Thursday, February 22, 2018

Seven Months Ago Today: Redemption Story {HeartStrings, My Family, My Heart}

Wedding-158 ed cont15 midt20 resuzed smaller

Sometimes when an event is overwhelming in significance and emotion, I realize later that I did not include the “reporting” of the event in my blog. I don’t blog about every event in my life anyway (it is not meant to be a chronological life account—I have my “life story” that I have written/am writing, for that purpose). Still, I want my blog to include a “record” of this redemptive story of God’s grace.

Now, the details of the story are not mine to tell. The details belong to the main character, my daughter Sharida. But, as a mom, I can share a summary of my praise about it all!

Sharida came to faith in Christ as a young girl. Through a series of events in her life, some within her control, some not, she found herself in need of rescue in recent years. She allowed God to bring her back close to Him. As Sharida says it, “God saved me when I was 6, but he rescued me when I was 42.”

We all prayed for God to redeem what had happened in her life. God answered our prayers and brought a godly man into her life.

The wedding was seven months ago today.

The wedding, including praying over their new family as a part of the ceremony (led by Mark, our son, her brother, a pastor) was an incredible celebration of God’s redemptive story.

I thank God for this miracle, an answer to 46 years of praying by this mom.



Sharida’s nephew, our grandson Conner played and sang “The Day Before You” (Matthew West) as the processional.


Sharida’s daughter Alyssa was her Maid of Honor.


Sharida was escorted and given away by her dad and her son (incredibly sweet).








Recessional: “God of All My Days” (Casting Crowns)—played by Conner and sung by Conner and Mark.


Sharida and her dad (my hubby).



New Family: Sharida and Greg and their children, Alyssa, Dawson and Evan.


Sharida’s family in attendance (happy to have my sister and her husband—who happens to be my husband’s brother—as well as my brother and wife, along with our son Mark and his wife Kristy, and their son Conner and his wife Caroline). Missing piece of my heart: Tory (Mark and Kristy’s daughter) was on mission in Mexico and could not attend.



#ThankYouLord #RedemptionStory #GodsGrace #CountryWedding #GodAnswersPrayers

Monday, February 19, 2018

Praise the Lord! {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 150-6 IL Bible

This mixed media page in my Crossway Journaling Bible: Interleaved Edition (every other page is blank) took quite a bit of time, mainly due to drying times between the layers of paint and markers. I’m happy to be able to do art in this Bible without thinking about being careful to use transparent media over words.

This verse (Psalm 150:6) makes it very clear that every living thing is meant to Praise the Lord. Umm…that would include me. These are the last words of the book of Psalms.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! – Ps 150:6

#BibleArtJournaling #InterleavedBible #FaithArt #AcrylicPaints #MixedMedia

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Birds and Me {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Matt 6-36 ILBible

My new Crossway ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition, with a blank page between every page of text, allows plenty of room for art without it being “on” the page of text. In this case, I used mixed media (a combination of media, such as paints, stamps, decoupage), my “first love” of hobby art.

After prepping the page with clear gesso so that the paint would not bleed through, I sketched the bird and branch and then painted the image and the background with acrylic paints. After adding a couple of background stamps, I used decoupage to adhere the word strips.

Note: I was hesitant about the Interleaved Bible, but it is quickly becoming my favorite journaling Bible.

I love this simple truth: God cares for the birds. How much more, then, does He care for me.

Matthew 6:26 (ESV)

Bible Art Matt 6-36 ILBible

#BibleArtJournaling #InterleavedJournalingBible #MixedMedia #GodsCare #FaithArt

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Legacy of True Love {HeartStrings}


Today I posted pictures on Instagram of our Valentine’s Day lunch, at one of our favorite restaurants. I noted that this is 52+ years of celebrating Valentine’s Day together (we were sweethearts for 5 years before marriage and have been married for 52 1/2 years). Our granddaughter Tory responded to the post with ,“So much love to celebrate. A legacy to be proud of.” Her comment reminded me. It is true. Our love is a legacy that we happily pass on to our children, grandchildren, and soon-to-be great grandchildren.

It started when I was a very young lady, praying that I would know God’s will for my life, regarding a future husband. In my case, I know that God brought me together with Russell Ford, when my daddy was called to pastor a little church where Russell’s dad was a deacon. We met June 28, 1959, Daddy’s first Sunday as pastor there. I was only 12, but I fell in love that Sunday. We were engaged May 22, 1965, and married September 8, 1965. Through hours of prayer, God gave me the solid assurance that Russell was indeed the one.

