During the last couple of months I have been writing and illustrating a prayer journal. It's still in the editing stages but I'm getting excited because it will be ready to publish very soon. This journal is meant to inspire you to dig into God's word, sit quietly before Him and talk with our God. Prayer is our most powerful tool and yet it is so easy to just go about our day and not realize we are not talking to the one who can actually make the difference we are desiring. The journal will have 36 weeks of scriptures, thoughts to ponder and questions to reflect upon. And just for fun there's a coloring page at the end of each week! There are pages for your to record your prayer requests and pages to record when God answers. Seeing how He answers our prayers is the best way I know of to see how God is at work in our lives. Each week contains a verse for memorization because knowing God's word - especially in difficult times - is our best weapon and defense against all the evil that is among us.
This journal can be used for a women's study as well. It's a great way to gather, discuss each weeks thought, share how God is working in your life and commit to praying for each other throughout the week. What a powerful way to see all the miracles of God.
I can't wait to share this journal with you! I hope and pray it will be as impactful to you as it has been for me to write and design it! To learn more about it or get on my waiting list for distribution, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll be the first to know when it's available! Until then, I will be continuing to refine, make more edits but most of pray through the final pages and words because this truly is all about God and what He will do through it!
As I think about this verse "Love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you" I think about how many times I have unintentionally upset or hurt someone. How cool would it be to know that we pray for each other instead of intentionally thinking of ways to return the hurtful favor.
During these unique times it is so easy for us to say something or act in a way that we shouldn't. I find myself trying to be very intentional about my thoughts and feelings as well as catching myself when I start to grumble. Grumbling just takes me to another level of self-focus and self-destruction.
This verse reminds me to change my thinking and how I react to those who might say something or act in a way I might feel are offensive. Instead of feeling hurt and trying to justify my feelings, I need to simply pray. How easy is that! It takes so much less energy to focus on them than on me. Once I start praying, my entire demeanor changes and I find that I start praying for even more issues that weigh heavy on my heart. Prayer changes my attitude and instead of feeling hurt and alone, I feel empowered to want to react in a more positive way. All of a sudden, I'm not thinking of me but of others.
My new set of Memory Verse Cards will be available in my Etsy shop by August 5. My hope for these cards is they will cause you to memorize God's word, and pray about how the verse may speak to you. There are 20 memory verse cards printed on white card stock and tucked in a clear CD holder. Flip the lid and the CD holder becomes an easel for you to display a verse each day or display the cards individually wherever you like. And just to add that final little touch, each card has a printed pattern on the reverse side!
Also added will be my Memory Verse Card fans. These fans contain the same verse cards as the Memory Verse CD but are smaller and much more portable. They are easy to carry in your purse or tote of choice. They measure 2" w x 5"l and contain 10 verse cards each. Each fan is printed on white card stock and secured with a decorative brad. And don't forget the final touch of the pattern on the back! Each fan will contain different verse cards. Remove the brad and slip a ribbon or piece of twine through the brad hole and they become individual bookmarks. These fans are a great way to share God's truth with a friend who might need a word of encouragement or just needs to know someone is thinking of them.
Each week I will be sharing a post about each verse card and how the verse is speaking to me. Check back often and let me know your thoughts as well in my comment section. I'd love to hear from you and start a conversation!
down, or discouraged I realize I have not been spending enough time in God's word. I need to focus on Him instead of myself which means I need to know more about Him and how He handles situations such as we are experiencing today. It so easy to become focused on all the issues in the world but I keep asking myself, how would Jesus have walked among everyone and everything going on today. I have come to realize that Jesus did not stand for cause but He stood for truth. He stood on God's word and nothing else.
If you feel alone or discouraged during this pandemic time who do you turn to for hope, conversation, information, companionship? I have decided that I will keep my focus on God's truth and not the worlds. I find an extreme amount of peace in this decision. It' keeps me focused on what is truly important to me which is sharing how much He cares and loves me despite all my flaws. Focusing on God's truths helps me to keep my priorities in line and brings complete order to my day. It puts into focus what is important in a very simple and beautiful way. It calms my heart, shows me how I can best be involved and ensures I am walking in His will. I shows me what angers me and causes me to react in a way that is pleasing to Him. There are so many emotions being shared during this time and I too am concerned with all that is transpiring. But to be effective in the ways I feel led to be involved, I must know that I am grounding myself in His word Then and only then can I feel I am contributing in a Godly way and not of my own volition.
How is God leading you to be involved? It's important that our involvement lift God up and not ourselves. It's important that we, as believers not become splintered or divided in our attempts to help.
During this time of quarantine I have been creating verse cards. These cards have helped me to stay focused on His word while having some wonderful time in my studio just creating. Moving forward I will be sharing some of these cards in this blog along with my thoughts as I was creating them. It's amazing how calming and inspiring this time has been for me. I know it's because I have worked to stay focused on Him instead of myself. It's been a real blessing.
Being southern I was raised on grits. I must confess, I don't like grits and thankfully my parents never forced me to eat them! I call that grace...especially in the south! Grits for me are the hard times, the times we have to wrestle with our thoughts, our situations, etc. Grace allows me to take these "Grits" to God and work through them with Him.
In the south I have many fond memories. These memories allow us to remember the good and the bad and this past week has brought some very hard memories to mind. Our dear friends lost their daughter to suicide. Losing anyone is hard but to loose a child is the hardest death I know to be true. We lost our youngest son 20 months ago to medical issues. No matter the cause, their deaths are deeply painful, a pain that you cannot describe and pray that most never will experience.
Our friends are in the throws of indescribable pain and in their quest to understand, they no doubt will question "why, what if," and wonder "if only I had". Grace has allowed me to accept that I will never understand my son's passing as such a young age, and has given me the peace and comfort of knowing I will see him again. I can now smile at many of his memories that I hold so dear to my heart but I still tear up when I see my grandson and know that he will never experience all the dreams his dad had for the two of them.
Death was never a part of God's plan. When He created our world, He created it for us to live with Him in paradise. But as we know, we failed miserably and His plan was forever changed. Many want to blame God for losses but I cannot blame Him for something He never intended. I can, however, celebrate the time that I had with our son and share with others how God can heal the deepest pain one will ever know.
I often work through my emotions in my artwork. I recently created a line of greeting cards I call "For God". These cards are meant to encourage and give hope and understanding to those who are walking through dark times and help me celebrate the gifts our son used for others. These cards have allowed me to work through the pain and hard memories during the times I struggled and I hope that they will do the same for others.
Please enjoy a sampling of the cards!