Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Project Flower

So, about three years ago I saw this idea in a scrappin’ magazine. I loved it and decided I just had to do it. Only problem…three years ago…I had no desire to spend much time on DIY projects. Mainly because I was not at all confident in my ability to actually make my project look as pictured. God is speaking life into me and my abilities…and I am starting to LOVE being a bit crafty. So…just three very long, exhausting short years later I am ready for my DIY debut. Haha! It was fun…and my husband has already picked out the picture that he wants me to do for our own house. (This one went to a beloved couple that got married this past Saturday.)

I must first give credit where credit is due. I got my inspiration idea from the wonderful ‘creating Keepsakes’ magazine. (If you are a scrap booker...it is FULL of awesome ideas and tips!! Well worth the money...especially if you are not super 'creative' like me.)

If you are sitting there, as a faithful subscriber to the magazine, thinking you can’t remember this craft project. I must tell you…I borrowed this magazine as I said, three years ago. But…it is the AUGUST issue from 2008! I have done almost every page in this magazine in my scrap books. Seriously…it is a bit sad. Lol! You can look through the magazine and then look through my scrap books…and see that I pretty much just changed the faces and names. I AM CRAFTY! I keep telling myself. I am just not very creative. *shrugs shoulders* I have accepted that truth. ;)

The page below is the page in which I am referring to in the creating Keepsakes magazine. (Page 49 for any of you hoarders out there who keep every issue…just incase you get back to it someday. Lol!) The master crafter is Becky Higgins. Thank you Becky for your idea, which I kindly copied and am super excited about!
Moon Pics 006

Here are all the supplies needed. Let me go clockwise starting with of course the frame.
1) I chose a Better Homes & Gardens frame from Walmart. It is dark brown in color…although black would’ve worked well too. I probably would’ve chosen a larger mat…but I improvised. :)

2) In the middle there is my completed project goal…and of course my printed picture. I used the black and white print. (The sepia is for another project and another day.) Oh…and I had them printed on a textured white cardstock, not photo paper. That is what Becky did…and I did not want to stray from her ‘look’. You will understand later on in the demo.

3) You need some sort of a paper/photo cutter. (Preferably with 1” markers for easy measuring for what is to come.)

4) A sanding block or small sheet of sandpaper.

5) My all-time FAVORITE pen to use for writing of any kind. It is the Pilot Extra Fine Rolling Ball Point pen in black. That’s how I roll…and that’s what I use! I really believe this pen makes me write neater. I own a lot of them…and I keep stuff them wherever I think I might have the opportunity to write.
 Moon Pics 0056) That is a large iced coffee that I made for myself. WARNING…cold, ice-filled drinks on a hot day, create much moisture on the table. It is NOT recommended for one to be crafting with PAPER while consuming such a beverage. You might…just might place your paper in the hardly visable water ring that is left behind from the drink that you moved out of reach of your almost two year old. You will be sad…but not parched. It is a choice you must make. You can guess the one I made. =/

7) An 8x10 sheet of black cardstock to adhere the photo pieces to. (Color will depend on your picture and your decor.)

 Moon Pics 008 Here, I am cutting the excess white cardstock from the sides of my picture to make it a true 4x6.

Moon Pics 034Next, cut the photo into 1 inch strips. (I just realized that I didn’t add my scissors and glue runner in my list above.)

 Moon Pics 035I then cut those strips into 1 inch squares. The last cut of each strip, I had to make with my scissors because of how small it was.

 Moon Pics 036I advise you to number your blocks on the back as you go. Otherwise…I hope you like puzzles! It is surprisingly more difficult than it looks. After all, they are all square. Lol!

 Moon Pics 037 After all your squares are cut, you can (I did because Becky did), sand each side of each square. It made them look a bit aged. And it also made the photo ‘pop’ better on my improvised piece of black cardstock.

Starting in the middle, glue/tape the pieces with just a slight space in between each. Measuring is not my style…so I eye-balled it. Feel free to not follow my lead on that one.
 Moon Pics 038THE FINISHED PROJECT! I was super happy with how it turned out!! Hope the bride and groom like as much as I do!!

Moon Pics 043Since the original photo is mine…I even signed my name. You never know, someday…that name might be worth something. Bahaha!

