Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bible Journaling With Stamps and Heart

My husband and I are obsessed with houses.

As the clock ticks, we are creeping closer and closer to homelessness. Six weeks, to be exact. We spend hours looking at new listings on sites like Zillow and

This weekend, I reached the breaking point. The point of total surrender.

I had become too reactive, and decided it was time to become proactive. And the best action I could think of was to pray and leave it in the hands of God to find us a house.

 I went to my Bible, looking for verses on waiting. I found this lovely Psalm that said "Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said "Seek my face." My heart says to you "Your face, LORD, do I seek."

I love that!

Exactly what my heart had been saying to me all along. Seek His face.

And then Psalm 27 wraps up with this: "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!"

And that is where I am today. Waiting for the LORD. Not losing heart in the process, but becoming bolder and more courageous as time goes on.

This was my first time using stamps in my journaling bible, and I love the outcome! Seriously, what took me so long? That should have been a no brainer! LOL!

I made some border templates to use in my bible journaling. These allowed me to make that perfect black border around the margin.

{Today's Brew: stamps and inks from Papertrey Ink, prismacolor marker}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Year of Loss and Gain

It's been a year of loss and gain.

Some years are just like that.

One step forward, two steps back.

After a year of searching for a church family to call home, we finally found one and became members.


And we had to tell them two months later that we were moving.


My husband got a big promotion at work.


A promotion that required us to move.


We sold our house quickly and for a profit.


We can't afford the market where we are moving.


Some years are just like that.

The biggest loss our family has suffered this year is one that still hurts so much that just to tell you about it, it brings me thisclosetotears. Which is why I haven't written about it for three months now.

In January, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog, our Maggie girl.

 At fourteen and a half years, she had a good long life. But we knew she would not survive the winter. Every day, life was becoming more and more difficult for her. Finally, I made the call for her last appointment with the vet...because I knew my husband could never bring himself to do it.

On her last morning, we huddled around her in this very same spot, not knowing what to do or what to say. How do you say goodbye to someone you have loved for so long?

"Let's lay our hands on Maggie and pray for her," I said.

And so we did. And this was the prayer that came out of my mouth.

"Dear Heavenly Father, you promised us, through your son Jesus Christ, that not a single sparrow falls to the ground that you, our heavenly Father, does not know about it. You care for your creation, Lord, and you care for Maggie. And so we commend to you our dog Maggie,a beautiful part of your creation. We have loved her well, and she has loved us as well. We thank you for this gift of Maggie, and we pray that you would bring her comfort and peace. In Jesus name, Amen."

I heard Beth Moore once talk about something that her husband often says: Saying goodbye is a necessary life skill. And that is so true.

I'd like to tell you that her death was a lovely and beautiful thing. But honestly, that would be a lie. Death is ugly. It's as ugly as sin. But thanks be to God that Jesus has conquered death and the grave with his victory over sin.

It has been three months to the day that we said goodbye to a really good dog. And there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss her. Not just the routine of her, the waking up and the morning greeting and the feeding and the inside and outside a hundred times a day. I miss the comfort that she brought me on a daily basis. I didn't realize how often I went to her on crappy days, just for her comfort and presence and reassurance that everything would be fine. I've had a lot of crappy days since she has gone, and I feel the loss of her keenly.

I made this page in my journaling Bible to remember that day, and to remember our Maggie girl.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Outdoor Pets

The funniest thing happened this morning. Mama Bunny hopped onto the patio, stood up on her hind legs, and looked in through the patio door to see what Sam was eating for breakfast.

And then she said "Lady, when are you serving breakfast outside? We're starving out here!"

So of course, I felt obliged to fill the bird feeder and scatter a few seeds below for Mama and her babies.

And then I came indoors and made this card:

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, Lawn Fawn papers, Lawn Fawn dies, Lawn Fawn flowers, enamel dots, inks and prisma markers}

There's just a hint here of something on the inside, too:

Hoppy Birthday! tee hee! Putting this one into my birthday card stash.

