Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Creative Bible Journaling - March 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.

I've been working my way through an old devotional of mine where you read the Bible in four years.  I like that more than one year Bible reading plans because I feel you can do a more in-depth study.  In the month of March I finished the book of 2 Samuel and then the devotional author took me back to Psalms.

My first page I created to illustrate the story of how David lost his first born child with Bathsheba because of his sin.  What struck me most about this chapter was when Nathan asked David "Why, then, have you despised the Word of the Lord and done this horrible deed?"  I never really considered that when we sin we are despising God's Word.  

For my next page, I mediated on the story of how David still lost his child, even though he was repentant.  Just because God forgives us, doesn't mean there still won't be consequences of our sin.  For example,  people who abuse food, drugs, or alcohol can have affects on their body that will last the rest of their lives, and/or relationships affected by sinful behavior may never be again what they once were.

Another part of this passage was how David still worshipped the Lord, even though his prayer to save his son went unanswered.  That is a difficult, yet important thing to do, for it shows we put our trust in Him and His will. 

The story of David and Amnon is a sad one.  Amnon committed a horrible sin against his half-sister, but instead of addressing it, David ignored it, which resulted in more tragedy.  We must never ignore sin in our own lives, or in the lives of our loved ones.  We must address it and conquer it in God's strength.

I further illustrated this story by using a verse from Ephesians.  David's other son, Absalom was furious with his brother's treatment of his sister and he was provoked to anger because his father did nothing about it.  

David is brought low from his inactivity to discipline his own sons.  He has to flee for his life from his own kingdom and while he is down and out he is cursed from a villager.  David could have had his guards kill the man for his hateful words, but instead he humbled himself and was willing to hear what God might say to him through a cursing critic.  The story reminded me of the verse in James 4:  "Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up."  It's hard not to defend yourself when criticized, or attack back.  

Bible Journaling isn't always pretty pictures.  Here I wrote some notes from a Bible commentary to help me understand this chapter.

For the next two pages I did both:  created a pretty page, but then added in some bible commentary notes to help me more deeply grasp the scriptures.

David's throne was eventually restored to him, but at the cost of his son's life.  The Lord had once again rescued him.

I really got a chuckle over the verse "There happened to be a troublemaker there..."  so I created a page all about how I shouldn't be a trouble maker.  Unfortunately we all have known people who are trouble makers.  I'm sure I have been one myself many times.  God desires us to be peacemakers, not trouble makers, so I wrote a little prayer to God asking Him to help me to be a peacemaker.  Then I added some Bible Commentary notes about the chapter and a Bible verse of how we should not devise evil, but be counselors of peace.

I absolutely love it when I can use paint in my Bible.  Here I created a sunrise using craft paint then I stamped and hand wrote a verse over it.

For my next page, I stamped and hand wrote a verse from Chapter 23 on top and then added some notes about Chapter 24 on the bottom.  Some times when I read my Bible, the story doesn't always make sense to me.  So I read a Bible Commentary on the chapter to help explain it.  "Enduring Word Bible Commentary" is my favorite.  Here I struggled understanding why David was taking a census and not listening to the word of God or his advisors.  Was it due to pride or lack of trust in the Lord that David needed to know if he had enough of a fighting force to conquer a neighboring nation?

For this page I just wrote some notes on how David had a sensitive heart and I should pursue one too.  David was not sinless, but he had a sensitive heart to sin.

I painted the background using craft paint.  Then I wrote some notes on the history of the threshing floor to help me understand the story.

After I finished reading 2 Samuel is was back to the book of Psalms to pick up where I left off.  The book of Psalms is the easiest of all the books in the Bible to illustrate, and for me, one of the most enjoyable.

 I hope you were inspired with God's Word today!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Thursday, April 20, 2023

White Tops for Spring 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 "White Tops" and was picked by Rosemary.

When Rosemary picked "White Tops for Spring" I couldn't be more excited because white is my favorite "color" to wear in spring and summer.  In fact, at my latest visit to TJMaxx I purchased three items, and by coincidence they all happened to be white:  this white knit top, a white cardigan, and a new pair of white jeans.  I said to the cashier, "I must like white!  I tried a lot of different colors on in the dressing room, but these were the only three items that worked for me." 😀

We had beautiful weather Easter weekend, both in my home state and in the state of Indiana where I was visiting my kids, so I took advantage of that weather and did a fashion photo shoot in a local park.  Unfortunately three days after arriving in Wisconsin, the temperatures plummeted and we got a horrible winter storm.  All my daffodils just bloomed and were looking so pretty on the hillside, and now they are all dead.  It's always so sad when that happens.  I wait all year for those blooms! ðŸ˜Ē I'm praying none of my other bulbs that poked through are toast, nor the flowering buds on the crabapple trees and lilac bushes.

When I returned home from my TJMaxx shopping spree, I noticed two of the items I purchased were the same brand:  Cyrus.  I never heard of that company before, but I must really like the way their clothes look on me or I wouldn't have accidentally bought two of their labels;   so I googled them and found out they specialize in knits.  

