What’s A Few More Mistakes To Add To My List on Monday?

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Heloooooooooooo friends, So right from the starting gate, the year is certainly not turning out as I expected. Although I am not completely comfortable at this time to reveal too much. Let’s just say it involves, a certain strong -willed girl, school, choices, decisions, fears, doubts, options, insecurities and lots of opinions of others from many walks of life. One thing remains true…although I may not have all the answers (and I do get slightly annoyed by those who think they have them all), I am confident the one who holds me in His palm HAS them, thank you very much. I do not know what tomorrow will bring and I will say this family has been on a roller coaster ride emotionally since September (with a jump-start that happened in @ May of last year). I remember hearing a Pastor teach that there is always (at least) one thing you may not know about a person or situation which would be THE key puzzle piece you need to complete the puzzle…or judge accurately that which you perceive. But you DO NOT have that piece- only God sees ALL the pieces. Let’s be careful with our words, conclusions and quick fix advice. There may be more to the picture than meets the eye and we may not be able as we think to accurately judge a situation. But there is grace…and love that never fails. There are baskets of fruit we can offer those going through difficult times. Instead of those boxes of criticisms, judgments and inaccurate conclusions packaged prettily with pride and prejudice, then handed over with a smug smile. Ouch!

I promise to share more as appropriate and once there is clarity in the situation. OK?
If you want to pray that for us, I would be grateful.

In the meantime lets have some fun, it is MONDAY after all!

My Girl and I had a little Art Project going on this weekend.
We decorated clipboards using collage with random favorite clippings. 
In progress…almost done here.
It felt good to create something! Hooray for us!

Announcement!

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Announcing the “My Husband is Awesome” Link up– PLEASE Join me to link up all of the reasons our Hubby’s are awesome February 3rd-13th! Write up a post and come link up to celebrate our men! Honestly  I do this because I know I am guilty of not appreciating my hubby as much as he deserves, so let’s join together in an exercise of honoring our hubs and God by focusing on the many wonderful attributes we take for granted daily and sing out the praises of our great guys and faithful God for providing them! I will put the link up at 12 AM on Sunday, February 3rd. I will choose one of the linked Husband posts to be shared on my blog in full as a special Valentine feature. Does that sound fabulous to you? It can be short and sweet, lengthy, in letter form to him, or a few points or bullets, sappy, silly, dry or poignant! I promise this exercise will be a wonderful gift to your hub, yourself and God!
See my first “My Husband Is Awesome” post  HERE. The Remix HERE
*Oh and can you pass this Link Up info along to others so many might join us in our celebration? Share it anyway you see fit! Facebook, Twitter etc. 
Thanks in advance for your support!
You still have time to make your HUBBY a cute Valentine’s Day Gift like this Love Album I made a few years back. It really is easy and fast. You can make a simple version- really you can do it! 

Catching up on Book Reviews! 

Reviewed this excellent book by Ruth Myers and I have to say with conviction: Please do yourself a favor, Grow with God and read it. You will not regret it. This is one of those books you will re-read and recommend to all of your friends, and they’ll tell two friend, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on. Oh sorry, commercial FLASHBACK!

Finished (FINALLY) Lifted By Angels. Read the Review. I will say this, it packs an awful lot of history into seven chapters. Seriously has me looking over my shoulder. (smile)
Counting Gifts To 1000…

371. Peace in the morning
372. Peace to my core
373. Peace even while approaching the rockiest shore
374. Knowing that though the ship may rock, be battered, tossed and smashed, sunk to the bottom of the sea…He IS there. Always faithful.
375. The words that he brought to my mind…even when others (Christians) fail, I (God) will prevail. 
376. That mistakes, if bringing us CLOSER to the truth of His good and perfect will, though painful to endure, ultimately serve His purposes. 
This will be my Mantra forever:
Even when Christians fail, God still prevails.
He is Faithful.
His will will be done.
Nothing and No One. Can Stop. Our. Great. God.
Amen?
My eyes, remain fixed on Heaven, my feet still walk these dusty roads and in the end I will see Him face to face, for His mercy endures forever. Great is His faithfulness. 
Keep your eyes skyward friends, He is coming soon…
but until then keep on serving, loving and living, His sees you. He sees me. His eyes are on us, His little flock. 

