Filled with HOPE – Romans 15:13

JOY has been my Word from the Lord for quite a few years.  You look around my house and you will find JOY knickknacks everywhere you look.  I love JOY!   I used to think it was because God was telling me I needed to have more of it in my life – that I was lacking this fundamental Fruit of the Spirit, but then one day He shed light and told me that I actually am JOY!  That changed my thoughts from a woman striving for something unattainable to a woman who could finally embrace who she was in HIM and share it generously with others!

Now that 2016 is drawing to a close, I’ve been praying over if it was time to find a new Word from the Lord.  I played around with some like “Peace”, “Steadfast” & even “Hope”, but none jumped out at me as THE WORD to carry with me in 2017.  That is until December 12, 2016, when my husband went to the ER because he could not swallow food any longer and after many tests he was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer.  Whoa!  What a true test of JOY, right?  I have to admit, the word “Sh*t” was the first thing out of my mouth when the GI Doctor told me the news, but after crying with my husband, we determined that JOY is what we would share with others who join us on this journey.  So, here were were back with the word JOY, yet I still felt that I needed a new Word from the Lord, too.

I prayed for two days for Him to give me a verse and one afternoon in the hospital room, I was looking out the window and reminding God (you know how He needs those reminders because He might’ve forgotten our requests) that I was waiting on a verse when the numbers fifteen and thirteen came into my  mind.  I thanked God for the numbers, but asked Him if I might have a name of the book those numbers were coming from.  He then filled my mind with “Romans”.  I excitedly got the Gideon’s Bible from the shelf and located Romans 15:13 to find out if it was a real verse or if it was just some genealogical facts and I was pleasantly surprised when I found this:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I felt instant comfort when I read it and knew it was meant for Eric and myself because it has the Word I was coming from, JOY,  and the word I was mulling over “Peace” and the new word we would need on this journey, “Hope“.  So for three days I was sharing this verse with every visitor that came through our hospital room and how God gave it to us, but God wasn’t done with confirming it’s relevance in our life yet.

That Friday (12/16), my dear, sweet friend, Sister Linda (McNally) asked me to come to church so she could place in my hands a Love Gift.  During this special “pit stop” where she mothered me and let me cry and shared her own cancer survivor journey with her son, I was able to tell her about how God had given me Romans 15:13.  After she let me spill out everything, she blessed me with a small gift bag which contained an ornament with the words “Filled with Hope”!  I was so excited to have the word HOPE to hold on to like I had prayed for earlier in the week.  Sister Linda then asked me to to flip it over and when I did I almost say a curse word in church ya’ll!  On the other side of this ornament was the engraved verse of Romans 15:13!  Shut the Front Door, right?!?!  We both were in tears at the beauty of God using her to confirm that this was our verse on this journey to remind us we will OVERFLOW WITH HOPE in 2017.

As if that wasn’t enough, God has shown me Romans 15:13 in the unlikeliest places to remind me He is with us through the Power of the Holy Spirit and yesterday (12/28) I had gone to Lifeway Christian on Broad Street to look for a certain book and ended up in the  Bibles section.  I had started Bible Art Journaling a year ago, so I was “drawn” to a new one and when I opened the box, the inside cover had on it..you guessed it…Romans 15:13!!!!  I just had to buy it, right!  This will be the Bible I carry with me to every treatment and where I will document all of the verses God gives us to carry us along on this journey.

GOD IS SO GOOD…ALL OF THE TIME!!!

Remember, to look for how God is at work around you my friends…because He is definitely working right next to you and wants you to see Him!

Choosing Joy, Peace and HOPE today!

Lisa (& Eric & Gabe)

 

I’m married to George Bailey!

