Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Just Jesus and Me!

Matthew 6:5-6
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others . Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

I created this page one morning, in the quiet of my craft room, before my kids were awake. That is always when I can find the best time with the Lord. No interruptions, just Jesus and me! A lot of us who bible journal like to share our work with others as a way to spread God's word. But there are a lot of us who strictly create our pages for ourselves and God, and there's nothing wrong with that! Our time with Jesus can be very personal and not meant to always be shared with others. I know I have some entries myself that will never be shared as it was a very personal time where I poured out prayers and tears. God calls for us to come to him in secret, where it is just us and him. Even though no one else may see our imitate time with him, HE does, and we will be rewarded for it! 

The current medium I seem to be obsessed with is Distress Oxides. I have had them for a while but I have recently been smudging the ink pad on an acrylic and water coloring with them. So this watercolor background was actually created with water and distress oxides applied with a watercolor brush. I used the various stamp sets listed below and adorned the top left corner with a lovely little fall embellishment I received at our fall journaling retreat.  See below for the list of stamp sets I used.

Stephanie Gammon

Jesus and Coffee

Incredibly Blessed 

Falling Leaves

Chunky Lowercase Alpha 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Walk in Love

“I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I ask you, dear lady — not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another. This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love.”
‭‭2 John‬ ‭1:4-6‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Watch the process video by clicking here.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Lord of My Heart

...give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways...
Proverbs 23:26 

... my heart [will] sing your praises and not be silent. 
LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Psalm 30:12

It's been a whirlwind of activity in our household.  I was recently in a car accident and our plans changed radically in a moment.  It isn't what I would have wished...for anyone, but there are amazing stories to tell about God's intervention throughout the event and in the days that followed. I had to smile just the other day because in the retelling I was able to share about my amazing God again and again.  My praise for Him is such that I cannot be silent.  He is a great and marvelous God, even when life is hard, when things don't go according to plan, when we are hurt and things get broken.  God is working it all out for our good. I'm so grateful that He is Lord of my heart, Master of my eternal destiny and Lover of my soul.  He is my all in all and I will praise Him with every breath I take.

I took the elements from our current printable, Starry Sanctuary, and used them in my Traveler's Notebook instead of my Bible.  I love these small pages with plenty of room for praise.   I'm free to use acrylic paint with abandon and then handwrite my thoughts over it.  So many possibilities with these printables. 

The pocket on the left is from the patterned paper samples in the printable.  The pocket swings on washi tape hinges to reveal more journaling.  One of the printed tags fits in the pocket and well as more cards with my personal praises on them.   

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thrill of Hope

Do you remember being small - elementary age - and counting down the days until holiday vacations from school?  
Clear as day in my brain, I remember being 7, in Mrs. Henry's class, looking toward the chalk board (yes, I'm that old), and seeing her 4 foot calendar marked with numbers and pictures.  Each one, of course, resembled days, special events, seasons, etc.  Very bright, very colorful, very exciting!!
Each day, Mrs. Henry would remind her class which day of the week it was, so to help us understand time a bit better, ESPECIALLY when it came to the next vacation from school! 
I would look ahead and do my best to formulate the days left until Thanksgiving; Christmas; Spring break; Summer, and everything in between! With each approaching "day off" came that much thrill and anticipation of something to come!  
It's interesting how looking forward to something to come brings us hope, excitement and thrill!  Our entire being longs for this type of hopefulness! 

"Galaxy" tutorials can be found on Youtube everywhere!

I use watered down, white acrylic paint to achieve the "stars."  I feel that
this technique worked better to give me the brightness I was looking for.

As we live day-to-day, though we may not realize it, we really do pine.  We yearn.  We are exceedingly hopeful for more; better; brighter; happier.  Something to fulfill our desires, satisfactorily, completely, perfectly. 
This goes for all humanity. 
Even for Christians - those who have given themselves to the mercies and grace of God - there's an aching in the soul for a glorified, sinless, painless state.
The Bible uses language like the following verses to help qualify the need we feel. 

"For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
"Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies." Romans 8:22-23

Let me break it down a bit more…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Everything He created, He saw as very good.  Not one blemish; not one problem.  Humanity's beginning enjoyed perfect union with God!  OH HOW HEAVENLY!  Then…
Man sinned. 
A union severed.
The world corrupted.
Since then, said world has been deteriorating; since then, each born human is subject to a darkened nature.  Bad replaces good.  Dark replaces light.  Lost replaces belonging. 
As the aging world falls further into desperation, humanity falls further into depravity.

See, we are still sinful.  We're still dark.  The world is still groaning.  However, Jesus entered this gloom and doom, and as our Redeemer, bought back what sin stole:
Our souls!
The "Thrill of Hope" stamp collection can be found on the Sweet 'n' Sassy
website as part of the October release!