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God Is Good {A Mom Moment} (RJD #20)

I have this Mom and Me Journal I started around the time my girl was born. There are some deeply moving sentiments in here from the early days of Motherhood. I am so glad I wrote these, although they were sporadic. They capture my emotions. The tenderness of new mom-ness still dripping from my heart and pen right onto the paper.

These are beautiful snippets and attempts at sharing scripture and my heart with my girl. I had planned on giving this to her when she was older. But I stopped around the time she was two, so I am not sure what I will do about it, yet. Perhaps for her 12th Birthday. Still unsure whether to add or embellish otherwise.
I also may share this in more detail in the future as a DIY project for new Moms. 
This was one of the shorter entries, and not devotional in nature.
I think it makes for a fun, light share for a smile today!
Enjoy!
February 11, 2001

Here we are at church! 
“Auntie” Sandy bought you the beautiful
 purple dress and hat 
with shoes 
which you proceeded to kick off 
immediately!
Actually on this blessed day “Auntie Sara” 
locked the keys in the car so we got to hang out in the chapel
a bit until Triple A came and unlocked us.
God is good- all the time!

A couple of notes:
*I am an only child but God has provided me with 
wonderful Sisters In Christ to fill in as Aunties.
*I was living far from my home church at the time and it was difficult 
to get there and back at times, 
so hanging out longer was a blessing indeed- more time for fellowship!
* God really is good all the time, Amen?
His ways are not our ways and that is good.

Join in for more peeks into the journals over at our Random Journal Day!
Beholding Glory

Beach Baby (RDJ #13)

8 month old Katherine with me on Narragansett Beach.
I couldn’t resist taking a different route today, as I perused my journal. 
I am doing a double duty share today!
I came across the entry (brief and light!) about my daughter’s first  full fledged beach outing.
As someone who used to grab her beach towel, journal (of course) and one measly beach bag- I was shocked by how much work it was as a new, first time mom to have a simple day at the beach!

I had also scrap-booked this in her baby album so I figured I would 
share that as well! Kind of gives an “In front” and “Behind the scenes” perspective! 

Thankfully, I had Kat’s “Fairy Godmother” and super experienced, PRO-Mom, 
Sandy (pictured on right side of lay out) to help and teach me the ropes
of beach going with baby! 





You know writing when she was young sometimes meant brief entries.
I actually have a few where I fell asleep writing.
The pen just sort of trails off.

The joys of motherhood!


I have another share from this same journal that is a bit deeper, 
I will share it next link-up or the week after!
But I thought a light, fun, Summer entry might be a refreshing change of pace.

A quote I recorded and saved a few pages away.


Happy Journal-ling!

Celebrating Jesus- A Special Lay Out

My Scrap-booking creation celebrating the Savior. 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

This is a layout that truly includes a few of my favorite saved bits and pieces-cards, magazine clippings, even an envelope! I used products from Creative Memories (pens, pages, stickers, taper runner, fridge frame) and Faithfully Yours (silver embellishment stickers). I did smudge gold ink on cotton balls over the white card-stock stating “Our Joy Is In Him” and the John 3:16 verse. The Crucified Christ was a a beautiful linen card my friend Sara brought me back from a missionary trip. The Ascending Christ is a card I saved which I bought when I began my walk with the Faithful One. I ended up adding one more final verse from the same card. And the final Lion of The Tribe of Judah picture wraps up this lay out…He is Risen, and Behold He is will return again soon!

Maranatha!

Come, Lord Jesus!

Celebrating The One Who Was and Is and Is To Come with you!

The Manger scene is from an envelope of Christmas cards.
I just cut it to my own specifications and whala-embellishment!