I’m sure most of you have seen the final scene of It’s a Wonderful Life when the townspeople of Bedford Falls all gather around George and Mary Bailey to bless them with money to keep the Bailey’s Savings and Loans from closing due to the evil ways of Mr. Potter.  This scene has always given me the hope that good trumps evil every time!   Well, Eric and I have been experiencing this fictional account of goodness in our very own reality which began 12/12/2016.  This was the morning that Eric went to the ER because he couldn’t swallow food any longer.  After a failed Barium Swallow and CT scan, Eric was admitted that evening into the oncology unit because the doctors found a 15 cm mass in his esophagus.  On 12/13, after a endoscopy, it was determined Eric had cancer of the esophagus and needed to have surgery to insert a med-port and a feeding tube for easy administration of chemo and super nutritious “goop” to keep him healthy for the fight he was beginning.

After processing this news, we began to spread the word to our family and friends and the overwhelming show of love and support has been like standing underneath Niagara Falls without any cover!  We liken it to Eric being cast as “George Bailey” because he has been blessed with hearing from people just how his life has impacted so many others without him even knowing it.  You all immediately wanted to know how you could help us and wanted to start cooking and donating money, so we created a GoFundMe page and a TakeThemAMeal sign up list.  Our son’s school even put together a gift bag full of handmade Christmas cards from his classmates and filled with his favorite art supplies, movie tickets and nintendo e-shop gift card.  Our son, with Autism and ADHD actually read out loud every single card to us.  Amazing!

Our Christmas was beyond expectations. What could have been a flat, uninspiring one because of impending layoff from Eric’s job…turned into a full blown experience that no Disney ride could ever recreate!  God worked through our church family and friends and we all had more gifts then we could have ever asked for.  Here we are three days after Christmas and packages are still being delivered.  Can anyone say AMAZING?!?!

And because God has the best sense of humor in the universe and knows how much I love this movie and Angels.  He had me go to Kohl’s for some last minute gifts for the Owen side of the family.  As I was walking back to my car, I had an encounter with a man in a Santa’s hat who was walking in-between cars to ask for donations for his church’s homeless ministry.  I couldn’t provide him a donation, but I was bold and asked for prayer.  This man prayed for Eric in the middle of the Kohl’s parking lot on Bell Creek Road declaring healing for my husband and that we would be the lights God uses to glorify Him in this fight.  I thanked him from the powerful prayer and asked him his name.  I couldn’t understand him at first and then after hearing it for the third time I said, “Are you saying your name is Clarence?”  He nodded.  Well, I began to laugh and and shared with him how Eric and I had felt we were living a real-life version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, so it was only fitting that God would send me an “Angel in Disguise” to pray with me and that his name would be Clarence!!!

I have so many other God Winks to share with you all and will do so as time permits.  I told someone the other day that we have to work REAL HARD to not see God working in our lives because He is right there beside you and speaking to you in ways that are unique to you.  So, next time something unusual is going on around you, pay attention.  Or if you see a word or phrase or numbers repeatedly…pay attention.  God is talking to you.  So, be still and listen 🙂

Merry Christmas Everyone and Thank You for Your Love & Care!

Lisa (& Eric and Gabe) Romans 15:13 (there will be a post on how this verse has become our Fighting Verse)

P.S.  If you get hungry today, December 28th, 2016, please go visit Marty’s Grill on Atlee Road near the Rutland Kroger.  The MOPS ministry of our church has graciously turned their fundraiser into one to help us with our medical bills.  You can even order take out! Thank you again for all of your prayers!

Our Incomplete Faith Story about Autism

This past Sunday, Eric (my husband), and I shared our Faith Story about how Autism has affected our lives, at our newly created Special Needs Life Group at Cool Spring Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA, called “Building Bridges Life Group”.  If you are a Special Needs parent please email me at Godfeedsus@gmail.com and I will send you our flyer which shares with you more about this Life Group and the dates of our next meetings.

So, when the leader, Sandra Bellina, asked us to share, I was like, “Sure, no problem!”  On the day of our sharing though, I realized I had never publicly shared our Faith Story about Autism, only about Gabriel’s Faith Story with his MIRACULOUS heart healing a couple of days after he was born in 2004.  Thankfully, God blessed me with the words to share and this was written in about 15 minutes due Him.  When I read it that night, tears rolled down my cheeks, but it was like I was able to let go of a burden that I had been carrying on my own for so long.  I praise God for bringing this Life Group to fruition and Sandra’s obedience in starting it.  Thank you to Wendy Atkinson and the Bridge Builders Special Needs Ministry at Cool Spring, too, not only for childcare during our meetings, but for helping raise our children in the faith.  God Bless You All for the Time and Effort and Love You Provide Our Children.

