Verse of the Day

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Some Saturday Scarppin!

Wow what a crazy & hectic Spring Break it has been.  I think our county was the very last county in the nation to have spring break so needless to say we were all ready!!! I had planned on taking Wednesday - Friday off to get some spring cleaning done, sit out by the pool, read and scrapbook!  Well, my mom ended up in the hospital on Tuesday so my plans were changed -- but it's all good because she is home now and doing much better!!! So this afternoon I did some cleaning and scrappin'!

The first project I did was finish a layout I started at a crop a few weeks ago. During Christmas break two of my great nephews and my great niece stayed with us one night. We had a blast playing Wii and roasting marshmallows in the fireplace so we could make S'Mores.  Here is the layout I did using a retired paper pack (Good Times) of the adventure:

Isn't he adorable????
This layout is from our Magic (Juggling Act) How to Program book.  I love the interactive parts of the layouts in this how to book. 

I also created a very simple layout using our Splendor Level 1 kit. The Level 1 pages are pre-printed and come with matching Stickease.  Everything on these layouts is from the lit with the exception of the ribbon and brads in the center of the bows. (The ribbon is contraband!) This layout features some pictures from a work conference last summer --- I love the fact that I am friends with so many of my co-workers and it makes work so FUN!!!!

Now I'm off to work on my Easter layouts in Studio J!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It’s No Secret – Chapters 7 & 8

I cannot get over how much I can relate to with Rachel in her book, It’s No Secret. All through these two chapters I have notes in the margins such as, “Ouch!” WOW, this is so me!” ‘Think about it” as well as double stars and exclamation points.  I guess you could say that I can hear God speaking to me and getting my attention.  Thank you Rachel for being obedient and writing this book! SO here are the points that have stood out to me the most this week:

Chapter 7 – Adjust Your Scale: Revealing the Secret to Perfection in God’s Eyes
  • I often slack off or procrastinate, then grow exhausted, distracted and overwhelmed. As a result I don’t do my best then I beat myself up with regret because my actions, efforts, and outcomes don’t match the idealized image in my head. We seek love and respect from God and from others through what we do and how well we do it. But this is not how God wants us to be. Jesus shows us a new perspective: grace-based love. Grace-based loved finds its source in God – it holds up the cross and grants love before anyone returns the affection. We don’t earn it, we receive it.
  • God’s love for us doesn’t evolve from any particular thing about who we are, how we look, what grades we earn, how many committees were on, or if we pass the bell-ringers outside Wal-Mart at Christmas without dropping in any change.  Rather, God’s love finds its source in Him and who He is!
  • Grace & love flow from God to us and then it’s available to flow through us to others. Maturing isn't something we manage to do for God, it’s what you allow God to do through you.

Chapter 8 – Get By With a Little Help from Your Friends: Revealing the Secret of Interdependence
  • This chapter started out by asking us why we don’t like asking someone for help when we need it.  My top 4 answers were: pride, fear, perfectionism, and don’t want to be a burden/obligation to someone else.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” That’s the purpose of spiritual gifts & talents God has given you – to help others. And it’s ditto for them!!! Their gifts are there to help you. God created the members of the church t help one another. God hardwired us to need one another and gifted us to help one another. Refusing to ask someone for help deprives them of their opportunity to serve, of an opportunity to fulfill their purpose.
  • Rachel gave the following analogy of the Red Wood trees in California to the body of Christ (the church): Red giants grow together in clumps, intertwining their roots with others as far as 200 feet away. Each one is an individual beauty, yet connected with the others for survival. Even the tallest ones are held up by the smallest ones. By holding hands underground, they hold each other up in the storms of life.

