First Bible Art Journaling Entry!

This is going to be a quick post. I found out about bible art journaling a few months ago and thought it would be a great way to absorb what I read and add time to reflect/worship in my own way. I realized I had enough swagbucks points to redeem an amazon giftcard so I got my journaling bible for free!

Here’s a link to the one I bought. I love the floral cover and vintage-y feel.

And here is my first entry. :)


I used these pens for anyone interested.

I’m in a creative field and LOVE drawing and doodling but my hand lettering and layout skills aren’t as sharp as I’d like. But overall, I’m happy with it. It’s the words that carry the weight here. Does anyone else art journal?

Life Happenings: Moving, Bible Journaling, Organizing

The move is over! It’s crazy how arduous an in-town move can be. It didn’t help that I was sick and lacking sleep. On Saturday, I had a great set of helpers and we got a majority of the larger items moved via a uHaul truck. On Sunday, we tackled the “small stuff” and boy did we have a lot of small to sweat! My roommate and I went over bright and early and I quickly realized how much we’ve accumulated. She was a dear and let me concentrate on my room while she packed up the entire kitchen. Because of our change in living situations, she has to be more conservative of what she could take so I’ve got a lot of stuff packed under my name that we shared to sort through and donate.

Around 2pm, we realized that it was more than we could handle. My mom offered to come help and I realize now that she did a majority of the wiping down/vacuuming/sweeping/etc for us! So grateful for her help! Our knees and legs were also giving out so around 4pm we rallied up my brother and his friend. I don’t think I can ever live in a second story again! After two upstairs dwellings, this moving process was killer. I’m so done. I’m pretty sure I did about 50 trips or more total in three days up two sets of stairs and a third small set. Jello legs for days.

I never did get to belongings outside of clothing for the KonMari process, so I am taking the unpacking time to use the method to settle that. I still have WAY. TOO. MUCH. Even with paring down clothes, I realize I have too many still. KonMari requires you to tidy with a plan. What are my dreams? To be flexible and not be weighed down to belongings so when opportunities arise, I can take them. To keep messes minimal so I can be emotionally and mentally focused on creating and learning for career and personal development. So yes, that means much less.

On a fun note, I recently discovered bible art journaling and as I was searching for something that would encourage me in devotionals and keep my creative streak, I am so excited to start! The last few years the Bible has become newly refreshing to me. It’s like I’m seeing it with a brand new pair of eyes. Now I can note all I’m learning with not only words but pictures.

Life is Precious – Treat it as So

This has been an emotionally rough week. One family lost their precious girl to Leukemia. She won her first battle, but her second took her home to Jesus. She was pushing along but had difficulty understanding everything and lost her appetite. It seemed wrong to wake up and hear that she passed as she was such a fighter. The other heartbreaking factor being that this month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

My best friend’s grandpa also passed. He was also beating the odds despite many problems but took a fall that sent him downhill fast. We all prayed he’d pass peacefully and God answered that by taking him in his sleep. My parents were able to visit before his decline but unfortunately I wasn’t. She had a terrible gut feeling that things would happen near her birthday. It just happens that the memorial will fall on her thirtieth. It will be awfully bittersweet to see her as three years have passed but I know how special it will be to stay by her side through the service for emotional support, and how nice it will be to take time to celebrate her birthday and this new decade of life.

It’s in fleeting moments like these that I’m reminded how my days are numbered and to never miss chances with anyone. My time and other people’s time is precious. And time with others is a gift.

KonMari Method Part 1

Last weekend I decided to embark on putting the KonMari method to practice.

I am still working through the clothes category, but I decided to learn how to feel my “Joy Spark” with dresses since it’s probably my smallest category clothes wise.


Admittedly, dresses are my most frivolous purchase. They make me feel beautiful and I like having a new dress to commemorate an extra special occasion. This year I had a wedding to attend, two graduations, and other functions and yes, I let myself buy a new one for each one. That’s probably how I ended up with 51 dresses total. Which, I’ll admit, is more than I ever needed! I whittled the collection down to 34 which still seems a bit large but does include extra dressy ones and ones I do rotate into my work wear. I don’t currently like how tunics look on my body right now as I’m heavier than when I purchased many of them (some of these items are a decade old) so it was easy to say goodbye to them.

Next, I did my bras, underwear, tights, and slips. I’ve always folded my undies as I think they look better that way but I did use a few shoeboxes to keep things compartmentalized and it made a huge difference! I wear a large cup and band size for bras so I think I will be moving my bras out of the drawer where they are being crumpled and jammed and put them in my closet.

And then, the madness of shirts and pants and tank tops. Oh my…that took up the rest of my day and I still have pants to work on as I mostly did shirts.

