Friday, February 28, 2020

Be The Example

In a world where relationships are cheapened at the expense of a phone screen, put your phone down and be the example.

In a world where children are viewed as a nuisance and as a disruption to your life, get to know them and be the example.

In a world where the television is viewed as the babysitter, turn it off. Spend time with your kids and be the example.

In a world where Godly friendships are hard to come by, make time for each other and be the example.

In a world where gossip runs rampant and destroys the reputation of others, keep your mouth closed and be the example.

In a world where swearing is the best way to verbalize your anger, guard your tongue and be the example.

In a world where there are endless opportunities to criticize, choose to encourage and build each other up. Be the example.

In a world where going to church is viewed as unimportant, get out of bed and go. Take your kids with you and be the example.

In a world where educational choices abound, choose what is best for your kids and be the example.

In a world where happiness is based off of how much money you have, what you drive or what kind of job you have, choose to find joy in Jesus. Be the example.

In a world where dreams are laughed at, chase those dreams. Work hard and you can accomplish anything. You will be an example.

In a world where everything is me-first, choose to serve others and be the example.

In a world where beauty is only skin deep, adorn yourself with grace and humility and be the example.

In a world where judgement prowls around, decide to look past the surface and be the example.

In a world where the Word of God is viewed as irrelevant, read it. It will change your life so you can be the example.

And, in a world where you can be anything, be kind. And SET AN EXAMPLE.

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” 1 Timothy 4:12

Have a great weekend, friends!

Crafty Details
I started this page by stamping a few girls from Girl Power onto cardstock, and accessorizing them J I then used the ink smooshing technique with Shaded Lilac and Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxides to make a watercolor-like background. I stamped the grid from Texture Tiles 1 with Picked Raspberry and the dots with Chipped Sapphire. The words “Be the Example” are stamped with Bitty Minnie Alpha and Loop da Loop. I added a few strips of matching washi to the top and bottom of the page, along with the tab. Finally, I glued my girls to the page and added a few sentiments from Faith Wordfetti.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Grow Hope

Winter is a tough season for many people.  The shorter, colder days (and in some places, lots of snow) keep us from getting out anymore than necessary.  Thankfully, signs of spring are starting to pop up in many areas.  One of the earliest signs that winter is losing it's cold grip are daffodils pushing their cheerful yellow heads out of the frosty ground.  It seems this year, they are emerging earlier than usual in my area, but none to soon for my warm weather loving heart.  They were the inspiration for my page today.  

As one of the first flowers of spring, daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings.  Daffodils are often given on 10 year wedding anniversaries to mean joy, cheerfulness, and happiness.  They represent hope for a cure for cancer for the American Cancer Society and are the March birth flower.  

As the daffodils grow and bloom, we have hope that the winter is coming to an end and spring is coming.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Romans 15:13

Friends, we should have hope for a far greater reason than the end of winter, however.  We have hope for eternal life in Heaven!  If we believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins and rose again after 3 days, we are promised a place in Heaven.  He sits at the right hand of God, covering us with His grace.  What greater hope is there?!?

If you are without hope today, pray for God to fill you up with His overflowing peace, love and joy.  Grow the hope your soul longs for by watering it with the Word of God.  Trust that He is the fountain of hope that never runs dry.  Give your fears and worries over to the one who can wash way every burden and sin.   

Page Details:
To create this page, I traced an outline image of some daffodils from a free download.  I added some line detail to the image with a micron pen and colored in loosely using Inktense blocks.  I splattered some paint on the page and used the script stamp from Texture Tiles 1 in the background.  I stamped my title using the Loop da Loop Alpha and added a dragonfly using the Dragonfly Dreams set.  I finished it off with some washi tape, a bow clip and my date stamp.

Until next time friends, you can catch up with me on Instagram @simplyjillsjourney. 

Praying you are abounding in joy & peace,


Monday, February 24, 2020

What the Lord Builds Up

I made it beautiful with the multitude of its branches, and all the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it. Ezekiel 31:9

Hi Friends,
Today we're in Ezekiel 31. God told Ezekiel to give a message to Egypt, a message of judgment. In this message, God used Assyria as an example of what was to happen to Egypt. God likened Assyria to a large, beautiful cedar tree. This tree was greater and more beautiful than any other tree. It gave shelter to the birds and beasts. But, it was proud. It believed that its greatness came from what it had done. But, of course, God had made it what it was. So because of its pride, God tore it down (verse 11.) This picture of Assyria as a tree was a picture of Assyria's judgment. God used Nebuchadnezzar to judge Assyria when he conquered it. Assyria was very similar to Egypt- proud, self-confident, giving glory to itself rather than God. So, God's message to Egypt was what happened to Assyria will happen to you.

