“we learn through the process”

The dry erase marker squeaked across the whiteboard as the professor inscribed these words:

“We learn through the process.” 

I was a graphic design major, a junior still trying to figure out the world. The time had finally come for me to take a painting class. Working with oil paints was something new to me. Something I had virtually no experience with.

Starting the demonstration, the professor dipped his brush into the medium and began to mix color on the palette. Gracefully applying it to the canvas, He modeled for us the proper way to use the materials, to mix the colors, to reveal the tones of the image. I was excited and nervous all at the same time, my mind swirling with the possibilities of what I might be capable of creating. Yet a large part of me was afraid. Afraid that I would try and fail.

My paint was runny. I used too much medium, and the texture wasn’t there. I stepped back to examine my work and sighed in frustration. Some of the tones looked too harsh. The blending was rough. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Why is this so difficult? I don’t even know what I’m doing.

 Image

But I continued to work. I worshipped the One who created light and dark, form and texture, space and substance. I started again. And I began to learn. I learned much more than I ever could have from watching the professor complete an entire painting. I just had to pick up my brush and do it. We learn through the process.

Sometimes I decide I’m not capable. I decide to let the fear of failing keep me from trying. I tell myself that I’m not a gifted evangelist, a strong leader or a captivating speaker. I forget that these people had to develop their gifts.

I tell myself that I’m not good at sharing my faith. Have I tried? I say that I’m not assertive enough to be a strong leader. Have I put myself in a situation where I have the opportunity? Many times, that answer is no.

We learn through the process.

May you and I have the courage to try and fail, even when we fail spectacularly. May we get up and try again, releasing to God our fear and resting in the hope that He is conforming us to the likeness of His Son. Because He is worth the risk and the reward.

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DIY: revamped journal with old CD cover

One of my goals for this year is to journal more. Sometimes I think I use social media to seek affirmation from other people – instead, I want to try to treasure more of these moments in my heart and thank God for them. So, since I’ll be needing someplace to write down these thoughts, a revamped journal was the perfect project for my snow day this past week!

I get a lot of my music for dirt cheap from our local library booksale, but it leaves me with a ton of empty cases since I just stick the discs right into a CD book. I usually recycle the cases, but some of the artwork I just don’t want to throw away. Thus, this journal was born.

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You will need:

– small blank journal  (could have a logo/design on the front that you don’t like, since we’re going to be covering up the central part of the cover)

– CD cover art that you like (I used Relient K’s “Forget and Not Slow Down”)

– paper trimmer

– Mod Podge and old paintbrush you don’t care about

– small paintbrush and acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice

– picture of a font you like to use as a reference (optional)

Instructions:

1. Use a paper trimmer to cut the CD cover down to the size you want.

2. Use the old paintbrush to apply Mod Podge where you want to put the image and center it on the journal.

3. Paint a word or phrase onto your journal. I originally tried using rubber stamps with the acrylic paint, but it looked awful so I just ended up freehanding. It really doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you want to emulate a certain style, try looking at a font that you like for inspiration. I ended up just looking at the font on the stamps I was using.

That’s it! If you want, you could probably apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top after the paint dries if you want a more glossy finish.

Enjoy your sweet new journal, and don’t get too busy to stop and see the beauty around you!

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

engagement sessions!

So since some of my dear friends are getting married soon, I’ve been able to practice shooting couples by doing a few engagement sessions! These were the first ones I’ve ever done, so it was a great learning experience. Excited to keep developing my photo skills!

Jessica + Richard

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Jess&Richie_Day2-0473-WMMelissa + Tyler

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Melissa+Tyler-WM-0354Ashlyn + Alex

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AshlynAlexEngagement-0240-WMCan’t wait to see these great, God-honoring couples tie the knot – and I’m so pumped that I get to stand up in two of the weddings!

1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.