Archive | Motivational Quotes

Spark to Flame

This seems like a very motivating hopeful statement.  And it is.   But this is another one of those quotes with many meanings…Dante is the author of The Inferno a poem/book about his allegorical trip through the rings of purgatory and hell to get to heaven and his beloved Beatrice.  The poem is about a Christian’s trip through life in search of God and all of the horrific sin encountered…although I find it ironic that it is as much about trying to get back to a human as it is about seeing Christ.

So anyway, there is actually a lot to think about here in this one small sentence that we can consider in terms of faith.

  1.  It could be that just a small spark of faith and kindness can grow into a lifetime of service to others and joyful praise of our Savior.  Or on the flip side…
  2. It could be that if we are not careful with “small” sin it can ignite “bigger” more habitual sin.  We must always be diligent.
  3. It could be a metaphor for Christianity as a whole…God promised Abraham one child, yet a star filled sky of descendants. Jesus’ life and the number of disciples He had was short and small.  And here we are millions of believers sharing the gospel with more generations.
  4. It could be  a metaphor for Easter.  What the Jews thought was one crucifixion ended up fulfilling all sorts of prophecy and leading to the growth of a new faith.

What do you think?  What meanings can you find in these words?  How are you going to apply them today?  Tomorrow?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Underestimated

The more I think about this piece the more I like it, and the more meanings I have found. I love this piece for its straight forward message.  It is a boost of confidence, a bit cheeky, and an explosion of positive in your face get things done. But there are deeper meanings…for example this is a perfect piece for Passion week.

The Jews completely underestimated Jesus.  They all underestimated God and His plan and power.  They thought they were just going to kill Jesus off and that would be that.  Over and done.  But man were they wrong!

Jesus knew.  He knew that in the moment it was going to be awful, excruciating even.   But in some ways it would be fun–to show all those unbelievers, to prove to the world who He was.  And not in an in your face kind of way…but in a way to say, “Just wait.  This world is NOTHING compared to the one I am getting ready for you.  This act is JUST THE BEGINNING — I will save more lives than mine.  Just think of all the souls that will join me in the most amazing place ever.  This is NOTHING compared to the joy you will experience in my heavenly presence with the Father and Spirit.”

And that brings me back to thinking about us in this art piece.  It should boost our confidence ten fold to know that JESUS is behind us–He will guide us to do amazing things.  People  may underestimate our actions, the power of our prayers, but JESUS will prove the skeptics wrong.  And with Christ, it is fun…not in a party kind of way, but in a peace filled heart, joy filled life, love filled soul kind of fun.  The fun of sharing the story of the resurrection, the fun of sharing grace, the fun of living with hope and not worry.

Yes, Jesus was underestimated.  Yes, we can be underestimated.  But the fun truly is in proving the amazingness of our Lord.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Imperfection

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Ha!  I made this one to remind myself that I don’t have to make perfect, beautiful art every time.  I can just get some thoughts out and enjoy the process.  But it is also the perfect thing to post next because I realized Thursday this week that I double posted Monday and Wednesday.  I forgot I already had posts ready to roll, and wrote new ones.  Imperfection, unorganization, reality at its best people.

Working full time is an adjustment for me and the kids.  How I divide up my time is very different.  My energy level at night is even lower than before.  Thank goodness everything is within 5 blocks of us and I don’t have to race around as much!

We all need this reminder though don’t we?  Imperfection is okay. Only God is perfect.  And He never expects us to be at His level.  He expects us to create our own magic within the imperfection.  To allow our souls to have wiggle room to grow, to relax.  And most importantly to turn to HIM.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Shoot for the Moon

shoot for the moon

Here is another one of those future quotes–I love that it is about light…I am pretty sure that Les Brown was not talking about the light of God, but for me that is what I am focusing on.  So there you go.

As Christians we want to live up to Christ’s commands and a purer life.  We know what is right.  We know we should reach for higher standards.  Shoot for the moon per se.

But we are human…God knows it, He expects it.  So the truth is that we will never attain that PURE life.  Except when we reach heaven and our souls are made new in Christ.  We will join all the other shiny , newly clean souls –I like to visualize it as we are all little glowing stars orbiting the greatest light of all.

