Good Morning World! As I’ve been feeling a bit better, I’ve spent a bit more time on social media (who knew that took energy?!?) and entertained to see summer plans unfolding…. it triggered a thought in my little head…. ‘what is ONE thing I can do each day for someone else to share encouragement, joy, inspiration and the like? Well that picture looks different for everyone, doesn’t it? I’m gonna give it a go with a HUGE dose of faith God will provide the energy to share ‘Just One Thing’ for the next 30 days…. wanna join? use #justonething to share & follow!🥰
January? Seriously? I’ve been pretty lackluster in consistency before, but this year? Dang! Little did I know on Jan 1st all that might follow…. thankfully, I’ve been present enough to see God on the move…. unfortunately, I haven’t been present enough to share beyond my innermost circle.
NO TIME LIKE TODAY, RIGHT?
Before COVID-19 transfixed the globe in its unfathomable horror of devastation, in my own little world devastation was front and center as 2020 was in its infancy. Never ever did I anticipate all that might unfold in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Probably one of the top five things a parent prays for is the health of their children’s marriages…. anyone who is, or has been married, knows that marriage is hard work and all too often (speaking to self here!), the reality of allowing life to dictate your path hits you square between the eyes….and heart. I was a child of divorce and as I’ve written before, the one thing I never wanted was my child to experience the pain of divorce. Often that meant putting on my ‘big-girl’ panties & setting pride aside. Granted, I had many failed attempts, but God, family, and friends consistently nudged me in the best direction.
While many were making plans for 2020, my daughter was on the brink of life-changing events and this mama’s heart was breaking for her shattered dreams. The thing is though, as painful as that season might have been, I also found a resounding strength in knowing God would see her through. I had no idea what that picture looked like, but still I was certain God would be there to walk alongside each of us as she/we passed through the storm.
No, I won’t be sharing the details of her story, but I will share mine….the story of a mama crying out to her God – the LORD of her life – for wisdom, discernment, strength, and the ability to be supportive with the knowledge that she (that would be me) could not fix any of it. Kinda hard, right? Well, it was. BUT during that season, God afforded me the physical strength and stamina to be there…. to pack, to move, to nurse, to encourage, and to provide physical shelter from a storm.
Little did I know in the months following, I would be in my own storm. That story is for another day. Just remember this: Through pain, change, heartbreak, illness…..you fill in the blank…
GOD IS THERE
Lauren Daigle is one of my favorite artists, and “Rescue” quickly became an anthem of sorts…..a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is there
He will not abandon you
He will make beauty from ashes!
Happy New Year y’all! A new year and a new decade lies ahead…what victories and challenges will you face in the coming days and months? Time always tells.
While 2019 was filled with valleys for many, I am so thankful it was a pretty good year for this ole gal (OG!) – God led me through a journey towards healthier eating habits and cancer didn’t reveal any new challenges🙌🏻 Those small victories enabled me to be more supportive both physically and emotionally…. and I want more of that!
Over the past few years, I’ve participated in choosing my One Word – for 2020, my one word is gather – that word seems a bit odd, but also on the money! Towards the end of 2019, I did a few new things – after several years of procrastinating, I finally opened an Etsy shop to share FaithArt God lays on my heart, I contributed FaithArt to a longtime FB friend as an accompaniment to her Bible Studies, and I connected with another beautiful soul that I am oh so eager to meet face to face and see how God unfolds our story…
What One Word has God laid on your heart this year? I’ve included a freebie for you to print or save for digital use ➡️ https://celetac.com/creative-hearts-paper-studio/ My prayer this year is for each of us to live a life of intentional love, gratitude, grace, and surrender.
Earlier this year I participated in Alyssa Keeton’s Wellness Revelation study and one thing (of many!) that stood out was to change our attitude from a “have to” mentality to a “get to” mentality – talk about a game changer!
On that note, I created Get To Gals for my Etsy store and today I created some Quotables for the shop. These are in line with the “Get To Gals” added a couple of weeks ago – the Get To Gal Quotables come with and without borders so you can add to the original Get To Gal collection #creativeheartspaperstudio #faithart #biblejournaling #digitalart #digitalplanning #digitaljournaling https://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeHeartsPaper
What did YOU get to do today?
A few weeks ago I was thinking about how holidays can be pretty painful for many and last night our Community group touched on the topic again and it brought me back to this post where God has been sitting… and waiting… the October thru December is a time where many focus on thanksgiving. This year I was presented with Ann Voskamp’s one thousand gifts – a study to embrace gratitude and allow God to weave it into the fabric of our daily lifestyle.
As I’ve shared before, for me I’d much rather focus on the blessing of cancer instead of the hard parts… but the thing is, it’s the hard parts that I believe bring about the blessings… which begs the question, ‘if cancer was easy, would I be as grateful?’ – good question, right?