With His entrance into humanity, the "thrill of hope" was born.  And the weary world rejoiced!
Our Savior.
The Messiah.
Our Friend.
THE Hope.

Now, we wait.  We wait in anticipation!  We wait with eagerness!  We wait with hopefulness!  Our Christ is coming again, and so we wait!
Friend, if you're sitting on the fence of whether or not to enter into community with God's Son, please wait no longer; He IS coming. 
If you're struggling with God, or questioning His goodness, struggle no longer; He IS coming!
If you're wondering whether or not your life means something to the Lord; wonder no longer; He IS coming!

My prayer is that you will look at the gospel of Jesus - the good news of grace! - and turn to this Loving Father!  He has sent Him who is without sin to be sin for you and me, taking all sins to the cross for the glory of His throne.
Jesus is King - our Thrill of Hope - and He IS coming again!

Much love,

New releases can be found here.  Hurry!  It's almost Christmas!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Heart & Hands

"Hear my cry for mercy as I call to You for help, as I lift up my hands toward Your Most Holy Place." Psalm 28:2
Dear friends,
Psalm 28 is a psalm praying to God for Him to hear David and praising God for who He is. David knew he could put his trust in God (Ps 28:7). He knew God would hear him (Ps 28:6). He knew his strength came from God and that God would protect him (Ps 28:7-8). The God of David is our God. He is the same. He does not change. Praise God that we can put out trust in Him just as David did. We can know that God hears us, strengthens us, and protects us. David's life was not easy. But he did not lose his faith and trust in God. I want to have a faith like David's. I want to stand firm in God and praise Him no matter what life throws my way.

For the page, I used the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps set called Women of Praise. This is such a great set! I love the silhouettes. I also used Let's Do This. I painted the background with acrylic paints, and highlighted the letters with a white pen.
Trust Him, my friends, and praise Him. Have a blessed week! Andrea

Monday, October 22, 2018

First Things First

All the things just pull at us and vie for our attention. It seems that everything is urgent and needed to be done yesterday. There are so many needs and ministries and people who genuinely need us.

How can we continue to give and give if we don’t keep our priorities in order? All of the THINGS that scream the loudest then become our focus instead of THE

things that God planned.
If we will let the Lord order our days, guide our steps, and lead our thoughts then the things fall in to the proper perspective. For me, starting my day by praising Him and giving Him Thanks helps to orient my day. When I start by reading His Word and letting His voice speak to my heart before all the demands of the day, I am much better equipped as I experience all the things that will certainly come.

For many of you reading this, I’m sure this is nothing that you don’t already know. But, we all need reminding from time to time.

For those of you that this is new, please trust me on this. Through the years, I can testify that giving the Lord the awe, and honor, and thanks that He so deserves...and then listening for His voice through His word...those are the days that I can truly say were the best.

That time spent thanking Him, praising Him, and hearing Him whisper to my heart is what carried me...and carries me each day.

I encourage you to do “first things first”...then “all the things!”

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭118:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Art behind the story:

This page started as a watercolor tutorial with a new friend at the recent Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps retreat held in Savannah, Georgia. I had the privilege to sit beside her and show her how to achieve the watercolor background. Next, like I often do, I make die cuts with stamps. The sunflowers, stems, crow, and leaves in the Happy Scarecrow set were perfect for this technique. The die cut words were from our printable called Falling for Jesus and the stamped words are from the set Jesus and Coffee

Hope y’all are having wonderful fall weather where you are!

Until next time,

Patio Ponderings

Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Soul Thirsts For You


In this video I walk you though how I used the Brea Reese Glitter Inks to create this background in my Bible. Below you will see a little of my heart behind it, followed by a supply list. Enjoy!

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll admit, I often try to figure out life on my own. Seek Him last. When things are falling apart... my last effort to find peace. To find rest and answers. I come before Him broken and ready to listen to whatever He has to say. There is a vulnerability in me, a desperation... I found my way here again this past weekend. To be honest the getting there is miserable. The ache in my soul. But the being at the water, the solitude, the eagerness to give up control and listen. The closeness to the Lord. I love that place. The stillness where God meets me and brings comfort. Where I know nothing has changed but his presence has changed everything... I love that place. 

Where He shows up... where my soul thirsts for Him. 

Sweet N Sassy Stamp Sets:

Background Color:
Brea Reese Glitter Inks


Friday, October 19, 2018

Every Spiritual Blessing...OURS!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who has blessed us in Christ with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, 
that we should be holy and blameless before him.
In love he predestined us for adoption 
to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, 
according to the purpose of his will,
to the praise of his glorious grace, 
with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:3-6

Doesn't this passage just knock your socks of with pure astonishment and make you want to jump up in praise!?  It does me, every time I read it.  To contemplate what it really means for us is astounding. I love the way it begins...PRAISE.  It could end there with only two lines and it would still be worthy of our praise.  But it goes on to showcase God's extravagant love for us. 