Now, here is what I shared on Sunday.  Thank you for reading!

__________________________________________________________________

November 4, 2004, Gabriel was born and within hours of his birth he was diagnosed with an “aortic coarctation” and rushed from Memorial Regional to UVA’s hospital in an “operating room on wheels” in case an emergency surgery needed to take place.

At this time, we weren’t attending a church, but a friend’s father who was a pastor came to pray over Gabriel and the results were a healing that even doctors said were miraculous.  Gabriel grew into his name that day and just like the angel, Gabriel, he speaks of the coming of Christ to those who will listen.

Fast forward 6 years to May 7, 2010, the day Gabriel was diagnosed with Autism.  Where was he on the spectrum we did not know because the doctor said he was too young.  Already, this date on the calendar held a devastating loss for my husband due to the loss of his first wife in 2000 and now another dream was dashed by the diagnosis of our son.  As we ate hot dogs at a nearby restaurant, we kept asking ourselves, “Why would God miraculously heal our baby boy’s heart only to now have Autism?”

I still ask that question on the tough days.

  • On the days where homework is hard to get through because he’s below grade level, his ADHD medicine has worn off,  and he is in sensory overload because he’s kept it all together all day at school and now Mom is asking him to do even more boring schoolwork.
  • On the days I see his same age peers ignoring him as they laugh, giggle and relate to each other so effortlessly while he is alone playing by himself.
  • On the days that I am stressing over his future (especially in regards to the school environment).  Public schools would not even recognize him as having autism (with a doctor’s note to boot), so no services were provided except for Speech and OT which pushed us into homeschooling him in 2nd and 3rd grade praying THIS was the answer.  But, the stress level was too high for all of us and we found ABA therapy, through Spectrum Transformation Group, which helped to prepare Gabriel for returning to the public school classroom and advocated for us in IEPs so now he has Autism services in a school not in our district.  Yet the battle now rages again due to starting Middle School next year.
  • And on the days where I scroll through FB and see all of the awards and sports my friends’ children are achieving while I am happy that I can lure him to Challenger Basketball for the promise of a Coke and a Hot Dog.

Yep, I wonder why God healed Gabriel as a baby just to go through a different kind of heartbreak.  The daily exclusion from the world and the difficulties to understand how to function in this world.

Today, April 10, 2016, I am sharing for the first time my Faith Story about Autism.  I have shared Gabriel’s miraculous heart-healing testimony a few times in front of various groups, but never the Autism side of our Faith Story and I have found this to be a MUCH HARDER story to put to words.

Why?  Because I have no closure.  I have no pretty package, wrapped up nicely with a big polka-dotted bow that I can give as a present to another hurting, exhausted special needs parent.

Nope, I’m still living this AUTISM diagnosis out EVERY….SINGLE…DAY.  Sometimes successfully – but most of the time not.

I mean, I do hand Gabriel over to God often, as I did when he was born, but that was because I knew there was nothing I could do to fix Gabriel’s heart.  But, then a few hours or days later, I take my boy right out of God’s hands because of my impatience God.  He’s just not working fast enough for me so that means I must need to fight harder, try some new therapy or diet or way of teaching him.  I think to myself that I am the only one who can solve all of the problems and make the world easier for him to live in.

Well, then,  my anxiousness reaches a point of being paralyzed with indecision and tears which  won’t stop rolling down my cheeks and my husband has to lift my broken spirit back up into a standing position to remind me that together, with God as the head, we are doing the best for Gabriel in His timing…not our timing.  And He has a good plan for our boy.

I will wipe my tears and be OK for a little while, but then the cycle returns and I will again feel like I’m not doing enough.  It never feels like enough.

Which is why a scene in the recent movie we saw, “The Family Next Door” when, the mom, Donna Lund, says to the camera that she always feels guilty like she isn’t doing enough, I burst into tears.  How could I not?  I had found a kindred soul!  I wasn’t the only mom out there who lived in this guilt daily!