What's the message for us? Whatever we accomplish, it is God-given. He has given us our talents and skills. He has given us opportunities. So, we shouldn't become prideful. And if we do, if we don't give the glory to Him, He can take away what He's given. What God builds up, He can also tear down. That can be a hard message to hear, but everything on the earth and in our lives is God's. We are just His stewards. So, it's within His right to give. And it's within His right to take away. And through it all, He is good.

The message to Egypt was that their pride had brought on God's judgment. As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we are free from God's wrath and have eternal life. But, if we choose to be prideful or sinful, we will have to accept God's consequences. And, sometimes, God takes away not as a consequence, but for His purpose and glory. Either way, He is just. He is good. He is right.

Page Details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Scene Silhouettes: Trees, Bitty Minnie Alpha, Women of Praise, Texture Tiles 1, Texture Tiles 3, & Chunky Alpha. For the background, I applied distress oxide inks with sponge daubers. I used Chipped Sapphire, Barn Door, Rusty Hinge, and Spiced Marmalade. I highlighted the words with a white Sharpie.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Wisdom & understanding...

Hi friends,

I often get asked where I start when it comes to inspiration for Bible Journaling pages. People wonder where to begin faced with the enormity of verses (and supplies!) to choose from. For me, there are a number of ways that I find pages to journal, but one of them is to do a search of an online Bible app for a word that is inspired by a stamp set. When I received the Forest Silhouettes set I looked up the word 'animals' to see what came up, and one passage that caught my attention was 1 Kings 4:29-34.

In these verses Solomon is described as having very great wisdom, discernment and understanding given to him by God which resulted in astonishing knowledge about all kinds of things, including different types of trees, animals, birds and fish. People travelled great distances to hear his wisdom and he was described as being 'wiser than anyone else.'

As someone who enjoys learning and gaining knowledge, I find this fascinating. But I also look at the wider story of Solomon's life and find it very sad. You see, Solomon had all this wisdom relating to the animal and plant world and about decision making and strategy and wealth, but he did not apply godly wisdom to his personal life. He accumulated 700 wives and 300 concubines who led him astray in his devotion to the Lord. All the knowledge about trees and fish were no use when it came to making choices to be obedient to God.

I have to remind myself of this when I am learning, even learning things about the Bible in studying theology. There is no point having a bunch of factual knowledge in terms of the way something works or the history of something, without the willingness to actually follow Jesus personally in our everyday decisions. Sometimes it is easy to hide behind our 'knowledge' and use this as an excuse not to simply obey. Often it is easier to explain something to someone else than to live it out in real life. I pray that in our knowledge and wisdom (which are good and right gifts of God that should be desired and stewarded well) we will also be people who obey the commands and leading of God with simple faith.

I thought the animals and trees in Forest Silhouettes were perfect for this page. I painted a watercolour background first, then stamped the images over the top, some with Inktense blocks and water, and some with VersaMagic inks. The text is a combination of Mini Grunge Type Alpha and Skinny Lowercase Alpha.

I am grateful to God for the wisdom and understanding he chooses to give us about many different things. I am also grateful for the Holy Spirit's continual guidance as we seek to follow Jesus as Lord.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Have Faith, He Knows...

Luke 24:38
And he said to them, 
"Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?"

So I’m going to be totally honest and a bit vulnerable with you guys. About 2 years ago, my husband really wanted another baby and I wasn’t sure that I did. Not because I don’t love the kids I have, I do of course! But if you’re a mom, you KNOW how hard that first year can be. Very, very little sleep, lots of crying, worrying, wondering what’s wrong, juggling all the baby “stuff” and just in general making life for a few years a little more difficult. And the thought of starting over again after you’ve already had two... you wonder if you can do it all again!

I started to pray and think a lot about this whole topic and if I thought I could really do it again. The other two had gotten older and “easier” and starting over would bring me back to square one. But one day I was sitting in my craft room, and read a devotional with the verse

Luke 24:38
“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?”