So I am going to stop beating myself up over not being perfect and let that be left up to God. I am also going to try to be better about asking for help when I need it and praying to be more aware of the needs of others around me!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


So very thankful that I can truly celebrate this season because of our precious Savior! Without the cross - without His blood - without grace - without mercy & forgiveness - without an empty tomb - there would be no Easter! I pray that all of you have a true understanding of what this time is all about. Have a blessed Easter!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Reflections on "It's No Secret"

As some of you may know (from a previous post), I am reading It's No Secret by Rachel Olsen.  I am also participating in an online Bible study of the book with Melissa Taylor and this week's assignment was to read chapters 5 & 6. This week has been pretty hectic and I didn't get to do any of the reading until today.  I didn't have anywhere to go today so I got the rare privilege of being home by myself and before I did any house cleaning or laundry I read Chapter 5 and completed the study questions.  As I was reflecting on this chapter I do my 'chores' and then I went back and finished this week's assignments.  Well, let me just tell you --- these chapters hit hard!  Here are my thoughts and reflections:

Chapter 5: Revealing the Secret of Living Generously
Rachel challenges us in this chapter to examine our giving and our attitude as we give - not just money but also our time, effort, talents, friendship, etc. Jesus assumes that we will give. In Matthew 6:3 Jesus says "But when you give..." notice He doesn't say if you give.  This was something I had never thought about --- but it is so very true.  Our giving is an example of our love for Jesus so it only makes sense that we are to give! "If we are not compelled to live generously, it's because we have an eye problem --- We've lost sight of who God is and what He does.  We have forgotten the mercy of His salvation, the grace of His presence, not to mention the blessing of His divine savings plan. If we've lost sight of depositing treasure in heaven, then we've lost sight of the fact that this world is temporary and so is all the treasures in it!" (pg 104)

I so related with Rachel when she talked about how she tends to be selfish and self-protective (in comparison to widow woman that fed  Elijah that very last of her food) - only wanting to give after I'm sure I've got enough for me and my family - I want to give out of my surplus.  But this is the exact opposite of what God wants us to do -- He wants us to give in faith!

Oh Lord help me to give out of my love for You -- out of my obedience to You --- help me to set my eyes on You and see the needs of others around me this week.  Lord I pray that You will use me to meet the needs of someone else this week!

Chapter 6: Revealing the Secret of Growth through Trials
I love the part in here where Rachel talks about how Godly beauty results from time spent in the dark of our prayer closet, in the midst of our troubles, when we draw close to and lean on Him. I can assure you that I have experienced this through many trials -  my youngest son's cancer, a failed marriage, the death of my boys dad, my parents many health issues, & financial hardships -- just to name a few.  And I can testify that I have experienced God's strength through each one.

Isaiah 45:3 says "And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness - secret riches. I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name." Did you catch that  --- He calls you by name!  What is it about hearing someone call your name? It makes us feel special that they know us and are taking the time to say our name. (There is actually lots of research on the power of hearing your name --- Google it if you want to know more.) Well I promise you, I heard Him call my name many times and He gave me secret riches - hope, peace, comfort, endurance, & grace) in every one of these trials!

Let me share one more thing that Rachel wrote about in this chapter.  We are like diamonds. A diamond starts out as a dark, dingy piece of coal.  But after years of harsh circumstances, extreme heat and pressure it starts to change into a beautiful, light-reflecting extremely valuable stone.  For us, God uses our trials to shape us and buff us so that we emerge stronger, more beautiful, more Christ-reflecting, and more valuable to Him and all those around us.

So the next time you are facing some rough circumstances, remember James 1: 2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  God is right there standing beside us in our darkest day. He also stands in the middle of our tomorrow, fully aware of your future.  So see my dear sister, we can have joy in the midst of the roughest storm because we serve the One who calms all storms!

ABC Scripture Challenge - F, G & H!!!

Let me start out by saying that the last few weeks have been rather hectic and I have not been able to participate in too many challenges lately.  However, last night we had an open crop and I was finally able to get caught up on my ABC Scripture Challenges at Patter Cross's Blog.  So here goes:

F: Forget - Click here to read Patter's study on this word.

