My Illustrated Faith



There’s a movement of sorts spreading like wildfire that I recently joined in on. Journaling Bibles and “Illustrated Faith.” You can find so many beautiful examples online- Pinterest and Instagram, especially. 



I’ve been sharing the pages of my Bible studies online and had so many questions about techniques and supplies, so I thought I’d try to answer some questions here. 



First off, the journaling Bible I purchased was this one from amazon. It looks like it’s sold out, but a quick search for “journaling Bible” brings up tons of options. 

As far as supplies go, this would totally be a personal preference thing. I’ve used watercolors, markers, colored pencils, chalk pastels, and stickers. 





These are the utensils I’ve found I use most. Watercolor tip: the least amount of water you can use, the better. Chalk pastels are awesome. You can use them all over the pages, vibrant color, and the pages won’t wrinkle or bleed through. If you don’t have chalk pastels, try using colored chalk instead. Very similar results. 

The best thing about this process is my renewed desire to get into the Word. I’m forced to slow down and take away something to think about for the rest of the day, and it’s great for memorization! 

My little buddy likes to get involved too. This is the most interested he’s been in art in months. I’m loving having him here next to me while I journal. 



If you have more questions, please let me know in the comments! I have a feeling this new passion will stick around a while. 

Wind-up toy family

Dalton requested to be a robot with lights for Halloween, so Dave and I built him this suit.

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It took me until last night (convenient!) to think of a family costume that went with Dalton’s request. I finally landed on wind-up toys and worked all day on piecing and crafting together the remaining 3 costumes. Each costume had a small cardboard wind-up piece but we didn’t get good picture of those.

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We had a fuzzy bear costume for the baby, so to turn him into a wind-up monkey, I just made this quick little vest out of some scrap fabric and “cymbals” out of craft foam, gold paint, and jingle bells.

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For my wind-up doll, I had the tutu, apron, tights, socks, and ribbon. I made a quick trip to Goodwill this afternoon and found my top and shoes. A little make-up, some ringlets, and bam. Wind-up Doll.

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Dave, enthusiastically (jk), went as a jack-in-the-box. We had the clown costume (hand-me-down from my Grandma), so today I just wrapped a box with paper and painted it. So easy.

So for one day of work, about $20, and some around-the-house supplies, we had our very own little wind-up toy family!

On Learning It’s Ok

My poor husband. He is married to a slob. There are nicer ways of putting that, but they are less true. I’ve always been a messy person, and it’s not something that appears to be getting better with time. I am a total, complete disaster when it comes to housekeeping (and several other things, but that’s a different post). I have tried checklists and personal rewards, I have paid cleaners, I have solicited family members to help, I have made.up.my.mind that I will be a new person time and time again. But yet there is mess.

When you walk into my home, there are things everywhere. Empty bottles, ukeleles, play doh crumbles, shoes, socks, pajamas, toys, paint brushes, books, you name it. I have spent many tears over my inability to “keep it together” and the feeling that I am failing. Any time someone walks through our door, we are apologizing about the mess. And do you know what? I’m tired of apologizing.

I am learning that it’s ok. It’s ok that there are toys by the front door, because it took me 5 years of praying for children to get to toys on the floor. It’s ok that there are ukeleles and play doh bits on my dining room table and paintbrushes in my sink, because this home is full of life and art and music and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s ok that there are books spread across the couch because that means our curious little minds and growing and learning and quality time together is happening. It’s ok that I haven’t washed a bottle in over 24 hours because I have spent many of those hours holding this sweet baby and giving him the food he needs to grow grow grow. It’s ok. Our home is a complete disaster zone, and it’s ok.

So the next time you come to my house, and you worry that a tropical storm may have just come through, I will not be apologizing for my mess. This is a happy, inviting home and I am proud of that.

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Our Miracle Boy

Most of you have seen our video, introducing our newly official son, Dalton. Our adoption day was Friday, and we spent the weekend celebrating big.

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We wanted to show off his handsome face and let you oooh and ahhh over those blue eyes like we do. But what we couldn’t fit in the video was the miraculous entwining of Dalton’s story and ours. God’s hand moved mightily through our lives, and I don’t believe the details are small coincidences.

The first miracle of our meeting was announced during the first home visit after Dalton was placed with us. Our support-worker said, “he never should have come to you. They made a mistake.”

On the day Dalton was to be moved, the DCS employee making the call mixed something up, and called us by mistake. She was supposed to have called a waiting family, pre-selected as an adoptive home. She was supposed to call someone else. But she called us. And we said yes. Thank God for her mistake.

I also discovered, reading through old journals, that on the day Dalton was born, I had a dream that woke me in tears about our baby. We had adopted a newborn baby and it felt so real, my heart ached for weeks afterward. I believe God was telling me I was a mother. I only needed to wait.