The tomb picture was taken from a track that I had saved.
The silver sticker states John 14: 6
“I am the Way The Truth and The Life.”

Then I noticed something missing! Can you see what I added?

The Tomb Is Empty!

Have a Blessed Easter Sunday!

Eventually Linking up with: Create with Joy, Crafty Me and For Love of Cupcakes.

Got Faith Goals? Interview: Dawn Stegall of Faithfully Yours (Inspiring Women Series)

Our Inspiring Women for today is Dawn Stegall, owner of Faithfully Yours a Scrapbook Site dedicated to remembering God in scrapbooks. Dawn has recently released a wonderful kit to help Scrapbook fans express their faith goals in a focused and beautifully creative manner. Currently Dawn is finalizing the Faithfully Yours Design Team for 2012. The team shares their faith and work through a number of ways including: layout, theme based projects, devotions, writing and prayers in uniquely inspiring ways on the Blog and the Facebook Group Page. I actually have followed Dawn since 2008 when I myself searched for “Faithbooking” details online. Dawn has been married to Shawn for 17 years and is also Homeschooling mom to  her four beautiful daughters.  It truly is an honor and blessing to have the opportunity to interview her here as part of this series!


Dawn, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview, I am excited to share you and your wonderful creativity with my friends here at Beneath The Surface!
Well, first of all, thank you for that wonderful introduction.  I did homeschool my four girls for 5 years.  I still homeschool the two youngest, but the older two are in their second year at a Christian high school. They are both involved in sports and love it!  The two youngest are in dance.


Faithfully Yours has grown from the early days- when did you first start off and how did you determine that it would be worthwhile to pursue this as a business?

I started in the spring of 2005.  It was actually at this time when God was calling me to homeschool.  To be honest, I kicked and screamed and selfishly thought “what about my business?”  At the time, I handmade Christian greeting cards, journals, etc.  and most were made to order.  This was time-consuming and the thought of homeschooling 4 girls in 4 different grades when I was just about to get the youngest off to preschool….Well, needless to say God had an answer.  I had a faithbooking category in my little shop where I sold handmade tags with scripture on it to be used as embellishments in scrapbooks.  I received many new visitors because they were searching for faithbooking.  I then realized I didn’t need to quit my business, but change my focus.  StampinglyYours became FaithfullyYours.

What kind of obstacles did you encounter with the development and planning of the business?

Time and money! I’m an early bird, so I would spend early morning time and in the afternoons after school.  In the beginning, I found product I could purchase in low quantities to resell and slowly added new inventory as I was able.

I know that the Scrapbooking Industry has been somewhat impacted by the current economy, yet you have a unique product, how has this impacted you as you have been growing and shaping your business and decisions?
Almost all Christian scrapbook companies have gone out of business or faith lines have been discontinued.  I still get new people finding me looking for ideas, inspiration as well as Christian supplies.  Therefore, I decided to start designing and manufacturing my own line.


So what exactly is Faith-booking compared to Scrap-booking  in your opinion?

Faithbooking in its simplest form is remembering God in your scrapbook.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
*  Use verses/scripture-You can find verses ready to go in the form of stickers, printouts, die cut sheets, scrapbook paper etc. Another great resource is to use a scripture concordance and look up a verse based on the topic of your page.
Journaling-Simply tell the details about the photo on your page while describing how God was there the whole time!
Photos-Take pictures of VBS, a church picnic, youth group activites, etc. In the future, your children can look back and remember their Christian upbringing and God’s faithfulness.
Title-The title tells what the whole page is about in one short instance. Make the most of it!
*Supplies-Sometimes by just using supplies with a Christian theme helps to remember your faith and how God is always present.

What do you believe are the benefits of Faithbooking?

We are forgetful!  We aren’t much different the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea on dry land.  After experiencing that miracle, it was a mere 3 days later they began grumbling about being hungry, wishing they were back in Egypt where they had meat.  We say we wouldn’t forget the miracle or that God couldn’t provide, but we do.  God provides one day and a few days later we are complaining about lack.  We need help remembering all about God!

