Book of Thanks, Page 2

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Day 2!  I Corinthians 1: 4-9, and today, I am indeed thanking God for His faithfulness and His Grace.

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Here is the pattern. Print it out and color it in. Print it to be the same height as you printed Day 1. It will be a little wider. Check Day 1 for technique instructions.

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Again, I used watercolor pencils, and trimmed the right edge, following the design.

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This view is the back side of Day 1, where I have written Day 2’s verse from I Corinthians, and the front of Day 2. When you open the book, you see this.

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This view is Day 1 stacked on to of Day 2. See the edge of Day 2 peeking out behind Day 1?

Thank God always, I Corinthians 1: 4-9

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Book of Thanks, Page 1

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On Facebook yesterday, up popped a page called the Reading Plan (Thanksgiving) that offers a free Thanksgiving 30 Day Scripture Reading Plan. The idea is that you write out the scripture of the day, giving you time to think about it, cement it into your memory, and maybe fill a journal.

Loving the idea, of course…. I am going to try to make my pages into a book of scripture on thanksgiving. I cannot predict the future, so I might not get all 30 days completed, but even a couple pages will make a book, so I am working on it. I am already a day late. But, who cares?.

So, what you see here is day 1 of my book. I will give you the techniques I am using for the pages in case you would like to do something similar. It will be pretty easy. If you want, use the pages and do your own thing with them.

Book of Thanks Instructions:

  1. Print out the pattern. I printed mine onto watercolor paper so I could color mine with watercolor pencils. Mine is 140 pound paper and it went through the printer like a champ.

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2. Then I cut my page to about 7 1/4″ tall by 6″ wide. I also cut out around the leaves.

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3. Using watercolor pencils, color in the page as you wish. This tutorial will tell you all you need to know to use watercolor pencils. Use a damp paintbrush or a water brush to wet down the pencil. and that is it! I made a background on the back side of my page as well. I probably will not use the surface, but I don’t want it solid white.

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What a great scripture to pray back to God when you are delighting in Him!

Notice, I forgot to put the scripture address on the page. You will have to write it in, it is Psalm 95:1-7.

Sing for Joy to the Lord! Psalm 95: 1

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Praying Colossians 1

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Currently, I am doing a bible study on Acts. Before each lesson, we are encouraged to pray through Colossians 1: 9-12. So far, the study has been about the Holy Spirit. This comes at a time in my life when there is every possibility of great change, and I am relying on the Holy Spirit for many things. This scripture makes a meaningful prayer to me each time I sit to study God’s word, as well as each time I face a decision about my changing life.

This has been journaled in my Bible, and I turned it into a coloring page for you. It is narrow enough to slip into your bible as a bookmark, to add it to your own journaling bible. You can tack it to your bulletin board, or wherever. Let me know if you have a creative purpose for it.

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Print this on cardstock or watercolor paper any size you desire, and color it in. Enjoy! I pray you will find great use and meaning in it, as I am.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Ephesians 6:18

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Delight Yourself in the Lord

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For many years, I have been telling the Lord the desires of my heart. Yeah, I know He knows, but James 4:3 says I have to ask if I am going to get what I want.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3

Then this week, God directed me to this verse in Psalm 37:

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It is a comforting, hopeful, even exciting verse, isn’t it? And I realized, I have been waiting for God to grant me my desires, but I forgot about the first part of the verse. Have I been delighting myself in the Lord? And what in the world does that even mean?

So, yesterday, I spent 3 1/2 miles walking and talking to God about just that. How can I delight myself in the Lord?

