Monday, January 30, 2012

SEM- Fifth Monday of the Month Post

Hi Everyone
Today is the fifth monday of the month which only happens a couple times a year so we dont usually have a post scheduled soooo I thought I would write a post and share with you why I started Scrapping Everyday Miracles...

About six months before starting SEM (Scrapping Everyday Miracles) I found a picture that I wanted to scrap and immediately I thought wow... at the time I had no idea why God had us in Alburquerque nor how over the following 2 years after the picture was taken how He would use us there.... I spent the whole two hours scrapping and talking to God at the same time.  When I was finished it was the best scrapping experience I had ever had.... Here is the layout

Well probably a week later I did the same thing.... I found just a simple picture of my daughter and started talking to God about her, our life and our goals.... once again I realized how wonderful it was to share my scrapbooking time with Him... at the same time I realized I probably wouldnt have seen the miracle in the picture if I hadnt really taken the time to think and look for the miracle of that moment.  Having that sweet wonderful present from God my daughter waving back to me.....


I got a comments from people about how they loved the themes of my layouts and really wanted me to start a challenge blog where people could use the challenges to create their own layouts while spending time with God.  I realized that God wants to be part of all that we do so of course he would love to scrapbook with me.  I realized that there are so many miracles that God is doing in our lives if we just take a moment to see them. I am amazed that now as I look through my pictures I see so much more.... I think about the relationships between people or what was going on or how I feel.

Several months later SEM was born....I hope that each and everyone of you have enjoyed our challenges and inspiration... I hope that each of you have been able to experience how you can scrapbook and spend time with God while doing it....I hope that you have been able to see more of the everyday miracles around you... that no matter how hard life seems sometimes God is there..... He is continually saying here I am....
I leave you with a quote by Einstein ""There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."


Dont forget Challenge #12 and the Sketch Challenge... you have until the 31st to get your layouts in.....links are in the sidebar!!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Praise!!

Hello, Jeannine here and today I'm going to share with all of you how God has been working in my life the past few weeks because it's just too amazing to not share!

To begin with, I need to tell you that our youngest daughter, Rachel, left for Africa last Thursday for a missions trip with our church and will be there for 18 days.  Rachel has never been away from home for that long, she's never been that far from home, and she's never been anywhere that has the threat of getting yellow fever, malaria, or a number of other horrible illnesses so this was really pushing me to my limit!  (Seems funny how I'm the one being pushed to my limit when she's the one going there, but if you knew me, you'd understand.  lol)

I'm doing much better today than I was on Thursday, but I think that's partly due to the fact that I know they're now in Mango safe and sound, and partly because God has been reassuring me that I don't need to worry.  I know that just because God tells me not to worry doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing for them all the time, but it's still a comfort to hear from God that way.  :)

So, onto what I wanted to share with all of you...  Thursday night as we made our way to the airport, my anxiety was slowly building the closer we got to the airport.  Dave and the girls were talking about the trip and I was quiet because I was trying to talk myself into not worrying!  Finally, I realized that I can't do this on my own so I prayed and asked God to give me peace.  I also prayed for Rachel to have peace because I know she hides her feelings at times and thought maybe she was feeling a little anxiety about the trip too.  (She's not terribly fond of the long flight.)  I no sooner finished my sentence asking for God to give us peace when I opened my eyes and (the way it happened, it was like it was right there on the side of the road) saw a billboard that read, "Stop the worry".  Can you believe it???!!  What are the chances of us passing that billboard at that moment in time, you know?!  I told Dave and the girls, "Let the God moments begin!" and I explained to them what had happened.  Before I said what the billboard said, Rachel interrupted me and said, "Oh!! The 'Stop the worry' billboard?  Is that the one?" I said, "YES!"  She said, "I saw that too!"  Bethany & Dave did not see it.  Interesting, that only Rachel and I did, huh?  Well in all fairness, it was on our side of the vehicle.  Still though, I find it interesting that Rachel and I both saw it at the same time.  Not a coincidence, if you ask me.

