May 6, 2015

Kristen's Bible Journal and Interview

I got a chance to interview Kristen who has done the free Ephesians Bible study. 
(Get your copy by subscribing on the right!) 

I love her insights and thoughts and awesome sense of humor! Thank you so much for sharing your journal pages with us Kristen!  Here is her interview and journal.

Q:  How did you find out about the Journal and Doodle through the Bible Studies?
I was about to start studying Ephesians at my church's women's bible study and wanted to try something different...something that would make me excited to study & not my typical dry, boring approach. My previous journals are entirely composed of paragraphs and lists. Looks like a bunch of notes - not bad, but I wanted something different.  I went to pinterest and searched for "Bible journal" I got a bunch of results, somehow in my searching I found someone had pinned your 'in Christ' doodle (from Ephesians) and I was wowed...I was like " THIS!" 

I took a photo of my notebook to say "Look, I took a notebook that's $1.50 and filled it with wonderful things."  I did all of my pages with a black ballpoint pen. So truly, nothing special needed as you first start out! 

Q: What do you like about the Journal and Doodle studies?
I like the "levels" which is so appropriate and needed for us women & our various stages of life. I like that the study gave a general idea for each chapter but did not spoon feed a bunch of answers.  (I hate that about most women's "fill in the blank" style studies. Ick.)  Love the "challenge" at the end to go back through the journal to review and live out what I learned. Love that it was like a springboard to look deeply at other topics not covered in your study.  Will you think I'm cheap if I say I also love the price? 

Q:  How have the Journal and Doodle studies made your time with the Lord different?
It excites me!  Also - one of my biggest hurdles with Bible study is simply taking the time to read, understand, and digest what I am reading. It can be a real challenge to get past simple devotional reading. Or to read and then forget what I read by lunchtime. 

The journal and doodle study is a wonderful combination of reading & study.  And because of the doodling I believe I am processing the information in a deeper, more meaningful, much more personal way than I have before. 

I found that I remembered what I was learning and that I was able to share with others what He was saying to me and teaching me. 
 Doodles and journaling have been relaxing and fun...a way to tap back into my creative side that fell by the wayside a bit with pregnancies/nursing/late nights/wiping pre-k butts.  Ha!  

I NEED to be in the Word.  I need to be learning it, I need to be studying it, I need to be interacting with it, I need to be understanding what it says, I need to be taken up with the wonder and goodness of it, and I need to be able to explain it to other people. The study did that for me.  =) 

Thank you SO much Kristen, for sharing your thoughts and your journal pages! I love your sense of humor, honesty, and journal pages!

Be sure to check out all the available Bible studies here.

May 4, 2015

Melanie's Bible Journal and interview

The all new study through Galatians is going to be available on May 23rd!  I can't wait to share it with you!  Final edits are being made and videos are being filmed! It's going to be the best one yet!

As I was preparing the Galatians study, I emailed my awesome subscribers who have done a study before and asked if they would share some of their thoughts and journal pages.  I wanted to interview people and share their thoughts.

When they started coming in I had so much fun looking through the Bible journal pages and comments that I thought I'd share a few of them just as they are with you, because they are so awesome.  I love that artistic people and those who like to journal more than draw are all finding ways to make their time in the Word deep and rich.

Here is Melanie's interview and her very inspiring journal pages.  

These studies are awesome!  I really enjoy them and they have piqued my interest into learning scripture more than any other study I've ever done.  

I love that they play into my artistic side along with my thirst for knowledge. 

They've definitely helped with the consistency of reading my scripture. I sit down pretty much every morning while I have my coffee and work on the studies. Some days I do more than one chapter. 

Melanie, thank you so much for opening your journal to us!  I LOVE how you've added your own insights and doodles and colors! I felt like I was sitting beside you enjoying coffee and your journal.

The all-new Galatians study comes out May 23, 2015.
To see the currently available studies, click here.

May 3, 2015

April Review and Reflection

Can you believe April 2015 is now a memory?!  How did you do?  Did you hit any goals? Did you make any goals?
Here's how my month went down:

I was sick for about two weeks of it, one week was on my birthday.  On that magical day when I could have gotten a free coffee almost anywhere in town, I was instead hugging the toilet bowl with chills, fever, and feeling like I was sure my life was over.

About a week later, I got a nice head cold with exhaustion.

We did not keep up on school, and are now another week behind because the flu made the rounds through everyone.


I did manage to lose a decent amount of weight!  (Flu diet not recommended, however).

And we got quite a bit done around the house, after I had my oldest son change my Facebook password (WHY do I have no self-control with that?!)

I painted something for our dining room wall.  Still not sure if I like it or if it's done, but it was fun to play around with.

Corey (a.k.a. Mr. Measure) built things.  He finished our 8 foot long Neighbor's Table and then made an amazingly sturdy and beautiful bench.  One table down, one more to go and 3 more benches and we'll be ready to invite over our neighborhood!

I killed weeds with a spray mix of white vinegar (1 gallon) and 2 cups of salt.  This was after one day.  Love that it is so cheap and VERY effective!

I also got to sit in the sun quite a few times and read a book.  Our backyard was buzzing with bees and there may have been a few times I had to sprint into the house after being stalked by a few huge scary bees.

My Bullet Journal isn't very impressive.  Lots of stuff not done, but the few items finished is good enough and leaves me something to try harder for next week., right?

May 1, 2015

Awesome New Tote Bags and a COUPON (just for you!)