My next project will hang in my living room when it is completed. It is going to be much larger and cuter. Here are the subjects…
2012 Spring 888 (2)...my loves. =)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

From Reeboks to Appliances...Greed Lives On

Do you all remember the post I wrote titled "Take the Greed Quiz"?  Click here if you want to take a minute now to read it quickly. This is what God has been teaching me here and there over the last 3 months. I allowed greed in at a young age. I never truly dealt with it and defeated it. And now...it has been there for so long, it as if it is masked. Well...God exposed it in a new way to me today. And I am struggling to share it. Pride I guess. The approval of my Father though, that means more to me than judgement from my peers. So...I begin...

Can you remember back when you were in grade school. What kinds of things were important to you? What were the things that you needed in order to feel accepted? I can remember some of mine. It is almost funny to think of them...until God revealed that my mindset is the same...just larger 'things' are required for that 'acceptance'.

Anyone out there born in the 80's? If you were in school during the late 80's you will remember high-top sneakers. You will also remember the sneakers that had the little pump that looked like they sawed a basketball in half and slapped it on the extra large tongue of the shoe.

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Yep...I had to have those. Mine were purple Reebok's. Most importantly...the pump was bright purple!! No one treated me any differently because I had them.

Or how about 'the puff'? If you know what I am referring to without explanation...you probably had one too. (I'm sorry. Lol! Kidding....) The 'puff' was the mass of curled bangs, laquered shelacked hair sprayed to the point of complete stiffness...large and in charge. If yours got destroyed by the rain or snow in the 17 mile (exaggeration...eh...maybe a bit) trek to school...I feel for you. Some of my friends said that my 'puff' was the best. *rubs nails on shirt here in a pride-filled way...takes sarcastic bow here...* Blankly stares. Even with all of the praise about my puff...I can think of two people who I thought had a better puff. I will keep the names to myself so as not to start a fight. Lol! No one treated me any differently because I had an awesome puff.

Onto high school in the to late 90's. Levi's jeans...those were the next hot thing. In grade school it was acceptable to wear sweatpants. (I remember one classmate who wore them EVERYDAY! One day he wore jeans to school. All the girls swooned over him. The next day...back to the sweats. Lol!) Just last week I came accross a picture of me in the newspaper for winning some sort of a writing contest. The three other winners and myself...all wearing sweatpants. (I pondered the thought of scanning the picture in...but I wasn't sure the other gentleman would appreciate it. Lol! Also...the legs of my sweatpants were pulled up to just below my knee...so that was hot. Ack! Back to the jeans.)
That little red tag on the pocket of my Levi's was vital.

I remember having one pair that had a tag but it did not say Levi.
It just had a trademark R on it. I was so mad. With or without the word on the tag...no one treated me any differently because I had Levi's on.

Are you seeing a trend? No one cared as much as I did. I adopted this behavior young and kept it. I didn't realize I kept it...but let me put it as God did to me this morning. The following question comes from the devotional "Embraced by God" by Max Lucado.

"How does greed show itself even in the necessities of life like food and clothing?"
My response...We are rarely satisfied by having our needs met. We see more and we want more. We can shop in stores. We can longingly look into the windows of stores we walk by. Then there are all of the catalogs that get mailed directly to our houses. And who could forget the limit free world of online shopping. It is relentless. It is addicting. It is without boundaries. We are bombarded with ads and deals and coupons and sales. Each time...a new opportunity to become uncontent. Or is it discontent? You know what I mean. (Nowadays...I get a catalog...and I throw it away. I have learned. The lists that I have made for all the things I need want...just make me uneasy. The catalog filled with circled and starred items...pointless!)

Someone else always has something that looks better. That is such a one year old mentality. Seriously...I have a one year old. He has a toy. He sees a different toy. He grabs for it. Screams about it. Is no longer satisfied with whatever he had.

This mentality began as an infant.

What I am realizing, is that I am still fighting with it. I didn't realize it sooner because it is not spoken. Just thought. I don't go around throwing tantrums when I see someone with better food. Appliances. Clothing. Houses. Farms. Gardens. Books. Journals. Mugs. Make-up. Vehicles. Campers. ATV's. Talents. Need I go on? See what I was saying? Same mentality...just some larger, more expensive 'things'.

It is a mind thing. I need to rejoice always. To always be content with what I am given. To always be thankful for who I am, where I am, and what I have. It would be better if I did throw a fit...atleast then I would know how often it happens. It was sneaking right by me.
As if masked.