Isaiah 44:21-22 "Remember these things, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

How reassuring it is to know that my God will never forget me!

G: Gift - Here is the link for this word study.

Most of us think of Romans 6:23 when we think of the word gift - "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  I am so thankful for this gift and it is by far the greatest gift ever.  But we tend to take for granted all the other gifts He gives us --- a smile from our child, a beautiful sunrise, a rainbow after a storm, peace that passes all understanding, a loving church, and oh the list can go on and on -- so that is why I chose this verse:

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

H: Hands -  Here is the link for this study.

When I saw this word I immediately thought of Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are ever before me."  I did a Bible study with our youth girls a few years ago called "Wild About You" and this was one of the key verses. It reminds us that God has us engraved on His palms so how can we not trust Him completely with our life!  We are in His continual care --- we are always on His mind --- Christ will look at His hands and instead of seeing His scars - He sees me!  

WOW what an awesome God we serve!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Layered Flowers - Technique Blog Hop!!!!!

Welcome to our Technique Blog Hop! This month there are 12 of us highlighting the “Layered Flowers” Technique as shown on page 7 in the Spring/Summer 2011 Idea Book! This blog hop is a great big circle so you can start wherever you want and continue through to see all the fabulous artwork incorporating this technique. If you would like to start from the beginning, please visit DEBI BARBER’S blog While there you will also find a listing of all participants and their blog addresses if you should get lost or want to reference a blog along the way. Let’s get started!

If you are coming from Rebecca's Blog,you are on the right track! This technique is highlighted with the Sophia paper packet in the Idea Book but you will find variations for its’ use through this hop.

I created a very simple 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card using the Mayberry WOTG guide:

If you would like to see details on the technique or my supply list, please continue reading below. If not, please continue onto Shelia's Blog where you will find some additional artwork highlighting this technique! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of my variation and happy hopping!

Supply List:

  • Dreams Come True Stamp Set (D1470)
  • Card Chatter - Sympathy (D1476)
  • Mayberry Level 2 Paper Pack (X7136B)
  • Cocoa Ink (Z2114)
  • Smoothie Ink (Z2196)
  • Pearl Opaques (Z1336)

The steps to Layered Flowers are:
1. Stamp base image in one color and outline in another (if applicable to stamp selected). Repeat on another piece of cardstock.
2. Trim first image around all outer images. Trim second image, cutting out portions of the flower (to create the layered effect).
3. Curl ends of petals on second image and adhere on top of first image. Layer mixtures of stamped accent and embellishments to finish.

Here you can see a visual demonstration of this technique.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Studio J®: Step-by-Step Basics

Check out how easy it is to get started with Studio J! A perfect way to preserve your memories in just a few minutes a day.

Share your Story: Studio J

Check out this amazing video by CTMH consultant, Tresa Black, about how special Studio J can be! Contact me for more information.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's No Secret!

I started a new Bible study this week, It's No Secret, by Rachel Olsen. I just finished chapter 2 tonight and it was about being completely surrendered to Christ - being sold out for Him - willing to take up our cross and follow Him. What is really neat is that this past Wednesday I taught the lesson for Youth Alive and it was about this same message. So tonight as I'm reading in the book, I say to myself, "Wow, I think God is really trying to tell me something!" Rachel talks about how at times our security, comfort and pride can cloud our spiritual vision causing us to miss the value of the kingdom of God. Then she goes on to say, "this shakes me to my core when I get honest about how much time I spend pursing creature comforts instead of the treasure of Christ." Wow - can I ever relate? Yes our salvation is a free gift from our loving Heavenly Father - but it is a very costly gift! And it's also a call for complete surrender and abandon and total loyalty. So what is it that keeps me from totally following Christ - What am I pursuing instead of pursuing Christ? I k ow I am ready to surrender and live a life in sync with my Savior!!!! What about you?

Looking forward to next week's assignments! If you are interested in this study, go to Rachel Olsen's blog or Melissa Taylor's for more information.