Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Creative Bible Journaling - December Pages

Come along with me each month as I journal my way through the Bible.  I'm not artistic at all, so you won't see beautiful illustrations and calligraphy, but what you will see is what I gleaned from the scriptures every day and how I creatively journaled what I have learned in the margins of my Inspire Bible.

Since I finished coloring in all the pre-printed images of my Inspire Bible, I've been going back and illustrating all the pages that don't have pre-printed images on them.  I've been following an old devotional of mine which took me to 1 Samuel and Ephesians, then ended up in the book of Job for over two months!  So this month, and next you will see Bible Journaling pages in Job, and let me tell you, Job is not an easy book to illustrate, but I did it!

Let's start with my 1 Samuel page.  In this story, Samuel is telling King Saul that the Lord fulfilled what He said he would do:  taking the kingdom from Saul and give it to David.  Now, even though the verse is said in a negative way to King Saul, I looked at it in a more positive way, whether good or bad, if God says He's going to do something, He does it!  God is faithful and keeps His word!  So I too can count on all of God's promises in the Bible to be fulfilled.

The book of Ephesians was a letter written to the churches in Ephesus.  Ephesus was know for its idolatry and pagan practices.  The Ephesus Christians were primarily Gentiles who didn't have the life experience of the Jewish laws and culture.  Just like today, the new Christians were living in a pagan culture quite contrary to what the Old Testament taught, so they needed encouragement and guidance to help them understand how to live their faith in an ungodly world.

For my page, I highlighted the verse "Live as People of Light" because that is what I took as the most important principle in chapter five;  but I love the words that come before and after this phrase:  "For once you were full of darkness, but now you have LIGHT FROM THE LORD.  So live as people of LIGHT!  For this LIGHT within you produces only what is good and right and true."  It is an admonishment to me to be a light in this extremely dark world.

And now I begin my two month journey into the book of Job.  Job is a tough, depressing book to read.  It explores the question everyone always asks "Why do good people suffer?" and you know what?  It never really answers that question.  It's hard spending two months in this book, reading about someone's suffering.  But I think reading it is important for we see the value in patience and perseverance in waiting on the Lord.  We also see the importance of just being there for our friends when they are suffering and learning how to hold our tongues.  And finally, we see God's faithfulness and restorative power.

For my first journaling page in the book of Job, I simply hand-wrote some notes with just a few illustrations.  Bible Journaling doesn't have to include a pretty picture.  There are several Bible Journalists I follow who simply write creatively in their Bibles and do not use any images.

For this page, when I read about how Job wished he had never been born at all.  Many people today think it's better to not be born at all than to lead a life of suffering.  But the word of God says the opposite in Romans 5:3-5 so I hand-wrote that verse in the margins of my Bible, then I added a rainbow as a symbol of hope.

Many verses in Job often brought to mind other verses in the Bible.  In Job 4:3-4 we are told that Job was an encouraging person to those who were weak.  I thought of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 where it tells Christians to "encourage one and another and build each other up", so I hand wrote that verse in my Bible and added some ephemera from my "Unyielding Hope" kit.  I still have so much ephemera from that kit!   Even though I purchased a new Bible Journaling kit from Illustrated Faith, I am bound and determined not to open that one till I used EVERYTHING from my old kit first.  And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you will have to go back and read this post HERE!

Here is an example of how I did a page based on some Bible commentary notes.  Here "Enduring Word" Bible Commentary had an excellent reflection on Job's sentence "I don't have the strength to endure.  I have nothing to live for".  At this point in the story, Job just wanted to die.  His suffering had become too much to endure.  The "Enduring Word" Bible Commentary said "Remember this story" when your prayer isn't answered.  "Thank God" that the Lord didn't answer Job's prayer and end his life, for his suffering did eventually end and everything taken from him was restored twofold!  Can you just imagine if the Lord did answer Job's prayer and end his life?  He not only would have never experienced God's restorative power and blessings, but his witness to all his family and friends would have been lost.  His story would have ended tragically instead of a powerful miracle that possibly strengthened the faith of all who watched.

This page I created based on the verse "What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often?"  This sentiment is also reflected in Psalm 8.  It reminded me of how much God love us, so I created a page contemplating divine love.