I’ll admit, getting things to stand and folding them KonMari style was more frustrating than I first thought. Because I am plus size, my clothes are wider and longer. This makes larger and longer rectangles that don’t stand as easily. I decided for pants to fold in the crotch area to bring the size down a little and for sweaters, to overlap a bit of shoulder to make them more compact. Despite frustration, the neat looking piles and streamlined look kept me motivated.


I’m not a big shoe buyer so I reached out on freecycle for some clean shoeboxes and supplemented what I could find at the dollar store and Daiso. See how kempt everything is starting to look? Ahhh…

Remember how I said I’m plus size so my folded clothes are wider? I own a cheapie chest of drawers to begin with so it is not very deep or tall. My solution was to lay the clothes vertically. I was able to fit most of my folded tees into one drawer, where before it was a few drawers and then some. This was the most rewarding part of my day.


I’m making progress! There’s much more to do this weekend. I also have a good amount of clothes to launder so I’m getting that out of the way so I’ll be ready to tackle part two.

From mostly tops alone, I filled two trash bags to donate. The dresses I plan to sell or give to someone (truly) in need of some.

New Book!

I know I know… I still owe you guys a review on The Best Yes. But, this is my current read and one that comes at a great time since I’m in the middle of purging and organizing for a move. 11781896_10153298164403855_4457894800438684343_n
 I’m only 30 or so pages in but I’ve already had one good thing come out of it. Yesterday I decided to redeem a peel off at a fast food chain and coupled that with a coffee and sat down to read. A little later a man sat down a few tables away and opened up what looked like a Bible. The pages were tattered and torn. Part of his reading was a section that fell out and he brought it up close to his face to read it and gingerly turn the page.

Just minutes before I thought about the whole spark joy thing and how horrible it was that I had “stocked up” on Bibles like it was a novelty when God’s word is so special and could be shared with others. And here was a man who loved his Bible and possibly needed a new one.

I read some more and finished my coffee and walked over.

“It’s refreshing to see you reading your Bible in public” I said.

“Amen. Are you a follower of Christ?” He asked.

We probably chatted for about 15 minutes. I found out where he fellowshipped and what he considers his ministry and asked him to tell me more about his Bible. I told him many Bibles in that condition are because they are well loved and consequently well used. I told him I felt led to give him a bible and he said he would take it.

Now, this Bible wasn’t the best bible out there. It’s small and travel sized but the full old and new testament in a great easy to understand translation. And while I don’t think his studying Bible will change, it may be a tool for what he likes to do. He likes to talk to people and go door to door and ask people if they need help with anything around the house or need prayer. And a travel size Bible with all its pages in tact would be great for that. :)

I’m grateful that God orchestrated that little meeting, and that my little Bible, often neglected and sitting in my trunk, can now “spark joy” in his life.

Why Minimalism is Not my Living Style…

So you guys know from recent posts that I am in the middle of a great purge and downsizing. The main reason is practical – not having more than I have room for. However, the secondary reason, nearly as important as the first, is, “Is this purposeful?”

Here’s why I like stuff:

1. I like stuff because it holds a memory.

The coins from my trip to Southeast Asia. The ticket stubs from some awesome concerts. The doodles from high school before I had any formal art training. The snow globe from Seaworld that encapsulated a picture of my family from 1998.

2. I like stuff because it reminds me I’m taken care of.

Extra boxes and cans in the pantry mean I can have people over for dinner on a whim or survive a bad earthquake. Extra clothes means more options to express my style. Excess in general means I’m blessed with more than enough.

3. I like stuff because I can share it.

One of my love languages is gifting people my time and treasures. Time is fickle because sometimes there’s a lot to share, and sometimes there’s not. But stuff? I tuck away items I get a good deal on or that remind me of someone so that I always have a personalized gift on hand. Something that says I took time and considered their interests.

4. I like stuff because I’m visual.

My mood can change because I walked outside and noticed the clouds were nice and fluffy and the sun highlighted the trees so that they glowed. In the same way, walking into a room with fun art and objects helps me unwind or find bliss. I feel happier with things around me rather than empty walls and few accents. Conversely I know people who find that stuff stressful and overwhelming and need a “clean” or streamlined feel. We’re all different.

5. I like stuff because it fuels creativity and can actually help me be frugal.

Art and craft supplies bought on sale or with a 40% off coupon save a lot of money. And having things around the house help me stay creative which is something I inherently crave both as a person and for my profession. The problem here is not having direction and dipping my fingers into too many pots. Scrapbooking and stamping are just not things I’m really into if I’m honest with myself and they take up a fair amount of space. So it’s better to donate those supplies and keep room for paper crafts, painting, and mixed media projects.