It spoke to me in a way it never had before. I just started crying! Like God had spoken right to my heart and said “Why are you doubting Me? And yourself?!?” Right then and there I wrote out a list of all of my worries, and reasons I was questioning myself at the time. I gave them to God and I prayed this exact prayer, “Lord, if we are meant to be a bigger family, please change my heart! Give me a sign or clear my doubt and show me what I am meant to do.”

And I kid you not, 2 days later, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I suddenly wasn’t worried or scared anymore. I didn’t doubt myself and I knew if we tried for another and it worked out, then it was meant to be and I was more than ready. Wow God right?! Who other than God could have changed my mind and heart so quickly.

Well, I lost my dad unexpectedly in January 2019 at 7 months pregnant with the baby I had prayed about. Trying to grieve while pregnant was very difficult. I also worried that the grief I was trying to suppress for my health would end up crushing me after the baby was born when compiled with all the hormones and emotions of having a newborn.

Well fast forward to now... where we’re getting ready to celebrate Alyssa’s first birthday in April! This past year has been a whirlwind of emotion, pain and blessings all in one. But a few months ago I realized, God KNEW that I would need Alyssa! Having her to hold, and love on in this precious season has helped heal my heart immensely!! I had no way of knowing just how much I would need her in our lives... but God did!!! He knew what was ahead for our family with the unexpected loss of my dad, and he knew that Alyssa would be the bright light in a dark year for all of us. And I do not take that for granted for one moment. All the things I was worried about in this first year with her have all been an answer to prayer. She has been the easiest baby, an amazing sleeper (yay!!), and the happiest little girl! She has been an amazing blessing that has completed our family.

I am so glad looking back on that day, that I took that leap of faith and trusted in God and what he had planned for us! God has always been there guiding me through life and he will never leave my side. Just as he is there for YOU and will never leave your side!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. 

Her pudgy footprint :)
I covered up a messed up handprint with
these cascading acrylic flowers

So this page I'm sharing today has Alyssa's footprint on it, at 10 months old. I tried to do her hand print but that's much easier said than done! Check out my instagram post here to see a short video of us "attempting" to do her handprint haha.  Here are a couple photos...

I love capturing personal memories on the pages of my bibles! 
And this is one of those pages that will always be special to me! 

Stephanie Gammon

Loop da Loop Alpha 

All in All 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Do You Have Hope?

Dragonfly Dreams stamp set affiliate link here.

You can say a lot about hope.  
There's been book after book written about it. 
There's been a long line of pastors/teachers/evangelists that talk about.
Hope is a great topic, though sometimes, it comes to us in packages with "get well" cards, or sentiments of "sorry for your loss."  
It's not wrong to send hopeful encouragement to someone.  In fact, rather than just the two isolated instances above, there should be MUCH MORE TALK ABOUT HOPE THAN WE DO NOW.

Because, life.

When the countless minutes of our everyday lives tick by, we can easily lose sight of the goal and purpose of our existence.  If we can't counter the feelings of meaninglessness or tedious, mundane or unimportant with the pervasive truths of Hope from scripture, two things (at least, as far as I can tell) happen.  
Firstly, we align ourselves with "living for the weekend." I've done it.  The hope I should be seeking in scripture - the motivation for living each day with vigor, endurance and joy through the grace of God - is replaced by an impatient posture toward each day, looking forward to "clocking out," and using the weekend as a reward for getting through the week.  
Secondly, it takes away the glorious opportunities set aside in each particular part I play of the bigger picture - God's kingdom work.  Being rooted in wishing "this phase" or "that piece" of life away pulls me further away from knowing and understanding God's sovereign control, and His ordaining every day, every moment for His glory. 
I don't want that!  I want to be a part of something - something glorious!  Something godly!  Something God-planned, God-called, God-sanctioned! 