There is so much to glean from these verses, so much depth, so much doctrine.  I could sit forever and soak in the majesty and beauty of this passage.  Praising Him for who He is...that will take at least 10,000 years. Really, I can just picture myself around the throne room in heaven and never being able to take my eyes off my Creator to even glimpse the wonders of heaven itself!  My earth bound praise has a more myopic view I'm afraid.  I do sit in awe of my God, His power and presence.  But I can't help but look at all my blessings as well...and I'm so grateful for every one of them. 

To think that I was in His heart and in His plan before He even created the universe staggers me.  I was like a long-awaited child to Him. That fact alone makes me feel so connected to all my spiritual siblings, my brothers and sisters of faith going back to those first patriarchs who called upon the name of our God.  I sit in a cosmos that envelopes a family of faith...and I'm such an important part that God bestows upon me all the spiritual blessings of heaven.  He knew me before I was conceived. He knew what my life, days, moments would be. He knew my heart before it started beating.  He knew the love and passion I would have for who He is, for His Word. He knew I would choose Him; He knew I would fall to my knees the moment the scales of darkness and lies would drop to the floor and I would bask in His Light and absorb His Truth.   He knew I would run to Him and ask to be cradled in His arms.  He knew that look I would have in my eyes as I searched the heavens to hear Him say, "You are Mine!"

And the really amazing thing?  He has done the same for every believing heart on this planet.  He draws us into an eternal circle of connection and under His starry sanctuary He hold us close.  We are not perfect children and He has to discipline us from time to time. He has to grow us, mature us and let us sit in the refiner's fire.  But what loving parent doesn't spend time polishing their child?  He wantss Jesus to shine forth through us, so every facet of our diamond-in-the-rough faith and character much be chiseled to perfection.  He is adorning me as part of the Bride, preparing me to live forever with the Beloved.  Meanwhile every spiritual blessing is mine...salvation, transformation, sanctification, strength, power, wisdom, grace....the list is endless because the gifts come from heaven's treasure trove!  

Design Detail:  The background is a thin acrylic scraping.  I created the stars and moon on this page by painting a heavy body white acrylic paint through a stencil that I have.  I outlined those with a fine Prismacolor pen.  The girl, banner, tab and concentric star pieces are from the printable, Starry Sanctuary, perhaps my most favorite printable so far.  It holds deep meaning for me.  Don't forget that the printable comes with both color and outline digital images so you can entirely change the color scheme.   I put white acrylic paint on a grid stamp for the additional white accents (clean your stamp immediately if you do that!!!)

Starry Sanctuary by Diane Noble

4 PDF Pages include
  • 3 pages of ready-to-print, colored images and sentiments
  • Scripture verses for Bible journaling inspiration (coordinate with images)
  • 1 page devotion based on theme
  • Personal Bible study questions and prompts
Note about the devotional: For those who want to go deeper into study you will love the study guide with questions. They make great prompts for doing art-journaling in your Bible. Additional Bible verses are included for further personal study. All of these verses go with the printables, so you won’t have to think about where they can be used in your Bible.
Digital Image Package includes

  • 58 precolored images in both JPEG and PNG formats
  • 17 outline images in both JPEG and PNG formats

Thursday, October 18, 2018

White as Snow

Hi everyone I am back today to share some beautiful Christmas stamps with you. Christmas is right around the corner, the chill is in the air ...at least up here in Iowa it is. I can hardly wait to start decorating the house, create Christmas cards and baking all those delicious goodies. While I wait I thought it might be fun to find a creative way to use these Christmas stamps.

This set reminded me of the scripture of how Jesus washes us white as snow. I began by first using script outline and sunshine girl alpha stamp sets stamping them in Versafine embossing ink then dusting them with white embossing powder and hitting them with my heat gun. Next I used the same process to stamp the snowflakes from the thrill of hope set in random areas on the page. Finally I created a night sky with deep blue watercolor. The embossed areas on the page resist the watercolor and making the stark white areas pop off the page.

I did a little research on this passage from Isaiah 1:18 "though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." Scarlet and crimson in the Bible refer to dye obtained from the eggs of tiny insects. In those days clothes had to be double-dyed in this bright red color so the color would become permanent or fixed to the fabric. Sin is a lot like this. Human effort can not remove the staining caused by our sinful choices. Only through Jesus's sacrifice can we receive what no one else can give us - a pure heart. I pray you find comfort in knowing you are not too dirty, and stained to be redeemed and cleaned pure. Our Father loves you and is waiting with open arms to wash you clean as if you had never sinned.