Here is my prayer. You can pray the same, or you can write your own. Just don't let another day go by that greed fills your heart or mind. God has revealed it to me...and I have written it out for you...now go do something about it. =)

Ugh, I need to defeat this greedy, selfish mentality right now, in Jesus Name! This is ridiculous. I have been holding onto silent, masked greed. Now it is exposed. I choose to be content. With where I am. With what I have. Your provision is sufficient for me. I am blessed. I will not desire what I do not have. God please make Your thoughts, my thoughts. Make Your ways, my ways. I need You to renew my mind to be Christ-like. I know Your voice and I will no longer listen to the father of lies. he has been unveiled again. I am not ashamed...I am sorry. Please forgive me and my greed-tainted heart. Help me to rejoice in your provision and blessing to everyone around me. Help me to rejoice even if I am in want...because you have my needs covered. I am blessed more than I have asked to be. Reveal Your goodness to me in new ways. In Jesus Name...I claim victory. I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not below. I will not live as if I am defeated! I praise You for Your never-ending love and faithfulness!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Star Eyes Started It All

I remember it fairly well. I was in fourth grade. My assignment was to write a fictional story. Mine was titled, "Star Eyes". If I remember correctly...mine was longer than most everyone else's. Lol! Hard to imagine huh? I even drew a sweet picture of the main character of my story, a clown who went by the name, you guessed it, Star Eyes. I had worked hard on constructing every last detail of my story. I even typed up (using the slow and steady two finger punch method) the final draft. The day had finally come that we would see our scores.

I don't remember the details well...but I do remember my teacher being very encouraging. I remember her praising me in front of the class for a well written story. Satisfaction in my accomplishment felt good. I loved to write...and just needed a little boost to know that I was on my way down the correct path.

Mrs. Robb was my teacher's name. Therese I am told is her first name, although I doubt I would ever be comfortable calling her that. Lol! Once your teacher...always your teacher. I do not think she has any idea the impact she had on my life. Could I still be where I am without her speaking those words of encouragement over my silly story? Of course! I serve a Mighty God...but I am who I am because of the paths that I took. Some of them paths that I chose, and some that were chosen for me. God used her when I was young and unsure, to spark the passion that was within my fingertips.

When I sat down to read over and edit this final draft of my blog post today I saw something very cool. Of course I just have to share it with you. That's my style. Lol!

Below is a picture of the note that was sent to my mom after my year with Mrs. Robb. You don't have to strain to read it. I will highlight what I am referring to.

 The last line reads as follows, "Keep up with the writing." I about cried when my mom found this in her keepsakes box. Those words were part of God's plan. And the written word means the world to me. As I have always said...it provides proof. You can read it and reread it as often as you want.
The other cool thing. Keep in mind...I was writing this post yesterday. I just didn't have the time...with 6 kids and all...then taking my four to VBS...to finish. So when I sat down to edit today...and noticed that her note was written on June 4th exactly 21 years ago...I laughed. Isn't God just too funny! I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. I finally sit to do it....and I just happened to pick the same date that she picked back in 1991. Ha-ha!

Anywhoo...I loved to write stories...so I kept on writing. Most of them fiction. Of course high school came after elementary school was over...and that is where I used my writing for myself. I wrote notes back and forth to all my friends. Sometimes writing funny things. Sometimes embarrassing. Sometimes claiming my love's (I use that term loosely...as I was clueless as to what 'love' really entailed). Sometimes gossiping. Sometimes being hilarious (did I say that already?). ;)

Next came my one year at college. I went undecided. I chose a major that I was not at all passionate about, nor interested in. While I was borderline drowning in a sea of uncertainty and confusion...I decided to take one English Composition course. It proved to be a huge challenge for me. I thought my professor was harsh on my papers. (He wasn't. It was just a plot of the enemy to try to keep me silent.) I am a comma queen and so when he would mark my paper with his red pen I didn't see it as constructive. I let it destroy my confidence a bit. Down the road a bit though, God had me revisit my college papers. This time when I read the comments, I realized that he was trying to make me a better author. My favorite assignment of the semester was to write an autobiography. I had one friend, thanks Pam, who looked forward to reading the newest chapter each week. (I am not sure if it was because my life was sooo interesting...or because I was sooo stinkin' funny. Sooo, I am going to go ahead and say BOTH! Bahaha!)

After my year was over I decided not to go back to school. I was unhealthy while I was there...and I was paying (still paying) for a major that I was not passionate about. What did I WANT to be when I grew up? AGH...I had no idea. I knew I really really really wanted to be a mom. Other than that...nada.