Penny has been up to her usual AWESOMENESS and has made some BRAND NEW bags and totes this month!  I'll let Penny walk you through all of her gorgeous new offerings!
(all pictures are clickable and will take you to Penny's Etsy shop.)

I'm excited to announce my new Zipped PBT.  I've had customers ask for a zipper to protect their Bible from the elements and simply because they like a little closure.  This is my solution to that dilemma. The new zipped PBT is a bit taller than the open top so it will close when loaded. 

Apr 29, 2015

Behind the Scenes--Cover Design for Galatians

Right now I'm done writing the next Bible study! YAY!

But I know that I want them to look different. More eye-appeal. More mature.  More of something that would draw you in to look closer if it were on a shelf in a store.

So, I've playing with a million different photos and fonts and placements and hacking my way through designing my own cover.

I opted to design my own cover for a number of reasons.  One of the main ones was because I knew a rough idea of how I wanted it to look, and I knew that I would have a hard time explaining it to someone else using words like relaxing, but with doodles, and with coffee, and lots of clean white.  So that leaves me to hack and do it totally unprofessionally and hope for the best.  Here's my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants process.

Hack #1:  All pictures must be taken outside. Inside has poor lighting and I always get blue tint.  I know I can correct it on the photo program, but it looks corrected.  So outside it is.  With a white foam board from the dollar tree and all my "props"--pens, Bible journal, Bible and coffee cup--hoping to get a few pics done between clouds and rain.

Hack #2:  The coffee is too shiny and reflecting weird overhead tree branches and too flat.  I try to whisk it up to get bubbles but just get a few unpromising bubbles that pop right away.  So I grab a canning jar and lid and shake it like crazy and slosh it into the cup and then realize there's too many bubbles and you can't see the coffee.  I have to stick my finger in and pop a bunch which means I drip on the white foam board I was using as background and it instantly absorbs and stains it.  I now need one additional prop to cover that, an eraser.

Apr 22, 2015

The Neighbor Project--Working Out the Kinks

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm currently reading Amy Lively's How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.

So, we're on a mission to make full use of this spring and summer and have our neighbors over for a meal and start getting to know them better.  But with our small house, it all has to be done outside in our big backyard.  Which means we need to figure out how this all is going to work in actual practice, rather than winging it, as I usually do.

So who better to test it out on than family?

So Corey built a table (modified from the plans of course, because we're us.) and we invited all of our extended family over and served a potluck taco dinner on the too tall, un-sanded table... that we had to assemble with super long 3" nails, because the battery on the screwdriver died and we had an hour before everyone got here.  (On a side note, I found out that one of my strengths is ACTIVATOR, which means, when I have an idea that I know we need to do, we're already automatically behind schedule and we've got to get started NOW and finish FAST because NOW!  Which makes my perfectionist husband, Mr. Measure, slightly CrAzY.)

Apr 21, 2015

Book Review--Undone by Michele Cushatt

I first heard Michele on Michael Hyatt's podcast when she joined him as a cohost.  I listened to Michael introduce her and then hopped over to her website and browsed around a bit and fell in love with her openness and honesty and the struggles she has been through.

When I heard about her book, Undone--A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, I ordered it to learn more about her and the struggles and victories (and defeats) she's had and just get to know her a bit better.

Apr 20, 2015

Being Brave as an Introvert--The Neighbor Project

On my heart this week is this book.

I finally got it in the mail and read through half of it this weekend.  Let me just say, Amy is the Real Deal.  She is so honest and open in her book that she is already my friend.  And so far, she has completely nailed me on each of my excuses, but in a very kind and encouraging way.  If you can smack someone up alongside the head in a kind way, Amy figured out how to.

Apr 11, 2015

Things to Share--What I've Been Dreaming About

So I'm in a group to review a new book coming out soon called How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird by Amy Lively.  You will definitely hear more about it when I get it in my hands.  I joined Amy's launch group because I've been convicted about how long we've lived here (12 years!) and how few of our neighbors we know.  Really, it's pathetic.  I'm so comfortable just being me, in my house, and not doing much else.

Like I said, I haven't even gotten Amy's book yet, but it must be rolling around in my head already because I was wide awake this morning with PLANS and IDEAS and WISHES.  See, when it's planned, and ready, and I'm recharged (MAJOR introvert here) I really enjoy having people over.  Amy's upcoming book has got me thinking that I cannot continue to be a hermit forever if I'm going to share the love of Jesus with people around me, right?

Apr 9, 2015

Book Review--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Let's talk about this book for a bit today, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I received it from the publisher to review, and was super excited to read it for a few reasons.  One was because it is from a Japanese decluttering super star (and I love all things Japanese) and the second reason is because it's about organizing and decluttering and supposed to be amazing.

It's a cute little hardback book and reads really fast but she really does have some points here that I had never thought of.  Plus, no one that she has worked with has ever gone back to disorganized and cluttered... which kind of floored me.

Apr 7, 2015

How To Stay Healthy When Your Whole Entire Family is Sick

Two of my boys woke up with an ugly vomiting virus this morning and both raced to the toilet right after one another.  (One missed... which means I clean it up, and then feel sick... but is it sick from me really having the virus or sick from cleaning up sick?) 

Vomit time always moves me quickly into Vomit Preparation Mode.  This is a crucial part of our family life when it occurs, so I thought you might want to see how this all works.

V.P.M. for Beginners