But my favorite detail of our miracle boy’s story is this: on the day Dalton went into state custody the first time, we signed up for our first foster care classes.

It was our first step toward each other. Both of us stepping out into the unknown at the same time. Our stories took time, both stories moved through pain and fear. But God knew. The stirring in our hearts was big and planned from the start.

As Dalton so beautifully explained a few nights ago before bed, “I was in your heart and God told you, ‘be patient’ and you were waiting for your Dalty and God told you, ‘wait for that Dalty!’ and then I was here!”

Thank you, Lord. My son is here.

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Our D Anniversary

There were tears during prayers tonight as we thanked God for our D. Happy, thankful tears for this past year with our boy and all the joy God has brought to us through D. He is the king of 3 year olds. Kind and polite. He is dedicated and hard-working. He loves snuggling and pretending and dancing and laughing. He tells genuinely good jokes. He asks for the music to be louder and he loves spicy food.

Our year has been so full of wonder and joy, some really special firsts, and much learning and much growing. He is the perfect fit for our family and God knew. We had no idea what was in store when we said yes to that call one year ago. No idea. But God knew. This month begins the process to make D forever ours. As I type that, proclaiming it and allowing it to be real, I can’t help but tear up. We could not be more completely in love with this boy. He has captured our hearts and he has made us a family. We knew from the start, in our hearts, he was our boy.

D,
As you grow up, I’m going to tell you the story of your first year with us so many times. I’m going to tell you the look on Daddy’s face when he walked up the stairs and met you for the first time. I’m going to tell you about how you fell asleep in my arms and I knew we were forever. I’m going to tell you that we love you so so so much. And I’m going to tell you so many times that you are tired of hearing it. But I’m not going to stop because you made me a mama. You changed me. You are mine and you are my greatest joy. I love you, sweet boy.

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So Many Things

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. There are so many things I missed, so I’ll just go over the main points for now. I really want to get back into the swing of blogging – I so miss this outlet!

So chronologically, here we go:
1) One of my very best friends in the whole world (who happens to be my little sister) moved to Nashville and is staying with us for a while. We are thrilled to have her here. She brings us much joy.
2) We got settled in to our new house and we are loving it! Especially the back yard.
3) We had lots of meetings for D’s case, and later this month we have some bigger court dates.
4) Had our first Christmas, first snow, and first hockey game with D. He loved every moment.
5) I got to meet up with a small group of foster mama friends who have been such wonderful strength and encouragement to me over the past several months. We shared hugs and fears and laughs and temporary tattoos.
6) I went to Atlanta on a girls-weekend-away with some of my closest friends and had a complete blast (despite leaving town under some stressful circumstances that all worked out fine). I’m already ready for my next trip, I think.
7) We got a foster care call for a newborn baby boy, 7 days old, coming straight from the hospital. Baby K was welcomed into our home Wednesday, March 5th. (More about K boy in a future post)
8) Baby K got sick and spent 48 hours in the hospital for monitoring. It ended up being a little virus, no big deal. I also got very sick with my first stomach flu in 18 years. No really. It was no fun to be sick at the hospital with K, but we are both on the mend and enjoying being home again.
9) While we were in the hospital, our D turned THREE YEARS OLD! The nurses made the biggest deal of it and we had a small party for him in the play room of the pediatrics floor. He kept telling us he was having a great birthday. Thankful he’s so cheerful and that he was young enough to not really be bummed about being at the hospital for K on his special day.

So that’s a quick overview of our last few months. Lots happening over here!

Perfect in Weakness

My December was riddled with stress, pretty intense physical problems, and a level of depression that’s hard to put into words. I barely limped across the finish line. Every hour was hard. A fleeting moment of happiness would end in tears, seemingly for no reason at all. Almost every time I was alone (and sometimes when I wasn’t alone) for an entire week, I cried. I have not felt that level of darkness before and I pray I never do again. Every single social interaction (apart from a few days with family) was forced, faked, or skipped altogether.

I know these things are sort of “one day at a time” things but I’ve had several good days in a row and I couldn’t be more thankful. I finally want to see people and do things again, and I don’t want to lay face down on my bed all day long. Coming out of this hole feels beautiful and amazing. For the past few days, I keep catching myself smiling at the sun waking me up in the morning. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled at anything that woke me up in the morning. I can breathe and laugh and mean it.
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Basically I am telling you this because depression is the worst. It sucks life out of every moment. But God gives life and if I didn’t yell that truth at the top of my lungs at the end of the past month, I would be a fool. I am so thankful for a God who pulls me up and out when I desperately need it. The verse that got me through my second darkest hour is fresh on my heart. For when I am weak, he is strong.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9