So the whole "convert the lessons into PDF documents" thing still hasn't happened. I tried a free online service and it simply turned the document into a 4-page piece of mush. Perhaps I'll have better luck next time.
The theme of this month's lesson was "Rutbusters" and will hopefully provide insight and inspiration to those who are spiritually and creatively challenged... from one who is often spiritually and creatively challenged. (Just click on the lesson to enlarge.)
Here's are some of my tips for breaking out of a CREATIVE rut:
- Take a look at what others are doing. Visit Two Peas in a Bucket for some great inspiration and ideas: www.twopeasinabucket.com/.
- Go to the library and pour over scrapbooking magazines and idea books.
- Take a look around you and zero in on ONE THING, especially something you might have overlooked in the busy-ness of living. Create a page layout after first sketching out a few ideas on paper.
- Purchase one new embellishment or piece of paper and use it to create a page layout.
- Browse through your images and find a few that grab you. Create a page layout using those images.
- Shake up your surroundings by taking in some creative sites:
Uptown Art Fair www.uptownminneapolis.com/art-fair/
MN Landscape Arboretum www.arboretum.umn.edu/
Walker Art Center www.walkerart.org/index.wac
Lakeville Art Festival www.lakevilleartfestival.org/
Scrapbook Expo www.rubberstampandscrapbookexpo.com/
ScrapFest ’09 www.archiversonline.com/scrapfest08.html
- Keep a journal.
- Do you save notes and other memorabilia? Create a page that focuses on a recently saved nugget.
- Work on a small album project – a paper, PicFolio, or chipboard album can be a great place to start.
Here's are some of my tips for breaking out of a SPIRITUAL rut:
- Establish a consistent time and place to taste the grace of silence. Turn off all technology, grab a warm drink, and open up your Bible. Use the concordance to look up verses on guidance, encouragement, hope, or anything else that comes to mind. Write down the verses that speak most to you.
- Pray about everything.
- Attend church. Regular participation is just another way of staying plugged-in.
- Set the pace of simplicity:
* Are you keeping regular hours? Are you going to bed at a decent time and allowing yourself at least 7-8 hours of sleep?
* Are you eating balanced meals at least three times each day?
Are you allowing time for exercise?
* Have you been making the most of your family time? Do you engage your children or have a tendency to run away?
* Have you been building into your marriage by setting aside quality time with your husband?
* Are you carefully guarding your calendar? Do you have some margin built into your life?
* Have you been consistent? In parenting? In honoring commitments? If not, it might be time to reevaluate.
- Pick up a copy of Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King.
- Visit these websites for inspiring messages:
Cross Point www.crosspoint.tv/media/
Beth Moore www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bth_media
Joyce Meyer www.joycemeyer.org/ourministries/broadcast/
James MacDonald www.walkintheword.com/broadcast.aspx
- Keep a journal.
- Listen to AM 900 for inspirational teaching and FM 98.5 for inspirational music.
- Take a day to declutter: your closet, your basement, your kitchen cabinet. Check out this website for great tips and ideas: http://www.flylady.net/index.asp.
If I am continually losing my peace, feeling stressed or frazzled, chances are I am unbalanced. It's important to look closely at my priorities to see that first, they line up with God's priorities. And second, that my daily/weekly/monthly commitments reflect those same priorities. If my calendar is overloaded, then some things will need to be cut off.
And that can be tough.
It's a whole lot easier taking charge of things at the front end, carefully guarding our family's time by wisely choosing commitments.
And that can be tough sometimes, too.