Friday, September 29, 2017

created to create bible journaling starter kit review....

hey sweet loves of mine!! i am super excited to bring y'all a fun review of the newly released created to create bible journaling STARTER KIT.... it's packed full of everything you need to get your feet wet in art worshipping.  
whether you are creating in a journaling bible, praise book, vintage hymnal or maybe just a personal journal, this kit will have tons of tools + resources that you're going to love!
so as you can tell from my video review.... i'm totally obsessed with this storage box hah! ;) i just love every little thought that goes into the details of the illustrated faith products.... from verse prompts found on die cuts + date stamps to the beautiful designs on packaging.  so. much. pretty!!!!

and all those beautiful goodies inside?? um, YES PLEASE! 

i think if i had to choose just one fabulous item housed inside this kit as my favorite.... it would be that pretty pink washi.  or maybe the cute little die cut paper pieces.  no wait.... the devotional booklet.  okay nevermind choosing just one -- i love it all so much, y'all!!!

i'm so excited to have this kit in my hands & i'm even MORE excited [is it possible??] to be able to gift this kit on to one of you sweeties! i'm so thankful for my friends over at dayspring + illustrated faith for helping to make this fun giveaway possible.

one lucky lady is going to win this exact created to create starter kit!!  enter through the rafflecopter giveaway portal below & we'll announce our winner next tuesday! xo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

speaking hard truths....

remember that one time we adopted two boys from taiwan & then i never talked about it again for like 18 months.....

i've shared bits + pieces very sporadically since we brought home our sons last summer, but as a whole i have not shared my personal struggle through this season mostly out of shame & embarrassment.  adopting our boys was nothing like my heart + mind had expected after watching many other families bring home their precious little ones.  

i've struggled [i still struggle] with attachment & expressing love for our boys.  i've cried at least an entire river's worth of tears in frustration, agony, anger and confusion.  i mean, if God tugged on our hearts to pursue adoption & called us specifically to this file with two precious little boys that i loved so easily on paper + through skype.... why is my heart betraying me & these relationships i've had eighteen months to cultivate & grow?

looking back now, i realize i was probably watching the highlight reel of these other families.  the good, pretty moments that were captured [if they're anything like me] just for instagram + facebook.  i don't say that negatively, friends.... i'm totally the same way.  if i can snap a moment that has all three kiddos smiling with no fingers up a nose i'm for sure gonna post it & quote some sort of cliche funny mom moment thing i found on pinterest before they go back to digging out each other's boogers ;) 

so it's been almost a year and a half since we became a family of five & God has been faithful.  He has been so so so faithful.  in the past year and a half, i have learned the TRUE meaning of grace, forgiveness, second chances & redemption.  God had very specific plans in store for me on this journey.  yes, our two little guys needed a home.... they needed our home & God set all of that in to action.  but He also knew that i needed some serious lessons in love & humility.  He knew that i would have opportunities to share His faithfulness in the storm & that i would have a platform to reach out to other women going through hardships [maybe adoption, maybe something else]....

this season of hard has been incredibly rewarding.  i have met so many women who have hugged me & ugly cried with me saying "me too, me too, me too" that i would have never connected with if i had not gone through this valley.  God is refining me, and He continues to do so on a daily basis.

the days are long, but the months have flown by since cord & colter became our sons that day we drove away from the orphanage.  i no longer cry desperately in anger & confusion.  there's still a whole lot of frustration-based cryfests.... but i think all of us moms go through that on the daily ;) 

i continue to press in to God's goodness & His promises on the hard days.  today i was incredibly comforted by hebrews 13:20-21....
now may the God of peace equip you with all you need for doing His will.  may He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him.  all glory to Him forever & ever! amen.

i share my story not for attention [goodness knows it would all be negative], but to bring glory to God.  His power is made so much greater when i share my weaknesses [2 corinthians 12:9] & i'll keep on sharing these hard truths so that He can be made known, so others can be encouraged, and so i can look back to watch the good growth that came from a desert season.

God has promised faithfulness for my family & He won't fail to equip + refine me to be the best mother for my three babes.  whatever your hardship is today friend, i pray that you find the same peace in God's faithfulness on your own journey.