I plan to be one of those stars–awesome.  fabulous.  plan accomplished.  I hope you are one, too.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Words from Eleanor

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Just a fun one for your Saturday…I would have loved to meet Eleanor Roosevelt.  She seems like a good lady–straight shooter, generous, smart.  Yes, I think we would have had a good time over coffee.  🙂

Go out there–do something that scares you today, push yourself to find those gifts of the Spirit.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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New Shapes in Different Seasons

what shape tree

The quote is by David Whyte–sorry they keep getting covered…a lot of my art this winter used up every square inch of the paper.  I seemed to go outside the edges constantly.  As if I couldn’t contain my thoughts.  This tree isn’t one of my favorites, but I like the sky–and the quote.

We never know what shape is inside us, not really, do we?  I can spread my branches as wide as I want growing and reaching.  And sometimes they get broken off.  And sometimes, that’s ok.

I have realized something about myself the past six months.  I thought I had a good shape for my career plan.  I like speaking to large groups, but I discovered, I prefer them to be small children.  🙂  I like teaching, but the weekends and nights are adding a lot of stress and chaos to a family that already has enough.  And really–I am not a chaos kind of girl.  I like routines.  Like blogging and art journaling.  That routine brings me a lot of peace–and that carries into my day and how I interact with my family.

So I need to rethink my shapes and branches to what really works in THIS season of life.  Have you ever felt like that?  God may have plans for us, we may have capabilities.  But there are definite seasons for when they should be used, or should wait.

The wonderful thing is that God planted talents inside our seeds knowing those seasons would come.  He understood when He designed each of us what shapes and branches would happen.  But He understood some seasons would be beautiful growing weather, and others would have storms and droughts.  We just have to trust that He will reveal to us what shapes.  And remember that He trusts us to LEARN from the growth and the storms.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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I am bound to be true…

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Such a wise wise man, Lincoln.

This goes right along with the other day–basically it is the exact same words.  Just in a little more scholarly approach.

I am not bound to win at life everyday–not when I am a hot mess, and not when sin is in the world, and not when I am an imperfect human.  I am just not going to win every time.

But, I am bound to TRY.  I am bound and determined to be true to the unique person God made me, even if it is a glorious hot mess.

And when I do accept that truth, I am more bound to succeed.  For I will live up to the unique person God made me, using the unique talents He gifted me with.  I will have a far greater chance of succeeding SHINING MY LIGHT rather than trying to follow in someone else’s shadow.

Are you following me on this?

Are you seeing yourself in all of this?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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I am a mess…

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I love Elizabeth Gilbert.  Her new book, Big Magic, is fabulous.  I actually listened to it with Emily at Little Pastiche Art Studio.  So many truths about being creative and living in that realm–because it is just a little different.  We all know it.  Creatives have that reputation.

I am a hot mess a lot of the time.  I really need a routine that I can follow. But my life is not a routine.  It is far from it.  Jeff’s job, my jobs, homeschooling, volunteering, kid/ sports /activities–very little of it is routine.  And I mess it up REGULARLY.  In spectacular ways.  Big fireworks ways.  And I take those closest to me along for the explosion.    The part of me that wants to over achieve, get it right all the time, be superwoman, best sports/dance mom ever falls short and frustrates me.  And I feel guilty.  And then I get mad at myself, and others think I am mad at them (well, maybe I am sometimes).  Although I am trying not to do that as often.  I am trying to clean up some of my mess.

But I am also trying to embrace the glorious mess that I am.  It is what makes me, me, after all.  I am not going to get it right all the time.  I AM a creative.  I am human.  We are busy and running in all directions.  I have dear friends and family who are willing to accept my glorious mess, it is time for me to do so as well.

 

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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He made Me me

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This piece started out as a demo for two different videos over on Bible Stories from the Heart. (Which our new devotion is out on Amazon and starts this week! And you can watch both videos on our YouTube channel. )  I needed to show different ways to use washi tapes and then I went forward and made another video on a mixed media piece.  At first it felt like a hot mess, and then it all came together in the end–and it felt like ME.

