Huge Giveaway at The Writer’s Alley!

I’m part of a group blog called The Writer’s Alley and we have a new blog design and are celebrating with a huge giveaway and a Facebook Party, Saturday, August 30! That’s tomorrow! 

For the big giveaway, we are giving away The Writer’s Alley New Design Launch Basket containing the following:

  • $20 Amazon gift card
  • Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg (paperback book)
  • Sandwich, with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips (paperback book)
  • A Side of Faith by Krista Phillips (paperback book)
  • Duchess by Susan May Warren (autographed paperback book)
  • Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Squares
  • A Writer’s Conference Jamberry PediPack 

Throughout the day of our Facebook party August 30, we will be giving away the following:
  • A Side of Faith by Krista Phillips (ebook)
  • A Home At Trail’s End by Melody Carlson (paperback book)
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund (paperback book)
  • The Writer’s Toolbox
  • Showdown by Ted Dekker (paperback book)
  • Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz (paperback book)
  • Vanished by Irene Hannon (paperback book)
You can enter for a chance to win HERE. Just scroll to the end of the post and enter through our Rafflecopter giveaway widget!

art, art journal, My Documented Life

My Documented Life: Week 33

The Week 33 challenge of the Documented Life Project was to use your “underpaper” in your spread. What is underpaper you ask? Well, it is the paper you put under your project when you paint. It is what you smear your fingers on to get them clean. It is what you use to stamp the ink off of your stamps. It becomes a beautiful mess that you can use in your art projects.

I cut out circles from my underpaper and glued them onto my challenge page. I also used some underpaper on the middle page of my spread. (It is under all the collage elements I glued down.)

This show what I hid behind the brown paper sack…funny photos!

My daughter, Elyssa, sent me the cut little Panda bear photo with a funny caption.

Have a great day!!!

family, personal

Now Entering: The Empty Nest Phase

We did it. We moved our last child, our third son, into the dorm at the University of North Texas. Granted, it is only 40 minutes away, but he has left. His room is bare,with only a few posters left on the wall and a few old pairs of tennis shoes lined up on a shelf. No empty Dr. Pepper cans. No fruit snack wrappers. Just some dust where his computer had sat.

It’s such an exciting time for your child as they go off to college. It is the beginning of the rest of their lives. It is the beginning of adulthood and learning to make your way in the world. New friends. New things to see and do. It’s the part of life that they will look back on and think, “Those were the good old days.” I’m so thankful he is getting to experience the college life and I pray that God will hold him close as he journeys through this time.

But now things are different for me. I walk into the quiet house and think this quiet will now be the norm. There won’t be the sound of someone scrounging around in the pantry looking for a snack. There won’t be the sound of clippers trimming a beard. There won’t be the sound of laughter from a conversation with friends. It will be quiet.

Granted, the senior year prepared me for this time. We didn’t see a whole lot of him since he spent time working, doing homework, and hanging out with friends. But there’s something about the last one leaving that changes everything.

It shifts who you are as a parent.

You are no longer the “teacher”. I know, I know, we will always be teaching, but it’s different now. We will be more like advisers, giving advice when asked. We will be the refuge they run to when they need help. We will be their prayer warriors, praying for their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.

I think it’s going to be a good shift in who I am as a parent, and I pray that in this next phase of life I will embrace all that God has laid out for me to do…as a parent, wife, partner in ministry, and a child of HIM who loves me.

Life is good and I’m so very blessed.


Loss and Loyalty

Photo by annaER

Last Sunday John started a new sermon series on the book of Ruth. He’s never preached on the book of Ruth. Ever. I don’t know that I’ve heard of other preachers speaking on the book of Ruth either.

So what’s so great about this little book? There’s no miracles, no great godly teaching, no laws given, nothing special. It’s just a story. So why is it even in the Bible?

Because faithful, covenant love is held up as the ultimate virtue.

The Hebrew word “hesed” is repeated throughout the book of Ruth (and throughout the Bible). It is difficult to interpret into English, but it has been known to encompass faithfulness in covenant love, mercy, loving kindness, steadfast love, and loyalty.

Here’s how the story goes…
During a famine,  Elimelech took his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, from their home in Bethlehem to live in Moab. After their father’s death, the sons married Moabite women named Orpha and Ruth. They lived in Moab for about 10 years until both Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving their mother Naomi to live with her daughters-in-law.
When she heard the famine was over in Judah, Naomi decided to return to her home, and told her daughters-in-law to return to their own families in Moab. Weeping, Orpah left Naomi to return home. Ruth refused to leave Naomi and said,

 “Where you go I will go,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7144AI" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”> and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7144AJ" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> and your God my God.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7144AK" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AK)”> Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7145AL" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16).

Naomi and Ruth created a patchwork kind of family. They were of a difference race, not blood related. But they made it work by copying God’s faithful, covenant love. 
  • Naomi needed support. She was past marrying age and well passed child bearing age. She had no one, except her two daughter-in-laws. She could have kept them with her as she returned to Judah and lived with their support, yet she was willing to sacrifice her safety net because she loved them as her own. 
  • Ruth could have gone back to her parent’s home and been supported by them. She could have remarried and had a family of her own, yet she was willing to sacrifice her future for the family God had given her in Naomi. 
Both Naomi and Ruth practiced “hesed”…faithful, covenant love. They found a place of belonging in each other.
In this world of turmoil and loss, we need to find a place of belonging. And it can be found in the One who loves with an everlasting love…a faithful, covenant love. And it can be found in the family of God…the church, His family on earth.
May you find hesed this week as you look to the One who holds your heart close to His in faithful, covenant love. 

**Notes from John Ketchersid’s sermon August 10, 2014.

art, DLP, My Documented Life

My Documented Life: Week 32

This week’s challenge in The Documented Life Project was to use a fortune from a fortune cookie. I decided to try one of those little girls that I’ve been seeing others do. Let me just say that faces are kinda hard and shading is not something I know how to do very well. She turned out rather cute with her curly hair, I think. (and yes…I know she doesn’t have arms)

I was also able to incorporate quite a bit of art bits from some Happy Mail I received last week. (the big flowers and the houses) I sure makes my pages look great!

art, art journal, DLP, My Documented Life

My Documented Life: Week 31

This week’s DLP challenge was to make a pocket for your page. I have to say my pages turned out way more darker than I wanted. I got some “muddy” places with the paint, so I tried to cover it up using black and white. It isn’t what I really wanted, but that’s part of experimenting. My pocket is made out of a large recipe card, painted pink and blue and stenciled with black gesso. Inside the pocket I put some tags from some Happy Mail I received. Not my favorite spread, but a great learning experience in paint and what colors NOT to mix. 🙂

Have a great day!