In Job 9:4 Job says "God is so wise and so mighty", and in Job 9:9 he says "He made all the stars".  Throughout the book of Job, nature is referred to as an example of God's wisdom and power.  I love to be in nature.  It always brings me closer to Him and it where I feel His presence the most.

Psalm 139 and Job 10 are powerful verses to support the sanctity of human life.  It's amazing to me that even before the science of ultrasounds, these words were written in the Bible.

Here I did a page illustrating the transcendence of God.  Although Zophar here is scolding Job for questioning God, I think there is some validity in his statement for God is so vast that we can't possibly understand everything Him,  such knowledge is "Higher than the Heavens".  When things go wrong in our lives that we can't possibly understand, we just have to trust Him that He is all knowing and all powerful and that there is a very good reason things are the way are.

Job desperately wanted to know what, if anything, he did wrong to endure so much suffering.  His words "Tell me, what have I done wrong?  Show me my rebellion and my sin" (Job 13:23) reminded me of David's words in Psalm 139 so I did a page on that Psalm.

Many things Job questioned are answered in the New Testament like when he wishes for a mediator in chapter 9, verse 33.  1 Timothy 2:5 says Jesus is our mediator.  And in Job 14:14 Job asks "Can the dead live again?"  The answer is "Yes!"  "God has given us eternal life through His son Jesus!" (1 John 5:11).  We can have peace in death for we will live again!

While reading Job's story, I was reminded of another Bible verse:  Romans 12:12.  It says to "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer."  I decided to illustrate this verse with stamps and then write a little personal note of prayer.

 I hope I was able to encourage and minister to you today.  We all go through trials and suffering in our lives.  Like Job, we ask God "Why?"  We may never know the answer in this life, but Job and other scriptures provide the answer as to how we are to act and think while we are suffering.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

What I've Been Up To Lately: A Kitchen Remodel, Quilting, and Painted Ornaments

I know I haven't been that in active in Blog Land lately, so I thought I'd pop in and do a Lifestyle Post to share what I've been up to.  

As many of my regular readers may already know, I always do one large indoor home improvement project in the winter and one outdoor home improvement project in summer.  This winter, I am re-doing my kitchen.  It is a HUGE project, and just the thought of even starting it seemed so overwhelming  I've been put it off for years.  I'm not making any huge changes as I love my farmhouse kitchen and it's always been one of the most charming rooms of my house.  However, after twenty five years, it really needs a fresh coat of paint, and some serious decluttering.  One can accumulate a lot of junk in a kitchen in twenty five years!


As always, I was in a rush to start the project so I didn't take any "Before" pictures.  I did find these old photos on my blog, but they are kinda grainy and they are all decorated for Christmas, which makes the room seem even more cluttered.

The room was white with blue and yellow accents.  I had a tea pot theme going, hence the tea pot stencil on the wall.  When I repainted the walls, I covered up the stencil and have no plans to re-stencil it nor have a tea pot theme.  I actually got rid of all my tea pots except for one, and I'm getting rid of all the yellow accents.

I also accented with antique silver and red and white cook books.  I decided to remove the cook books   because I didn't want any color in the room other than blue, white, and some natural wood and silver accents.  I donated a lot of antique silver items, and kept just a few that I was actually using.

The china cabinets on the left of the photo above and below were just packed full of blue and white china and silver, almost all of which was given to me by friends.  I "Marie Kondo'd" my china cabinets, choosing only to keep items that "sparked joy" and I donated the rest.

The china cabinet wall also had stenciling on it, which I also removed.  The three china plates I pulled off the wall, but kept them, and they will probably go in the china cabinet instead of on the wall when I'm done.

On either side of the sink are more shelving spots for decor.  I removed so many items from these corner shelves, and plan on only having one or two items on the shelves when I'm done.

This is the stove are of the kitchen.  I love the tile on the countertop because it comes in handy when setting down hot items, but I really don't like the floral tile pieces anymore.  I would love to remove them, but I'm stressing my husband out enough by making him put in a much-needed new counter top and light fixture, that I don't want to push him. 😁


Kitchen and bath remodels are the absolute two worst rooms in the house to remodel, especially when you're doing all the work yourself.  First I had to de-grease the entire room using a more environmentally friendly version of TSP.  I could not believe how much grease was on every surface of this room...and yes, I did clean it regularly.  It was super hard getting the grease out of all the dental molding.  Decorative molding in old homes is beautiful, but it is so hard to keep clean.