I'm a picture addict, so anytime I can get a picture to remember a special moment, I want to get one.  Yesterday after church Dave and I went out for lunch and I asked him if we could go down that part of the expressway again so I could see this billboard in the light of day.  I was so curious to know what it was advertising!  Here's the part that I find so interesting.  As we drove down the expressway, I was looking for this billboard, fully expecting it to be right off the side of the road because the night that I saw it, it was not something I had to search for, it was very obvious and easy to see.  It was like a big neon sign!  Dave was looking for it too (even though he didn't see it on Thursday night) and he assumed it was one that was right on the side of the road since Rachel and I both saw it so clearly.  Well as it turns out, we almost missed it because it's probably 200 yards away from the road!!  When I finally saw it, Dave pulled off the road onto the shoulder so I could get a clear picture of it, which you can see below.  If you look at the picture, you'll see how far off the road it was and if I remember right, it was kind of hard to find because there's a bridge we went under before we'd be able to see the billboard.  I'm sure there are people who would say it's just a coincidence but I will not believe that.  As I said, the night that I saw it, it seemed very big and close and it's not close and not nearly as big as I remember it!  lol  I still don't know what it's advertising!!  LOL  I don't really care, I just love the fact that God used that sign to tell me something he wanted me to know - "stop worrying, I've got it under control!"  :)  By the way, the anxiety disappeared instantly once I read that billboard.  ;)


This is what it looks like if I zoom in.  I apologize for the poor quality photo, but it was taken with my husband's cell phone.

Let's back up a little bit.  About two weeks ago was when I started to think more about how dangerous this trip to Africa seemed to me (whether that's true or not that's how I felt about it) I started to worry and feel anxiety about it.  I didn't tell anyone because it embarrasses me when I get like this.  I had downloaded an app for my iPod a long time ago, called You Version, and have been "reading" my Bible that way.  I put quotes around the word "reading" because I don't actually read, it's read to me because that's an option you get with You Version.  Well about 2 weeks ago, when my anxiety about the trip started to build, I noticed that my app wasn't working properly.  It would normally read a portion of Genesis, a portion of Matthew, a portion of Psalms and then a portion of Proverbs but for some reason, it started acting funny.  It would read the next portion of Genesis, Matthew and Psalms, but for some "unknown" reason, it kept repeating the Proverbs scripture.  You will not guess what portion of scripture that the app kept repeating.  Take a wild guess.  It was Proverbs 3.... you know,  the chapter that has the scripture that talks about how we should TRUST GOD!  ROFL For those who may not know, it says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path."  (Ok, I kind of combined the NIV with the King James but you get the idea.  lol)  I kid you not, that happened for 5 or 6 days in a row.  I thought something was wrong with my iPod or the app so I reset my iPod, then I deleted the app and downloaded it again and it kept doing it!!  I'm like, "What is wrong with this app?"  ROFL  I even talked with our older daughter,  Bethany, about it because she's the one that told me about the option to have it read to you so I asked her if she'd ever experienced that before and she said no.  Interesting.

I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of thick headed.  If you need me to understand something sometimes you have to repeat it over and over before it sinks in.  God knows this about me too.  I don't know how he could have so much patience with me, but thankfully he does!  Here's why I say that... I still worried even after that happened because believe it or not, even after the app reading me Proverbs 3 five or six days in a row, my thick head didn't get the message!  I kept worrying.

Another thing... I was whining to God one day recently saying, "I miss hearing from you, Lord.  I love it when you speak to me.  I'm trying so hard to stay close with you but it's so hard when I don't hear from you."  Ok remember that when you read what happened next.  lol

I get this email every day from a site called "Whisper of God".  (If you don't get this email I strongly suggest you sign up for it because it has been amazing for me. Just go to "whisperofgod.com" and you'll see where you can sign up for the email.  It truly has been a whisper from God so many times for me!)  I was going thru my old emails about 4 days ago and came across some from Whisper of God that I hadn't read yet (I'm terrible about checking my email) so I clicked on them to see what I'd missed.  Here's one that I read that day:

"There are those who become disappointed thinking that God hasn't spoken to them because they have not heard a loud booming voice. But, He does speak to us all of the time - mostly in quiet ways that we need to keep our eyes, ears, mind, and heart open to hear."

Is that awesome or what?!  So once I read that I thought, "Ok.... apparently God IS speaking to me but I'm just not hearing it because I'm not listening.  I need to listen!"