Thanks for hopping by the cafe today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Days of Bittersweet

The sun was shining, the rain was sprinkling down, and I was in my happy place. My laundry room, with its bright and cheery yellow gingham wallpaper. I looked out the window and saw this:

My son, Samuel, at the top of the hill, sword fighting with his friend Ethan. In the sunshine, In the rain.

My eyes welled up with tears and my heart welled up with gratitude.

Sunshine and rain.


Feeling an intense gratitude for the beautiful house we will soon be leaving behind. Gratitude for the friendships we have made here.

Bittersweet because we have still not found a house in the Fox River valley of western Chicago, after three failed attempts now.

Trusting an unknown future to a known God.

I made this card for the Lawnscaping Challenge number 104. You can find it here:

Here is the sketch:

And here is my card:

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, Lawn Fawn dies, PTI card stock}

Thankful today for days of sunshine and days of rain. And still feeling a bittersweet ache in my heart for home.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Clean And Simple Monday

Mondays are never clean and simple, are they? That's why Clean and Simple Mondays are so important. A little uncomplicated crafting time for the cafe barrista (that's me!) whose life is way too complicated!

Todays' challenge: Stencil It!

I pulled out this Memory Box stencil (pretty sure this is the first time I've used it!) to make a "sweet" and simple card.

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, Memory Box die, Tim Holtz Distress stain and marker, Lawn Fawn sequins, PTI card stock, jumbo rick rack}

I don't know why it needed rick rack, but I'm pretty sure that it did. Maybe it's just because it made me happy.

Make your own happy today. cafe friends!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Making Arrows With Washi Paper Tape

I've been doing a little work in my Personal Planner this week in an effort to stay on top of all of the crazy appointments and travel schedules my family has these days.

One thing I really needed...arrows to tell me where my husband would be on each day of his travels.

I decided to use my Washi Paper Tape from Simple Stories Life Documented, and modify them using an arrow punch. I simple cut a strip of the paper tape, put it in the punch, and voila...arrow!

And when you punch on both ends of the strip, you end up with this cute little banner flag, just begging to be put to use!

Today, my husband's travels will be bringing him home. Happy! And for one night, I will have all of my boys together again under the same roof. Happy! Happy! Happy!

Happy Friday, cafe friends!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

House News

The For Sale sign went up in the front yard, making it official. And in less than two weeks, this was added to the sign:



I had some reservations about selling this house. Namely, would others love this home as much as I did?

There were more than a few design hurdles to overcome in this fifty year old colonial.

There was a wood paneled family room:

There was an original kitchen:

There was a dark wood paneled den that underwent a dramatic transformation to become my favorite craft studio of all time:

There was a yellow toilet:

There was a pink bathroom:

There was a dated metal awning that had to go:

There was a front entry that could use a little improving:

There was wallpaper:

Just looking back at all these posts is a good reminder for how much love we managed to give this house in a short amount of time.

I would say that the biggest secret to overcoming these design hurdles was this:

We didn't fight against the house's original character. We worked with it. And in the end, it presented itself as exactly what it was:

A well built, well loved home.

Exactly the kind of house we're STILL looking for in the Chicago area.

But that's another story for another day.

Blessings on this day, cafe friends!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Simple Stories Life Documented April Planner

Good morning! Here's a quick look at my Simple Stories planner for the month of April!

I know what the first half of the month will have in store for me, but the last half is a blank slate that will be filled to the brim in the days ahead. And the reason that life is so crazy right now? The "love this" marker gives it away!

Yep! Life is all about our relocation to Chicago right now. We've been splitting our time between there and here and all points in between. Buying a new house, still trying to sell our current house. We've had a lot of showings, which means that my house has to be in pristine condition at all times. And let me tell you, when it comes to paper crafting, I am far from pristine! So for the time being, the craft room is a pretty place that I visit, but I cannot spend any fun time in there.

When I need to get my craft fix, I turn to my planners. Pretty stickers, pretty pens, a little paper and washi. And when I'm done, it all goes right back into the files and gets stored neatly on my desk. No fuss, no muss.

No time for Easter cards this year. Easter baskets? Uh, nope! Hopefully the family will forgive me.

Happy Easter, Cafe friends! Christ is risen! Alleluia!