Friday, March 14, 2014

The Art of Mothering

I fully feel that as each day passes, mothering seems to get harder. My friends closest to me reach out for prayers for struggling as mother. I hear them try to hold the fear at bay as they fight against the overwhelming tide of being unable to "do this" as a mom. I weep during a work meeting with my sweet co-workers (who are also like sisters to me) over feeling so helpless and out of control in my role and drink in their prayers for each other. I walk around, slumped and nearly physically feeling the burden on my shoulders of all my failures. 

I have been at the feet of Jesus, at a loss. I don't know how to do this well and it's so scary. I'm a chronic overthinker and my thoughts plague me with all the ways I fail. I've often said my only true gift is "beauty"- I am always searching for beauty around me, driven to help reveal beauty by simple ways. Last night I prayed, "Jesus... I can't make this beautiful. I don't know how to make my mothering an art. I need You to reveal the beautiful in this mess." 

As I began my morning today, my heart heavy, the thought popped into my head that my counselor has audio downloads for several common themes on his website. I go to scroll through them and "The Art of Mothering" jumps out at me. 

Gordon says, "You are vessels to help your children to become more beautiful, so that those in the world as they interact with them taste and feel and are impacted by their beauty. Your children are God's workmanship. You and your husband are artist-makers. When we parent out of fear or duty or obligation or anything else, we become more rigid in our parenting and it turns away from artistry... If you are trying to find favor with God to be the mother you ought to be, or to obligate your children to love you the rest of your life because of your mothering, you won't live freely. If your mothering is about your effort, to some degree,  you have been cut off from Christ and grace." 

Yes. YES. I have completely lost the grace in my mothering. For myself, and for my children. 

Pray for me friends. I'm at a place of humility and also some shame. I want to mother my children artfully, not out of duty and not out of the law. I want to parent out of love and freedom, not duty and obligation and trying to "get it right." 

I thought I would share this today... in case anyone else feels this way and needs to know they are not alone, and to encourage you to download this audio... it's $1.99; cheaper than a drink at Starbucks and a whole lot more filling. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Scraplifting for a boost of creativity....

This week, the design team at NoelMignon is celebrating all the inspiration from our facebook group members by sharing their creations with you and scraplifting them. You should come play along! 

I chose the talented Sara Andrews to scraplift. What inspired me was her fun use of color and lots of layering! I've been gravitating to softer, muted colors lately, so I chose her because I thought it would move me out of my comfort zone. Her layouts just shout "FUN" to me! 

I picked this sweet layout from her blog:

And dove into the Wishing Well kit (now available!) with my scraplift.  

To mimic her design, I gathered a bright, bold patterned paper for my background and several square mats from patterned paper for my oversized photo. I also layered a handful of brads and small embellishments around the two corners. 

Thanks, Sara, for the inspiration! I've learned several new ways to look at my own creativity by watching yours! :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow much Love!

Hi friends! I have a quick little layout to share with y'all today... I'm surprising myself because for the first time in a long time, I've almost used up everything in a kit! Whoop whoop! I've been working with the Fresh Start kit and only have a little bit left to try to knock out before the next kit (the "Wishing Well" kit for March- make sure to check out the sneak peeks on the NoelMignon facebook page!). 

We've had a record amount/number of snows here in Alabama lately, so of course my camera has been busy documenting it. I love having pretty snow pictures to work with! I made a very simple page using some recent mpix prints I ordered and a large title cut with my Silhouette machine. 

To add a little something "extra" to the title, I mixed some mod podge, a little water, and a dab of liquid watercolors for a light colored wash. I sprinkled glitter on top of it while it was wet. This is a technique I was inpsired by Kim from Happy Like Yellow with... and I can see that I'll be having lots more fun with it! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sabby- Fresh Start Kit

As part of my intention this year to live more creatively, I took my girls out last week to do a little photo shoot with them. I struck scrapbooker's gold with the results, and the photos have been so fun to play with! 

I was inspired by this image found on pinterest, and it was the jumping off point for my color scheme.

(credit: creature comforts blog)

The lovely colors of the Fresh Start kit (sorry, sold out!) also just happened to fit this, so I pulled out the kit and starting laying down papers.

I love the look of layers peeking through each other, and played that up with this feather cut with my Silhouette machine and layered stickers behind it.

I just had fun... which fits my girly. 

Oh and guess what's coming soon??? :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

We started our new year off with a bang... with a dear family friend's wedding!!! Not only did I take the photos for the wedding, but my littlest was a flower girl! It was quite the busy weekend. Hee! 

Not only did she get to be a flower girl, but her BFF was one with her as well! To say they were cute together is an understatement. :) I couldn't wait to scrap these pics of them with the NoelMignon Fresh Start kit! 

I needed one more element down on this left corner, so I cut a flower with my Silhouette machine and then inked the edges with the tiny ink pad from the kit. I like the depth it adds to the flower. 

I wanted to tuck in some of the baby's breath from the wedding... the little envelopes was the perfect spot. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My December Memories Album

I absolutely treasure our December memory albums that we have. So do my kids. I keep them put away with all our Christmas story books and fill a big basket with them every December 1. We all love flipping through them. So, as I have realized, a December Daily album is not easy for me to keep up with, a simple December memories album is completely achievable. 

This year, I used the Ribbon Candy kit  and the Heidi Swapp File Kit to create the album. 

I simply selected a few of my favorite photos and memories from this month to highlight. For the cover, I used a printable from the children's Bible we read our Advent stories from, the Jesus Storybook Bible. 

Inside the first spread is a picture of my oldest after we got out from seeing "Frozen" at the beginning of this month. The picture reminded me of one of my favorite lines from the Christmas hymn "O Come O Come Emmanuel." It's so beautiful and haunting and hopeful.

A little tip I read on faking a calligraphy style handwriting is to draw a second, thicker line on every "downstroke" your pen makes. I think it looks so pretty. 

In keeping with the Christmas carol them, I added two titles here that coordinate with the photos.

I have quite the little note writer in my family, so the perfect place to save them would be inside one of the folders! One of the notes is her Christmas wish list, so I put it along with our photo of St. Nick and one of the lines from "The Night Before Christmas." I have such sweet memories of my dad reading that to us every Christmas eve... and my dad totally embodied the spirit of St. Nick. I can't read it without thinking of him. 

Share with us in the comments a link to your Christmas albums! I'd love to see them!


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