Do you use Scrapbooking  in your homeschooling in any way?

I have done the occasional scrapbook layout about homeschooling, but I haven’t used it in homeschooling.

I love the new Faith Goals Kit– can you share a little about how you came up with that and what the features and benefits are?

When the new year rolled around, I was getting caught up in the idea of making New Year’s resolutions.  Every year I make them, and every year they are pretty much the same as the year before.  I wanted this year to be different.  I thought what needs to happen?  God needs to be a part of my goals.  So I designed a webinar and kit around that need.  The kit is journal-rich allowing plenty of room to not only record your goals, but your progress, how God spoke to you and lessons learned.


What would you say your mission or role is with regard to your  creative community and team?
The purpose of the design team is to offer ideas and inspiration for remembering God.     I am only one person with my style.  I can’t represent all design styles nor is my story the same as someone else’s.  Although you can still be inspired by another person’s story.  The facebook community is a place for fellowship, accountability, asking questions, prayers and praise reports.  It is such a wonderful place to ask, receive and share!


Do you think that scrapbooking can be seen as a form of worship? 

Yes!  I’m at a loss of words how to explain.  But I feel you can praise, thank, and creatively express your feelings through your scrapbook pages.



 Where do you and your family make your home?

We live in Granite City, Illinois, 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis. (7 minutes from the Creating Keepsakes convention)    I grew up in a suburb north of St. Louis and returned “home” with my husband after our time in the Air Force.  My in-laws lived in Illinois and we started attending their church.  We found ourselves at church several times a week and thought it best we move closer!

I read on your Blog that you train for triathlons – can you share a bit about how you got started and if this is a family endeavor?

Oh, I should update that. When we did triathlons one of my daughter did as well.  She did her first one at age 9.  While the whole family didn’t race in the triathlons, they were definitely all involved.  Now we spend our time “running” kids from cross country to track to soccer to dance. 



All in all it sounds like you juggle a lot: Homeschooling, Homebased Business, Coaching ;
tell us your best secrets for managing all the “balls” including the much coveted quiet time!

  My day starts at 5, hubby off to work by 6.  Then I get my quiet time in.  I guess that is the secret, having at least 30 minutes to begin my day with Him.  I often recall scripture pertinent to what I may be going through. I’m a huge multi-tasker, not sure that is a good thing though.  Also my mother-in-law helps out with homeschooling.



What is your absolute favorite way to relax?

Relax?  I love to read, but beyond quiet time in morning, it doesn’t happen often.  One thing I love is spending time with just the 6 of us.  We sit around the living room playing games, telling stories, playing guitar and singing worship songs and laughing.  When we lost electricity awhile back, we did just that and it was such a blessing.

Do all your girls also enjoy Scrapbooking and Faithbooking? 

Not as much as I would like.  Right now they are pretty busy, but I have bought them albums for the 1,2,3 faithbooking method.  Kimi likes to scrapbook her dance photos.  Kori wants to scrapbook her pets, but hasn’t done so yet.  Although she has done a few other pages.  



Do you have any last words of inspiration or encouragement for us? 

Faithbooking doesn’t have to be time consuming nor do you need a lot of supplies.  Think of it as an extension to journaling. By writing down and recording God in your life and then expand a little by adding photos to help you remember, supporting scriptures or anything you like.  As long as God is glorified, it is all good!
Faithbooking is also a wonderful witness tool!  As your friends and family look through your scrapbooks, reading and learning about your faith and who God is through your eyes, can sow seeds. 



Thanks again, Dawn for taking the time to stop by and share how you use your gifts & talents in this unique ministry for His glory!
Congratulations to the newly formed Design Team;
may God continue to use you all to inspire, sharpen and encourage others through your creative gifts!



The Stegall Family Shawn, Dawn, Katlynn, Kelsey, Kimi and Kori
Click Here to visit the Faithfully Yours website


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