  • Find the good parts of everything. Even in a day or a project that is frustrating or failing, I can find good parts, and be thankful for what I am learning, and the time I spent with God asking for His help.
  • Be in the word. I know it sounds like the Sunday School answer for all questions for believers. But, haven’t you been in study and read scripture that makes your heart flutter? Even if you have read it a hundred times before, TODAY, it brings you unexplainable joy? And it is so good that you have to call your friend to talk about it, and put it on your Facebook page? DELIGHT!
  • And sometimes when you are singing a song of praise to God, doesn’t it choke you up and bring tears to your eyes that God Almighty chose you to be His very own child?
  • The easiest way for me to find delight in the Lord is to go outside. I am a visual person (as you know from this blog), and I can walk for miles marveling about how many colors of green God has given us… how each season has it’s own beauty…. how the leaves on the wind make patterns in the sky? If I pay attention, I can do that all day. It is pretty awesome when I pay attention.

And then I did a word study on the word “Delight”, from the original Hebrew. I had to look it up twice because it did not make sense. But as I thought more about it, the better it got. In this verse, it means to be soft and pliable. Is it possible for me to delight in anything when I let the frustration crank me up? Or when I am not ready and open to hear the hope in God’s word or heartfelt praise in a song? This verse is saying be soft and pliable in the Lord, and He will give me the delights of my heart.

Think about that.

Meanwhile, to help keep it fresh in your mind, I am giving you a coloring page. Click on it. Print it out, any size you want.

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Here is what I did with mine. I printed on regular white copy paper and colored it with colored pencils. Add any patterns to the flowers and leaves that you want. Color it any way you wish. Click on my pic to make it large enough to see the details….just for ideas.

Then I tore the edges on a piece of watercolor paper, and did this watercolor background technique with watercolor pencils. I attached  the white paper (using double sided tape) to the background, and….

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…hung it on my bathroom wall. I will see it many times a day and it will remind me to be pliable in the Lord.

I would love to know how you delight yourself in the Lord, or how you are planning to delight yourself in the Lord. Please share your great ideas in the comments. And thank you!

…”burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

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Being Pruned

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This geranium is on my daily walking path. In the early summer, it was blooming like crazy, lush and in gorgeous color. It is sitting by the fence and it has not been taken care of. At all. It never gets watered unless it rains, and it has never been pruned. Gardeners know that pruning off the dead blossoms allows the plant to make new blossoms. When I walk by each day, it makes me sad. And I wonder if the owner would care if I deadheaded the blossoms when I walk by.

Even though it is sad that it can’t bloom well, it reminds me every day that My Father, the Vinedresser, prunes things from my life in order for new and beautiful things to blossom. I cannot be sad about that. Why would I want to hang on to things that are done?

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As a reminder of why it is good to have things in our lives pruned, I offer you a drawing of a geranium in bloom. I have been reading lately about how adult coloring books are the thing. Publishers cannot keep them in stock. Doesn’t it sound relaxing to sit and color while watching TV, or while waiting for your Dr. appointment? They say that coloring can take care of your stress and anxiety. Check them out on Amazon. They have a pretty decent collection.

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Print out the geraniums. Grab your crayons or colored pencils, or print it on watercolor paper, and use your watercolor pencils to color it in. No stress, just chillin’. I painted mine with watercolor cakes. It was fun.

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Burst out in songs of thanksgiving, Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

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Waiting on the Lord

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Right now, I have a pretty big need in my life and I am learning to wait on the Lord for it. I want it and need it now, and God is allowing me to wait for it. “Allowing” is the word I use, because God is giving me some room for growth as I learn to wait on Him.

A word study on the word “wait” (in Isaiah) tells us, it means:

  • to bind together
  • to expect
  • to look for
  • a forward look with assurance
  • it stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude

Did any of those definitions surprise you? To bind together??

Once, I heard someone say that she thought of waiting on the Lord in the same context of being a waiter or waitress (yeah, I know that is not PC, and interestingly, today that person is called a server). It makes sense to me. What do you do if you are a good waitress?

  • Your main function is to serve other people. Humbling yourself to serve the needs of someone else, shows you place more importance on that person’s need than your own.
  • A good waitress is smiling and happy to be helping you.
  • She reacts quickly to what you need.
  • She brings you exactly what you ask.
  • By keeping an eye on you, she anticipates your needs, knowing when you are ready to order, need a water refill, or you are ready to pay your bill.