What about suffering?
Where is the hope in suffering?
Oh, my friends.  This is one of those topics that truly test my faith and belief in the One and true God, for myself and for others.  It's so broad.  It's so rampant.  Everybody has suffered, or will suffer in some way.
Suffering comes in many forms.  Too many forms.  Too much brokenness exists, and more than we can even comprehend.  Corruption took over our world back in Genesis 3.  That story began a long line of living outside God's wise counsel, depending on our own ways, and living beyond our God-created position as "creation" vs. "Creator."  It's where our "god complex" comes from.  It's the beginning of death, sickness, and the ability to have a perfectly worshipful, unified bond with our Maker.  
It's where suffering began.  Sudden relational severing of humanity from Almighty God is painful.  And had we been the live audience to this casualty, we probably would have seen a once bright and peaceful countenance of the first man and woman turn to darkened confusion and insecurity.  That's painful.  Ever heard of #thestruggleisreal?  It doesn't get more real than this.  
But it doesn't go on forever.  In the same chapter in Genesis, God begins immediately to undo Satan's attack with a promise - THE promise.  The promise of Himself, in human form, to do what only He could do on behalf of all mankind: Kill off our enemy forever (Genesis 3:15), and usher in a perfect creation once again! 
The Bible is explicit in the discontinuation of any and ALL forms of trial, tribulation, heartbreak, and sorrow!  A bit of this encouragement comes as part of the narrative of Romans 8.  Paul writes,

Romans 8:18-30

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." (8:18-30)


Friends, suffering is hard.  Life is hard!  Life is the biggest trial of all time, which God uses to bring many sons to glory!  We groan.  We wait.  We don't know when He's coming back.  But… wait for it…
We have hope.  It's given to us to cling to as we pursue the life that God has redeemed for us.  We are in fact called to continue to live as ambassadors of His glory and grace.  The calling does not come without aid - and boy do we need it - of the Holy Spirit.  The above verses are so fraught with joy and hope, it's crazy that any of us wallows in despair. 
Like I said, I do it.
I wallow. 
Lord, forgive.
Hope is not just holding our chin high as a way of ignoring our situation or dismissing reality.  Hope is an eager expectation, a joyful anticipation of what is to come, to the degree that we re-purpose our energies to proclaiming the good news until He comes! 
With the help of the Holy Spirit within, we are capable of more than we realize.  We are ABLE to endure.  We are ABLE to face tomorrow.  We are ABLE to grow.  We are ABLE to conquer evil.  We are ABLE to "count it all joy!"
As our brother, Paul David Tripp writes in his book, "New Morning Mercies,"
"We can experience peace in the face of the unknown.  We can feel an inner well-being while living in the middle of mystery.  You don't have to be anxious about the future.  A God of grace has invaded your life, and He always completes what He starts!" (February 6)

This small insert is going into a compact Bible to give to someone.

Praise Jesus and amen!
Much love,
Dragonfly Stamp Set

Monday, February 17, 2020

All of Creation Points to the Creator

Jeremiah 10
I had the opportunity to journal this page live in the Creative Worship Bible Journaling Facebook group yesterday, and it was so much fun! 😊 It kicked off our bi-weekly design challenge: Silhouettes. 

The inspiration for this page came from my lovely pastor's wife. She loves to teach her Sunday School lesson on the spiritual truths we can learn from bugs and nature. No seriously! She's taught lessons on the honey bee, spider, crab apple tree, and even dust! She uses God's beautiful creation to teach us about God Himself. 

For example, these past two weeks, she's taught on the ant. Did you know that a scout ant will go out looking for food, wander randomly until it finds a food source, and then immediately make a line straight back to the nest, leaving a scent trail along the way so the other ants can find the way back to the food source? Not only did God put that navigation beacon in the ant, He gave it the ability to leave a distinct path back to their source of life - food!

Dear friends, that's exactly what God wants us to do when we find HIM! So often we wander randomly through life searching for the truth, the source, the sustenance we need to keep going - and then we find our Heavenly Father, and in Him we find life and life more abundant. He then wants us to take this truth back to our "nest" leaving a trail back to Him that is easy for others to follow. Isn't that just great?! 💜


All of creation, from the biggest mountain to the tiniest ant, is designed to point us back to the Creator. These next two weeks, I hope you'll take a moment to learn something from God's creation that points you to Him - and then journal about it!

I journaled this page using watercolors and stamps. You can watch the whole process over on the FB group page. I finished out the pages with some white "snow" highlights, white ink splatters, and some purple sparkle washi and a bow.



Have a wonderful week in the Lord, 


We'd love to have you join our Creative Worship Design Challenge this week? Use the hashtags #creativeworshipsnss or #cwchallengefeb16 to join on social media!