I think it’s important for me to note that I’m visual and not minimalist by nature to understand that is not where my heart is and not my goal at this time. I have a lot of clothes but few fit me well. That doesn’t translate simply into tossing 3/4 of my closet. I need to dig further. Purposefully. The reasons are not just material. I struggle with weight. This means not letting extra clothes be my comfort blanket and not buying things just because they fit me okay. But it also means reminding myself to stay the course for weight loss plans. To feel better and fit better in what I wear. And to not forget confidence.

I have a lot of art supplies not being used. Books that are stacked in a “to-read” pile. Why am I not doing what I love? What is using up my free time? Why am I not doing things that unwind and inspire me?

I have 5 cans of tomato paste. Why? I didn’t shop intentionally, that’s why. I’m not keeping good record of what I have.

When I ask questions like this, I am considering so much more than the object. And that’s what’s important right now. Intention, purpose, and practicality.

Thick. Thin. Fitting in.

I stumbled upon this entry today:

I thought it was a pretty good read. It was a good reminder to not let peer pressure or trends decide what is ideal for my body.

Two thoughts though –

1. In earlier times, plumpness was a sign of health or abundance. It was good to see one well fed and healthy. Thin might have been interpreted as underfed, or possibly not well.

2. The passages mentioned in the Bible are from a lover to his love. This is an intimate portrait he paints. In the same way, every man and woman has their own idea of what is lovely in the sense of personal preference.

Some may enjoy shorter, taller, thinner, larger…it’s not a one size fit all guide. And ultimately, other people’s preferences should not sway one’s opinion of self.

“How do you like you?” I want that question to be enough. 

I want to be sensitive to ladies who have the opposite problem I do. I tack weight on easily…some are unable to gain despite a healthful diet. I’m on the other side of the issue, but I get it. And while the world may cast different labels and judgements on us based on our sizes, the root of the above article brings up a good point: how do we let cultural idealism define our personal goals? If we let the ideals in, are they being harmful?

For me personally, these struggles come in the form of gym/health culture and fashion. I want to be physically conditioned for the benefit of strength and toning, not for show. I struggle with the model-type fitness gurus on social media teaching me new workout moves. I know that if I “keep it real” with myself I know I want to look like them but also that my results will probably entail loose skin and stretch marks. I look at fashion magazines and feel like I’ll never find myself at a size small enough to “pull off” a certain look or heck, even fit the sizes they carry. I’ll toss $100 at the health store pretending organic this and nutritional that will magically transform me because it’s “healthy.”  But those aren’t where my focus needs to be. So, my personal resolve was to stop fashion magazine subscriptions and look for more realistic health and fitness gurus on youtube rather than stick to just top names in the fitness world.

When I’m honest with myself and ask, “How do you like you?” What do I see?

I see a 180 pound gal, not the 125-135 I should be according to BMI. I see myself dressing relatively the same because I like comfortable fashion and more modest options. I don’t see prominent abs or a body built for a fashion magazine. I just see a feeling of efficiency and contentment from hard work.

And that’s when I remind myself, “Laura, that’s where you want to be. That’s where you like you.”

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Something Borrowed:

A realiable gps with newer maps guides the way
The “dumb phone” lent to me since my cellphone broke

Something Blue:

Not being happy with how big I look in some of the pictures that were taken
The tee from the aquarium that fit me just right even though I was worried
The ocean as we drove around the coast
The unplanned color of most of the family’s dresses for the wedding
The feeling I get as I leave the airport knowing it will be a full year or more until I see my friend again

Something old:

The feeling of my legs after lots of walking
A favorite vacation spot
Em dancing with her son-in-law at the wedding at the ripe but lively age of 99
Remembering and retracing steps around a favorite aquarium
The San Francisco Bridge
The cells of Alcatraz
The photos at the memory table displaying loved ones gone to be with Him
Trying to recall how many years we’ve been friends and no coming up with a solid number
Familiar faces of friends and family gathered to celebrate a union
Relearning T9 text until my new phone arrives
My mom’s friend gifts a beautiful gilded hair barrette for me to wear as sister of the groom

Something New:

Learning that flounder flatten with age and are actually born fully upright
Being in the driver’s seat for a lengthy trip
A sister-in-law (finally!)
The first person in our cousin group gets married
My brother and his wife are now moved into a different city
My parents’ nest is now empty
A glass cup, pencil, pins, and a tee shirt for souvenirs
Having my best friend spend the night in a home of my own
Viewing the only albatross in captivity in the world (she is unable to be released)

Above are the snippets of a very full wedding week and quick vacation. Feeling refreshed.