This blog was formerly titled "Sentiments and Scrapbooks."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

God is Sovereign {Bible Journaling}

Bible Art He is Sovereign

Just received my new “She Reads Truth” (CSB) Bible a couple of days ago (ordered from Lifeway). I got the Navy imitation leather one. I love it. Whereas my other Bibles are either personal notetaking OR Bible Art Journaling, I will be using this one to write my own notes AND to do some Bible Art Journaling.

This concept of God's sovereignty has been on my heart a lot lately. I love this quote from Beth Moore ("Breaking Free"): "Peace comes in situations completely surrendered to the sovereign authority of Christ." That truth is so profoundly simple.

Psalm 103:19 says "The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all." (CSB)

#SheReadsTruthBible #SovereigntyofGod #BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #PrismaPremiereColoredPencils

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Make Music in Your Heart {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Eph 5-19 Make Music in Your Heart

Since I started Bible Art Journaling a few years ago, I have been amazed at how the process focuses my attention in new ways. For example, I had not previously realized how many passages deal with music, singing, praising God with music, all in the heart.

Often, when considering a passage to illustrate in my Journaling Bible, I am drawn to these passages because I have such a HEART for MUSIC and LOVE to PRAISE GOD in that way. Coming across this topic so often makes me understand that it is important to God that I praise Him with music.

Today’s passage is one of those. From Ephesians 5 (NIV):

19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

#BibleArtJournaling #BibleArt #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #MusicInMyHeart #PraiseHimWithMusic #InktenseBlocks

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From My Daughter to Single Moms {Heartstrings}

Shar's Fam at Chr 2016 1

Our daughter has been a single mom for many years. For 3 1/2 of those years, that has been her offical and legal designation. She knows whereof she speaks. A few months ago she posted this on Facebook, and she posted it again today, in honor of #NationalSingleParentDay.

Begin Quoted Material

In honor of Single Parents Day today, I thought I'd RE-share something I wrote a while back…
I hate storms. No really. I do. I really, really hate them. Why? Honestly? They make me realize that something bad could happen. Some time, something bad COULD actually happen. And if it did - if something DID happen - what would I do? I should be prepared, shouldn't I? I'm a mom - I'm the sole source of strength and support and knowledge and ability. OK then, soooo I should be prepared. But I'm not. Oh boy. I am SO not prepared. Why am I not? What is wrong with me? I'm a TERRIBLE mother!! I don't know if the batteries in the flashlight are working. I don't know if the flashlight even HAS batteries. Wait...I don't know WHERE THE FLASHLIGHT IS!!! Do I even have a flashlight?????

But - then it hits me. I'm not a terrible mother. I'm just a single mother. I'm an alone mother. I'm a one-too-many-things-to-do mother. And me, just me personally? I'm ACTUALLY a bake-the-best cookies mother and give-the-best hugs and kisses mother. I'm a plant-the-garden and create wonderful, comforting meals mother. I'm a make our home beautiful and comfortable and PEACEFUL and just...HOME...mother. I am not a take charge, take over, fix it up, take care of everything, practical mother. I'm not a spiritual leader, I'm not a rock, I'm not strong, I'm not confident. I'm not a financial wizard. I'm not a ladder climber or a light-bulb changer. I'm not any of those things. But I am a single mother. So...I guess I'll have to be...

Know what? That's okay. Know why? Joshua 1:9. That's why. "Haven't I commanded you: Be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Wherever you go, whatever you do, whenever something bad DOES happen. Wherever you go. WHEREVER!
Praise Jesus...I'm not a single mother after all.

End Quoted Material

#NationalSingleParentDay #MyChildrenAreGreatWriters #NeverAlone #BeStrongAndCourageous #Heartstrings

Monday, March 20, 2017

March Madness {Family Times}

We love March Madness. If possible, we try to get together with our son/wife for some of the games, especially the opening round games. (We like to share in the fun with our grandson, too, but for now, we are separated by a lot of miles—we are in our Washington home right now, and our grandson/wife are in Missouri.)


Tacos for Supper (really missing our granddaughter Tory, her favorite meal!)



Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and
Fresh Berries for Breakfast



#MarchMadness #FamilyTimes #CinnamonRolls #WAHome

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Believe {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art - 1 John 3-23 Believe

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
- 1 John 3:23 (KJV)

 #DistressInk #DistressOxide #BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #BibleMarginalia #Believe

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Keep On Asking {GraceNotes}

Because it keeps resurfacing in my head/heart, I am sharing more thoughts about one of the Bible passages that I memorized as a little girl. Today, I am sharing thoughts on this passage from my son, Mark Ford, pastor of First Baptist Church, Longview, WA.