When people ask me the “secret” to a happy marriage that has lasted so many years, I find it very difficult to answer in a way that most people would understand. The answer is, “I asked for God’s direction in bringing me together with the spouse He had planned for me. Then I prayed for His blessing and guidance all along the way through our relationship.”


So, yeah, we always celebrate Valentine’s Day, because it’s all above love, and it gives us an additional day of the year (along with our anniversary) to pause just a moment and be thankful for a profound love that can only be understood in light of the One who IS love.

1 John 4:8 – “God is love.”

IMG_1425IMG_3579 ed

#HeartStrings #LoveatFirstSight #LegacyofLove #ValentinesDay

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My Reading List {My Book Corner}

I have always loved to read, since I learned with Dick and Jane readers in the first grade (no kindergarten), starting in Blue Eye, Missouri, and then finishing first grade in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I love to read, and I love books. One of my wild dreams has always been to own a book shop with a little corner coffee shop (combining two of my favorite things!).

At any given time, I have books that I just finished (and would recommend—because if I wouldn’t recommend a book, I don’t finish it), book/s that I am reading now, and books “on deck” that I have recently ordered or been given, that I will be reading next.

Just thought it would be fun to share those.


Recently Completed

These books I recently completed. I highly recommend all of them; they each made a difference in my Christian walk, and in some cases, in my life.

One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and Draw a Circle (40-day Prayer Challenge) by Mark Batterson.

A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes.


Reading Now and Loving It!

This is the book I am currently reading. I saw a post on Proverbs 31 ministries by Alli Worthington, and I immediately ordered the book, just released. It has the potential to absolutely change my life. I can hardly put it down. I firmly believe that God put this book into my hands for this time in my life. It combines wisdom from Scripture with real-life action steps to overcome fear, worry and anxiety.

Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety


Up next:

Up Next
Looking forward to reading from this library of non-fiction books.

#MyBookCorner #GoodReading #WorldofBooks #ReadingNow #FierceFaith #AlliWorthington

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Shining or Not? {Bible Art Journaling, In the Word}

Bible Art Matt 5-24 Light of the World

As I Journey Through the New Testament (keeping a bullet journal from each day’s reading), I see old truths in a “new light” (so to speak). Because the study is set up chronologically, we are reading about the events from the gospels one after another—in other words, we may read Matthew’s account of an event during Jesus’ ministry and then the next day, Luke’s account of the same event. I have heard/studied a lot in the past about the “parallels of the gospels,” but the consistency from the different inspired writers has never been so clear to me as in this time of reading the accounts from each gospel book, one after the other.

Last week one of our readings was the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the most-often quoted passage being “The Beatitudes” from Matthew 5. In that chapter, after all the “blessed-are” statements, Jesus tells his followers that they (we) are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. For art in my Bible, I had in my mind an image of a light bulb, but when I searched for images of a light bulb, this one, with the “world” inside the bulb, got my attention. So I decided to use it to illustrate this page in my KJV journaling Bible (it’s the “big” one!).

I have been a Christ-follower since the age of 8 and have read this passage many times. It’s amazing to me how the Holy Spirit can show me new truths in a passage I have read so many times. When I say “new truths,” of course, I mean “new to me.” I don’t purport to have any huge new insight that no one has ever seen before. But, for me, a new thing that comes to my mind is that because I am a child of God, I already have a light inside me--the light of the Holy Spirit is ever-present. I suppose the question, then, is not whether or not I have a light within. I do. The question for me is this: Is my light shining? So, all the times I’ve read this with a sort of, “Yeah, of course a Christ-follower should be the light of the world…of course I have that light….” But maybe I have not often enough taken it to the next step—is my light shining?

Or is it hidden for whatever reason? Maybe I’m sad. Maybe I’m “down.” Maybe I don’t feel very “brilliant.” Maybe I feel like I don’t have enough light to share? Maybe I feel like the light is on, but no one really comes in the room where I am to even notice that the light is on? But, none of those reasons is good enough for me not to follow the admonition from this passage in Matthew 5:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

So, in reality, it is my JOB to shine the light. If no one is seeing the light from within me, it’s my problem, it’s my challenge. I am to be living my life in such a way that the light IS visible—it should be shining so brightly, frankly, that people would need sunglasses when they are around me!!

So, my prayerful take-away from this familiar passage is that I take the initiative to shine brightly, even looking for opportunities to “show off” God’s presence within my life.

#BibleTruthsConvict #WatercolorinmyBible #LightoftheWorld #JourneyThroughtheNewTestament2018 #IlluminatedJournaling #ShinetheLight