Is this how I am waiting on the Lord? Smiling and happy? Quickly doing exactly as He asks? Tuning in to Him so I know immediately when He asks me?

And, how do you react to a really good waitress?

  • You are pleased and you tip well. The next time you come in, you might look for her and ask to sit in her section. You might even eventually build a relationship with her, learning about her life, her goals, her kids. She likes to see you come in, and you like to see her walking up to your table.

I want this kind of relationship with God, one where I am pleasing to Him, one where He blesses me.

Now, I see how waiting on the Lord can mean “to bind together.” I can also see that He is allowing me to gain strength, and oh, I need that after the situation I just left:

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To remind myself that I am waiting on the Lord, and not to get ahead of Him, I made my waitress name tag. If you want to make one as a reminder, it is very easy!

 

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1. Click on the above template and print it out. Cut out the two pieces (front and back) of your name tag.

 

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2. Glue those two pieces back to back. Or, if you want something more sturdy, glue the pieces to an old gift card or hotel room key.

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3. Write your name on it! Put it in your bible, or place it where you will see it often. I think mine is going on the bathroom mirror so I see it at the start of every day.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act. Psalm 37:5,

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Blooming Pencil: Something New

IMG_0734   Here in Michigan, we are right in the middle of spring. Some things have bloomed, but we still have lots of plants and trees in the bud stage.

Weirdly, it reminds me how much I like fall. Fall sometimes feels like a metaphor for the changes God is planning in my life. The leaves are beautiful, I have enjoyed them for many months, but they are falling off the trees. I always remind myself that there will not be room for anything new until the old is gone. The landscape eventually turns to winter bleakness, and I wait it out….till the time when the bright, shiny new buds start popping out.

You can count on new leaves and flowers every spring, just like you can count on God bringing you new relationships, jobs, kids, homes, lessons, passions, and even challenges. It is easier to allow the old to fade away if I remember that the exciting and long awaited new will be here soon.

So, it is spring, and the new is here. Pay attention to what is brings to you….

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Here, God promises to bring His children out of Babylon. Not only did He bring them out, but He made a way for them through the wilderness, and gave them what they needed to survive the journey.

To remind myself that He will do something new in my life when I feel Him taking things away from me, I made a pencil with a spring bud that turns into a full bloom. Each time I use it, I remember that God not only brings new things into my life, He makes the way for me, and gives me what I need to get where He is asking me to go.

Here is what you need:

  • pencil with eraser
  • 5″ circle of fabric for the bud/bloom (I traced a soup mug and cut out the circle)
  • 1 yard 1 1/4″ wide green ribbon
  • 1 quilt pin (use wire cutters to cut the pin to about 1/2″)
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • scissors
  • pencil

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What you do:

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1. Glue the fabric circle to the top of the pencil, in 4 spots (think north, south, east, west).

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2. Fold or pleat the rest of the fabric, glueing it around the top of the pencil.  There is your spring flower bud.

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3. Cut a square of ribbon, and glue it into a point. This will be a leaf. Make two.

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4. Glue the end of the ribbon to the pencil, so it covers the bottom edge of your bud.

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5. Wrap the ribbon tightly around the pencil, moving it downward, and glueing every other wrap, to hold it in place. As you work downward, glue a leaf to the pencil, and wrap/glue the ribbon over it. Glue both leaves to the pencil/stem.

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6. Cut the ribbon when you want to stop wrapping. I stopped a couple inches above the point, so I could sharpen it and use it for awhile. Fold the end of the ribbon under and glue it. Then glue the end of the ribbon to the pencil.

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7. When you want your bud to bloom, press the bud flat. Stick your short pin through the fabric into the pencil eraser. This will hold the blossom open and make it look like a flower.

“Be joyful in hope,” Romans 12:12

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