The white knit top is sheer, so I wore a camisole underneath.  It's the perfect weight for spring.  I paired the top with an old pair of pants from Stitch Fix that I received in 2019.  They are still holding up great four years later! I love to wear these lightweight pants in the spring.  Both the color and weight are perfect in spring weather.

My favorite pair of shoes to wear in the spring are these nude ballet flats from Naturalizer.  They are so supportive and comfy and they go with just about anything.

Oh, and do you notice the bag?  I'm most excited about that because I picked it up at a thrift store for almost nothing!  I needed a new neutral bag because my old one was too worn out and it had a hole in the lining.  I was constantly losing stuff inside the purse because of that hole.  I had such trouble finding a neutral bag in the store;  everything was too dark or brownish.  Then I'm in the thrift store one day and wa- la!  There is a brand new perfect neutral hand bag for almost nothing!  I couldn't be happier.  Reduce, Reuse!

And finally, for jewelry accents I wore a long gold and pink stone pendent necklace with a pink and gold bracelet and rose gold earrings.

 And now, be sure to check out how the rest of the ladies in our group are styling their white tops, and be sure to link up with us as well!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Sunday, April 16, 2023

My Easter Weekend and A New Car!

If anyone noticed my absence from Blog Land last week it's because I took a four day weekend to spend Easter with the grand kids in Indiana:  then when we returned home, we spent the last three days finishing up some home projects (Like a new kitchen countertop:  Post coming soon) and buying a NEW CAR!

Here's a re-cap of my week:

We met the kids at a fun doughnut shop in Westfield called "Quack Daddy Donuts".  All their donuts are made to order right in front of you.  You first pick your donut base, then add whatever toppings you want.  I chose a vanilla donut with chocolate frosting covered in Reese' Pieces.

Here are all the donuts we ordered.  Believe it or not, all but one of these donuts were eaten before we even left the store!

Alethea's favorite ÃŪs a strawberry glazed donut covered in rainbow sprinkles.

And here is Atticus' happy face covered in donut glaze and sprinkles!

Elisha has a lot of allergies so he isn't used to getting treats and he was a little perplexed as to what this sugary goodness even was.  He got a gluten-free donut covered in cinnamon sugar.

Grandpa and Elisha getting reacquainted.

The weather was beautiful all weekend, so we definitely took advantage of it and spent a lot of time outside.

Easter morning we got up to go to church.  This was my Easter outfit.  I bought this dress from Amazon (see THIS POST HERE) last year to wear at Easter, and I never got to wear it for the holiday because it was too cold.  I was happy I got to wear it this year.

The church had a delicious Easter breakfast that we all enjoyed.

It was nice to hear my daughter Ashley play and sing on worship team.  She is the one at the keyboard.

The kids were so excited to open their Easter baskets!

They loved the fun bunny ears from Hobby Lobby.

And of course they enjoyed their handmade cards from me.

 I think of all the gifts in the baskets, their favorite was this electronic guitar I picked up second hand at a thrift store.  Kids this young have no idea if something is brand new or second hand, and they absolutely loved it!  Thrift stores are a great place to find inexpensive toys and it's also great for our environment to reuse items rather than always buy something brand new.

Elisha went crazy for his freeze dried strawberries!

My loved ones all dressed up in their Easter finery.

Now it was time for the annual Easter Egg hunt.  Last year it was so cold we had to do it inside, but this year we were able to have it outside.  Elisha was not the least bit interested in hunting for Easter Eggs.  He didn't understand the concept at all. 😂

But the two older grandkids sure had a lot of fun!


The next day we spent some time going to local parks.  I needed to do a fashion photo shoot for "Ageless Style" so I took advantage of the warm weather and spring flowers in Indiana.  You will see those photos on Thursday.

It's always sad to say goodbye, but we will see them very soon on Mother's Day!

When we got home, the very next day we went car shopping, which is not an easy task lately as there are still not a lot of cars available.  My husband's work car is very old and any day is ready to go to its final resting place, so we decided we better add a new one into the fleet.  We decided on a Chevy Traverse.  This will primarily be a Sunday church and vacation car for now.  I'm used to driving my little Kia Sportage, so this feels like I am driving a tank, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  I absolutely LOVE it, but I'm a little nervous about driving something so big.  Hubby will continue to drive his old car till it takes 
its last dying breath, and I will continue driving my little Kia unless I want a larger vehicle for hauling something like plants or furniture.  After hubby's car dies, he will drive my Kia to work, and this will become my car.

We both feel really blessed to be able to own a car like this.  It's the nicest car we ever had.  I'm looking forward to having a bigger, more comfortable vehicle to take on long road trips.  The back is so large, we could probably even sleep in it in a pinch!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend too!  The warm weather is over for us, but we enjoyed it while it lasted.  We're expecting a winter storm this Sunday night with 4-7 inches of snow...there go all my daffodils and I'm sure any perennials that popped up will get nipped by frost.  Temperatures will have lows in the twenties.  That's life in Wisconsin for ya!  Now I need to go outside and cut a bouquet of daffodils before they are toast!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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