Monday, September 25, 2017

a new IF devotional kit -- WORD NERD!

hiya friends!!! what an exciting monday today is -- the new illustrated faith devotional kit 'WORD NERD' is now available to order through dayspring!! 

[cue the trumpets, the angelic choir, the crazy 1990's dance moves]

i was seriously over the moon excited to tear into this new kit after seeing the instagram sneak peeks shanna's been sharing & the goodies inside my little kraft mailer did NOT disappoint!  but really.... no IF devo kit ever does ;)

i know for sure that i want to create another DIY booklet for the upcoming month, but i couldn't help myself from playing a little bit in the front of my bible with this new kit today.

i used a loose version of paint stripe scraping that heather greenwood recently shared on the illustrated faith blog.  my stripes never really go down as clean as hers, but it gives a really awesome abstract background nonetheless.  add some white paint on a piece of bubble wrap & voila! i had fabulous painty background to play with!

i really can't wait to dig into the devotional content in the word nerd kit! last month spoke so deeply to me with the reboot of the created to create kit & i know that this month will give me even more heart whispers + desire to dig deep into the Word.

so i gotta know, friends.... are you joining me for the #if_wordnerd?? be sure you use the coupon code 'IFSHIPSFREE' when you check out at dayspring for free domestic shipping on all your bible journaling goodies :]

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

created to create.... WEEK THREE/FOUR

what an incredible creative journey this past month has been!  the illustrated faith created to create 2 kit was everything [but so much more] than i could have ever anticipated coming from shanna noel's beautiful heart for our creative community.

i dug deep -- into the scripture + into my own heart -- with this devotional.  i knew i wanted to fill my month with color, paint, beauty, and creativity.  i started by spending a few hours building a DIY booklet for this kit series & then revisited the booklet 2-3 times each week for journaling + further crafting outside of my bible margins.

here's a look at my WEEK THREE booklet inserts....

week three was spent dwelling in ecclesiastes 3:11....
yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
 from one creative God gal to the next.... yes.  amen.  preach.

i continued my time in ecclesiastes through prayer & list making on the journaling + tip-in cards that came in my created to create 2 kit.  i love all of these extra prompt goodies!!

yep, you know i had to bust out my typecast typewriter again for week three!!! i just love pulling small little paper pieces through the keys.... i never get my justification correct, but i love the hodge podge of it all.

i gathered the four verses from my three current & one upcoming #aSeasonofWorth devotionals that i penned for the print & pray shop.  they worked perfectly in conjunction with week three's theme!

and now, cue the God moment....

when i set up my DIY booklet for this month, i added this "blank space" created from a shipping tag + torn piece of scrapbook paper, not entirely sure what i would do with it.  i was digging around in my original created to create devotional from 2015 & found an entry that had spoken volumes to me at the time....

i remember at the time, shanna had asked me to join the illustrated faith team, but i knew back then it wasn't the right YES for me at the time.  she asked me multiple times over the past couple of years [she's so patient / persistent / amazing] and i was finally able to say yes this summer [hooray!].... but to run across this old entry that had meant so much to me then, not understanding God's closed door for the IF team & being able to now see the beginning of God's work in this.... just wow, y'all!

WEEK FOUR [our final week] guides us in 1 timothy 4:14-15....
do not neglet the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.  give your complete attention to these matters.  throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.

honestly, this week's verse couldn't have come to my heart at a better time! knowing that God is working heavily behind the scenes of my heart ministry of social media + all things handmade means that i need an extra boost of YES & AMEN as i follow His lead.... throwing myself into my tasks & giving my complete attention to these matters He has blessed me with.

i used the new faith>fear collection from illustrated faith as i worked through my week four journaling card.  i wanted to use this space to make a "daily checklist" of what i want to commit to God in my bible journaling ministry.

my final little section to pull together week four and a month of creating to create.... a bold statement.  i am a creative not because it feels right or because it's how my mind works or because i love color [even though all of those are true]....

i am a creative because He created me to create.  and to that end, i'll create ever only for my King.

find my other #if_createdtocreate2 posts here....

did you say chicken washi?

