January 06, 2016

DF Theme: Pray

A friend, Julie, asked me the Christmas of 2014 to join her in a new venture she was sure I would like -- Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith. I wasn't sure just what Documented Faith was all about and she said she had been following Stephanie for some time and if I didn't think it was for me, I could quit anytime. So I joined up, however, I was a little slow in getting started as I don't do Facebook anymore and since I didn't understand the concept of what it was all about, I decided to go to the source -- Stephanie's blog to find out more about her. What I found was ten years of blogging, so I plunged in and began reading. I had never read a complete blog before and I began at the latest post and read all the way back through to her beginning post. It took several weeks of reading several months posts at a time, but I gained a better understanding of  Stephanie,  a creative person made in the image of God.
Because of that one invitation from a friend, I signed on and felt my way through Documented Faith 2015 and prepared  myself in advance for Documented Faith 2016 by watching many videos on art journaling, planners, and scrapbooking at YouTube.  I gained a better idea of what I want to continue doing and what I want to change this year. So my definition of a faith-book is a combination of a calendar planner, a scrapbook of my spiritual life and where I keep favorite quotes & Christian art whether it is my own or others.
One thing Stephanie is moving towards is small groups of friends where we may pray for one another, encourage each other,  talk about the verses we receive weekly by email from Stephanie, send postcards by snail mail to each other, and if possible, perhaps craft together.  I sent out an email to 22 of my friends and family and I have received one answer back so far.
Purpose for Groups: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Since I operate creatively on a shoestring budget, I won't be purchasing Stephanie's new binder set and monthly companion packet, but I am changing the color of my small planner binder to black. I found some black and white gingham scrapbook paper plus dots & stripes, my favorite patterns at the moment and a set of Martha Stewart calico paper flowers that was on clearance at our local Michaels Craft Store that I couldn't resist. I was going to wait and take a photo of the completed notebook, but I'm working on it a little everyday and will show you the completed notebook when I'm finished (see procrastination tip below. grin!)
And then I'm going to be making my own monthly dividers with pages from this coloring book that I received for my birthday. I haven't decided on January's page yet -- it's a toss-up between "All that we behold is full of blessings." (Wm. Woodsworth) and "The Queen of Everything,"
mostly because of the inflatable crown gag gift our son gave me for Christmas. Not only does it go with the Mary Engelbreit theme, but I immediately thought of one of my favorite Scripture verses that goes along with a Princess Daughter of the King theme: "How Great is the Love the Father has Lavished on Us, that We should be called Children of God!" ~ 1 John 3:1.

I made my own blank calendar pages in Microsoft Word on my computer. I made a table of 7 columns and 6 rows in the portrait format. And they are already printed out. I'm going to find some new Washi tape to go with my Mary Engelbreit themed notebook and decorate the outside edge of the calendar page with it and use it on other pages as the need arises which I shall share with you later. I googled the 2016 Calendar so that I could stamp the numbers in the correct boxes.  Here in the United States of America, we begin our week with Sunday and end with Saturday, however, I know that some countries begin with Monday at the beginning of their week and the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, is truly at the end of the week. I've messed up a few days on a calendar  page just because I wasn't observant enough.


All I need to do is to add in the months, holidays, and dates either by hand or with these stamps and ink (dye ink pads or markers) I have in my stash here at home. The foam holiday stamps are from Stampin' Up -- probably retired by now, but there are several other companies out there, such as Hero Arts who has tiny holiday planner icon rubber  stamps or Purple Onion, who Stephanie designed for, that carries her Celebitties holiday stamps.
The alphabet rubber stamps probably came from Wal-Mart or Michaels, but the number and page flag stamps came from Target's bargain bins. If I didn't have the stamps already, I guess I could have used my own handwriting, but this makes it fast and fun!
I still have my twistable colored pencils from Documented Faith 2015 (you know, they all disappeared after Thanksgiving in our local stores, but I did manage to find twistable crayolas for a couple of coloring book gifts). And I also have watercolors and a water pen.

Stephanie has a woody word "pray"  in her first binder companion packet, but I found this woody "Faith" word at Hobby Lobby and another one that I will share later from Michaels Craft Store.  I thought I might drill a couple of holes in both "F" and "h" at the top, paint it white and hang it in my kitchen window. Kinda pertinent for Documented FAITH, don't you think? *grin*
Stephanie also has some other items in her companion kit such as sticker strips which are like washi tape except they come on a flat sheet instead of a roll. I was thinking my Xyron 150 would make nice 11 inch long strips of stickers too and I could just store them in a document sleeve in my 3 inch binder notebook, which by the way, all the Documented Faith 2015 paraphernalia will be moved over to a nice scrapbook album after I sort through what I want to keep and to toss.  And I could perforate/cut smaller strips from the wider Xyron stickers with my perforation tool, a small paper cutter or scissors, whatever is on hand.