Begin quoted material

Some biblical principles take time to understand. I have been wrestling with Matthew 7:7-11 for some time. Jesus said "Keep on asking, seeking, knocking... and it will be given to you." He said, "God won't give you a stone if you ask for bread or a snake if you ask for a fish." This is because He is a good Father, as is clear in the text.

But what if I ask for the wrong thing? Shouldn't I just pray for His Will and be done with it? No. This is not what Jesus taught. He taught us to pray SPECIFIC prayers and to KEEP ON ASKING for what we want or need. So again, what if I ask for the wrong thing? This is where the insight comes in. If I ask for a stone or a snake when I need bread or fish, what will God do? He is a good Father. I can trust Him to answer my prayers in a way that is for my good. This was Jesus' whole point, in fact.

This means something very real. This means I can ask in faith, without fear. This means I can ask for something good without worrying that it might be the wrong thing. See, if what I ask for is not good, my good Father will not give it to me. Why? Because He is a good Father. But beyond that, Jesus was very clear about how we can pray in faith. In fact, He was clear to this extent: IF IT IS GOOD AND I ASK FOR IT, I WILL RECEIVE IT.

I challenge anyone to read the passage mentioned above (or several other places where Jesus tells us to pray specifically and with faith) and prove otherwise. Jesus was clear. Ask in faith, and IF IT IS GOOD, you will receive it. If you do not receive it, though you kept on asking in faith, then you can know that the Father knew it was not the best thing for you. If it is good, and you keep on asking, He will give it to you. Why? Because the Father loves to give good gifts to His children. He loves it!

I've spent months struggling with this, but now I know... I can ask without worrying He will give me what I ask for even if it's actually going to be bad for me. I can also ask knowing that if it is good (and He knows), I will receive it.

Note: This is not health and wealth doctrine, because the fact is that sometimes what God knows is for our good is going to actually be painful. But the point is we can ask for what we think is going to be good without any fear, and God wants us to ask. This is what Jesus clearly taught.

Read Matthew 7:7-11. Struggle with it for months as I have. See if you do not arrive at the same conclusion. ASK. SEEK. KNOCK!!!

End of quoted material

A couple of Faith Art pieces I have shared within the last year (told you, this passage has been on my mind a lot):


My blog post where I first shared this Bible Art


My blog post where I first shared this Faith Art

#BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #CommentaryFromMySonPastor #GoodGoodFather #AskSeekKnock

Thursday, March 9, 2017

GRACEfull in 2017 {Faith Art}

GRACEfull for 2017

I like words. And every year, some people choose a “word for the year.” I’ve never been fond of that idea, because I like lots of words, and no one word could really be my defining word.

But, this year, I am choosing a word to represent my goal for the year. Among my natural “giftings” I do not so much find “mercy” or “grace.” But I want to be merciful, and I want to be full of grace. SO, since it doesn’t come naturally to me, I need to work on it.

So, for 2017, my goal is to be GRACEfull.

#FaithArt# ArtJournal #DistressOxide #DistressCrayons #Gracefull

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Through Misty Eyes: A Reminder From a Stranger {HeartStrings}

Yesterday my husband and I enjoyed a late breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast/lunch restaurants in Vancouver (WA). As we were finishing our coffee, my attention was drawn to a table across the way from me, directly in my line of sight. A middle-aged woman put her arm around the older lady seated next to her. The younger woman hugged the shoulders of the older woman in such a way as to bring their faces close together. Then the younger woman affectionately kissed the cheek of the older woman.

I observed that the women bore a resemblance to each other, enough to make me believe they were mother and daughter. Both women were dressed nicely, with pretty jewelry and make-up, signaling to me that they both considered it a "special occasion" to have breakfast together.

Tears came to my eyes, and I wanted to go over to the table and say to the younger woman, " are doing the important thing. Express your love for your mother while you have her with you. These times of being together are precious--how precious will only be known to you after they can no longer occur. So, show your mother that you love her, while you can. It is good for both of you."

But, I didn't go over to her. I know myself. My attempt to choke out the words through the tears would have not been successful.