Love and prayers,
Jenn @creativegurl85

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


"And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.” (Ruth 4:9-10)

The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.  Ruth was a widow, living in a foreign land.  Boaz, a relative of her dead husband, purchases the land that once belonged to her (also dead) father-in-law.  But he doesn't do it for his own gain--he engages in this business transaction in an effort to redeem the land for his relative, Ruth and her destitute mother-in-law, Naomi.  In so doing, they now have the means to provide for themselves.  However, there's even more to this transaction.  By purchasing the land, he also purchases Ruth, and agrees to take her on as his own wife.  

My inner feminist screams that this is disgusting!  Women aren't to be purchased like property!  However, I must consider the cultural context of the story, and the patriarchal society in which Ruth and Boaz existed.  Unmarried, and especially widowed, women had little to no means to provide for themselves, and no opportunity to acquire any.  But when Boaz legally redeemed Ruth, he made her his own wife--and as the rest of the story shows--he indeed loved her and cherished her and provided for her.  

This story is a picture of what Christ has done for us.  We are destitute sinners, with absolutely no means to provide for our salvation.  However, Christ purchased us with His blood at the Cross, and took us as His own.  He loves and cherishes and cares for us.  And even more importantly, His act of redemption provides a way of salvation for us!  

What a beautiful story!  I decided to journal this in my Bible with a few different stamp sets.  I wanted to go all pink, because it's my favorite color, and I wanted to emphasize the personal fact that I AM REDEEMED!  For the background, I used the houndstooth-style texture stamp from Texture Tiles 4, which is the Stamp of the Month for October.  I used Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide Ink, and stamped the background continuously.  I also stamped this same pattern in black on some pink cardstock, to cut out a tab and to use for a shirt for my girl, which was the next step. 

I used the Girl Power set to create a tag with the top-bun girl.  I stamped her with pink glasses to carry the pink theme, and colored her with watercolor pencils.  I affixed the tag onto pink cardstock, and tied it off with black checked ribbon.  I used double-sided foam tape to give the tag some dimension. 

Finally, I used the Hello, My Name Is stamp set to stamp "Redeemed" as my title, and then the following into wordfetti strips:  100%, beyond measure, once & for all, no matter what.  I marked off my verses, and then added some journaling, some pink and black paint splatter, and the date.  

I love the pink-ness of this page, but I love the reminder even more of how Jesus has 100% redeemed me!  He's redeemed you too, friend!  

Thanks for hanging out with me today...


Texture Tiles 4

Monday, October 15, 2018

Don't neglect your gift!

Hi friends,

The New Testament has a lot to say about gifts, and by that I don't mean Christmas presents but the individual and different gifts that God has given to each of us in the Body of Christ. I would really encourage you to look up the word 'gift' in a concordance or online Bible program and study all the verses that tell us about God's gifts. It's an amazing study!

Here are a few things that Scripture says about gifts:

  1. God's gifts are irrevocable (Rom 11:29) - that means that God isn't going to take them back or away from us.
  2. We all have different gifts (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 7:7) - these gifts are given by God's grace and we are to use them by God's grace.
  3. We are not to be ignorant about God's gifts (1 Cor 12:1) - that's why God has given us so much instruction about them in his word!
  4. It is the Holy Spirit who distributes all these different gifts (1 Cor 12:4)
  5. We are not to neglect our gift (1 Tim 4:14)

When Paul writes to Timothy, his son in the faith, he urges him to not neglect the gift that was given to him by God. This is a word to all of us, because there is not a single person in the Body of Christ that has not been given at least one gift, whether it be teaching, hospitality, service, generosity, prophecy, leadership... or many others! God has generously given gifts to us - our responsibility is to use them, to nurture them and to invest in them. We are not to neglect them through lack of use, hiding them in obscurity out of insecurity, inferiority or fear. A good first step is to pray, asking God to show us what gifts he has given us and how we can be proactive in using and investing in them. For me, practice and study are two ways that I know I need to take care of the gifts God has given me. Those things take time, but it is totally worth it considering that God has entrusted those things to my life and he wants me to use them for his glory.

I created the background on this page using Distress Oxide inks (I applied a few layers of gesso to the page first, to prevent bleed-through). The leaves are from Give Thanks and the sweet gift stamp is from the new All Wrapped Up set. I coloured the leaves with Prismacolor pencils, while the gift image was stamped on watercolour paper then coloured with watercolours, cut out and glued onto the page. The verse was stamped using the fun Sunshine Girl Alpha.

Can I encourage you to think and pray about how you can 'not neglect' the gifts God has given you? Ask God to show you and maybe talk with godly friends about this too - they may have some ideas of how you can invest in and use your gifts. God has uniquely gifted you to shine for his glory!

Grace and peace be with you.

x Amy x