Our family has been doing this bible study this semester. It's one of the things we wanted to do during this season of our lives and it's been so good to do Together!
Written by Rick Warren - It's all about different ways to study the Word - this week we are using the paraphrase method - reading the verse, thinking about what God is saying to you and then putting it into your own words.
I love this method and while I was studying this morning I felt an overwhelming desire blog and to share today's verse with you - which if you are familiar with my blog or are just reading for the first time - you will notice by the date of my last post - over a month ago - that I almost never have an overwhelming desire to blog - I mean I like to share stuff but . . .blogging is generally my last priority - sad but true because I really enjoy blogs! anywaaay . . . . here it is from the Amplified (my favorite translation to read from:). . .
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work fo that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
So what we are to to then is read this several times and put it into your own words. . .
Here's my paraphrase . .
Choose to see troubles as an opportunity to cultivate joy - because you will grow and learn and be able to finish strong.
This verse is so encouraging to me today! How would you paraphrase this one?
It's Friday so I thought I would share a few pieces of our life this week as seen through my phone camera.
Best book ever! - since I read the The Travelers Gift by the same author
Its so funny the kids will see like a 100 year old toy and ask us "oh wow is that what you had to play with? hahahaha
I have been looking around for a picnic basket . . and I found 2 that were super cute! and I knew exactly what I was going to do with the window frame!
Hebrews 10:23 is always a constant reminder of His faithfulness - its one of my very favorite verses! Hold tight to what you are hoping for and don't doubt or waiver because He who promised is Faithful!!!
I am linking up this post with Jeannett from Life Rearranged!
Several years ago my husband and I tried scuba diving. We were in Australia shooting his very last wedding before he retired from photography.
Everything was great - we were super excited to try it - a little nervous - and then we saw it sleeping and hiding in the reef- our guide pointed it out - a shark - a nurse shark that is nocturnal and eats only fish and is totally harmless to humans - but still a shark and I freaked out a little. Still we kept swimming and looking around and when it was over I was so happy to be back on the surface and happier still when I was out of the water and my feet were on the ground.
But I was dissapointed that I was afraid and didn't like diving as much as I thought I would. I so wanted to love it.
Fast forward 6 years. 2 of our kids are old enough now and guess what they have been wanting to try?
So when we had the opportunity, my husband stayed back with the younger ones and I went with our 14 and 12 year olds.
On the boat ride over to the reef, it got pretty quiet and I could tell the kids were a little nervous so I said well let's pray now for protection and peace before we go . . and then I just said a simple thank you God for this opportunity to experience your creation in this new and exciting way
we stayed close to our guide - the reef was beautiful with lots and lots of colorful fish - all different with colors that I wouldn't even think go together but they do - God is so amazingly creative!!
we swam around the reef for awhile
and then we saw him . . .just doing his thing . .
I was so thankful I didn't let my fear of what lies beneath and past expereince stop us from doing this! - Scuba was everything I had hoped it would be this time and we cannot wait to go again!
We dove to a depth of 24 feet and while we were down - the Lord brought to my mind this scripture from Ephesians about how deep His love is for us . . .
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. NIV
Praying that you know this today too!!! Have a great Monday:)
Here's a pic from my Instagram that my daughter colored yesterday . . .
Do you Instagram? Did I just use that as a verb? Anyway . . its a fun way to document the little things that add up to so much!
And Thank You so much for all your kind comments on the new line! and Guess What? there is even more goodness from Urban Soul coming next month!!
Here's a sneak peek:)
here are the 3 winners from random integer!
#91 Tressa - I have seen the fabulous pencil cups and the calendar at Kregel Parable on East Beltline in Grand Rapids. I absolutely love your work!!! I just took a new job and have a new office. I did purchase the 3 plaques "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord." But I need to get my hands on some more!!! I would love to win a piece, and am going to head back to Kregel to check out their new stuff!
#83 Kristi Topp I am loving everything in this photo!! The wall flowers are amazing!! I need one of these!! I shared your link on my facebook page. Hoping to win one of these beauties!! Thanks!
#116 Kristen I saw some of your collection at the hospital I am going to deliver my baby at in 2 weeks. I was VERY excited to see that they had some pieces of your collection there. The entire gift store had Scripture art and it is comforting to know that there are Christian's at the hospital. :)
Congratulations Ladies!! email your mailing address to email@example.com and I will get your prizes right out to you!!
Have a super blessed Easter!:)
Sooo .. .it's been really crazy and fun lately! We have had friends and family visiting for the last couple of weeks!
Here's a few pics of our week from Instagram!
But really we love this girl and her husband Josh and we had so so much fun with you this week!
Instagram is so much fun!
I am linking up this post with Jeannett from Life Rearranged!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the Urban Soul!!
Have you seen the new collection in the stores yet?
those pencil cups! that desk basket! the storage drawers! the GIANT wall art!! - how inspiring to read that everyday in your home office/creative space?
That was the goal of the latest collection of Urban Soul from Demdaco.
To offer products for your space that will inspire creativity - whether your space is at your dining room table, a dedicated home office, even in a closet (have you seen these? - a closet that you can totally close the door to and when it opens, its fabulous?)
I have a few favorites . . here are some . .