When I was able to meet her at the screening of the movie a few weeks ago at the Byrd Theater (sponsored by the Autism Society of Central Virginia), I asked her through tears, what do I do?

We had a good chuckle because she feels the same way about her journey as I do about my sharing of this Incomplete Faith Story…she is still living through it with no clear resolution yet.  This meant she couldn’t give me a map to follow, but she could say to me, that I am being the best advocate I can be for my son.  She told me to Let Go of my perceptions of what Gabriel should be and like in his life.  Instead, she said, let Gabriel be Gabriel.

So, just like Donna Lund couldn’t give me the answers, I can’t give you all clear-cut answers on what to do for your children to ensure they will be active members of society.  What I can give you through my Faith in Jesus Christ, is a peace, understanding, and compassion as a special needs mom who walks in your shoes daily.  I can give you an ear that listens and a box full of tissues so we can both dry our eyes as we continuously give our children back to their Father in Heaven.  God is in control and He constantly shows me that through these two verses that I have hanging over my computer and which I carry in to each IEP meeting we attend.

And your children shall be taught by the Lord and great will be the peace of your children.

Isaiah 54:10

God will fight the battle for you and you?  Keep your mouths shut!

Exodus 14:14

In conclusion, I want us to remember that life hurts no matter if your child is deemed “normal” or “disabled”.  Our job, while here, is to be in daily communication with our Lord in Heaven and to share our faith with our children, as well as, to love our children has He loves us.

I’ve done my best to share my faith to Gabriel through the life he sees me living and the music we listen to and the activities we participate in.  I haven’t hid my son from the world (though I want to out of fear), but I force myself to place him out there to experience the world as only he can and to have an effect on the world that only he can!

And God has blessed me with following His commands because Gabriel became a believer over 2 years ago and was baptized here on October 19, 2014.  This boy teaches me so much more than I teach him in regards to faith since he was born.  He will pray (at the drop of a hat) if he hears of someone hurting.  He will stand up for the child or adult he feels is being bullied or made fun of, he will speak openly about Jesus without fear, and he can’t wait to get to Heaven one day (in God’s timing) so he can spend all of his days with Jesus.  What a testament to the Special Needs Ministry here at Cool Spring and to the staying power of the truth because through this all, Eric and I have not given up on God and His Story for our son and for us.

Hugs, Blessings and JOY ALWAYS!

Lisa

 

 

 

Fast Forwad to Day 12 of the Bible Art Challenge

I’ve been sick and snowed in. We had a lot of snow this past weekend in good ol’ Virginia and during that time both my hubby and I got a bug that kept us in bed.  Thankfully not at the same time so we could nurse each other back to health as our son joyfully played on electronics as much as he wanted!  Hmmmm…when was the last time he showered?  On that same note, when was the last time I showered?  Alas, now, he is recovering from our bug so even though the rest of the county returned to school Thursday, he stayed home with me.  He’s not sad though, in fact, he sees it as answered prayers because he has been praying to not return to school because of either snow and/or illness.  He has received both!  Now, that’s a prayer warrior!


Well, Wednesday, I was finally able to create Worship Art for my Draw Out Your Faith 30-Day Bible Art Journaling Challenge on Facebook. 12_Romans 8 28_event

Our scripture for Day 12 was from Romans 8:28, but I really felt connected to the Message version which is:

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

I loved the last line (in bold) because it reminded me that I’m living this life due the LOVE I have RECEIVED from GOD and in turn, I am returning my love back to HIM even if not always done in the best way.

Adoption Day

So, as I pondered what to DRAW OUT to represent this verse, I saw I had already used this page in my Crossway ESV Journaling Bible for Romans 8:12-17 which is about being “Heirs with Christ” and commemorating my adoption day on June 20, 2006, after a major car accident on Bell Creek Road.

Well, have no fear!  That just meant I would use Watercolor paper and adhere the finished work into my Bible with good ol’ washi tape.

So, now the question was “what technique will I use?”

