Monday, February 25, 2019

Broken & Beautiful

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. Psalm 31:5

Dear friends,
We are all broken in some way. After all, we live in a fallen world with disease, sin, and hurts of all kinds. But into that brokenness enters our great God. He redeems that brokenness and turns it into a thing of beauty. When I think of my brokenness, of my broken times, although I don't want to relive them, I can now see the beauty in them. Brokenness has brought me closer to my Savior. There are such sweet times with Him in my moments of need. Of course, really, every moment I have is a moment of need in regard to Him, but often I don't feel that need unless I'm going through something difficult.

David voiced his need in Psalm 31. In verse 5, he committed himself to God and spoke of his trust and God's redemption. But he was broken! Verse 9a says, "Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress." And verse 12b says, "...I have become like a broken vessel." And yet, he praises God in verse 7a, "I will rejoice and be glad in Your steadfast love, because You have seen my affliction." And verses 14 & 15a speak of his trust, "But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand."

God is with us through our brokenness. We may be damaged and scarred, but He brings beauty right in the middle of our mess.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Healer of My Heart, Made New, and His Love. Made New is the February Stamp of the Month and free with a $75 purchase. Plus, you can use the code ANDREA10 to get 10% off any purchase of $10 or more!! I used sponge daubers to apply distress oxides to the page. Then spritzed water on the page. The distress oxides react to the water and give it that speckled look. I added highlights with a white pen.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Friday, February 22, 2019

Heavy Hearted

Jesus heals the heavy heart!  Psalm 107 repeats three times, "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He rescued [saved] them from their distress."  This verse is so important, it is repeated three times within one chapter.  The people of Isreal cried out to Jesus when they were troubled and heavy-hearted, and He heard their pleas, their cries for help, their distress.  He healed them!


I began this page by handpainting with watercolors from Dots'n Dust.  I then stamped the message, and the little words, and stamped the hearts from the Filigree Hearts set.  I loved how this page turned out! 

Healer of My Heart Stamp Set

 Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Our Tears Land in Heaven

Psalm 56:8
"You have kept count of my tossings; 
put them in your bottle. Are they not in your book?"

Have you ever cried so much that you felt you were out of tears?? That's been me lately. If you read my last post you learned that my dad passed away unexpectedly last month and I've been trying to cope with the loss. I recently went a few days were I hadn't cried any and I started to wonder what was wrong with me. I thought, my Dad just died, am I not as upset as I should be?? Of course I'm completely grief stricken by all of it. I really think I had just run out of tears for a little while. Then the next two days I cried. I haven't had to deal with grief in my life like this before so I am quickly learning the stages and how to deal. It's true when they say it comes in waves and you never really know when one may hit you and you fall apart. 

On top of that being 8 months pregnant, I try to keep myself calm and remind myself that my Dad wouldn't want me to be so upset and exhaust myself right now. So I try to keep that in mind when I can. Along with the comforting words of my earthly father, I have been finding comfort in the words and promises of our Heavenly Father! There are so many comforting verses throughout the bible when it comes to grief and a friend recently shared this one with me. 

Psalm 56:8 the NLT version says:

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book."

I found so much comfort in this verse! It reminded me that our pain is not in vain. It is not ignored or disregarded by God. He sees each tear we shed and collects and carries each one! And honestly I have felt a little ashamed that I haven't prayed as much as I feel I should. This verse also reminded me that each tear is a small prayer that goes to heaven when we aren't able to find the words. That's it! That's why I haven't prayed as often as I should. Putting my feelings and the actions of what has happened into words was just too hard for me! I've walked to talk to my dad so many times through all of this and I know I could pray and talk to his spirit, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do that either! Doing that was like finally admitting that all of this is real and that is the only way I can talk to him anymore. It's absolutely heartbreaking. But whether I accept this as my new reality or not, sadly it won't change the outcome, no matter how much I wish it would. 

We all grieve in our own way. There is no wrong or right way to do it because we are all unique and so are our experiences with grief. My Dad knows it's not that I haven't talked to him because I don't miss him, he knows its because it's just too hard right now.... but I will get there. And no matter what type of grief you may be going through, you will get to the place you need to be too. It will just take time. The hole that person left will never fully disappear, but each day will start to get a little less painful. God will carry our pain and our tears and help us through it! We need to continue to lean on him and He will see us through it all! 

Stephanie Gammon

Healer of My Heart

Classy Script Alpha 
Texture Tiles 1

Typewriter Text Background 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Start Somewhere

stamps used: Outline Alpha, Texture Tile 2, and Typewriter Block Alpha from this month's release!

