Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dream Big

I'm really excited to share this layout with you all today that created using the August kit LIBERATION from Inside Out

This layout is about living the letting past hurts go.

My childhood is not filled with all pleasant things. In fact, at a young age, I experienced something no child should ever have to experience. And it took me many years to understand that. I grew up not really grasping that what had happened was terrible. I knew it was wrong. But, in my own young, naive mind, I thought it was also normal. And I thought people would know.

Over the years as I grew deeper in my faith, I learned what forgiveness means. It didn't mean that I had to have a relationship with someone who hurt me. What it means is, freeing myself from the shackles that person had over me... all these years. I didn't need a response from them. I didn't need to speak words to them. (Although I did do that and it is part of the healing process...) It was more for me.  

This is a prompt from our Inspiration Page that inspired this page:

Let off the Hook/Pardon: Who have you had to forgive, or who do you still need to forgive, from your past in order to move forward powerfully in your life? If you’re holding onto anger or resentment, why? What keeps you stuck in the past? Is it ego, history, or something else?

I shared a sneak photo of the layout above... I love the symbolism of the transparency... it shows my willingness to let others see inside of me. I've gotten to a point where I freely share my story because it not only helps them... it also helps me. I hear the words I say. I read the words I write and it helps my heart continue to heal. 

As a result of that... I feel the freedom... the liberation to dream BIG. 

When I finally felt the TRUE freedom that comes from forgiveness, I felt free to be the real me. I got to know who the real me was. And from there, I have made some decisions I never thought I would make... or want to do. 

That's powerful stuff!

We are not licensed therapists here at Inside Out. However, we are women with a story and have experienced how amazing it is to work through these areas of our lives. If you find yourself reading this prompt and thinking you've got some things you'd like to work through, I encourage you to look for someone in your area to meet with. It's so worth it! It really and truly is! 

Thanks for swinging by today!

Not sure where to start? Check out our Inspiration Page here for some helpful quotes, word play, musical and visual inspiration.

Or just dive in! Join us and grab your Liberation kit HERE. Welcome to the family.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Best Yes {Blog Tour}

Hi everyone,

This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst's "The Best Yes" Blog Tour which I am delighted to be part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE.

About a week ago, I joined a five day challenge via the Proverbs 31 Ministries site that had me taking a good hard look at what the phrase "saying the best yes" means. I'm not one who says yes to too many things. I'm not one who wants to take on the world. But, I know that I rush things. When I get a dream or vision, I want things to hurry up so that it will be accomplished.

What happens when I do that?

I miss things. 

I miss special moments.

I neglect important relationships.

I forget.

I don't give my all.

I lose site of WHY I had the vision in the first place.

This challenge was one I soaked in. It came right on the heels of another cross country move. This time, I moved back to my hometown. And I came home with new eyes. My heart was coming down from the big city life adrenaline it had gotten so use to. My body, mind and soul, were remembering a simpler way to live. And to take notice of all that was in my life NOW. Not to rush time. 

I've gotten to have little glimpses of the book The Best Yes and it's quotes like these that really drive the truth home:
  • It’s not the activities or accomplishments we string together that make lives well lived as much as it is the hearts of wisdom we gain and use along the way.

Ah.  SO true, right? Can you relate? My personality is one that defaults to feeling the need to fill up my calendar. Scheduling coffee time with friends, going to the movies, concerts, dinner parties, a date, bible studies, workshops.... on and on and on and on.  It's not so much me wanting to take on everything but, wanting to rush through it to move on to the next. Because I get so excited. 

And then a voice, not audible mind you, but a voice nonetheless whispers in my ear: stop.

"Okay", I say. Yes... that's right. Be still and know that I am God.  I feel that God likes to remind me to enjoy the scenery. To take time to use words and tell people how valuable they are to me. To quit thinking about how quickly it will take to get from point A to point B and start using those minutes to listen to Him. What has He got to tell me today? What does He want me to see? 

Be still also means, to me, to just be quiet. Even with friends. We tend to want to fill the silence with chatter. 

It's okay to sit quietly. Those moments are good. Savor the friendship and moment you have with them! Enjoy the peace.

Easier said than done, right?

It definitely is a learned practice and I'm still learning. I catch myself rushing and not paying attention. But the reaction of stopping comes much quicker these days. I get about two seconds ahead of myself and that "voice" happens again... stop. Slow down.  Okay.

So while my take isn't so much on setting boundaries, which is always good, it's been remembering to slow down. Savor the small moments in life. The eye contact. The car rides. The text messages. Savor all of it because it matters. 

Here is a journaling page I created that essentially documents how this journey is impacting me. For my artsy, scrapbooking, art journaling followers - you'll notice lots of hearts for symbolism. I used mostly product from the Capture Life collection by Allison Kreft for Echo Park Paper Co. I purposefully placed the chevrons in the same direction as my gaze. The anchor is a great symbolic icon to remind me to stop and rest. 

Thank you for visiting my humble blog. 

If you are a regular follower, thank you. 
If you are here because of the blog tour, welcome! I hope that you take some time to look around and, if this is a place that inspires you, stick around. I'm a creative woman who loves using scrapbooking and art materials to express her heart. Scrapbooking IS an art form and it can be used for more than documenting heritage and events. :)

Now... back to the book...

New York Times Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst has written a new book about finding your Best Yes. Many call this book “inspiring” and “fabulous.”  I call it a game-changer.  You can grab a copy at http://goo.gl/ZFUZbD

AND... I can't keep it to myself. I'm giving away a copy of her book too! You have until August 29th to leave me a comment on this post. I'll announce the winner on the 30th via all my social media venues. (That includes my blog but, you are more than welcome to join me in all my other places via the buttons on the top right of my blog.)
I am looking forward to this Fall, as a group of us local women will be gathering and reading through the book together. Such perfect timing as the new school year and holidays begin. It's so easy to be rushed and say yes to everything. But, I truly believe beginning the year this way will help set the tone and remind us about The Best Yes.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 4, 2014

I Can Do Anything

Hi everyone!

I am so happy to be back after taking last month off. I did a cross country move. The second big move I have done in two years. The first time was leaving my home town to move to the fabulous city of Chicago. And now, I have moved from Chicago back to my hometown. The two years in Chi-town had its ups and downs. I'm happy to have experienced it but I am THRILLED to be back home.

The layout I'm sharing with you today kind of relates to this whole experience.

I can do anything.

That's a rather freeing thought for me.

If I truly feel the desire to do something, I can do it. And so can you.

I chose to do a circular design at the top because I love the symbolism of a circle. It goes on and on. I chose to hide half of the circle because, while life is an ongoing journey, I never know exactly what is coming around the bend. At the same time, I chose arrows and other movement symbols to portray that it doesn't stop me.

I've experienced what it's like to do something I really want to do. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes it's really hard. But... the ultimate outcome is that I did it. And learned more about myself. 

THAT is freedom to me. 

I also chose to do some hidden journaling. It was for a combination of reasons. Design purposes... because I wanted lots of elements on my layout. Symbolic purposes... that photo of me is so fun! It's a, what I like to call, sassy thinking face. I look at that photo and think to myself, "What is that girl up to now?"

Also, the hidden journaling is kind of like peeking into my soul. The title is bold. The quote sticker is off to the side, as if to be lurking and serving as a reminder. And then, as you look deeper, there is some journaling giving a deeper glimpse into how this all comes together.

Do you have a dream? Are you wondering if you have the guts to just do it? Because you do.