trust in Him.

10 Ways to Love

A couple years ago, Stephanie Ackerman of Documented Faith shared a post about Love…. not really anything new, right? But there was something new about it – at least to me! She took ten verses about Love and condensed each into 3 words and they remain on my fridge as a daily reminder about what Love is and isn’t. Click on the image to the right —->
to go to Stephanie’s original post and words of inspiration.

I last wrote about finding my rhythm Journaling in my daughter’s Bible and as I began creating art for this week’s entries, Stephanie’s 10 Ways to Love came to mind. Sure, it would’ve been easier to simply resize & print the art I created back then, but for me, that sort of negates the purpose of the art. For me, writing (or drawing!) helps connect my head and heart…a way of anchoring God’s Word in my soul.

So that’s how I’ve spent my Monday morning… using Stephanie’s 10 Ways to Love as a launchpad for the week ahead!

10 ways to love

 

How do these verses speak to you? As I was printing these to paste into my Bible, something struck me… and it may be obvious, but I realized I can’t really love this way without one common thread…. surrender.  Hmmmmm…sounds like another blog post to me!

Of course, I can’t talk about new art without sharing! Enjoy my take on 10 Ways to Love

 

 

Finding Your Rhythm

Last year when the new Illustrating Bible became available, I promised myself that I wouldn’t spend the money on something I didn’t need…. then a fellow journaler shared a special purchase price… I still didn’t need a new Bible, but boy oh boy did I want it!

For the past year I have been diligent in prayers for my daughter and her family. As newlyweds they face the typical struggles, and layered onto that, they now live 6hrs from our hometown…away from mama, family, and lifelong friends. And yes, mama still struggles missing her girl!

So….I justified the purchase to purposely journal thoughts and prayers in the new Bible specifically for my daughter and family… a living legacy Bible of sorts….

And then I began to suffer from ‘new Journaling Bible’ syndrome….. the purpose was overwhelmingly shadowed by thoughts of exactly what tone the art would take…. yes, TOTALLY missing the original purpose! What to do?

Pray. Wait. Trust.

Finally, this past weekend God showed me that it didn’t need to be one or the other…. simply keep my focus on Him! okay……but what does that picture look like? For me, it is now two God experiences…. art time and then Scripture/Prayer time.

For now, I plan to create digital artwork beforehand that I can print and then it will be ready for my prayer time over family…. it’s only been a few days, but thankfully it finally feels right! And even better, by creating the art digitally, I can easily share with others! Click on the link here —> Freebiesvalentine freebie
How we find our rhythm with God is just as unique each journey. What’s your rhythm? I’d love to hear from you!

Easy DIY Prayer Journal

In late 2018, I started participating in a local Bible Journaling group.  One of the things we do each month is share prayer requests.  I received a request for a young mom recently diagnosed with advanced breast cancer…. well, of course that struck a chord with my heart!  I decided to create a simple prayer journal to document my prayers and thoughts for her to have and fall back on during her cancer journey.img_8633I started  by combining pages I created for another journal  into a PDF file (click here —> prayer journal pages for your free pdf of journal pages!)

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I trimmed the printed pages (double-sided prints) as shown in the photo to the right –>

If you like, you can only trim the outer edges (equal to top margins)…. that’s probably what I’ll do going forward – since these pages are perfectly aligned, it eliminates frustrations 🙂

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I used scrapbook paper to create the cover, but you can use anything – whatever appeals to you!

For a quick and easy way to  get the right cover size, I simply placed one of the trimmed pages on top of the scrapbook paper and scootched it over about 1/4″-1/2″,  marked the corners and trimmed with my paper cutter

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I folded the trimmed pages in half, added the cover, and stapled in the middle.  If you don’t have a long reach stapler, you can also punch a hole at each end and bind with thread, ribbon, or elastic.

The rest is about documenting your thoughts and prayers!  In the first journal, I added artwork & embellishments  here and there…

It can be as simple or elaborate as you like…

Check out some freebies I’ve shared previously —> FREEBIES

Also, a good FB friend has a FABULOUS Etsy shop with loads of faith printables – the link to her shop is right here —> Praise and Pray

Do what feels right to you – good luck!

 

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Pure Joy

It’s difficult to describe just how good it feels to celebrate God’s faithfulness every.single.day. so I thought I’d just show it instead! God is really moving! Over the past two weeks, I’ve shared a devotional & words of encouragement faith art (below) at a local pregnancy center, I’ve been asked to lead a faith art session at an upcoming women’s retreat, AND I’ve been asked to create faith art coloring pages for a children’s ministry!