It was in this year after college, that my writing became a tool. A tool with a divine purpose. I began doing a devotional by Max Lucado and it changed my purpose forever. God spoke to me through my written words. I would get chills when I would read the things that He was saying to me. I would write prayers for different people...just as if I was having an actual conversation with God. (Hence the name of my blog. Pages of Prayer was a God breathed name. I knew it as soon as He spoke it to me.)

I continued to do different devotionals after I finished the first one. (It was called Embraced by God...get it! I have bought and given away several copies for only $4.00 on Amazon.com. That includes shipping!)  I was also reading books by some powerful Christian non-fiction authors...and underlining all the things I wanted to remember. Later I would journal about them. I would share them here and there...but most of them were left unseen.

Then the day came when God told me to begin this blog. You should read my first couple of posts if you haven't already. Those were the days that God began to use my writing to reach out. I figured I would reach my family. Maybe some close friends that would feel guilty and want to support me. What I didn't expect was to see how many countries, all around the world, would be viewing my little blog. I am constantly humbled when I see a new country represented. God is so amazing!

I know that God has an even bigger and greater plan for my passion to write for Him. I am starting to get a little glimpse of His plan...and it makes me anxious. Not in a bad way. I am not at all nervous...I am anxious as in I just want it to come to be...today! Haha! I am being patient while actively pursuing. Is that possible? ;)

I feel satisfied when I write. I feel joy when I write. I feel comfortable when I write. I feel powerful when I write. I feel blessed when I write. I feel humbled when I write. I feel loved when I write. I feel complete when I write for my King. It is my most intimate time with Him...and I wouldn't change my love for it.

I know how much the written word means to me. And I pray that someday this post finds the way to Mrs. Robb's desk. I want her to know that she made a difference. I want her to know that God used her words to stir up something in me that would play a vital part in my future in Him. I want her to know that she played a role in my calling. It wasn't something extravagant or extraordinary. It didn't take an impossible amount of effort. Just simple, spoken words.

So to Mrs. Robb, thank you for your kind words. Thank you for believing that I had something special. It may have taken me until I was almost 30 to truly fall into my calling to write...but you were step one in the road there. I am not sure if most of your students will take the time to tell you about the impact you had. But know that in Heaven...I will be one of them in a line...waiting to tell you all the places God took me because of His strategy that started with you. KNOW that your sacrifice was noticed. KNOW that your salary here is no match for your reward in Heaven. KNOW that you were/are loved by your students and staff. And KNOW that God wants you to finish strong. Keep speaking words of life to those around you now.

Let this be shout out to teachers/leaders/workers/parents/families everywhere. Speak life into the children you are surrounded by. Ask God to speak through you. You can help mold the life of a young child. You can have an affect that will sow into their adulthood. And maybe, just maybe someday...you will hear about it. Or read about it. Or see them succeed and know that God used you.

Encourage. Pray. Smile. Praise. Choose your words carefully. Little ears are not only listening, they are hearing what you say. Make your life worthy of imitation because the Author of your words is into raising up His sons and daughters.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lions are the Coolest

I am sooo excited to get this post into writing that I can barely contain myself! God has proven Himself faithful yet again. I know He is faithful. I tell people that He is faithful. And yet when He proves it…I am still so in awe and filled with excitement…that I just have to share it. =)

Okay, so a few nights ago I prayed with my children, as I do every night before they go to sleep. After I was finished I sent my husband in to pray with them too. He came back out saying that our oldest son Aiden (age 7) was upset and wanted to talk to me. (When I left him he was fine. Just sayin’. Haha!) I go in and find him crying. Like, not a little bit crying, but close to sobbing. I asked him what was wrong. His answer…angered me.

I won’t get it word for word…but basically he said that the enemy was attacking him. (And when he says enemy…he means the father of lies. Aiden knows his Father…and knows about the deceiver.) He went on to tell me that the devil kept putting evil thoughts in his head. Like thoughts to say mean things to people that would make them sad. And that he was trying hard to not say them…but it was getting more difficult because they just kept coming to his mind. He said he didn’t feel strong enough to pray.

