Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Am Woman

As August has now drawn to a close, I've realized that two months have FLOWN by since I've moved back home. 


This is always a hot topic of conversation. Everyone we meet with, we can easily break the ice by talking about time. How quickly it goes by. We reminisce. We talk about what is to come. 

And then we move onto the weather. Ha!

So time is somewhat related to this post. 

I am pushing 38 years YOUNG. ;) And I've been single the entire time. No husband. No fiance. No children. It's just been me with a date here and there. It has gotten to the point where I have pretty high standards. I've gone on this long without anyone to compromise with or share life with. It's had its ups and downs but, the past two or three years have been kind of blissful. I've really embraced being single and doing things on my own timeline. 

Now, I'm feeling a shift. There still isn't a yearning or desire to be in a relationship but, I've been focusing a lot on Proverbs 31. If you are not familiar with the Bible or what that passage is about... it essentially boils down the characteristics of a good wife with sound character. 

The other day I was reading through it and this verse jumped out at me:

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

How refreshing! A woman can be strong... dignified... and laugh. It's a beautiful thing to me when I let that verse sink deep. And I think it also means so much to me because, all my life, I've heard how women need to be gentle, quiet, there for their man, stay at home, etc., etc. THAT is supposedly a good Christian wife. 
But that verse kind of says NOPE. And if you read the entire passage, it's also a big NOPE. 

When I approached the kit LIBERATION from Inside Out this past month, I wanted to record my thoughts and how they relate to Feminism. When I think of feminists, I think of shouting and loudly proclaiming the rights of women. 

Nothing wrong with that. You go girls!

But, I know that we don't always have be so loud about it. So forceful. I love the quiet moments when I can whisper and be heard.

A great example of this working is in my preschool classroom. I find the times I'm shouting or raising my voice, to get the attention of my students, it doesn't work. In fact, it heightens the energy of the room and the kids, at times, get louder too. It's those moments when I slowly lower my voice to gain their attention. And the room settles down, they look at me and wonder what in the world I am going to say. I've got their undivided attention.

So I wanted to exude that same "attention getting" device on my layout. Yes, I am woman. But, I'm going to tell you quietly and, hopefully, get you to listen. 

Maybe I am a feminist. Because I do believe that women should be bettering themselves and not being afraid to step up. Maybe I'm just not an extremist. Ha!

I love this season of my life right now. I love deepening my relationship with God and following Him on this interesting journey. Where it will lead? Who knows! But it's all about enjoying it and not rushing through it and questioning it the whole time. Learn and grow. It IS quite liberating! 

HEY... and it is September and guess what that means??? A brand new visual journaling kit from Inside Out. September is called THRIVE. You can see the kit and inspiration by clicking HERE. I look forward to sharing my pages with you this month!

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

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!