Hey guys, it's Deeds!
Thanks for coming to the blog for Creative Worship Bible Journaling!  Our hearts are daily poured out into this place, and I hope you're encouraged by what you read today.

I've been going through the Bible this year - for the very first time in my life as a Christian - and I've been able to learn so much about God's character from the very beginning words, "In the beginning." 
I finally made it into Nehemiah.  
I like it!  
I like it a lot, and the biggest thing I've learned about Nehemiah is the restorative process through which God reconciles His people to Himself.  It's interesting to me, the picture here in this book that relates to God in His greatness and compassion.

Historical context is summed up in this:
Jerusalem is in ruins; Israel has been scattered, exiled, enslaved by Babylon.  Why?
God's people had adulterated themselves with other gods; the gods of surrounding nations, which also led to intermarrying with the women of these areas and defying God's holy law.  This was the first and foremost commandment broken as they'd mixed and muddled their prayers and worship of the One True God with idols.
It was a sad time.  Super bad.  Super evil. 
Babylon was defeated by King Cyrus of Persia, thereby losing their hold on Israel.
Later on, Cyrus would allow a the captives to return to Jerusalem, at which point they'd begin to reconstruct their city; their home; their lives. 
Opposition comes.
New king comes to power.
Fear sets in.
Enter Nehemiah.

Nehemiah is a cup-bearer for the enemy king, Artaxerxes.  Nehemiah has received news that there is trouble in his homeland.  He is grieved and broken.
The king - by God's gracious handling - notices Nehemiah, and asks him what can be done.  Nehemiah prayerfully considers his response and then asks Artaxerxes for permission to go home and help with the continuation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 
It's CRAZY the response he gets; Artaxerxes allows it! 
Not ONLY does he allow it; he blesses the mission that would be the return of Nehemiah, Asaph, and a number of other men, for the rebuilding of the walls.

As I ventured to chapter 2, I learned something neat; something powerfully relatable.  The people had more or less discontinued the work, and had become lethargic; unmotivated.  When Nehemiah comes to town, he lets loose with a humbling, stirring message of God; their God.  Their God of grace and mercy.
"Then I said to them, 'You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire.  Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.'  I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me." (Neh. 2:17-18a)
Pretty moving, huh?
It really was, and here's what the lethargic-turned-energized people say:
"'Let us start rebuilding.' So they began this good work." (v 18b)

A couple of things to note.
The first and foremost is that God is good.  All the time.
Nehemiah's ability to boost morale came from the heart of God.  The heart that God has for His people.  The heart of God that desires what is good, right, best and healthy for His children.  Remembering all that God had done for them, and all that God had brought them through to this point, would be to remember His true character. 
The second thing would come via remembering which is, acting.  Taking action.  Making that move.  Beginning.  Beginning again.  Starting…somewhere. 
This people had faced huge opposition. The foe was daunting, the threats were looming. 
This could very well have caused anyone - everyone - to turn and run, and yet by remembering that God is good, and that God is good all the time, and that "He is the Rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6), one can take step of faith.  One can set that next brick. 

Nehemiah's call to the people was one of strengthening by way of God's strength; empowering by way of God's power.  They (we) are effective in God's work for God's kingdom because of God.  The grace of God. 
Friend, do not feel powerless against the enemy.  He WILL indeed rise up against you and me everyday, but when we remember that it is NOT you, it is NOT me, but it IS God that will prevail in battle, we can trust.  In trusting, we can obey.  In obeying, we will be blessed.  To the glory of God forever and ever!  

Praise God for His reliability and trustworthiness! Amen?
Much love,

 February Release
Find the full February release here!

Script Outline Alpha here

Texture Tile 2 here

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Sweetest Fellowship

If we are living in the light of God's presence,
just as Christ does, we have wonderful fellowship
and joy with each other.
1 John 1:7

Though this page was unplanned for the purpose I now see in it, my two page spread makes a perfect last post as a design team member of Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps and Creative Worship.  I've shared with owner, Korin Sutherland, and all the other design team members my reasons for stepping down. I can already see ways God is blessing that decision.  A brief background, and then on to the real post.  Recently, my 92 year old mother decided to permanently live with my husband and me.  I'm so grateful she is well enough to engage in life and our extended family.  While her care is minimal, it is still requires time and energy.  Simultaneously, I'm about to start homeschooling my preschool grandson, Lukas.  Two very important people in my life who deserve my time, care and focused attention.  I believe with all my heart God has appointed these tasks to me.  And I believe He has prepared my heart to relinquish this much loved position on the SNSS/CW design team.  He is not tearing it away from me.  He is blessing me as I joyfully submit to closing this chapter and beginning a new one.  As I look forward, I want to pause and share with you why the blessing of fellowship with sisters in Christ is so sweet and so vital.  