I remembered a video I had seen on YouTube before I got sick that showed us how to use Gelatos and a spray bottle to achieve a “dripping” effect on the paper and then I had some new letter stamps that I wanted to use for the words I wanted to help stand out.

Since the video does such a great job showing how to do this, I won’t go through the steps, but I have two pictures to show how it looked before the final image was completed.  I did not gesso the page so I did have curling, but once I dried it with my blow dryer it flattened out 🙂  I also used my color wheel to make sure I used colors together that did not turn into mud.


 

The colors I used of my Gelatos were Iced Pear, Iced Currant and Metallic Blueberry.


 

 

And then here is the final piece!  I loved the background!  I hadn’t planned on using hearts, but now I see how fitting it was after the blog post I shared asking “Daddy – Melt My Heart of Stone”.

Day 12_Lisa Owen

Joyfully Drawing Out My Faith for His Glory,

Lisa

 

 

 

Daddy – Melt this Heart of Stone

melting my heart

Dear Abba,

                 Please melt my heart of stone.

                                                                 Amen

 

This was my prayer as I took a picture of this “Heart from God” that He left me in my backyard yesterday in the melting snow.  It’s such a treasure when I find His hearts in nature as I walk through life.  Here are a couple others I could locate quickly for you.

When I find one of these natural hearts, I see it as an invitation from God to take time to truly feel and accept His love for me.  He is also reminding me to look at the current condition of my heart.  Is it full of His love or is it full of worldly desires?

So, I am sharing my “Heart from God” with you today to provide an open invitation to accept His love for you and to look into your own heart of stone.  What do you see?  What do you need to cut away so you can have new growth in its place?

Many of my friends who I do Bible Study with can attest that I have been praying for circumcision of my heart since last year – though this was a spiritual concept brought into my life years before through a dear mentoring  relationship I was blessed with – I just wasn’t ready to apply that truth then. 

I learned that circumcision of the heart was a spiritual purification.  It’s cutting away  the ugly with the Sword of His Word to make room for new growth – His growth!!!

So, as I started this journey of Bible Art Journaling and the “Draw Out Your Faith” Facebook page, the ugly head of jealousy returned and it feels so heavy – just like a huge stone is sitting inside my  chest!  There are such talented ladies in my group who are sharing their art with me and I know I should be blessed by it, but instead I find myself wishing I could have their talents.  Through this “Heart from God”, He has invited me to look deeper into my heart and I find that these feelings are coming from my years of feeling like an “impostor artist” because of my Middle School Art Teacher.  She would not sign my permission slip to take art in High School…in essence, she blew out my candle. 

blow out candleMy husband and my Sisters in Christ have reminded me that her lack of signing my permission slip was not because of my lack of talent, but something inside of her was hurt and I just happened to be the one on the receiving end of the dismissive attitude.  Here I am though, about to turn 41,  and I still feel that pain in my heart.  It doesn’t matter that I have an BFA from VCU’s School of the Arts.  I still don’t feel like an artist…yet.  But our God is a patient God and He is not giving up on my healing.  This is why He brought Bible Art Journaling into my life.  To reawaken my artistic soul.  This is my platform that I can use to Glorify Him in all things!  I feel alive again!  I am seeing colors in nature that I haven’t seen in years…I am drawing images mentally all of the time and then putting them onto paper.  I feel HOPEEFUL and JOYFUL again that I can make something that is pleasing to God.  And that is the true answer isn’t it?

IT PLEASES GOD!

(In other words, because I’m a slow learner at times…)

I am not supposed to look to others for acceptance, but ONLY to GOD!

Oh, Daddy, when will I get this right? When will I stop repeating this cycle?  And then He reminds me through His Word in my heart of stone that He is melting…

My dear child, you are already on the path of healing.  I  have given you a new heart and put a new [artistic] spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (paraphrased from Ezekiel 36:26).

Thank you Abba, Father!  I love you!  Your devoted daughter – Lisa

Day 3 of 30 – Bible Art Journaling Challenge – Hands!

