“Sweet to the Soul” Giveaway

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Hey Ya’ll!  Today I’m excited to share with you the newest Faith Art Box from Creative Retreat Kits, entitled “Sweet to the Soul.”  This Bible journaling kit has all the elements to help you creatively worship as you delve into the topic of the power of words.

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I’m particularly excited about this kit because I wrote the devotional content.  My good friend, Angela Senechal, IG@maker_mom contributed the beautiful handlettering for the design.

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The kit comes with the devotional booklet, a 3×5 stamp set, a matching decor sticker sheet, an alphabet/numeral sticker sheet with a honeycomb design, and a beautiful coordinating washi tape.

You can catch my unboxing video over on my YouTube channel or using the link below.

I’m also giving away one of these kits.  Here’s what you have to do:  

  1. Like and comment below how someone has encouraged you with their words.

  2. Follow my blog
  3. For more entries, go to my Instagram @julesk.jewels and enter there.
  4. Giveaway ends Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 11:59pm.
  5. International entries must pay extra postage.

Thanks for joining me today!  I’ll see you soon.  I’ll be sure to share a video and project soon using this sweet kit.

Blessings to you!

Julie

Love: The Main Fruit

ACS_0253Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…  I bet you could finish this list.  Commonly known as the Fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23.  When we walk in the Spirit, allowing Him to control our lives, we produce these fruit.  It’s a simple (albeit not-so-simple) cause-effect relationship.  Spirit leads, fruit grows.

There are nine fruits listed.  Are they listed in order of importance?  I don’t believe so, because self-control, the last one, is an extremely important fruit.  It’s not like on the jelly jar where the ingredients are listed in order of prevalence.  However, I do believe that love is listed first for a reason.

Notice how it says the “fruit” not “fruits”. Fruit is one of those words that can be singular or plural.  I once heard a pastor, and I’m sorry but I have no idea who it was, who said that the fruit of the Spirit is love, and that all the other eight fruit listed are just a part of the description of love.  I’m not so sure if I’d go that far, but I will agree with this:  love is the main fruit.  For an explanation, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter.

In this chapter, Paul describes true, godly, spiritual love.  The first Spirit fruit listed in Galatians 5.  We can discover all the other eight fruit of the Spirit in verses 4-8.

Love is patient (patience) and kind (kindness); love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude (gentleness). It does not insist on its own way (self-control); it is not irritable (peace) or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing (goodness), but rejoices (joy) with the truth. (faithfulness) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Some of these fruit, I believe, could fit in multiple places, but I simply listed the most obvious connections to me.  Love can be described by all the other fruit.  True, godly love will show joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Therefore, if we WERE examining a jar of “Fruit of the Spirit Jelly” (preserves, jam, spread, whatever your preference), love WOULD be the first ingredient!

ACS_0255Art Talk:

I made this page using the July Faith Art Box from Creative Retreat Kits, as well as the free coordinating printable that is available in the Creative Retreat Facebook Insiders Group.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you can “spread God’s love” around some today!

Just Breathe

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Do you ever count the breaths you take in a day? Of course not! It would become too tedious.  “The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day.” (Brown, blog.epa.gov)  When you exercise, you breathe even more than that.  Anyone who has struggled with pneumonia, COPD, or other respiratory issues might be able to appreciate how precious those tens of thousands of breaths truly are.  Because without breath, there is no life.

Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life,” (NIV).  It is God’s breath that gives me life.  It all began in the Garden of Eden, when God formed Adam by hand and breathed into him His breath:  “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)  Without God’s breath, there is no life.

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My son lifeguards during the summer, and, among other training, he needs to maintain his CPR certification.  Why? Those breaths that he might have to supply for someone else not breathing could actually save their life.  He would be providing the much-needed oxygen to their brain.  But breathing can also provide more than that.

