A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Friday, January 20, 2017

Show God's Love with Valentine Gifts that Matter from Dayspring {#dayspring #liveyourfaith}

**Product received for review. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

With Valentine's Day less than a month away, everyone is on the search for the perfect gift to remind their loved ones just how much they are loved. Oftentimes those gifts include either flowers or candy! Some people love these traditional gifts, but if I were to be honest, I'm not one of them. Don't get me wrong, I'd appreciate them if they were given, but they wouldn't be my first choice. Perhaps its the practical side of me, but spending tons of money or flowers or chocolates that are just going to be eaten or tossed in the garbage...? That doesn't much seem like a sign of everlasting love.

Personally, I want something that I can keep. Something that I can look back on daily to remember that I am loved- not just on Valentine's Day but all throughout the year. It doesn't have to be something costly, but I want a gift that lasts, a gift that matters.

For that, there is no greater place than Dayspring. They have introduced a variety of gifts this Valentine's Day that allow us not only to show how much we care about the people in our lives- our friends, our children and our significant others- but that also remind us of the greatest love of all- the love of Christ.

One of my personal favorite gift ideas is this beautiful Extraordinary Things Gift Set- featuring Extraordinary Things Canvas Pouch, Love Mercy Trinket Dish and Inspirational Oak Finish Clip Frame & Art Print Set.

"God does extraordinary things in the midst of ordinary days."

Oh, what a great message- a reminder that we don't have to live crazy lives to truly make an impact on the world around us. I love this. But it's only one of the many great messages we are reminded of throughout this set. The trinket dish reminds us to 'Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly'. And the clip frame features 25 different art prints to inspire us as we go through our days. This isn't a gift that looks pretty for a little bit and then goes in the trash, it's not a gift that is just going to be eaten and forgotten after Valentine's Day. It is gift that we can see day after day to remind us just how loved we truly are. That is a gift I would love to receive.

Want to see more great gifts that spread God's love? Checkout out all these great gift ideas available at Dayspring for EVERY person on your list.

Valentines for Him
Valentines for Her
Valentines for Kids
Valentines for Friends

Don't forget, you can use the code 25FORYOU to receive 25% off and free shipping on your purchase- no minimum purchase required! 

Who do you want to show love to this Valentine's Day? Take a look at the Valentine's Day selection at Dayspring, and let me know some of YOUR favorites.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Journaling Through Genesis: Part 1

Recently, I was taking a look back on my journaling Bible and I realized something... as I flipped through the pages of the New Testament, my pages were filled! Page after page with little room left for more journaling. The Old Testament however? Well, aside from Psalms and Proverbs, and some random journaling throughout, it was a lot more sparse. This year I decided I wanted to change and made it a goal to read through and journal the Old Testament.

And what better place to start than Genesis?

Today, I am sharing my progress in journaling through the first book of the Bible.

Genesis is one place in the Old Testament that I had done some journaling already on those age old stories like creation and Noah's Ark. These were in fact a few of the very first pages I had journaled.

More recently, I had also done a little journaling on the story of Abraham.

Finally here is a look at just a few of the pages I have done so far this month as I read through Genesis:

Have you done any journaling in Genesis? I'd love to see what you've been up to! Share with me on Facebook! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Look at My Journaling Corner

When I first started Bible journaling I started off pretty simply- I had my Bible, some colored pencils, Micron and gel pens. That was IT. Needless to say, it wasn't very hard to keep it all organized. 

And then I started venturing into other mediums. I'd added on washi, paints, stickers, die cuts. Well, you know those memes... 'That escalated quickly'? This would be an appropriate place for them! It didn't take long for journaling and craft supplies to take over! I'll be honest, sometimes it has become difficult to get any actual journaling done simply because I couldn't remember what all I had or where I wanted to start! I needed some organization. And apparently, I'm not alone! One of the common questions I see in other Bible journaling communities is, "How do you store it all?"

I recently made it a goal to get my little craft corner into a workable state, and today I wanted to share my system with all of you! 


I don't have a large house with a room just for crafting (don't I wish), but we have an extra living room area that we use as part craft room/part play room. I just have this little corner here.

Washi is one of my obsessions, and as you can see, I have a LOT. Awhile back, a lady in one of my journaling groups came up with the suggestion of using a bottle rack to store/display them. I happened to have an unopened one in my storage as we'd never used bottles, so I decided to give it  try! It works very well, though some of these in the top center are not actually being held by anything.