Day 03_Psalm 34 18

I can not draw hands!  I shy away from people, faces, and hands!  So, why did I have to have the image of God’s hand holding a glue bottle to put a broken heart back together again?  He does love to stretch me and that He did!

To help me draw a hand, I took a couple of pictures of my own hand holding the bottle and then sketched it out a few times in my sketchbook during Day 3’s Bible Art Journaling Challenge.

When I see what the verse of the day is, I like to find a few different versions to meditate upon.  I really liked The Message’s version of Psalm 34:18 which you can read below:

18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

I find it very easy to understand the concept of how a broken heart feels by the way Eugene Petersen uses the image of being kicked in the gut and not being able to catch your breath.  Have you ever felt that way?  Think about that for a minute.  The thing about losing your breath is that it happens real fast!  You don’t have time to stop it from happening and you sure don’t have time to prepare for it by taking in a huge lung full of air knowing you are about to lose that next breath.  Nope, when you experience that kind of pain and lack of oxygen, you get desperate!  I pray that you get desperate enough to inhale the Breath of Life which is our heavenly Father in Heaven!

Supplies used for this piece:

  • Waterc0lors
  • Masking Fluid
  • art basics Gesso (clear)
  • Papermate Flair Ultra Fine Pens

And, I am so proud of the ladies in my “Draw Out Your Faith” Facebook group who are creating alongside me.

Day 2 of 30 – Bible Art Journaling Challenge

Day 2 of our 30 Day Bible Art Journaling Challenge has ended.  The ladies and I had until 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 17th, to get our Worship Art created and posted on the Draw Out Your Faith Facebook page.

Today’s verse comes from Psalm 9:1, but I included verse 2 as well because how could I say no to my word of the year, “JOY”??????

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. (New Living Translation)

I have a confession to make.  I peeked ahead Saturday night to see what the verse would be for Day 2.  Yup, I cheated on a Bible Art Journaling Challenge!  What is wrong with me?!?!  You all can’t be mad because I did this for you!  That’s right…for YOU!  I mean, we really needed to see if the art basics clear gesso was all that and a bag of chips, right???

So…for each of you ladies, I went ahead and applied the gesso to the page and let it dry for 24 hours.  In case you don’t have the luxury of waiting8(because you can’t cheat), you could dry it quickly with a heating tool (I use a hairdryer).

I could tell straight away this brand was MUCH better than the brand I had purchased at Walmart.  The page did not crinkle hardly at all!  Since it was a clear gesso, the words were still visible!  AND, best part…NO BLEED THROUGH!

So, if you want to have a great way of preparing your Bible’s page before applying watercolor or any other media (except dry media of course), I would recommend this gesso and it can be purchased on Amazon!

 

My other art supplies I used were my watercolors, masking fluid, the micron pen in size .5 and color black and the StazOn ink pad in purple to stamp my date.

Day 2_Lisa Owen7

The way I like to start this time is by reading the Scripture and finding the words that stand out to me in the version of the Bible that speak to my heart the best that day.

In today’s verses, these words  spoke to me the loudest:

              Praise

                                           Heart

                                                                     Marvelous Deeds

                                                                                                             Filled with Joy

                                                                                                                                           and Sing Praises !!

Next, I doodle out a concept and play around with it a little to see how the sizing will work and honestly, I am also checking to see if I can even draw what is in my head!!!  But, back to the sizing, this preliminary sketch helps me to see how much room I really do have because 2″ always seems way bigger to me until I start to draw and realize how little space we have in these margins!

Day 2_Lisa Owen11
A sketchbook is a perfect place to play around and not worry about messing up your delicate Bible pages.

Then I either trace the image into my Bible or I freehand it again (which is what I did today).  I really went intense with the watercolors this time. Not much diluting with water…only used more water when I was blending the colors together.  I am quite pleased with how well it came out.  The pages hardly wrinkled, too!

 

And here are some of of the finished Worship pieces from my other group members who have joined me on this journey!  I am so proud of them as they take time with God to draw out their faith!