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Longsuffering friends can only stand the strain of your wallowing in self-pity only so long, even if you think you just want a little sympathy and then they want you to problem-solve and get on with your life, however, you can turn to Jesus -- he can stand the strain. Look at how many people he cares for -- it's mind-boggling and yet so many are unaware of his existence and those that are, sometimes forget he is there for them to listen, to comfort, to perhaps even help them solve their problems. I know that sometimes, in a Puddleglum (C.S. Lewis) frame of mind, I forget to go to Jesus and it affects my ability to find things to be grateful about.  After a recent conversation with a girlfriend, I realized I've been grieving for some relationships in my life that will never be what I would like them to be -- close, loving, supportive and validating -- unless God performs a miracle of healing and the only way to get some is to ask him for it. duh!

 That's why I really like  the Bible verses in Stephanie's devotional this week (1/2016)  about why we should pray for our friends:

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16 (NIV) 


 “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18 (MSG) 

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 Grateful I remembered these old tips:
  1. When I find myself procrastinating to get a job done, I spend 15 minutes working on it. I set the timer for 15 minutes, work on it until the 15 minutes are up. If I want to continue, now that I've gotten over the hump of actually beginning on the project, I set the timer for 15 more minutes and continue. At this point, if I want to finish the project, I go right ahead, but I remember to set the timer for 15 minute increments until the job is finished OR  I set it aside until I can come back to it and work on it the next day and so on until I complete it.
  2. I write out a "I DID IT!" list instead of a "TO DO" one and check each job off as I accomplish it. I don't know what it is, but ADD people like myself can get overwhelmed with HUGE to do lists, hence the procrastination, but if I write out a "I DID IT!" list with space beside it to check it off as I complete the job or scratch out with a highlighter marker right through the listed chore, it can bring a wonderful sense of accomplishment. And if I keep those lists, say in my faith-book in the planner section,  the next time I'm are feeling guilty about not getting anything done, all I have to do is to just take a peek at the former "I DID IT!" lists to tell myself "see you can accomplish anything you want to. You've done it once, you can do it again!" Very helpful as a reminder when you're feeling like a failure!
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This week was the first time I took my old planner book and some extra paper to church and took my first sermon notes for my Documented Faith-book. Collecting church bulletins and newsletters is a passive method of documenting faith, however, taking sermon notes gets me actively engaged in it.  I have a clipboard, I think, out in my craft barn and a lap desk but didn't think  of either until I was on the way to church and by that time it was too late to turn around and get one or the other, however, next week, I shall be better prepared. Stephanie says to write down all the stuff that jumps out at you or is meaningful in some way to your situation at the moment. It's the kind of notes that I wrote down in the margins of my Bible, but neglected to date. As a crafter, the best highlight from this Sunday morning's notes were two words:

Matt. 28:19 "Therefore GO and MAKE. . ."


  1. OK! I have to make a planner, but it will be everything, not just faith - will that work? I have used the Franklin/Covey in the past, but that isn't really creative - no art involved, but I do like the doodle/art - I used the ones you gave me last year!! I will need ideas and help!! YOU will be a good leader!! I hope we can get together when weather permits!

    1. According to Stephanie, she uses her faith-book not as a planner, but as a blank journal book where she keeps all the sermon note quotes, scriptures, pictures and other paraphernalia of her faith. She has a calendar in another location, however she does keep goals in her faith-book. And she also is going to use another of her notebooks as an art journal. I'm just going to combine it all. You can do whatever you like. Also she has a facebook group you can join to see what others are doing.

  2. I have decided to set aside Friday's as my art day, so maybe I can get together with you guys this year at least monthly to work on this together. We can talk when I get home from Texas.

    1. Oh goody! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you want to join!

  3. Right now it seems like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  4. I have designed my blogs using the templates and other tools supplied by Blogger.

  5. Ridiculous quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

  6. I'm not sure what you mean by "ridiculous quest," but if you are speaking of Documented Faith, I'm still following Stephanie Ackerman and keeping up my faith-book. Documented Faith keeps my mind focused on two things -- my relationship with Jesus and the joy of crafting. I can't think of anything that gives me more pleasure than that. Thank you for visiting my blog today. And if you want to know what happened, keep reading! smile!

  7. Hi, I wish for to subscribe for this blog to take newest updates,
    therefore where can i do it please assist.

  8. Over on the side bar find the words "Follow By Email," then insert your email address in the rectangular box, and mouse-click on the submit button. That's all there is to it and when I post a new gratitude, an email is automatically generated and sent to you to let you know that I've posted something new for you to come read. Thank you for wanting to learn how to be grateful too.


"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).