Here's what happened next.  Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church, I prayed and asked God to speak to me very clearly because I really needed to hear from him.  My friend, Patti, told me about this great book called "Crazy Love" the other night so after church, I went to the bookstore to see if they had it and they did.  I wasn't sure if I wanted my own copy or not because Bethany told me she's got it and would loan me hers.  I like to write in books if they're good though so I wanted to thumb thru it to see if it looked like one that would really get my attention.  Get this.  I randomly opened the book, not having any idea what the current chapter would be about when I opened it and it opened up to page 42.  Now, this in itself is weird because normally if I open a book up like this, I usually open it up half way thru.  I don't know why, but that's what I do.  This time I did it differently.  I opened it up to page 42 and you'll never guess what it was talking about on page 42!!

Here's what I read:  "Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives."

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???  ROFL  I mean, it may as well have had my name written in there, my word!!!  The moment I read that sentence I said to myself, "Ok.  That settles it.  I don't need to see anymore.  I'm buying it because it's obvious God wants me to read this book."  lol

Believe it or not, there's MORE but I'll stop at this so I don't keep you here reading all day but is that cool or is that COOL???  I cannot tell you how much I love it when God does this.  I LOVE IT!!!!  Just knowing that the God of this universe cares enough about little ol' me to repeatedly tell me things he wants me to hear just blows me away.  How awesome is that??!!

You know, when Rachel told me months ago that she was going on this trip to Africa, I remember thinking, "Oh great.  I already know how this is going to play out.  I'm going to feel anxious and it's going to stink because I hate feeling anxious!!"  However, I also remember this little voice inside saying, "Or.... Rachel won't be the only one learning from the experience - you will too."  Being the thick headed person I am, I brushed it off!  LOL  Well it's all coming back to me now and I must say it's been awesome.  I absolutely LOVE hearing from God.  There is nothing like it in the world.  Nothing.

So.... just in case any of you are experiencing anxiety, I hope what I've shared will comfort you as it has for me.  As I'm typing this all up I'm thinking to myself, "My word, girl.  What does God have to do to get through to you??"  LOL  I'm so thankful he's so patient!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting Sketchy in January

Hello everyone! Lisa here and I have a great sketch and bonus technique for you all to try. Also, starting this month we're trying something new with the sketch challenge. If you complete this challenge and link it up here, your name will go "into the hat" for a chance to win the prize (a gift certificate from ILOVEITALL) for Challenge 12. Complete Challenge 12 and your name goes in for a second time so you can have two chances to win the prize from our sponsor!

This sketch is by my talented friend Debbie G and one of the things I like best about it is the chance to use multiple patterned papers! (and I have quite a stash!)

 
I also like to have texture as a part of my layouts and I found this fun technique where you emboss felt. I used a piece of embossed felt to make the orange tag and gears on my layout below.  Check out this video if you'd like to give it a try. So here is the result of all this scrappy fun:


Sherri also did this fabulous layout using the sketch:


And Roulien also made a great layout featuring her brand new grandson:


We would love to see your take on this sketch! Link up your creation by Jan. 31 for a chance to win a $20 Gift Certificate to  I LOVE IT ALL .

Best part is that this month everyone wins with a 15% discount when you purchase anything from the shop... just use the discount code ILOVEITALL.

Don't forget to check out Challenge 12  too..... There are some great entries already.


Monday, January 9, 2012


A new year, a new Word Of The Month

This is the time of year when many of us will make New Year's resolutions. All variety of commitments have been made in the past couple of days. Perhaps this is where my thinking was as I considered the word for this month. The word that kept coming back to me was grow. It started as change, but I knew that the essence of the word change is to do a 180 degree turn, to refrain from doing one thing and begin doing another. That wasn't exactly what was stirring in my heart. I was feeling more the desire to BE changed and not so much to turn away from any one thing. That's where grow comes in. It's perfect. Scripture also uses the word refined to describe growth. Romans 12:2 quotes this desire for growth perfectly “do not conform to the patterns of this world, but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

I do not make resolutions, mine rather, is a conscious effort to be more, do more, understand more, love more, and, to the best of my ability, live in a way pleasing to God. Love my neighbour, give of my resources (my time, my finance, my home), and be a reflection of what I believe Jesus is calling me to be in this broken world, as a woman, wife, mother, sister, friend, and all the many roles I fill in between. May I propose that January, regardless of your faith background be a month of pursuing growth? A becoming more of the person you'd like to be in this world. Growth in the areas that really make a difference. Perhaps it's growth in the area of financial responsibility, or personal health, or integrity in your place of work, or parenting, or opening your home to create community among neighbours and friends. We are all works in progress, a commitment to growth deepens the quality of our character, and help us to leave a legacy we can be proud of. Rather than simply being, and surviving our lives, we have a real opportunity to be inventive, to thrive, to love deeply, and unconditionally, and to affect the world around us in a truly uplifting and positive way. How will you choose to grow this month?