And so it was that, through my misty eyes, I was reminded by this stranger, of the truth reflected in a line from a poem that came to my mind. (I researched the poem, as I could not remember anything beyond the first line.)

"It is a poem written by English Cavalier poet Robert Herrick in the 17th century. The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, Latin for seize the day. It goes as follows:

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying."

Gather Ye Rosebuds

#GraceNotesFromTheSongsInMyHeart #Watercolor #SketchandPaint

Saturday, March 4, 2017

He Rejoices Over ME? {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Zeph 3-17 Singing Joy Over Me

Music is such an integral part of who I am. I have been thinking a lot lately about the "songs" that are in my heart--literal "music-songs," but also stories of my life that I think of as "songs in my heart." So, this verse came to mind.

It is incredible to think that, as unworthy as I am, my God actually rejoices over ME with singing...I am a song in HIS heart. How awesome is that!

"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."
- Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

#BibleArtJournaling #Watercolor

Thursday, February 23, 2017

God Will Take Care of Me {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art-Luke 12-24-He Will Take Care of Me

When I was young, my mother used to sing a hymn to my siblings and me: “God Will Take Care of You.” There are several places in the Bible where that promise is given. For this Bible Art project, I chose a reference that I especially like, because of the logic of it: If God takes care of the birds (and he does), how much more can I expect that He will take care of me (as, according to this verse, I am much more valuable to God than is a bird).

Technique: I used a Gorjuss stamp (I just love these little girls) and painted it with InkTense Blocks watercolor. I prep most all my Bible pages with Art Basics Clear Gesso, to prevent bleed-through on the back of the page.

Bible Art-Luke 12-24-He Will Take Care of Me

#BibleArt #BibleArtJournaling #InktenseBlocks #GorjussStamps #GodWillTakeCareOfMe #IllustratedFaith #ScriptureArt #FaithArt

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

“Delight” {Mixed Media Art Journal}

Mixed Media delight

The focal thought for this page in my mixed media art journal is Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (ESV)

A cursory study of the commentaries on this verse leaves my head spinning. Those aside, for me, it’s all about the first part. My personal interpretation is that I want to find joy in serving God and being everything He wants me to be. If I make Him THE priority delight in my life, the “desires of my heart” part will follow. The “desires of my heart” may well change, after I delight myself in Him.

Perhaps the Bible scholars would not see it this way, but for me, this verse reminds me of Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added unto you.” (ESV)

#MixedMediaArtJournal #delight #acrylicpaint

Thursday, February 16, 2017

“Agape” {Mixed Media Art Journal}

02-16-17 Agape Mixed Media

One of my favorite “objects” or “symbols” is a heart. I’m a romantic by nature, and I have always loved everything about hearts. Perhaps it is mainly because it is a symbol of love. No wonder Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and my art around this time of year almost always contains heart images.

For many months, I have not been doing mixed media. I have been focusing on Bible art and Sketch and Paint. But it was actually mixed media “art” that drew me into the art world and caused me to be able to see myself as some sort of an “artist.” I collected way too many supplies for mixed media, and I created TONS of pages and journals and boards and canvases. Then I realized that much of my mixed media art would not be something I would want to keep forever, whereas that does tend to be the case with Bible art and Sketch and Paint art. I felt like I should be doing something that “mattered,” something of lasting value. So I pared down the mixed media supplies and stored them away.

Recently I’ve been having difficulty finding my art “mojo.” So, it dawned on me that perhaps I should return to my first “love” of art, and that was mixed media. Who says I can’t do all the different styles that I enjoy? I suppose the point was driven home to me by my husband, who pointed out that if I enjoy the process of mixed media, who cares if the product is not something I would want to save forever. Just do it for the fun of it. Hello.

So, I dusted off the supplies, gathered together some of them on my art table, got out one of the several blank journals I had on hand, and set to work. Oh, yes, now I remember the therapy of spreading gesso on a blank page, and then adding some collage elements (like torn pieces of old book paper, a stitched piece of kraft paper) with decopauge….Then spreading some molding paste through a stencil, followed by lots of acrylic paints. Focal image, a heart of course…a Stabilo pencil with water brush for shading…Lots of stamps for the background, and more paint dabbed through stencils.

Yep, that’s mixed media. Yep, it was fun. Yep, it was therapeutic. What more is needed? Well, hello there, Mojo!

