Friday, June 17, 2016

One Little Word May

My word for 2016 is Rest. It has been both an encouraging and a challenging word. I chose this word for two main reasons: I lean toward burn-out often and I am trying to establish a rhythm or pace of life that incorporates downtime and includes the practices and things that give me energy. This is rest. And the second reason is I cannot do number one and juggle a very hectic and busy,yet satisfying, full time job in ministry without resting (depending) more on God. As I've written before, some years have been more successful than others as I have participated in Ali Edward's One Little Word. I am determined that this year I will connect with it all year. Ali's prompts and activities are really a great way to make my word an active part of my life. I did, however, skip April and am giving myself permission to be okay with that! For April I just did a quote on the divider page.

In May our challenge was to get behind the lens of our camera and take photos of things that capture our word for us. At first I thought it would be difficult to visualize rest, but then it really just became an exercise in capturing images of the things that bring me energy and help me rest.

(Photo: Church cemetery in Charleston, SC)
For me, the rest I seek most is to rest in God. Doing so brings great peace.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

(Photo: Beulah Beach on Lake Erie)

(Photo: Church cemetery in Charleston, SC

(Photo: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge)
Not only do I enjoy birding and bird photography, but they are also a reminder to trust God - to rest in Him.

"Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26

The flip side of my May divider:

And the flip-side of my photo pocket page:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Season of Introspection

The Get Messy art journal community is in the midst of the Season of Introspection for June and July. Each week we receive art and journaling prompts to help us engage with the theme. My personality leans toward introspection - at times it is probably closer to over-introspection! For me, the purpose of introspection is to examine self in order to draw closer to God and to become more Christlike. In fact, one of my favorite quotes goes along these lines:

“There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God.” John Calvin

We were challenged to alter a book for this season. Not much of a challenge for me since this is my normal practice! I already had a book I had altered but have not done much work in.

My first two pages for the Season of Introspection:

And a few pages I did recently in the beginning of this journal:

I add a few more altered book art journals to my shop every few weeks. Check them out here!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Spring Birding Part 2

It is a tradition each Spring to go with my mom and my friend Rox to Magee Marsh Bird Sanctuary on Lake Erie during Spring migration. Birding is huge in our area during Spring migration because of the number of Warbles that come through here and rest along the lake shore before their flight across Lake Erie. The birds actually will wait for the right weather conditions before crossing the lake. In a previous post I wrote that the second week in May is known here as The Biggest Week in American Birding where literally thousands of people flood the area from all over the nation and beyond. Well, we wait until the following weekend each year to avoid the crowds. There may not be as many varieties of Warblers but we still see a lot of birds.

This year we took my young birders with us, SaiVion (9) and Corvieon (12). And it was quite a treat! I honestly don't know how SaiVion made it through church. His excitement level was at high alert from breakfast, through church, and never waned the entire afternoon! Spending time with the boys like this is great stuff. The more we do this the more we start to see a glimpse into how God is shaping them and the interests that are forming in them. SaiVion has such a true love for animals and nature and his passion for art is really developing. He is constantly thinking in terms of drawing and capturing his memories on paper. Corvieon is developing a talent for photography. A friend of ours let him borrow his old digital camera for the day and that opened up a new world for Corvieon. He really has a good eye and had a blast with the camera until the battery died!

We had a good day, saw a lot of birds and the boys learned a lot. The highlight of our day was getting close to an Eagle's nest and seeing both the parent and the youth. It was fun experiencing their first time seeing an Eagle in the wild. And my track record for Eagle-spotting continues to grow. This was my fourth spotting this year!

Gray Catbird


Yellow Warbler

Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

We saw both Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets. At first the boys thought the smaller ones were babies but we looked them up in the bird book and learned the differences between the two.

Saved the best for last!