Two are Better than One, Hope is an Anchor to the Soul, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might and Let your light shine
the CLOCK! - it says There is a time for everything - you can hang it on the wall or it stands alone on your desk or dresser.
the PERPETUAL CALENDAR! - we have been using this for our kindergartner to keep track of the days and months! - it comes with 4 different scripture plaques at the bottom that are different colors and magnetic so you can switch them out whenever you like!
I LOVE everything about this new collection!
and guess what?
I have a 3 surprise pieces to giveaway to 3 winners!
Leave a comment and let me know if/where you have seen the collection in the store and your favorite piece! It's available at retailers nationwide! - Soo excited!! Or you can just say - I really like this collection and would love to win something!
For extra entries you can follow RedLetterWords on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Return here and leave an additional comment that you tweeted.
Become a fan of RedLetterWords on Facebook and post a link to this giveaway on your facebook page. Return here and leave an additional comment that you Facebooked!
The Giveaway is open until Friday April 6th at midnight and the winner will be announced on Saturday the 7th!
The fine print. . .
*Giveaway is open to US residents only *
So once we made the decision to homeschool, we began the daunting task of choosing curriculum. And I was clueless about everything. There is so much information! and it all looked good to me. But math I thought I had in the bag. The boys were going into 3rd and 6th grade and our school system had used Saxon math. So choosing math curriculum was a no brainer. or so I thought.
We went to the homsechool bookstore and I went right up to the Saxon display and couldn't figure out which books to get - 7/6? 5/4? I was confused already. After talking to the lady a bit about different math programs I decided that maybe Saxon wouldn't be the best choice for us to start out with.
Back to the drawing board. I did some more research online and ended up choosing Teaching Textbooks for the main everyday math.
But. . we have always been told by our 11 year old 's teachers that he needed to be more challenged in math, but that they couldn't put him in the advanced math group because he hadn't scored quite high enough. So, what to choose, where to place him?
Back to the homeschool bookstore. . . The The Life of Fred display immediately caught my eye. I liked the graphics on the cover - it was colorful and quirky. So I picked up one of the books and started to page through it. this was the first sentence I read . .
There is an old saying that you shouldn't start algebra until you have hair under your arms.
I giggled out loud and called my son over and asked him . .
"do you have hair under your arms?"
Instantly his facial expression changed from complete and utter boredom to a big smile.
"I don't know, mom see for yourself" the dreaded trip to the bookstore had suddenly become much more interesting.
As it turns out, he didn't have hair under his arms yet so when I told him that he wasn't quite ready for algebra - he responded with a fist pump and a "yes!"
Several books later . . .
Apples for our youngest, Goldfish and Honey for our 3rd grader and Decimals and Fractions for our 6th grader. We use it as a supplement to Teaching Textbooks - that's what we ended up with main everyday math. Fred is so fun - its the favorite part of their school day. We do it 2-3 times a week!
and that is how we chose our math curriculum:)
Do you homeschool? How did you ever decide??
I needed to make some blog ads. The hymn collection is out now and the ads needed some updating to include those prints in the ads.
Images! - Different ones, vertical ones and horizontal ones and close ups and farther away ones.
ok so we are traveling . .
and . . . I did not have my images for the hymn prints on either my local computer or my back up hard drive.
oh what to do?? Here's where Unit Prints saved the day!
I logged into my account, downloaded the hymn images that I needed and made my blog ads!
So easy!! - You can store and share your high res photos via emai, facebook and twitter, download them to your computer, whatever you like! . . and the best part . . it's FREE! There is also a professional printing service option:)
Here's a link to an album from the new Urban Soul products!
See how fun and easy that is?
ps. Unit Prints knows me quite well . . I am married to the founder:) But check them out!! - its a really great service!! and they totally saved the day!!!
I've posted before about Why I make artwork with scripture. But I get asked alot . . .
How do you do this? It's alot of work - its way more than thinking and praying and creating and designing (my favorites:). .
once that part is done there is printing and mounting and wrapping and photographing and adding to the website and yikes the marketing and promotion (my least favorite)
there is a group of awesomeness that helps with all of that . . but I have a special secret weapon in the photography department . . . she goes by Mindy and I beyond blessed to call her my friend.
isn't she cute? she's amazingly creative, colorful and Fun! with a Capital F:) I love her to pieces! Together with her husband Ben - they own Studio 623 photography studio 6.23 is their wedding date! While they are best known for weddings and families, here is what she did for RedLetterWords
she photographed the Just for Girls collection last spring . . .
and that dream HUGE set of prints? created just for her kids homework area!
and then she photographed the Hymns collection this past December
doesn't she do fabulous work? I never could have done this.
But when you combine my artwork with its predictable and timeless neutrality and add in Mindy's funky, colorful style and eye for awesomeness - something amazing happens.
During the shoots I like to hover around her and make boring suggestions watch her and try to learn and offer my help but she set this particular shot up while my back was turned talking to someone else!
doesn't she do fabulous work? did I already say that?
So. . . . looking at Mindy's picture and her photography. . bright, colorful, fun
and my picture and artwork, neutral, classic, and timeless
Here's the question. . .
Does Life Imitate Art or does Art Imitate Life?