And that thought brought me back to those whose “grief bucket” may be overflowing this time of year and Ann’s FaceBook live video that touches on gratitude and grief (around the 14min mark) Ann Voskamp – one thousand gifts
Are you desperately missing a loved one this season? Is this time of year a stark reminder of who or what you don’t have? Most likely. Ann suggests writing out traits of or experiences with that special someone that brings a smile to our hearts…. and in doing so, perhaps the bitter will become sweeter.
Last year my stepdad passed away the day after Thanksgiving. And even though the head knows a heavenly promotion is coming, rarely is the heart ready. Grief during holiday season last year was sidestepped by the busyness of an upcoming move. This year? Not so much. I watch my mom in her silent sadness and my heart breaks for her – there is nothing I can do that will take away her pain. Only God can fill the void in her heart, but I can do as Ann suggests… counter pain and sadness with sweet, precious memories.
Is there someone in your life struggling this season? Or perhaps you find your heart overwhelmed with grief or sadness? I encourage you to seek God and reach out – it doesn’t have to be some grand gesture – a simple “I see you” can do more than you imagine!
Product reviews are nothing new… but for me to be asked to review something? …especially a Bible? Wowzer! Truly, I was so honored when Bible Gateway Blogger Grid reached out with the opportunity to review Zondervan’s Jesus Bible at no cost – I eagerly responded with an emphatic ‘YES!’ – not really considering the fact that I’ve never formally reviewed anything… no time like the present, right?
As God would have it, I’d been searching for a new Bible… not that I needed a new Bible, I was simply yearning for a Bible that offered commentary or devotionals in the Bible itself… it’s the way I retain information – a picture of sorts. So when this opportunity presented itself, I was a bit more than simply intrigued!
I’m no scholar, nor would I consider myself well-versed in God’s Word… but I have developed a deeper love for my Lord by spending time in His Word. Often I’ve thought about reading the Bible cover to cover, but it just hasn’t happened… enter The Jesus Bible… you see, God always knows exactly what we need and when we need it! He orchestrated the collaboration of several gifted authors to weave His Story from one Book to the next – showing us Jesus taking the lead from Genesis to Revelation.
The Jesus Bible I received is the artist edition. I must admit, originally I thought it was also a journaling Bible – it isn’t per se; the pages are thin, and most pages have notations; however, I believe there is always room for FaithArt! This is definitely a Bible that I want to keep fully readable – no cover ups for me in this one…
For whatever reason, for this particular season, I’m drawn to this Bible like I would a favorite bedtime story… eager to discover what happens next. Odd? Perhaps. But I am captivated to dive into this journey with new lighting.
The Jesus Bible features:
- Introduction by Louie Giglio
- 66 book introductions highlight the story of Jesus in every book
- Seven compelling essays on the grand narrative of Scripture by Louie Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias, and Randy Alcorn guide you to treasure Jesus and encourage you to faithfully follow him as you participate in his story
- Over 300 full-page articles and nearly 700 sidebar articles reveal Jesus throughout all of Scripture
- Single-column text of the most widely read modern-English Bible—the New International Version (NIV)
- A beautiful special edition featuring the art of Atlanta-based artist Britt Bass
- Room for notes and journaling throughout
- NIV dictionary-concordance
- Two ribbon markers
- Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface
- 9.5-point print size
The Jesus Bible debuted almost 2 years ago and yet I’d never heard of it! Maybe that’s you too? For more information, check out the article on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid (https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2017/01/the-jesus-bible-debuts-at-passion-2017-conference/)
If you are in the market for a new Bible…. oh heck….even if you aren’t… check out The Jesus Bible…. I give it five sparkling stars!
Don’t you just love the days when God shows off just how divinely he plans??? Accurately describing this divine appointment is a bit challenging to me so of course I deferred to visual aids! This is a story of two different women, in two different states….both with a passion for God…. these two women follow a blog by artist Sue Carroll (1Arthouse – Doodle 101) and on this certain day, Celeta read Sue’s latest post…. Kathy saw Sue’s post and decided to search FB for her art…. Sue has been a great long distance art teacher to Celeta (me!) and often posts about her on Creative Hearts Paper Studio FB page….
Kathy’s search landed her on Creative Hearts and as she scrolled thru the posts, she saw me reference Revelation Wellness…. Kathy followed God’s prompting and reached out to me…
A conversation that started around Revelation Wellness, quickly expanded to the sharing of a dream God planted…. a grand dream that ‘lil ole me might be a part of!
I gotta tell ya’…. I was on a JOY high most of the day! God started stirring something in me that I can’t quite describe or explain, but it’s something special…that much I’m pretty certain!