oh yes, oh yes indeed! i am beyond excited for this new level of #crazychickenlady that i have achieved with the help of my friends at the illustrated faith print&pray shop!!! not only is there CHICKEN washi.... there are now two color ways! 

choose from bright, vibrant MP inspired colors or grab up the new muted, fall tones that released today! even better yet? just grab both sets, because i've got some fun ideas to show you for how to use these printable washi pages!!

the first thing you'll want to do is grab a few sheets of clear sticker paper [i like this brand from amazon] & download your files to print.  now that you have your first washi paper sheets ready to use, let's play a little!

start sticking these pretties in your bible margins, devotional booklets or decorate some happy mail for a friend!! this fun envelope showed up in my mailbox & what a special treat it was to see those chickens dancing along the bottom :]

if you want to go even more chicken crazy, i've come up with a couple of fun ideas i shared earlier on instagram....

GO MINIATURE! i mean seriously.... isn't everything cuter in tiny format?! in photoshop or another similar app, i shrunk my #aSeasonOfWorth washi sheet downloads to 50% the original size & then created a new 8.5x11 document & dragged the mini washi pages into it.  

print, cut & share a collective "awwwww" 

i have a new little project i'm working on [coming to the blog soon!] and in preparation i made up this fun traveler's notebook [find a DIY here].... from the paper scraps, i created an extra pocket for the back cover.  

um, y'all? it fits the mini washi pages perfectly!!! #washicrush

another super fun idea i had to play with the washi downloads was to make an entire sheet of just chickens.... heart eyes for days!!!! using my epic cropping skills [wink], i selected just the rows of chickens from each of the two download files, created a new 8.5x11 document & just like before.... drag, drop, print.


they really make the perfect little addition to my crafty bible margins!! 

if chickens aren't your thing [let's still be friends], you can still use these techniques to create mini washi pages & multiple rows of any of your favorite printable washis!

have fun creating, girlies! xo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

sunday notes.... september 17th

outrageous faith: sarah's faith
hebrews 11:11-12

it was by faith that even sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old.  she believed that God would keep His promise.  and so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead -- a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky & the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
 1. struggles in sarah's faith...
 -- comes from the silence of God
    ... 10 years of silence found in Genesis 12
    ... google: "God being silent"
    ... john 11:6 [He waited two more days to speak]

 -- in the midst of silence....
    ... confront your known sin [ask God to reveal it to you]
    ... get back to the basics
       * communicate
       * pray
       * praise
       * christianity isn't mean to be this difficult thing we've made it
    ... trust more, not less
    ... listen & watch for the hand of God
    ... get ready to praise the Lord & move forward

 -- comes from taking matters into our own hands
    ... matthew 16:21-23
    ... we usurp God's will by doing this

2. success in sarah's faith...
 -- remember who made the promise
    ... genesis 17:1-8
    ... He has the ability to make the promise & therefore will be faithful!
    ... 1 kings 8:56-59
 -- remember God is faithful
 -- remember God can be trusted
    ... deuteronomy 8:1-4

3. walk away with...
 -- take ownership to your own faith
 -- take God's word to be His word
 -- trust God because He can do the impossible

Saturday, September 16, 2017

gratitude documented journals....

hey friends! i'm excited to share a video tutorial today on how i'm putting together gratitude documented kits for my wednesday night bible journaling class.  i've pulled together some of my favorite pieces from the illustrated faith gratitude documented line & made a travelers notebook for documenting specific prompts throughout this upcoming fall season!

as promised, here's a quick list of our prompts we are using over the next eight weeks of class.
additionally, i've left plenty of blank spaces at the end of each journal so that each lady in class will have the opportunity to creatively express gratitude with specific prompts that are close to her own heart.

here are links for all of the items i used to create these kits....

these are links to each paper piece individually.... 
season of gratitude [leaves] | borders | abundantly blessed [acorns] | 3x4s

and a few of the tools featured in my tutorial....

if you choose to shop these links, please know that they are affiliate links that offer me a small commission per sale that i am able to put back into my church ministry + bible journaling classes :]

i hope y'all enjoy making your own TN kits! if you post your creations on instagram, be sure to tag me @marine_parents so i can see!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

oreo snowflake cookies....