#MixedMedia #ArtJournaling #acrylicpaints #stamping #stencils #agape

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sun Praises God {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 148-3 Sun Praises Him

My natural style is almost always clean and simple. This page is very simple, and I like the way it just says that even the sun praises God. Is that not awesome!

This Bible is my single-column ESV journaling Bible. It has a nice brown leather cover, with a flap and a leather strap that ties around it. The font is very small, but I CAN read it!

Psalm 148:3-6 (ESV)

3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #SunPraisesGod #DistressInkRipePersimmon #DistressInkMustardSeed #DistressInkSqueezedLemonade 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Joy in His Presence {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 16-11 JOY

Psalm 16:11 (KJV) - "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

This, my main journaling Bible is KJV, although I usually study from NIV or NASB or ESV. This Bible, with black leather binding, has 11-point font and 2.5 inch margins. That makes it easy for me to read and yet allows plenty of space in the margins for art.

I love all three parts of this verse:

1-He will show me the path of life.
2-In His presence is JOY.
3-At His right hand, there are pleasures always.

Why do I need to be reminded about the JOY that comes from being in His presence. So often I allow the stresses and worries of daily life to block out the joy. Maybe that means I am not putting myself totally in His presence. I’m not allowing His presence to fill me. Hmmm.

#PrismacolorPremiereColoredPencils #BibleArtJournaling #Joy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

An “I AM” Passage {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art John 11-25 I AM

Having spent all of January and well into February with left-brain activities (major organizational projects, editing my life story, updating some family tree information, etc.), I somehow lost my creative “art mojo” along the way. So, I applied some self-discipline to illustrate one of my favorite “I AM” passages.

Still not feeling creative enough to sketch, but I DID use some watercolor (using Distress Ink Crayons and a waterbrush) to draw attention to John 11:25:

Bible Art John 11-25 I AM

I believe this passage is one of the reasons the book of John is often suggested as a “place to start” for someone new to reading the Bible. The heart of the Gospel is embodied in these words:

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
John 11:25-26

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #ScriptureArt #FaithArt

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Daily Prayer Reminder {Bible Art}

Bible Art Ps 143-8

When I pray each morning, before I get out of bed, if I’m not guarding against it, worries creep in and attempt to sabotage my prayers. I guess it’s because the things I pray about each day are also areas that I tend to worry about. So, for the past few months, I pray this passage as a part of my daily prayer:

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” – Psalm 143:8

#IllustratedFaith #ScriptureArt #BibleArt #BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #watercolor #HisUnfailingLove

Monday, January 16, 2017

He Can Create a Clean Heart {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 51-10

Create a clean heart in me, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. – Ps 51:10

My favorite thing about this verse, a favorite of mine since I was a young girl, is the miraculous fact that I have a Heavenly Father who can actually DO this—He, and only He, can create a clean heart in me. And He wants me to ask Him to do just that. So, I’m asking.

#BibleArtJournalingChallenge #BibleArt #BibleMarginalia #IllustratedFaith #ScriptureArt #FaithArt #PrismacolorPremiere #CreateaCleanHeart #Psalms

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Recreational Technology {Soapbox}

Every January I re-organize, clean up files, back up files, and generally update my organizational system. The process involves looking at documents I may not have seen for years. I just came across something I wrote in 2010. I believe it may still apply, for consideration by me, at least. My words from that year:
Recreational Technology:
How much is too much?
Recreational Technology defined: the use of technology for fun, relaxation, and/or virtual socialization.
-Video games (“gaming”) or other computer games—alone, or with virtual community
-Online social communities such as facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest
Having lived for a large number of years (smile), I have had opportunity to see some very dramatic changes in the “culture” in which I live. While many changes have been positive, even awesome and wonderful, there are some developments that I fear carry the potential of having more negative long-term effects than we might realize. One of those areas of “concern” is that of the rapid growth of recreational technology.
Now, I got my first computer in 1985. I can still remember taking the computer out of the box, trying to make sense of the manual, partitioning the hard drive, and installing DOS. I taught myself how to do simple programming and had an organizational system on my computer before Windows. In fact, I didn’t like Windows at first because it took some of the control of my computer away from me. I’m certainly not anti-technology. I just wonder if maybe the “use” of technology for recreation and socialization would best be experienced “in moderation.”
I propose these questions for your consideration, if you are seeking to determine how much is too much, for you personally:
*Are your relationships suffering?
*Are you lacking in adequate rest?
*Are you rationalizing your time at these activities (such as “If I weren’t doing this, I would be watching television.” In reality, if it replaces two hours of TV, would those two hours have been spent watching TV WITH family)?
*Are you spending more time with virtual “friends” or online friends than with family?
*Are you looking forward to that activity more than family time/activities?
*Are you uneasy and unsettled during “normal,” real-life people-to-people conversation, and feel in the back of your mind that you can’t wait to get back to your “real” world (computer, tablet, phone, etc.)?
*Are you sharing with the world INSTEAD of with family (unless they happen to be a part of your virtual community)?
*Are your online friends the first to know about meaningful events in your life (maybe even leaving out someone who has the audacity NOT to be on social media)?
*Are your “postings” (blogs, facebook status, etc.) taking the place of meaningful real conversations with real people?
*Are those activities affecting, or maybe even, controlling:
Your mood?
Your priorities?
Your outlook on life?
Your schedule?
Not looking for a score here. There are not a certain number of the above questions that will give you a definitive answer about how much is too much. It’s an individual answer, but the question is one that, for me, deserves consideration.
#recreationaltechnology #mypersonalopinion #mylifephilosophy #toomuchtechnology #realrelationships