Stay tuned for updates! I’m diligently slowin’ my roll so God can lead without me getting in the way 😉
One thing is for certain, attempts to modify daily habits while in the midst of quite possibly the hardest life battle proved to be futile in my case. But never say never with God! Where there’s His Will, there’s definitely a way…
To be honest, I leaned on what I knew so well to be my comfort of choice…food – for others, it might be shopping or a host of other things. I’ve always known food could be my arch nemesis, but it wasn’t until this past year that I began to see my poor choices in a different light.
God is so incredibly patient with me – no matter how often I choose other things before Him – He’s always right there waiting to show me the better way. My ‘intro course’ was an online group study of a book called Wellness Revelation – yes, it’s about weight loss…. but not just the pounds type. It’s about losing whatever is weighing you down.
I had a gut hunch (aka God promptings) that before I embarked on changing the foods I consumed, I needed to have an understanding of the “whys” for my choices. So for nine weeks, God and I spent a lot time together during the weekly lessons to shed light on my whys. I learned a lot, but primarily the revelation that I wasn’t allowing God to be my comforter and that I was mindlessly choosing food to fill a void only He can fill.
Following the study, God then showed me the Whole30 program – a dramatic shift to eliminate processed foods and sugars. But here’s the key: I had to surrender my efforts first because I knew I couldn’t make real change alone. The 30 days passed before I knew it! I was 10 pounds lighter and feeling better than I had in years. My primary goal was to have more energy and that goal was achieved! But then it was like, “now what, Lord?” Whole30 is not intended for long term, but I knew I needed more practice… and then there it was, a 21-day sugar fast – not terribly different, but a reinforcement plan of sorts with daily scripture and encouragement to cheer me on.
Here I am four months later… celebrating 5 years as a cancer thriver, down 20 pounds and still incorporating healthier choices. Like all things, there’s no magic pill… it’s not a ‘one and done’…. it’s a daily walk with the Lord leading the way.
Sometimes it’s a short trip….and others? Well, the Bible doesn’t tell us about the Israelites spending 40 years in the wilderness for nothing…
I’ve always seen the journey as my head-heart connection. I knew the Bible told me over and over how much God loves me…. I desperately wanted to believe that truth. But somewhere deep, deep inside, a part of me found it too good to be true. Life told me love was earned and performance was everything.
What changed you ask? Of all things, a long weekend where His love was poured over me… again…. and again…. and again. A weekend of women selflessly serving and sharing His Word – His Truths – His Love. A weekend with ZERO distractions. A beautiful weekend of bridging the gap between knowing and believing.
That weekend? It’s called The Walk to Emmaus
“The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.”
For more information, reach out to fellow members of your church or visit The Upper Room
As with all things, there’s so much more! It’s been seven years since that pivotal weekend…and in that weekend, I began a true relationship with God. His timing is so impeccable! The year after I was diagnosed with cancer, I challenged myself to #write31days in an effort to recap the mighty ways in which God has moved in my life. Journaling has been an integral part of my faith journey and sharing those thoughts with readers is just a small part of my commitment to glorify God and share His goodness.
Where are you? One thing I know (and believe!) is that regardless of “where” you are…. God is still there! A relationship with Him, and more importantly, His love is never ever based on how good you are… you get His unconditional love no matter what…. and a relationship with Him only requires your willingness to allow Him in. I read a great article from CBN on the Promised Land and the possible why’s for when we find ourselves in the wilderness.
As we enter this season of thanksgiving, my prayer is that you can slow down, avoid distractions, and enjoy the rhythms of God’s Love and Grace.
It’s been a month filled with celebrations! It’s not lost on me just how blessed I am that my body has responded so well to cancer treatment when so.many.don’t. and this side of Heaven, I won’t have those answers… what I do know is that I can make the most of this time to praise God with all that I have!
As I approached 5 years since my diagnosis of stage IV breast cancer, a lot has happened….a lot of life has happened… I survived a bunch of medical stuff…intense chemo, palliative radiation, shingles, blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and lung complications from meds… all my hair came out and it came back curly as ever!
but there has been far more good….. my heart practically burst with joy as my daughter walked down the aisle to embark on the adventure of marriage. I discovered a love of FaithArt and a greater love to share art with others…from bookmarks to a Bible study to an Etsy store… God has continued to grow me by leaps and bounds!
This past year I’ve been pursuing better lifestyle choices – that started with a study called The Wellness Revelation, which led me to Whole30, another fast, and finally a more mindful approach to food as fuel vs comfort.
The timing is perfect to build on my appreciation for how far God has brought me with Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts study starting Nov 18th. My prayer is that I truly commit mind and spirit to this study – although I’m already pretty darn appreciative of daily blessings, I know God has even more He wants to teach me and I’m eager to learn.
What will the next year bring? That’s a great question! I’m perfectly content to take it one day at a time ☺️