Sometimes, okay, most of the time, I feel like a hot mess.  I feel like I just don’t quite fit in.  I feel a little too loud, a little too boisterous, a little too short, a little too artsy, a little too wiggly, a little too annoying or needy, a little too—well different.

And then I remember.  God created ME.  He meant for me to be this way, and I am doing a good job of embracing that.  God loves me and loves me well.  And that is what really matters.  He didn’t plan for me to be one of the people that blends in.  I am not a brown sparrow.  And if I am going to stick out even when I try to be a brown sparrow, well, heck, I might as well go all in and be peacock.  Only smaller. Maybe a ruby throated hummingbird-tiny, constantly moving.  Only too quiet.

I digress.  See?

What matters is…understanding God made us all different on purpose.  And He loves each of us uniquely and purely and completely.  Do you feel that love?  Do you understand the power of that?  He loves you as YOU.

Can I get an Amen Hallelujah!

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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According to Faith

according to your faith

Good morning!  Sorry I missed a couple days…I didn’t get them scheduled before my trip and it took me a couple days to recoup.  I needed Tuesday to sleep from early flights and excitement and Wednesday was all about recovering my house and pantry–they ate everything and wore everything.  😉

I am feeling like this verse is so so true right now…my faith has deepened an incredible amount in the last five years, and especially the last two.  And God is using my willingness to surrender to Him for His good works and is blessing me accordingly.  90 women showed up Monday night and studied the Word through art with Leslie and I.  And it touched a lot of hearts–new friendships were made, connections were made, some broke out in giggles of excitement, some shed tears of restoration.  It was just what we hoped it would be.

But I also know of people going through some tough tough situations right now.  How is their faith reflected in that?  I suppose that is the age old question.  In my BSF Revelation study right now I have learned that God uses those times to bring us that much closer to Him.  And sometimes He is using His faithful followers to bring others to Him through those difficulties.  I know that as I see faithful ones responding to hard times… I am encouraged.  It helps me focus on God.  It makes me look back on my hard seasons and see the growth, see how God never left, and it does bring me closer.

Our faith does not promise we will not be persecuted by sickness, grief, financial issues, relationship woes–if anything the Bible tells us we may end up being tested by Satan that much more to pull us away from our faith in Christ.

We must remember there will be riches in joy and peace here on earth according to our faith.  But there will be far more riches of joy and peace in heaven when we can be right next to our Savior.

So I am grateful for the good things in my life now–for a wonderful event and trip, for a great partner in Leslie, a loving and supportive family, and all of YOU.   I lean on my faith in God that deepens everyday. I am thankful for the dark time that led me to faith art journaling and this ministry.  And I am ready for the storms that will come, for I know according to my faith…it will all be good.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Spread It Thick

spread kindness, light, love

Light and love.  Spread that stuff thick.  Like peanut butter.  That has become my mantra for this year.   And I thought I was going to focus on either “enough” or “surrender”.  God is so funny like that!

I just finished this art for this little week long series on houses.  I sketched it last fall, but then it just sat there, no color, no words.  Bleh.  So I painted it, as bright as I could.  I added all the flowers, and the birds, and the little doodad details.  And then I saw something about spread love everywhere on Pinterest–and I thought of this little drawing.  Of a village.  With variety.  A place with a lot of understanding, trust, big and little things, knowledge, treasures.  Light.  and Love.  And Kindness.  You know–knowledge, understanding, all that jazz.  🙂

This is what I want my world to look like I decided.  Happiness and love bouncing around.  Closeness.  Joy, even amongst the hills and valleys.  A place where there are similarities, but no cookie cutters.  A place where kindness, light and love are spread THICK, or at least where I can spread it thickly.

Now, in this little piece, I can kind of see Greenfield, Iowa where I was born and where my parents live again.  Hmmm.  And my aunt made a keen observation–maybe I long for a 3 story house with an art studio on the top level lined with windows so I can see out on all God’s love and light.  Hmmm.  Perhaps someday.

Learned a lot about myself this week.  Did you learn anything?

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Adventure Attitude

attitude elephant

This is the next piece of puzzle:  attitude.  **I found this quote on Pinterest with no attribute.