All the cabinet doors had to be removed, all the hard ware had to come off.  I decided to save money and keep the existing hardware.  It was in good shape and I still liked it.  However, the old hinges rusted, so I had to clean and spray paint those.

I decided to skip re-painting the inside of the cabinets to save money and time, after all, who sees the inside other than me?  I did give them all a good cleaning and reorganizing.  

Now, this is still not the finished stove wall.  I  simply did the top of the cabinet by just keeping the pieces you see, but everything in the middle, above the range hood, is not staying there.  It's only there temporarily.  I will decorate and make that section pretty too!

I did buy some new bamboo spice racks from Amazon which I absolutely love.  Those will remain where I put them.  I will share more about those in my final reveal post.

Would you believe this light fixture used to be white?  I know, yuck!  I could take this down, clean it up, and spray paint it, but I decided on new lighting for the kitchen.  This light fixture is too dark for this room.  I am going with track lighting to bring more light in the room.

I'm grateful to have a nice large, warm space to work in my sunroom.  I can't imagine doing a project this big without this extra space.  After I remove the doors, I take them downstairs to my sunroom and de-grease them, sand, prime, and give two coats of Ultra White Cabinet Paint.


My son gave me this wood ornament kit for my birthday.  My first thought was "What am I gonna do with those?" and I decided to use them as an activity with the grandchildren.  In the process of painting the trees with the grand babies, I discovered that I really enjoyed myself!  

The kit came with Christmas Tree Shapes, Round Ornament Shapes, Stars, and Snowflakes.  So far, I've only finished the trees and round ornaments.

Here are my trees:

When it was time to paint the round ornament shapes, I went on Pinterest for ideas.  I found I was really attracted to the black background ornaments, so I painted all the shapes black with a gold top.

These four ornaments were done using Stampin' Up! stamps.  I simply stamped the image in white craft ink and colored them in using craft paint.

This batch was all hand drawn, no stamps were used.  However, the ideas weren't my own,  I got them off of Pinterest.  If the design is simple enough, I can usually re-create it on my own.  I'm just completely incapable of drawing something out of my own head.

And these two are my least favorite, but I decided to show them to you anyway.   I found I am really bad at trying to draw words.  It didn't matter if I used paint or a paint marker, I just couldn't get that perfect calligraphy I wanted.  The candy cane ornament was made using a stencil.

That's all I have done for now.  When I finish the other ornament shapes, I will be sure to post them.


I have so many unfinished quilts in my craft room.  I am the type of person who loves to start a quilt, because I like designing them, but I never finish them.  Years ago I promised myself that I would try to quilt at least one hour a day in the winter so I can finish all my quilts.  Of course, with the kitchen remodel, I usually don't have that extra hour, but whenever I have spare time, I work on my quilt.

This one is almost done and I am hoping it is finished by the end of winter (fingers crossed).  All I have to do is a little more top stitching and then add the binding.

 Well, now you know why I haven't been blogging as much as I use too.  I haven't gone anywhere,  nor have I stopped blogging, I am just super busy right now.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Sumptuous Fabrics with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is:  "Sumptuous Fabrics" and was picked by Leslie.

This month the ladies of Ageless Style and I are sharing our "Sumptuous Fabrics".   The dictionary defines Sumptuous as "Extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent".  Yeah, so not me.  Although I have been known to spend over a hundred dollars on a good pair of jeans, (like the pair I'm wearing today), I'm more of a fashion budget kind of girl.   Leslie described  her "Sumptuous Fabrics" challenge as "featuring feminine fabrics:  silks, satins, velvet, cashmere, soft sweaters, and lace;  a girly girl look".  The only thing I had on that list were "soft sweaters" but on the day of my photo shoot it was 40 degrees so I did not want to wear a sweater.  I know most of you think 40 degrees is the perfect temperature for a sweater, but for this northern girl, that's too darn hot to wear a sweater.