This month I want to start a year long habit of taking my scrapping to another level. I want to intentionally capture, and document more of the everyday miracles, and blessings God is pouring out on me. Rather than focusing on just one or two photos over the course of a month or so. I want to record snippets of every week. The goal for me is to be able to look back at the everyday, ordinary goings on of my family's life and see it all, the good, and the not so good, the areas where I've allowed God to stretch me, and those where I know He's at work in, and through me, my kids, and my hubby.
The title page of my "Moments In Between" Album.  You can see close ups and read more about my project on my personal blog here.
If you become inspired to focus on an area of growth in your own life, we'd love to hear about, just link us up in the comments section. We'll be here to listen, cheer you on, and celebrate with you as you do. It's not always easy, but it sure helps to have friends along the way.

Don't forget about Challenge #12, it may be the perfect way to begin recording your own in between moments, plus there's a wonderful prize up for grabs too.

Sherri

Saturday, January 7, 2012

December Winners

Good Morning!  I wanted to share our December winners with you today....

First here is our top three layouts... they are just wonderful layouts...

Our top choice... Debbie
Here are the DT other two choices rounding out the top three...

Wendy with this beautiful layout


Kellie with this fun and creative layout:

Ladies feel free to grab the top 3 badge in the sidebar to proudly display on your blog... really everyones work that was submitted was just beautiful!

From all the submissions we randomly picked a winner for the prize package from Paper Issues... and that winner is Wendy....

Congratulations and we hope to have you play along with us again this month in our challenges... Challenge #12 is posted here....




Monday, January 2, 2012

Challenge #12

New year -- God has blessed us with yet another year to realize our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations. My bucket list changes every year. Some dreams I've already realized, some are still a work in progress, some I'm still praying for.

"And the LORD answered me, and said,
Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables,
that he may run that readeth  it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time,
but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:
though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
Habakkuk 2:2-3

So the challenge is to scrap about a dream. It can be one you've already realized like finally traveling to that one place you've always dreamed about going. It can be a work in progress like maybe saving up for a new house or a dream vacation. Or it can be one you're still waiting for. Whatever it may be we encourage you this month to ponder upon it and scrap it!

Scrap twist: Use the word "dream" on your project. You can use it on the title or the background but it has to be visible on your project ;)

DT LAYOUTS
(click on the DT member's name to hear more about their layout)

Kline: This is a photo of me as a child. I tucked away my goals for 2012 inside the mini folder behind the photo since some were a little too personal to show. I have a ton of goals this year and they're grouped into "Family", "Career" and "Me".
Wendy: My layout is about some of the personal dreams/goals/wishes I have for me this year. Some will take discipline, some will take effort and all will take prayer!
Roulien: I made a layout but included a booklet with my dreams that were accomplished during 2011. Putting them down on paper made me realize just how blessed I am!

Sherri: Ever since discovering Sharon's sweet little scrapbook store just outside the city, it has been a dream of Sherri's to work for her at The Scrapbook Cottage.  Little did she know that within 2 years her dream would come true when Sharon opened a second store in the city, and offered her a position as a 'Cottage Girl'.

Lisa: I created a layout about the dreams I for my son and how God is helping fulfill them.

This month's sponsor, Monika, is offering one lucky winner a $20 gift certificate to her Etsy shop ILOVEITALL.

Formerly a Marketing Director and now Work-from-Home Mom, Monika has turned her love of all things crafty and creative into a small business. Her Etsy shop, ILOVEITALL, stocks a cheerful array of subway art prints & motivational typography posters, custom & personalized home decor prints as well as note cards, mini books & journals and an eclectic selection of cool crafting supplies to include paper and embellishment packs, library cards and colored binder rings. She shares news of special sales & coupon codes on her blog and on Facebook . In fact, use the coupon code ILOVEITALL for a 15% discount on your purchases from Monika's shop.

We will also be choosing our top 3 picks so don't forget to link your projects here by January 31st!