Being on this design team has blessed me in so many ways, but the primary blessing lies in our shared foundation...Jesus.  Each of us has a passion to serve Him and to share Him through our creative efforts.  Most people don't get a glimpse of the tender and sweet moments we share together behind the scenes.  We have laughed together, cried together and prayed earnestly for one another.  We have indeed had a wonderful, precious fellowship and we take joy in one another.  Because of Christ, this bond, this fellowship cannot be broken.  I'm not saying goodbye to these sisters.  How could I?  We will spend eternity together! I'm dating myself, but does anyone remember the iconic romance movie of 1970, Love Story, with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal?  There was a line in the story that was actually quite vacuous, "Love means never having to say you're sorry."  That could be another post.  I have a better one.  "Being in Christ means never having to say goodbye."  

My days will be filled with other tasks now, and while I will still do scripture art, I will not do it on a schedule.  I'll take a bit of a different path from my precious sisters, but we will remain in fellowship with one another.  Because that's how fellowship with other believers works.   That's why maintaining the health and harmony of our fellowship is vitally important to Christ.  We are a part of His Church, His Bride and we must protect the gift of fellowship.   In the 100 Days of Bible Promises and this two-page spread, there are some powerful scriptures listed encouraging this very thought.  

I also love what author Shanna Noel shared, "When your soul strings are tied with other Jesus lovers and prayer warriors, you body, mind and spirit develop an impenetrable shield that keeps hope alive and tells Satan to take a dive."  Isn't that sweet!?  My soul strings are definitely tied to the sisters in this design team.  I'm so grateful to God for the opportunity, the gift to exalt the name of the Lord with them through Creative Worship.  What an honor it has been to promote this Christ-based business and Korin who is more than a forever-friend.  

If you are in a church built on New Testament truth, you are in a wonderful ordained by God as the Bride of Christ.  In our fellowships, we should be concerned for one another, promote love and harmony and encourage each other in faith and good works.  We should not abandon that fellowship, but should commit to it, to participate and serve and enjoy corporate worship.  Again, Shanna said it well, "Making church a priority is, well, a priority.  So keep going."   

As I close this last post here on this blog, I'm not saying goodbye to you either.  I will continue creating and posting in several FB groups including Creative Worship, on Instagram (@dianesdaydreamdesigns) and on my personal FB page.  I will delight in seeing what my sisters on this team and what you create as well.  May we simple continue to enjoy this special and very sweet fellowship of creative worshipers we've come to love so much.  

Sets Used:
Girl Power 2

Typewriter Block Alpha

Texture Tiles 1

Fruits of the Spirit

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Heal the broken

Hello everyone! I am back this month to share a page in my journaling Bible using the Healer of my Heart stamp set. This set has so many different words and connector phrases it is so easy to pull together many different pages and I can see using it over and over again.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives , and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." Isaiah 61:1

I chose to do a smaller entry this time as I thought I may want to come back and add another entry to the top of the page. I first used clear gesso and prepped the page...yup my first time ever prepping a page. I decided to use distress inks and I knew they would bleed a lot if I didn't first add the gesso. I pulled out the colors salty ocean, evergreen bough, and seedless preserves and lightly swirled the inks into the paper. Once they were dry I used the heals stamp and simply used a small piece of washi to cover the 's' so I could have the word heal. Then came the finishing touches and a few wordfetti stickers, some simple hearts and a prayer.

Father, show me, open my eyes to those around me that are hurting. Give me your heart. Show me ways to help the hurting around me. Amen!

Thanks for stopping by! Come on over to our Facebook group and share your pages and creative worship. Then swing by the shop and pick up these stamps or any others you love and be sure to use code jennifer15 to save 15% off your purchase.

Love and prayers,

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Lord Heals

This is a blog post in which the words from Scripture need to do much more speaking than me. Right now, I have several friends in crisis situations with either having lost a parent very unexpected, or are watching a parent age and decline rapidly. This is one of those times where there really are no words.

Also, I have a few people close to me dealing with either their own serious health condition or that of someone they love. Again, so much pain and brokenness that words escape me..