SO, I opted for this blush pink blouse.  Although it's not expensive, for it's a TJ Maxx find, it is pink which fits the girly-girl requirement and the flow of the fabric and fun blousy sleeves comes as close to "Sumptuous" as I have in my closet. 😀

Although I am a very feminine woman (no one would describe me as athletic or tom boyish), I don't really like to dress girly, so I downplayed this "girly" pink top with a new pair of wide leg jeans from Mavi.  I think Mavi is my favorite new jean brand.  I know they're expensive, but they are so worth it, and I don't get out much, so one new pair of jeans a year is all I need.  

My very expensive or "sumptuous" blouse cost me a whopping $20 at TJMaxx.  I've actually showed this blouse to you before in THIS POST where I styled it with a black skirt for Valentine's Day.

It was the sleeves that really drew me to this blouse.  They are 3/4 sleeve length balloon style sleeve -- so fun!

For jewelry, I chose a beaded necklace and matching drop earrings that had the same colors of my jeans and top.  I also wore a multi-strand beaded bracelet.

I included this crazy picture just so you could see the detail of the sleeves.

Because I don't like dressing too girly, I paired my girly top with wide leg jeans.  These jeans are actually on sale right now, and you can find them HERE!  They are high waisted, super comfy, with a raw hem.  I really love the wide leg style.  I'm not a fan of flares, but wide legs are fun.  I styled the jeans with white booties to keep the lighter, girly girl going from head to toe.

And this photo I just included because Jackson photo bombed it.  😂. I know how some of you love seeing photos of Jackson.

Now be sure to check out what the other ladies are wearing this month.  Hopefully they have more "Sumptuous Fabrics" in their closet then I do!  And be sure to link up with below!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

Blog / Instagram /Pinterest / Bloglovin'

Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

Blog | Instagram | Facebook 

Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

Blog /Instagram

Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

Blog / Instagram / Pinterest / Facebook

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Great River Bluff State Park

This week's travel post will be the last of my fall hiking adventures, then I won't have anything to share with you for a while until we do our Valentine's Day weekend getaway. 😞 We won't be going on any more trips until spring.  But my fall travel post is a good one, for we went to a beautiful park in Minnesota that we had never been to before:  Great River Bluff State Park.

Great River Bluffs State Park has six and one half miles of easy trails with scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley.  Unfortunately, we were a little short on time so we weren't able to do all the trails, but we did see the highlights.  Now we just have a great excuse to go back!

King's Bluff

The first trail we took was King's Bluff.  This is a 2.5 mile out and back trail that takes you through a forest to an overlook.  Because this is a park where you drive to the top, then get out and hike, all the trails are very level.  No mountain climbing involved!

When you get to the end of the trail, you have two views:  this one of the Mississippi River, then just turn around and you will see the next view of the valley in the second photo.

You can just park your car and hike all the trails at once, but because we were short on time, we kept getting back in the car and driving to the next overlook.  Our next stop was just a pull over along the road. The Mississippi River looked so breath taking through the dark canopy of the forest trees.


                              (Hill of Many Timbers Overlook)

I had read that the Hill of Many Timbers was the best view in the park, so I did not want to miss it.  It is a very short trail from the campground, but you can't park there if you're not camping.  There is a small parking lot near the East Overlook, but during busy times you may not be able to find a spot.  It is only 0.6 miles out-and-back, and the forest views are worth the little hike!

But the view is what really makes the short hike worth it!  Wow! Yes, I agreed with the reviews I had read, this was definitely the best view in the park!

It was super windy from the top of the overlook, even though it was not a windy day.  My husband took this funny video for the grandchildren.

South Overlook

We only had time for one more little hike, so we jumped back into the car and drove to the South Overlook.  The foliage was amazing on this trail.

This trail is the easiest trail in the park.  It's just a short 0.7 miles from the parking lot to see both the North and South Overlooks.  The trail actually forms a Y.  You hike to an intersection, and then you can turn right to see the South Overlook or left to see the North Overlook.  We only had time for one, and for whatever reason, we turned right.

At the end of the trail is a deck with an overlook.

Each overlook always has information on the view before you.

Once again, the trail was nice and level, I didn't even need my walking sticks!

You can even enjoy some views of the Mississippi on your return trip!

 We really enjoyed hiking this little park in Minnesota.  It's the perfect park for fall hiking, and I think it would make a great park for snowshoeing in winter since all the trails are so level.  Maybe I will suggest that to the hubby, and we can go back this winter to hit the overlooks we missed the first visit.

I hope you enjoyed my fall travel series!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!