Beside that, I have a Thirty-One caddy filled with stickers. In the back, I have alphabet stickers so I can find those more easily, while everything else is in the front.

And, just in case you were wondering, the block set in the back is from Mary & Martha and I have it spelling out 'Create'.

When I first started building up journaling supplies, I knew I was going to need a place to store it all, so I found this desk at Walmart for a great price. It has plenty of shelving for all my needs.

On the top shelf, I have (most of) my journaling Bibles. Below are my coloring books and a caddy that I use to store supplies like pencils, markers, scissors, etc. This caddy is actually from the Dollar Tree, so a really great and affordable storage option!

On top of my desk you'll find my Cameo (cutting machine), the Bible I'm currently working on and my 'I Color in My Bible' storage box. When I am journaling, Illustrated Faith supplies are the ones that I reach for most often so I like to keep these separate. The stickers, tip ins, die cuts, clear cuts, pens, etc are all in this storage box. (Washi, inks and stamps are with those particular supplies.)

This shelf was a gift from my mother in law a few years back. It works perfectly to hold paints (though I'm running a little low right now) and scripture cards! 

For everything else, I have these plastic drawers...they may not look fancy, but they do the job (and I already had them). The one on the left has all of my journaling supplies- paper clips, project life papers, stamps and ink, die cuts and misc. journals, etc. The shorter one on the right is just general craft supplies--- felt, pipecleaners, pom poms, etc... mostly things for kids' crafts! The bins on top hold random things like toilet paper rolls etc...or things that still need sorting!

And that's my crafting space! It's nothing fancy, but it works for me!

Do you have a craft room/corner? I'd love to see your creative organizing solutions. Feel free to share on Facebook! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Journaling Bible for the Traditionalist {NKJV Notetaking Bible Review}

**I received a copy of this Bible for review. All thoughts are my own. 

So often when I'm talking about Bible journaling, people ask me... what is the best journaling Bible to get? 

Now, while I do have my personal favorites, that question is not one that can easily be answered. Simply put, the Bibles that I prefer, might not be the best Bible for everyone else. So instead, I try to encourage others to consider these three factors:

  • What's the translation? We all have our favorite translations, so you're going to want to find a journaling Bible in your preferred translation. While it used to be harder to find some translations, it has become much easier to find a journaling Bible in just about ANY translation! You'll be much more inspired to journal if its a Bible you'll truly read.
  • How much space do I want/need? While most Bibles have a very similar layout, you will find that there can be a few differences. Need more space? Go with a large print or an interleaved. Want some predone pages? You can find those too.
  • What style are you going for? Looking through my journal collection, you'll notice a common theme for most of them--- florals and other girly designs. Some people prefer a more classic look, so they'd likely want to go for a plain leather look. 
If you keep these few thoughts in mind, you are sure to be able to find the perfect journaling Bible to suit your personal preferences.

Today, I wanted to share with you one such option- the NKJV Notetaking Bible:

 NKJV Notetaking Bible is designed to enhance personal Bible study as well as preparation for teaching and preaching. The Bible contains the popular New King James Version in a single-column setting. Abundant space is provided with a 1.75 inch note taking space on each page to make observations, record insights, raise questions, and suggest to yourself additional exploration of the text.  
The Bible includes a 30-page concordance, eight four-color maps, a one-year Bible reading plan, presentation page, plan of salvation, and a Preface to the New King James Version.

If you're a traditionalist on the search for a journaling Bible--- this one might just be the perfect option for you. First and foremost, it features the classic NKJV translation. Now, this is admittedly not my own preferred translation, but many people do enjoy those more traditional words in their Bible reading. In addition, it also features the words of Christ in red, which I personally think is a wonderful feature and a great way to put emphasis in those most important words.

But its not just the translation that makes it a great choice, its the style too. This Bible features a gorgeous black and brown bonded leather look... just the right amount of detail to make it interesting, but not over the top! It's also a great option for men too. Now, I know most of us probably associate Bible journaling with women, BUT...why does it have to be? My son loves to journal as well, and recently my husband also asked for a journaling Bible for himself. While he doesn't plan to do art journaling as I do, he does want an option in which he can take notes in...and this one is perfect!

With its classic look, translation and extra features like maps, this reminds me very much of the classic Bible I grew up with--- just with room in the margins for note or art.

This beautifully classic Bible is available to purchase now

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Organize Your Life with a Dayspring Calendar & Planner Sale!

I have a bit of a confession to make....

My memory stinks!