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bible Study: “Walking in Wisdom” {GraceNotes}

Walking in Wisdom books
Looking forward to beginning my next Bible Study, starting next Monday. My first study with Love God Greatly was the Advent study, “God With Us.” I am impressed with the Love God Greatly belief statement, and I highly recommend their studies.
For each of their studies, there is an option to purchase a paperback book from Amazon (this one was $10.79, free shipping from Amazon Prime), or to download the study materials directly from their web site. I chose to purchase the book, as I think it might even be less expensive than printing out the 115 pages at home. Mainly, I like that this organization is not-for-profit, and so my purchase price goes back into the ministry. Their studies are translated and distributed in several languages.
Here is the description of the study from their web site:
“The Book of Proverbs positions us face-to-face with the wise and the fool and the consequences that follow their choices. The text is highly personal, at times uncomfortably transparent, and doesn’t mess around in zeroing in on the world’s greatest temptations that threaten to lead us astray from walking in the wisdom that God intended for us.
This six-week Love God Greatly Online Bible Study on Proverbs points to a topical look at Proverbs and the key themes of wisdom in our speech, our relationships, our work and wealth, and in the face of temptation.
Trust in the Lord instead of your own understanding is where the book of Proverbs ultimately leads us. God is the source of all wisdom, He uses these proverbs to show us the path that leads to wisdom, and He reveals to us the fruit of walking in this great wisdom… so that our trust is ultimately not in our floundering ways, but can be found securely in Him.”
#BibleStudy #LoveGodGreatly #WalkinginWisdom #Proverbs #SOAPMethod

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ChristmasTime {Family Times}

Had a wonderful and special Christmas with my family. Just edited around 100 pictures…sharing a few here.
Bubble Bread
Bubble Bread-a Christmas morning tradition
Happy to be together again
Red Velvet Cake-another tradition
FaceTime w Tory 12-26-16 2
FaceTime with our granddaughter Tory in Mexico
My Children
My two…
Snack Buffet
Traditional Holiday Snack Buffet
Mark and Kristy, their son Conner and his wife Caroline (daughter Tory in Mexico)
Son Mark and his wife Kristy
Grandson Conner and his wife Caroline
Shar's Fam at Chr 2016 1
Daughter Sharida and her children Alyssa and Dawson
Our two beautiful children with us
Mamo and Grandad with all our grandchildren except Tory (on mission in Mexico)
The old folks


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Vignettes Around the House {Heart at Home}

Just little bits and pieces from my home today…
Upper Level…
On the large tree: If you click to enlarge, you can see the diaper pins, one blue and one pink, from my two children’s diapers—yes we really used them (Pampers had just come into existence, but no way was I going to put paper diapers on my babies)…also the last pacifier (so it would’ve been Sharida’s) and two baby spoons, short one with curved handle was Mark’s, long one was Sharida’s. Tucked way inside by the trunk of the tree is a plastic book and a red firetruck, both from Mark’s first stocking.
On the tree in the music room, several of these little grand pianos.
Music Room
In the music room, ready for singing around the piano, always a part of all our family gatherings.
Lower Level…
#ChristmasVignettes #HurryChristmas #ReadyforFamily