All along, I have had a bad attitude about where we live.  I am not a city person.  I keep thinking I need to live in a rural setting.  And maybe someday I will. I have had an untrusting attitude about my art:  I am not good enough, no one will like it, blah, blah.  For a long time I considered witnessing–sharing Christ and faith–scary stuff.  I have made it all an ORDEAL.

And now…I am taking an adventure attitude.  And God is going to keep me here in the city where He needs me and I am going to need to trust in my art as a platform.  Here is how I am doing it:

  • If I am going to try new Bible studies and groups  I have to see it not as a time suck, but an adventure in learning and growing.
  • If I am going to rise up, I have to see the climb to the top of the tree as an adventure.  No matter how hard it seems, or how many branches and steps, or how long it takes.
  • I have to be willing to fly and shine as as adventure.  I have to be willing to open my wings and let others SEE my light.
  • I have to be willing to stand tall and stretch as an adventure.  I have to stand in my faith and convictions and not back down.
  • If I am going to surrender what I think earthly responsibility wants, for what God is calling–I have to see it as an adventure in trust.

And then the ordeals will disappear.  It is less about drama, and just about steps on a path that leads to a better place.  See the difference?  I think I finally am!

How about you?  What are you choosing?  An attitude of ordeals or adventure?  Are you choosing to live in drama or light?

I am so glad you are on this journey of faith with me.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for helping God lead me–for you are.  He is using each one of you on this adventure!  I can’t wait to see what Jesus has in store for all of us!

 

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Encourage DAILY

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This is what the blog is all about people.  I hope that it encourages you.  I hope that it encourages you to encourage others.  Share it, pass it on, live the love and light.  Laugh.

On this day when we remember Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. , I think he would like this quote–he wanted us to build each other up every day called today.  Move past the yesterdays.  And the more we focus on what we can do right for all peoples this day–the more the future will take care of itself.

Go.  Encourage someone.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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Laugh Breathe Repeat

laugh as much as you breathe

I am super excited people!!!  This weekend will be full of laugh breathe repeat.  I am driving to Iowa for a wonderful weekend:  I get to meet my new niece Ada Grace, my sister is coming from Ohio with her kids to meet her too, so that means lots of family and cousin time.  Love it!

And as a bonus:  I am doing demos at Stepping Stones Christian Store in Marshalltown and then a Bible and faith art journaling workshop.  AND my mom and sister are coming with me to make it a girls’ day.  Yippee!  (Side note…if you are interested in having me visit your local store or church check out my teaching/speaking page and contact me!)

So I guarantee there will be a LOT of laughter.  And laughter is so so good for the soul.  I try to laugh as much as I can these days.

There have been a lot of times in my life without laughter–truly I could not get a sound to come out but would just shake.  I wanted to laugh, I wanted to enjoy life and I just couldn’t.  So when I finally started healing from depression I made a concious decision to laugh OUT LOUD.  I might be annoying now.  But I don’t care.  In those bad times I was actually jealous of people I knew with loud belly laughs–the ones you can recognize from across a room.  I wanted desperately to be one of those people.  And now I work on it.  I let myself laugh.  Loud.  Crazy.  And I let myself FEEL the laughter.  And I am so much better for it.

My prayer for you today and forever is that you laugh breathe repeat…just keep the laughter going with every moment of life.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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When I am with YOU

big heart little minds

Had to share this lullaby with you by JJ Heller:  When I’m With You

I included a piece of the lyrics below.  It is such a celebration of loving little ones.  I painted this piece for teachers this fall, but really it is for anyone who shapes a child–whether it be on a daily basis, on weekends, on rare visits, or merely for a season.  We have to be open to letting our hearts swell for these babies (and I mean all ages).  I still call on my mommy and daddy for help and love when my mind feels little and I need their big love.  So sit back, take a listen, and think about the littles you are shaping, and all those who shaped you.

When I hold you in my arms, Love
Something changes
It’s the strangest feeling
The things that used to matter
They don’t matter to me
When I see you
And you’re smiling
How my heart aches
So full it is about to break
You make me believe in love

I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I’m with you
When I hear you, and you’re crying
It resonates, Dear
In a place I didn’t know was there
You make me believe in love

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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