Okay, that's really not that much of a confession, I've been pretty honest about that! I've never had the greatest memory, but this year my health issues have made it even worse. Just this week alone I forgot about and burnt the macaroni and cheese I was cooking, and then on a separate occasion started searching for what to make for lunch---completely forgetting that I had already started cooking! Yikes! Needless to say, if I'm struggling to remember something from minutes before, keeping track of my days and weeks is even more of a struggle. For me, having a planner (or two) is an absolute MUST!

So, today I had to share with all of you an amazing deal from Dayspring that you're going to want to check out! All calendars and planners are on sale- $1, $3, $5 or $10- most in that $3-5 range! If you've shopped for planners before, you know what an amazing offer this is. Just take a look at some of these-

And even better? You can use the code 25FORYOU to take an additional 25% off AND get free shipping! Wow! This truly is a deal that you cannot pass up! Head on over to take advantage of this offer now!

While you're there, be sure to check out the washi and more from Illustrated Faith! These aren't just great for journaling, but for glam planning too!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Craving Connection {Encouraging Relationships with (in)courage and Dayspring} #CravingConnection #DaySpring #LiveYourFaith

**I have received the products featured in this post as a member of Dayspring's Craving Connection Launch Team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are my own. 

As children, friendship was everything, wasn't it? Our whole world seemed to revolve around who our friends were.

In elementary school, our friends were our classmates. They were the ones that we played at recess with, the ones that we sat with in the cafeteria. They were the ones that you could have fun with, invited to sleepovers. We vowed to be friends forever with the exchange of a friendship bracelet/necklace. As we grew into teenagers, our friendships evolved but they were still every bit as important. For many of us, our circles grew. We had friends from school, friends from extracurricular activities, maybe even friends from work. They were no longer simply friends because we were in the same class, but because we had common interests, or because we just clicked. These were people we not only could have fun with, but whom we could talk to and trust. When I look back on my high school days, I remember less about my classes than the people that I spent my days with. And then we grow up, and once again those friendships change. People move away and suddenly we don't have that common place to hold us together, many friendships we thought would last forever, simply fade into the background.

As a socially anxious person, friendships have never been easy for me. I've always relied on the more social people around me to take that first step. In school, this worked well for me, but then I graduated and moved across the country where I knew no one. I was a brand new wife and soon a brand new mom. I needed friends then more than ever, but I was very much alone. In time, I did make friends- fellow special needs moms of the children in my son's class. What a different experience it was then, to have someone to talk to, someone who got it... both what it took to raise a special needs child, AND to do so alone much of the time while our husbands were deployed. I loved this circle of friends that we had built... but as with all things in the military, it would soon once again change. One by one, we found ourselves being uprooted and spread throughout the country. Once again, I found myself in a brand new town having to start all over. Almost five years later, and it's still an ongoing struggle for me.

Some might think that as an introvert, it's not a big deal. And perhaps there is some truth that I need less 'people time' than most, but I'm still human and those connections are part of who we are. Even the Bible speaks highly on the value of friendships. Take a look at some of these verses:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

When we read verses such as these, is it any wonder that we crave those friendships? As we grow older, life doesn't become less complicated. We need advice, we need encouragement, we need to know that we're not alone in this... but how- in our busy schedules- can we make and strengthen those relationships? What is the secret to make connections? I must admit, I don't have the answers...I need them myself... but the new book from (in)courage can help:

We all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community.  But where do we start?  The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull a chair up to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection.  Craving Connection is a journey with (in)courage writers sharing real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to:  (1) embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection, (2) invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you, and (3) become the friend you wish you had.  

I have been a fan of (in)courage for many years and the thing that I loved most about it was it truly did feel like a community. When I need to feel uplifted, I know that I can find those words of comfort and encouragement there always. Isn't that what WE should be in our relationships too? A place that others can turn to to lift them up and not tear them down. If ever there was a perfect group to write such a book, (in)courage definitely fits. (You can read more about their relationship to Dayspring here.)

Every year I find myself thinking that THIS is the year. This is the year I am going to put myself out there, this is the year that I am going to make friends and grow those relationships. And every year, I fall short. I have the best of intentions and I truly WANT those relationships, but I just don't know where to begin. While I have not finished reading through the book, already I feel like it is giving me that jump start I need to work on the relationships in my life- starting with the most important one- our relationship with God. If you are like me and need that extra help, this is one book that you are going to want to pick up. Read it on your own, or with your groups.