Isn’t God grand? Gosh….even the word grand doesn’t begin to describe God! The latter part of 2017 and early part of 2018 were more challenging as the trickle-down effects of cancer and its treatments wreaked havoc on my lungs, but God still has work for me to do! Thankfully, I’m feeling much, much better these days and pleased to report current scans & markers show the cancer remains stable! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

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The thing is, God has a plan that far exceeds anything I could dream up for myself…. the desire to create faith are came as a byproduct of cancer, and the  opportunities to share God’s love through art came before I received results of my latest scans… I didn’t hesitate to accept because…

I know God’s got this!

This past year, I’ve learned to live like I am always HIS and not just after He proves I’m His in a particular situation…. does that make any sense? In other words, I don’t wait until I see proof of His faithfulness to step forward….

Today I attended a Bible Journaling Group: H.I.S. (Houston’s Illustrating Sisterhood) and we discussed the perils of spiritual amnesia – God is ALWAYS at work and ALWAYS working for the best in our lives…especially when it may not “feel” that way!

Living in gratitude is a choice and testifying to the daily miracles of faithfulness He is working in our lives is a must!

 

Mother’s Day goodies!

If you’re anything like me, you’d love to share a little something with the precious “moms” in your life…. without breaking the bank!

well…. I looked around my craft closet (hey, some of us have clothes closets, shoe closets, junk closets…and why of course….CRAFT closets!)…. I wanted to use what I had and yet, create something personal – quickly!

This is what I came up with… watercolor faith quotes!  You can create the same or similar look with pretty much what you have on hand (yay!)

These are the supplies I used:IMG_6029

  • 6″x6″ artist watercolor tiles (you can use mixed media paper or even a good heavyweight paper like printer brochure paper)
  • plastic baggie
  • crayola markers (water based)
  • permanent black marker (PrismaColor or Sharpie)
  • scissors
  • washi tape
  • water spritzer bottle
  • heat tool

 

To help you get started, I created two templates (print here -> faith quotablesIMG_6030

To avoid wonky cutting, I added a line border & allowed extra room for the watercolor by making the art 1.5″ smaller than the canvas

The first quote was created in a separate program using my handwriting; the second was created with text boxes in WORD using different fonts…this is where you can really let your creativity shine!

IMG_6031Once I cut out the desired quote, I attached it to the back of my canvas with a small piece of washi tape (painter’s tape works too!), making sure the image was positioned however I wanted the final quote to appear

Since watercolor paper is so thick, I needed light shining from the back to trace.  A window works great for this – in my case I simply used a white background on my iPad – it was just bright enough to be able to see the wordingIMG_6032

Next, I used a permanent marker to outline the larger word.

You may need to exercise your patience muscles a bit – take your time…. and remember…. like all faith art, it’s not about perfection – enjoy the process!

 

IMG_6033I usually freehand the smaller wording, but if you intend on tracing, I recommend that you go ahead and finish the wording before adding color – this way you can be certain it’s visible!  I like to use a finer pen for the smaller words – just be sure you’re using permanent ink so that it doesn’t run when you add water in the next step.

You can see that my outline isn’t “perfect” – not to worry – once the lettering is filled in, it will take on a personal touch

 

Now…. the fun part! COLOR!!!  

You may want to practice this part a few times 

IMG_6034The easiest way I found to transfer color is by spritzing the canvas with water first – just enough to dampen the surface – keep in mind, I used this technique for watercolor paper, but I’ve used on lighter weight paper before – it just takes a lot less water.

Get your baggie and scribble some color on in a pattern similar to what you want the end result to look like

I like to use two shades of the same color family – in this example, I have two shades of blue.  In some of my other examples, I got really wild and chose two separate colors – just be sure they don’t make brown when mixed!

IMG_6035Once you have color on your baggie, flip it over and place on top of your canvas

Run your fingers over the baggie to transfer the color onto the canvas – give it a minute to absorb, and then carefully remove the baggie.

I use the Ranger Distress Sprayer & really like it because you can “dribble” or “mist” water onto the canvas –

You can see where the ink is fairly concentrated in some areas – slowly mist/dribble the area with water until you start getting the watercolor effect.  To keep the water puddles from running, I use my marker to hold the paper down while drying with the heat tool.

Remember, you can always build more color – just start small and repeat the process!

Once the color has dried, fill in your lettering with the permanent marker.  If you want to get really fancy, you can embellish with white ink – I use a UniBall Signo 153

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LordThat’s pretty much it!  I hope you’re inspired and encouraged to give this a try!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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God Speaks

New to journaling? Welcome!!!!
I just love how God speaks to us on such a personal level!! I always try to encourage folks to journal – whether you write a few words, a picture, or any combination…it can inspire and encourage either yourself or others in ways you can’t possibly fathom!
I stumbled across this note from a binder…a BIG. BLANK. BINDER…
“Where to begin??? So much space to be filled!!!

 

Lord,
I want to follow Your lead and not get so focused on the canvas that I lose sight of Your artistry. Amen”

 

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