 

Day 1 of 30 – Bible Art Journaling Challenge

Last Tuesday, January 12th, 2016, a few of my other Bible Art Journaling friends and I went to our local Lifeway Christian Store, to attend a Bible Art Journaling event.  They gave us cool workbooks and one of them contained a 30-Day Scripture Challenge.  So, on my Draw Out Your Faith Facebook page, I am posting each day’s verse and then the members who are taking this challenge with me post their artwork on the page.  It’s really neat to see other ladies who have never thought of themselves as artists, creating for the Lord!  My heart is so full of gratitude for sharing this new form of worship with them!

So,  here is the first day’s Scripture from John 15:5 along with my creative interpretation of the verse:

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.

Day 1_Lisa Owen_blog

And here are a few pieces of Worship Art from others in my group!  Isn’t it neat to see how we each interpret the verse differently?  God speaks to each of us in a voice that is special to just us!  If this challenge speaks to you then come join the CLOSED Facebook page today!

 

Hugs, Blessings and JOY always,

Lisa

You want me to do WHAT in my Bible?

I started on this Worshiping Journey December 23, 2015, though I had bought the art supplies a month earlier, I procrastinated and procrastinated because I was FEARFUL of messing up the journaling Bible.  You see, I was told by my middle school art teacher that I wasn’t good enough to take art in high school (though my Junior year, I had to take art because I needed an arts elective).  Funny thing is that I did actually earn a spot in the Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts and graduated with a BFA, too!  Yet, this art teacher’s words have stayed stuck in my heard for the past 27 years!  There is a saying that “every child is an artist until they are told they’re not.”

So, when I started seeing some posts on my Facebook newsfeed, I felt my inner artist reawaken.  This long dormant side of myself wanted to come out and create again!  What better way to Worship my Favorite Person in the whole world then to create (like He did) in my own journaling Bible?  So, I started going to numerous blogs and websites to gather from other ladies who Bible Journal on what they’re favorite supplies were, their favorite bible to journal in, and how did they get started and overcome their fear of writing or drawing in their Bibles?  Some ladies were scared it was sacrilegious to write over Scriptures.  Others, like me, were scared they weren’t good enough artists to even attempt to create because how in the world would they measure up to the examples we see posted on Pinterest or Facebook?

Happily, God had me come across one Artist/Blogger I was “drawn” to named Lauren from “The Thinking Closet” at http://www.thinkingcloset.com.  She created “Permission Pages” for the perfectionists out there like me!  On one side of the Bible she told us to write “This Bible is for” and on the other side I wrote, “This Bible is NOT for” and “these pages may”.  I NEEDED these pages so that I would get out of my “art school mentality” that everything I make will be critiqued by others for space, form and function.  I had to remind myself this is where I am showing God how much I love Him and His Word!  So, this is where I recommend you start.  Then, after that, I decided to find some artwork inspired by my study of the Book of Genesis.  I had just completed Week 1, so I decided to start with page 1, verse 1 of the first chapter of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Fitting don’t you think?  God is the Master Creator, the original creator.  He created out of nothing, while we create, but we have to create out of something that already exists.  That humbles you, doesn’t it?  Heheeheee!  I found some scrapbook stickers in my stash of zoo animals, so I used that as my jumping off point.  I originally thought I would use color pencils, but felt myself “drawn” to watercolors (from my high school art class days).  They recommend using a date stamp on each completed page so you remember when you made it.  This is stamped December 23, 2015.

Well, I got so SUPER PUMPED by completing the Permission Page and then Genesis that I had to start my next project, adding WASHI TAPE to the first page of each book of the Bible.  I did this while catching up on some Christmas TV specials J  Then, I bought a TAB PUNCH and created TABS for each of the OLD TESTAMENT books.  Haven’t done the NEW TESTAMENT yet because I haven’t had any down time in front of the TV to get ‘er done.

My other pages I’ve completed have all been on verses that have spoken to me lately or that I studied.  Some of them have been experiments using new mediums like Gelatos and Distress Ink Markers while others were just plain mess ups that were redeemed by adding stickers LOL

Any time I mess up, I remember that on my PERMISSION PAGE I said it was OK to do that.  Again, the real goal of Bible Journaling is to free up my spirit and let the Word of God permeate my being through my creativity.  God’s Word is Alive and Active!