I took him out of the bedroom and we sat on the couch together. You see…I too know who my Father is. And no matter how angry this makes me as Aiden’s mother…it infuriates God even more. So I knew that we (God and I) had to speak life into Aiden. That we had to use this as a divine opportunity to strengthen his faith. That we had to remind him of who he is. “A blood-bought, highly-favored, child of the Most High God!” Them is fightin’ words! =)

I began by reminding him of a scene from the Lion King. It is one of our favorite movies in the Knapp house. (Lions are the coolest! And my kids often crawl around roaring like they are lions. I prefer that to Kung-Fu any day. Lol!) The scene that I reminded him of, was the one where the three hyenas are talking with Scar. The one hyena says the name ‘Mufasa’ and the other one shudders. She says..”Oooo (as if getting a frightened chill), do it again.” He says the name ‘Mufasa’ again…and she gives the same response.

I compared that to the enemy. When we say the name of Jesus…the demons shudder. They loathe the name of Jesus. They can’t help but to flee at the mention of the name of Jesus! (Notice how I keep saying it? Love it!) I reminded Aiden of how much power there is when we just speak the name of Jesus. I told him that as soon as one of those mean/evil thoughts come into his head…that he was just to say, “In JESUS name I do not accept that! That thought is not from my Father!” I told him to say it loud and proud. Scream it if he had to!

After our conversation I prayed over him. I prayed that God would give him a dream in the night. I prayed that he would remember the dream…and that it would help to make him stronger. Then I made him pray. I don’t want any of my children to EVER feel too weak to pray over themselves. That is lie from the enemy…and I don’t accept it FOR them! I sent him off to bed and never heard a peep from him for the rest of the night.

Friday was his last day of school. I ended up driving him there…and so I asked him if he had a dream that night. Are you ready for this? It should send chills down your spine because of how awesomely, amazing our God is! It brought instant joy-filled tears to my eyes while he was telling me. God gave my son a dream. Do you understand that? The God in Heaven. The Creator of all that we see. The Maker of the Heavens and earth. The Alpha. The Omega. The beginning and the end. The one and only Savior…cares so much about my son…that He gave him a dream. Wow! I absolutely believe it. And at the same time I am humbled to think of it.

Here is his recall of his dream. “We were in the rainforest. (They’ve been learning about it in school the last few weeks.) And all these animals kept coming up to us. Big animals. Like cheetahs, tigers, jaguars and ocelots. Animals that roar. But they weren’t roaring…they were really nice. They were letting us pet them. This hyena came up to me and was trying to bite my hand. But a lion came over and roared at the hyena and didn’t let it bite me. We were scratching the hyena behind it’s ear and it’s leg was thumping on the ground as if he liked it.”

Do you get it?! Do you see how amazing God is?! Any of those animals could’ve proven God’s point…but he chose the hyena. Who ever even thinks of a hyena? They are not cute, nor cuddly, nor cool. I might have missed it if God hadn’t chosen the hyena though. And it just makes this story even cooler, that God got detailed to get our attention because of the conversation that had taken place the night before.

The enemy (the hyena) wants to bite us. He wants to wound us so that we will be afraid to serve God. He wants us to want life to be easier. And he tells us that it would be easier if we would just stop serving Christ. Remember the father of lies is his name. That is his name because that is all he has. Lies! But our God is like a roaring lion!

“God’s not dead! He’s surely Alive. He’s living on the inside. Roaring like a Lion!” (Those are lyrics to a song that Aiden has been singing for a few weeks. He sings them with power and conviction…and I LOVE it!) So God sees the enemy trying to harm us…and all He has to do is speak. He never has to lay a hand on the enemy to make His power known. God speaks. The enemy is hushed. The enemy’s power is stripped…and he is like a little harmless puppy before you. Thumping his foot on the ground when you scratch his ear. Nothing scary about that mental picture, huh?

Oh how I love it when God strengthens my children’s faith. I know that God has an amazing purpose for Aiden. And the enemy wants to destroy him while he is young because he thinks he is weak. HA! As I have said before…he is sly…but not at all smart. For Aiden is a son of the King. He is covered by the blood of Jesus. And his lioness mama…she is a warrior. She knows the power of prayer. She knows the divine calling that it is to mother children into the Kingdom. She does not take it lightly. And she will teach her little man to war with her. To fight. To not ever be afraid of the enemy because of the Mighty God we serve. To always pray, even if he feels weak…because when we are weak HE is strong! We’ve been singing those words since we were little…but do we truly believe them? I say…you better bet I do!!

Have a blessed day! I pray that God renews and strengthens your faith today. Ask Him to…and be looking and waiting for it. And when He does it…I would LOVE to hear about it. It fires me right up, and strengthens my faith! Keep sharing. Keeping firing others up. Keep the ripple going…so it gets bigger. And bigger. And bigger!! =) Love to love ya!