To better help celebrate and encourage these relationships, Dayspring also has a variety of products to go with the book. Take a look at just some of these great products:

Wear-One-Share-One Necklaces. We loved friendship necklaces when we were kids, so why should we stop enjoying them now!? Rather than those half hearts we were used to then, every necklace set features one word - Hope, Brave, Believe, Loved, Grace or Peace. These words can serve as a reminder to ourselves and our friend just how important and loved we are, and that we are not in this together. Not to mention, they're gorgeous too!

Clip Frame & Art Print Sets. In my home, I love having words of encouragement and inspirations incorporated throughout my decor. When I'm having a rough day, I can look upon those pieces, it brings me some hope. What I love about this set is that those words of encouragement can be switched out to best fit those needs. It is the perfect gift to offer a friend who needs some support, but you may also find you want one for yourself too.

Encouragement Postcard Book. I must admit, some days I dread going to the mailbox. I know when I go out there all I'm going to find is bills, bills and more bills. But every once in awhile, I'll find a sweet surprise from one of the ladies in my happy mail group. Oh what a joy that can bring! Something as simple as a postcard with an encouraging word can make such a difference. It says I thought of you, and you are loved. This book features 20 unique postcards that truly are perfect to send that little bit of love to your friends, wherever they may be.

I am loving these gorgeous products, perfect for giving and I am loving this wonderful book. More than anything, I am loving the inspiration to work on the friendships in my life. Throughout this year, I look forward to taking on the challenges brought forth in the book and using the products to truly make this the year that I WILL make new connections.

You can find all of these wonderful products, the book and more now at Dayspring.

And for a limited time, you will receive a FREE mug with your book purchase! Don't miss out!

Do friendships come easy to you? What products from this collection do you like best? How can they help you strengthen and grow your relationships?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Alison's Choice {A DVD Review & Giveaway}

**DVD received for review, all thoughts are my own.

On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court made the landmark decision on the case of Roe v. Wade on the issue of abortion. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions: protecting women's health and protecting the potentiality of human life.

In the 44 years since this ruling, the subject of abortion has remained a heated topic of debate. To be honest, I'm not sure that there is any other issue that can bring about such an emotional response.

But no matter what side you stand on the issue, have you ever wondered to yourself: What would Jesus think? What would He say? If you found yourself facing that seemingly impossible decision, what would He have to say to YOU?

Today, I want to share with you a new movie that sought to answer just that:

When young Alison finds herself pregnant by a dead-beat boyfriend, she turns to abortion.  There in the clinic, as she waits for her name to be called, she encounters a cast of extraordinary characters; a flamboyant counselor, a suburban mom, a heart-weary receptionist, an inner city counterpart… And more than anyone, a gentle-faced janitor with mop “eternally” in hand. The two begin to talk and it quickly becomes clear he is no mere janitor, but the living God manifest – and He’s come to plead for the life of her baby.  With the clock ticking precious minutes away, it is a fight for life or death. Suddenly a nurse appears, “Alison, we’re ready for you.”  What will Alison choose…

First and foremost I want to be very clear, this movie is absolutely 100% pro-life. If you are adamantly pro choice and have no wiggle room on the topic, chances are this isn't a movie you are going to appreciate. And that's completely okay, but for those who are pro-life, those who aren't sure, or those who want to gain a perspective on the other side of the issue, this is a powerful movie that has the potential to truly change someone's life.

In any decision and any hard time that we face, we know that God is with us... but sometimes its hard to really picture that. It becomes just something we say, but that can be hard to truly feel in those moments of need. We talk to God, but does He talk back? What would it be like to truly have a back and forth conversation with Him? In this movie that is just what we see. We meet Alison, a young girl who finds herself at an abortion clinic faced with a tough choice. While there, she meets a janitor who helps her talk through her decision... the holy spirit, in person...well, something like that.

What really struck me about this film is that there was no hate and no bashing shown to those who DID make that decision. Again, its absolutely and clearly a movie that is pro-life and yet, it did not place judgement. It made clear that God loves us- each of us- no matter what. Yes, even those who went through with decision to have an abortion. To me, that's a pretty powerful statement. To say, no, God doesn't hate you, He never could. Still, it made clear that He also loves each and every child, and that He mourns for those losses. Even the children never to be born are still His children, and He knows them by name.

This isn't a fast paced movie. You're not going to be rolling on the floor or holding the edge of your seat to see what happens next, but it IS a beautiful movie and a beautiful story that needs to be shared.

You can find out more and purchase a copy of this powerful movie here.

And they are giving 5 lucky winners the chance to win a copy for themselves. Click here to enter.