There are so many resources out there to help inspire you to “Draw Out Your Faith” in fact, I created a Pinterest board and a Facebook page where you can join me and my other friends on this journey.  Perhaps one day, God will have meeting together like “scrapbooking workshops” where we can share our supplies and inspirations and how God is working in our BAJ?  In the meantime check out my Draw Out Your Faith Pinterest Board and join my Draw Out Your Faith Facebook Group.

Also, if you want to attend a real life event to be able to play with supplies and learn more about this, call your local Lifeway Christian Store to check if they are holding a Bible Journaling workshop on Tuesday, January 12th from 10-12 or 6:30-close.  Christy Brown, my local the Lifeway coordinator, said you can come as you please and stay as long as you want.  There will be a free workbook, playing with supplies and even a chance to win a Bible Journal!

Hugs, Blessings and JOY always!

Lisa

Attracting godly friends and role models…

Good Morning faithful readers and/or skimmers 🙂

This morning after dropping Gabriel off at ESY as well as the twins (my niece and nephew – Shelby and William) off at their summer camp I drove home and went past the school playground.

Children were playing so I did a quick scan to see if Gabriel was outside, too.  Very quickly I saw him…sitting aloneon a swingnot even swinging….just sitting on it.

This momma’s heart broke in two.

I drove around the block so I could do another look and prayed that another classmate or aid would be with him.  Alas, the other 3 times I drove by he was always alone.

Did I happen to mention this momma’s heart is broken.

indexSo, it is quite fitting that today’s prayer is about bringing godly friends into our children’s lives.  It is hard to make friends no matter who you are and it’s especially difficult to make friends when you are on the autistic spectrum.  So, as I prayed this morning for my son, I prayed that God would help Gabriel push through the autistic wall to make those godly friends he will need in his life because we can’t do this living thing on our own.  We need others and Eric and I will not always be there for him.

I found an article called, How to Be a Friend to Someone With Autism, that give some great suggestions on how you can help a person on the spectrum make friends with you and others.  Let’s not let these children and adults live alone in this world.  Let’s reach out like Jesus.

Today’s Prayer Requests & PRAISES for Gabriel

1.  Continue to pray that Gabriel develops friendships with the children in his class so that he looks forward to going to ESY each dayAlso perhaps these friendships can continue after ESY with playdates organized by us parents.

2.  Continue to pray that Gabriel has patience while doing tasks, school work, etc., that he doesn’t not really want to do.

3.  Continue to pray that Gabriel soaks in the knowledge that he learns while at school.

PRAYER FOR DAY #8

Lord,

We lift up Gabriel, Ethan, Jacob and Selah to You and ask that You would bring godly friends and role models into their lives.  Give them the wisdom they need to choose friends who are godly and help them to never compromise their walk with You in order to gain acceptance.  Give us Holy Spirit-inspired discernment in how we guide or influence them in the selection of friends.  We pray that You would take anyone who is not a godly influence out of their lives or else transform that person into Your likeness.

Your Word says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).  Don’t let our children be a companion of fools.  Enable them to walk with wise friends and not have to experience the destruction that can happen by walking with foolish people.  Deliver them from anyone with an ungodly character so they will not learn that person’s ways and set a snare for their own soul.

Whenever there is grief over a lost friendship, comfort them and send new friends with whom they connect, share, and be the person You created them to be.  Take away any loneliness or low self-esteem that would cause them to seek out less than God-glorifying relationships.

In Jesus’ name, we pray that You would teach them the meaning of true friendship.  Teach them how to be good friends make strong, close, lasting relationships.  May each of their friendships always glorify you.  AMEN

WEAPONS OF WARFARE

Proverbs 4:14 (NIV)

Do no enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil.

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1 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)

I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolator, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.

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Proverbs 24:21-22 (NIV)

My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin these two can bring?

Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV)

Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest your learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.

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Psalm 1:1 (NIV)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the pat of sinner, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

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Excerpts from “The Power of a Praying Parent” Stormie Omartian pages 76-78