My watch periodically notifies me to breathe.  (Any other Apple Watch wearers out there?) Not because I’m NOT breathing.  I’ve set this notification so that I can sometimes stop and JUST breathe.  When I actually pay attention to this notification I stop, and slowly and deeply breathe for one minute.  I pause from my busyness, focus in on my breathing for 60 seconds, and slowly breathe in and out.  This short process relaxes my tense muscles, calms my stress, and truly benefits whatever I’m working on at that moment because I’m better focused.  ACS_0228

 

What I’m starting to add to this process is a “thank-you” with each breath.  Thanking God for the 17,280-23,040 breaths He provides a day for me to live.  Thanking God for the life He’s given me.  Thanking God for the eternal life I have through Jesus.  Breathe… Thank you… Breathe… Thank you…

I encourage you to breathe sometimes.  Well, I encourage you to breathe ALL the time!  But I mean to “just” breathe.  To slow down, breathe deeply, and to thank Him for each breath.  Imagine His breath filling your lungs.  Friends, it is indeed the breath of God which gives you life.

Art talk:  I used three Sweet’n Sassy Stamps for this page:  Life in JesusBitty Minnie Alpha and  Texture Tiles 3 sets for this page.  I “smooshed” Faded Jeans and Broken China Distress Oxide Inks for the bluish background.  Some Documented Faith washi and Illustrated Faith tabs and wordfetti stickers topped the page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Faith While I Wait

ACS_0239Wait…wait…wait…. It seems I’m always waiting.  In traffic.  In the doctor’s office.  In the checkout aisle.  For my kids to come to dinner table.  For my kids to do the task I asked them five times to do!  For that package to come in the mail.  I really don’t like waiting!  But it’s a part of life, isn’t it?

The worst kind of waiting, however, is waiting on God.  Waiting on God to reveal His plan.  Or worse yet, the long lingering when you already think (operative word, here) you know what God should do, and you just have to wait for Him to work it all out.  Sometimes I even try to maneuver things myself to get things underway, but that always ends up in a mess!  Remember how Sarah and Abraham took matters into their own hands while waiting for the birth of the child of promise?  That got ugly! (Gen. 16) Usually, however, when I think I have it all worked out, that’s when God throws a curve ball in my plans, and thinks end up so much better in the end.  Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways….”  God’s way is wiser and more informed than my way.  And I would do well to just let Him work out all the details.  But how?

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I spent some time in Bible study using “Go God’s Way,” a printable bundle and devotional available at Sweet’n Sassy Stamps, and designed and written by Diane Noble.  My main take away–without revealing too much, because it’s a study worth getting on your own–is that the process involves 1) waiting, 2) worshiping, and 3) trusting.  This study includes Bible verses on each of those three aspects, and whenever you seek the Word for advice, it’s powerful stuff!

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I landed in Psalm 131:2.  This passage talks about quieting ourselves like a weaned child.  It reminded me of one of my children (to remain nameless), when he was newly weaned, who just wanted to rest against my bare chest, presumably to still feel the intimate closeness and touch, even without the nursing.  Oh, if I could just rest in God’s intimacy and closeness while I waited for Him to move!  Faith while I wait!

I NEEDED to creatively journal this worship experience, so I chose to I pulled out some mixed media products.  I have a process video, so you can see how the whole page came together.  Basically, I smooshed, sponged, stamped, colored, stickered, embellished, and then journaled to create this page.  I have the products listed below.  Currently, there are amazing sales going on at Dayspring (like BOGO), and through July 5th, you can take an extra 5% off of EVERYTHING at Scrapbook.com.  Just use code JULYFIVE18.

Thanks for stopping by!  What do you do to help pass the time while you wait?

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Go God’s Way Printable Bundle and Devotional

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“Life in Jesus” Stamp Set
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Dylusions Kit
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Faded Jeans Distress Oxide Ink
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Peeled Paint Distress Oxide Ink
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Blending Tool
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Tool Kit
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Olive You Alphabet Stickers
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456 Count – Word Cardstock Stickers
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Rubber Brayer
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Distress Sprayer Bottle
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Versafine Onyx Black Ink Pad
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Clear Acrylic Blocks
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Heat tool
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Water Brushes

 

 

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Permanent Adhesive
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Fine Point Slick Writer
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Clear Sticker Sheets
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Stamp Shammy Cleaner