y'all are about to fall over for these amazingly delicious cookies! i've been making a tweaked version of amanda's marscapone oreo cookies for several years & i know you're gonna LOVE these yummy treats as much as we do here at the MP house ;)

  • 1 cup salted butter [softened]
  • 4 oz marscapone cheese [you can find this in a small tub in the deli area at the grocery store]
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 10 oreos, crushed [for the love.... please do not buy thin or flavored oreos.  just trust me, okay?]
  • preheat oven to 325degrees F.
  • cream butter + marscapone for 3 minutes until light & creamy.
  • beat in sugar in increments, then add vanilla + egg yolk.
  • slowly beat in flour until mixed well.
  • using a spatula, stir in crushed oreos [i hand crush them inside a ziploc bag]
  • using a cookie scoop or two tablespoons, scoop onto a prepared cookie sheet [these baking mats are my BFFs] 
  • bake for 12-15 minutes.  oven times will vary, but 13 minutes seems to be about perfect for us.... just until the edges start to crisp a smidge.  i know, that's very technical.

if possible, i let the cookies cool for about ten minutes before passing them out, but sometimes caleb sneaks in & grabs them straight off the mats. 

#husbands #honestly

these cookies are AMAZING, y'all.... so soft + chewy, perfectly sweet with a tiny bit of savory.  and they keep fresh for a long time, too! i just stick the plate of cookies in the microwave for safe keeping/hiding from the kids ;) 

wow your neighbors at the next get-to-gether or make 'em up for yourself after the kids go to school.  do whatever, friend.  just be sure to save one for me! xo

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

faith>fear mini review + DIY....


hey girlies! i am so excited to share a fun, super easy & very inexpensive DIY with you girls featuring the new illustrated faith collection called faith>fear.  this treasury of pieces is so gorgeously modern in it's simplistic black+white design.  the lettering + sketchwork is seriously fab & i'm hoarding all of the tiny little pieces included to use for my bible journaling projects for months to come!

for today's DIY, i wanted to create something small & inexpensive so that it would be easy for anyone to recreate.  using only items i had on hand, this project cost me around $4-$5 to make [also leaving me leftover supplies to use in the future].  

i was inspired by the 3x4s paper sheet in the faith>fear collection & i just knew it could be repurposed into something adorable....

i gathered up a small group of supplies i had laying around my desk.... 
  • faith>fear 3x4s paper [buy the entire paper collection HERE or just the single sheet HERE]
  • mini doilies in my favorite colors [available at michael's or HERE at]
  • tim holtz mini book rings 
  • fabric scraps, scissors + hole punch

i grabbed my ribbon wrapped scissors [i always get asked about these cuties -- they were purchased at hobby lobby!] & quickly cut out the twelve little sections on the paper.  alternately, you could use a paper trimmer for a cleaner look, but i'm never one for perfection ;)

voila! now obviously, you could just stop right here & splash some watercolors on the cards to tape on your bathroom mirror or hang in your school locker.  but i was determined to create a FAITHful little ring booklet that i could tuck into my purse + have available for journaling prayers or verses that i need close to my heart.

so first, i hole punched each paper piece & then added some color, of course!

i smeared a little smidgen of a dollop of acrylic paint on my paint card [an old gift card works perfectly, too!] and created a POP of color on the piece i knew i would want for the cover of my ring booklet.  i added a chipboard icon sticker from the faith>fear collection, stepped back & was IN LOVE with this simple little cover that i had made in about .2 seconds!

next, i added a few embellishments to the front [blue puffy stars from bella blvd and a snippet of the 3x4 paper selvedge that normally would have made it into the trash] & began loading up my cards + mini doilies on the book ring.

there was really no rhyme or reason to the order of cards/doilies in my ring booklet.... some of the 3x4s had sentiments lettered while others were sketched with modern designs.  i tried to alternate through these & stuck the doilies in randomly.

finally, i tied on a double layered fabric scrappy bow with some pom ricrac to add just a little bit more color.  now i have the perfect little palm-sized ring booklet to keep with me all the time.... a place for prayers, verses, quotes & words of wisdom from friends on the topic of faith.  

just think of all the topic options for mini ring booklets!!!! grace, prayer, courage, worth.... yep, now i'm off to make seventeen more books!