However, the Bible tells us in Psalm 147:1-3 that God bandages and heals!! When the walls are crumbling, and all seems lost, we are told to sing praises and that they are fitting.

“Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭147:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In verse 5 of the same chapter, we are told that He has power and understanding beyond what we can comprehend.

“How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭147:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So with these words, I encourage you my friends when life is hard...and it will be at times...know that He understands, He himself bandages wounds and He heals broken hearts. Lean in to Him today.

Art behind the heart:

The set Healer of my Heart from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps was used here. I started with a light watercolor wash on the background and then stamped the words.  The heart and bandage were stamped separately, fussy cut, and then added. A few paper pieces and a ribbon clip completed the page.

Until next time,
Patio Ponderings

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Quiet You With His Love

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!! May God’s love fill your cup today.
This verse is probably one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible to me. It’s one that I don’t think I’ve bible journaled before. I wasn’t ready to. This verse came to me at a time in my life when unsettling news would come. All the emotions I wanted to express. And God said, be quiet. Don’t respond. It was a moment that I knew fully that God was with me, that He had spoken this verse over my life. Being quiet is not who I am. I want to freak out. Express everything I am feeling. And not back down. 

I find myself in a similiar place right now. Not because of anything that has happened. It is in my heart, I am restless. Overwhelmed with life. Where I want to scream, melt down, be mad at the world. And I found myself coming to this verse again. At just the right time. It was here to remind me that God will save me. That he will quiet me, and He will sing over me. And that is where I go... to HIM. 

Don’t forger you can save 10% by using Coupon Code - Colleen10 @ checkout!!! 

I realize the loudness of this page. After talking about quietness. But take all these marks, and its the noise, the good, the bad, the ugly, the things that distract me from focusing on God and His direction for my life. I started with paint swatching on the background in a few places, then added watercolor. I then used Gold Modeling Paste with a circle stencil. And added words with the Typewriter Alpha Font and the Forever and Always Heart Stamp. Added a tab and Washi and outlined a few things with my black pen. 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Made New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Friends,

What a beautiful promise this is! If we are in Christ, we are made new! But what does that mean exactly? It means that our lives are no longer lived for worldly things, but instead for eternal things, the things of Christ. The "old" is our selfishness, our self-promotion, and self-justification. The "new" looks to Christ, not self.

Sometimes, I read this verse and think, "I don't feel made new." I keep sinning- some sins over and over. Shouldn't that stop if I'm a new creation? There is a difference in continuing to sin and living in sin. We are going to sin.  We're human. Only One Man lived without sin. When we accept Jesus, we begin to be sanctified through Him, and in that as we become more mature Christians we will sin less and less. We are works in progress. As believers in Christ, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus' righteousness, not our sin. Isn't that amazing? Jesus has done so much for us. He has made us clean. He has made us new. Thank You, Lord Jesus, thank You!!

For the page, I used the brand new Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps set called, you guessed it, Made New. Don't you just love the butterflies? It is the February Stamp of the Month, free with a $75 order! I used distress oxides for the background.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Gift of Comfort...

Hi friends,

What brings you comfort? Often, we offer to others who need comfort the things that we find comforting. Think about it - if we find food a comfort, then we tend to offer food to those who need comforting. If we are comforted by a hug, we will probably want to hug others who need to be comforted. Whether it's a cup of tea, a chat over coffee, a handmade card or a piece of chocolate cake, we both receive and give comfort in particular ways.

The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1 writes of how he and his ministry partners had been comforted by 'the God of all comfort' in the midst of their affliction. He then explains that because they had received the comfort of God, they could then comfort others who were in affliction.

It is so vital that we are comforted by God because it is only out of experiencing his comfort that we are able to minister true comfort to other people. This chain of comfort connects us to God and to one another as we continually give and receive. Let's draw near to the God of all comfort in those times are heartache, pain, confusion, testing and loneliness, and allow him to comfort us with his love and peace that surpasses understanding. Then, let's pass that comfort onto others who are in desperate need.

I created the background for this page using Distress Oxide inks after applying a few layers of gesso to the page first. The text was stamped with a number of different sets, including the new Healer of my Heart and Typewriter Blocks, along with Love Your Neighbor. I also used a few alpha stickers. I used the beautiful butterflies from Made New (the Stamp of the Month for February) as well as Poppies and Greetings for the pretty flowers.

I pray that we would all know the comfort of God and then in turn may be able to pass that comfort along to others!

x Amy x