DOTK – Peaceful

Thank you for joining me for this “experiment”  !!!

DOTK_Peaceful_printable

Download the “Peaceful” printable by clicking on the image and saving to your computer.  Then, watch the first Virtual Bible Study video in this series as I created the art to illustrate this verse:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 

God. spoke this verse over me near the beginning of the season of my life that was marked by headaches, hospitalizations, and cognitive impairments and it helped me focus on Him and not the anxiety I was experiencing.  Yes, I still felt and exhibited the signs of anxiety, however, I knew He was with my and I was not alone.

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How to make a Western-themed, Altered Book Junk Journal

STEP 1 in this series, after deciding on my inspiration pieces was to decide how to alter the book … trust me this was a hard one as it was not the typical book I take apart.  

I like to choose books that are falling apart or have had the pages damaged in some way, however, I could not pass up the title, theme, and condition for a gift that will be given away. 

First, I removed some of the pages and glued them back together creating journalling pockets…I hope to have this video for you soon.

I plan to use the removed pages to create embellishments and journalling spots for the book.  I am excited to try my hand at this style of junk journal as I have never made an altered book.  My preferred style is to remove the entire book block and create signatures.  I may use some of the other books, that I found while out “antique/thrifting” to try some other styles.  Stay tuned for the next installment in the “Western Junk Journal” series!

Digital/Virtual Bible Study – DOTK

This past year brought a lot of healing and a lot of new things.  One of those ‘new things’ was using the computer to create images that I used in my devotions.  The result is a journal that I can use for sermon notes, journaling, Bible study or a springboard of inspiration.

I have been praying about the next steps with this project and have finally felt lead as to the direction to go and recently shared it on my channel.

You can watch the video here …

 

Also, I decided to make the first printable available to download.  My goal is to have one printable as a FREE download with each Digital/Virtual Bible Study video and will have a link in the description box to the download.

Be sure to use the hashtag #TOMDOTK and tag me on social media with how you use the printables in your self-care, devotional, or arts & crafts!

I am @theorganizedmiss on Facebook and Instagram

Thank you for joining me in this new Bible Study devotional series.

Self-Care Strategy: Volunteer

Miss America Serves Day is April 7th this year and titleholders, contestants and volunteers will be serving their communities through their personal platform in addition to raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH).

My personal platform is raising awareness of cognitive impairments and the importance of self-care to decrease the effects of stress on the brain. Volunteering is one form of self-care that I have identified as it helps me to focus on the needs of others and how I can help them.

Volunteering is good for your mind and body as it provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Volunteering combats depression.

Reducing the risk of depression is an important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering helps you make positive connections, eliminating isolation, and can contribute to your overall happiness.

According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. High blood pressure is an important indicator of health because it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.

This week, during Miss America Serves week, consider ways to improve your health through volunteering. If you would like to help me make miracles with CMNH, you can donate here. All funds raised go to the local CMNH hospitals.  Whether it is $1 or $100, every dollar counts and can make the difference in the life of a child or the family of a child who is in the hospital.

Visit CMNH to learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

My Go Bag

… and tools I use to STOP the madness!

Today I found myself walking around the house in circles. By that I mean, I was going from room to room, picking up one thing at a time, then thinking of something else only to change directions and start another task. WHY? First I need to back up.

My plans for the day included another person who had either changed their plans without informing me, had forgot, or was still asleep…during our scheduled time together. As a result, I was filling my time with small, one off tasks, that were not on my daily schedule…basically busy work. I didn’t feel at liberty to engage in an activity that would tie me up if the person I was waiting on finally returned my call…I started to feel anxious.

Has that ever happened to you? You want to be productive with your waiting time but in order to get in the flow, you need to have the time to complete the tasks. If you are like me, while waiting on someone else the thought of starting a project that could be interrupted causes anxiety as does the lack of feeling productive “in the waiting” … so what do you do when you are time dependent on another person who, for whatever reason, does not seem to be respectful of your time?

Unfortunately, my pattern is that I find myself going in circles from small task to small task, not actually feeling accomplished. While yes, those items needed to be taken out of the living room and moved back into the office, I was not planning on doing it at that moment but at a later time … when I could not accomplish the things I had planned. See a theme? PLANS! Making and keeping them.

Eventually I catch myself going in circles and I tell myself to STOP! Take a breath and pray. Once I am in a state of calm…or semi calm, I follow a routine (yes I just said routine) that I created to help me break the pattern of being stuck.

Feeling stuck is a common human condition, but staying that way is not. Being aware of and recognizing your condition is only half the battle, the other half is being prepared with a plan you can implement any time you find yourself stuck, going in circles.

I use a “Go Bag” and have a video telling you how and why it originated and you can watch it here

In my bag are the tools I have collected and developed over the years which help me. Your tools may vary slightly, and if you need to borrow a tool from my bag, feel free. I only gained mine because I had to learn the hard way or, in some cases, someone special introduced me to them along they way.

Before you find yourself going in circles, designate your own “Go Bag” … if you are already feeling anxious or overwhelmed, STOP what you are doing and take a deep breath and say a silent prayer. Then check out my tool box for dealing with anxiety and overwhelm.
Fill it with the items that can help you … see What’s in my Tool Box for suggestions
Create a “get unstuck” routine – Have a go to place that you can go. Take your bag and go somewhere different. Changing your physical environment takes you out of the situation that is either causing or contributing to the feeling of anxiety/overwhelm/stuck and can have a major impact on your perception of events and can help you think differently about a current situation. Some places to consider are your local library, a restaurant or coffee shop, a bookstore or a park.
Pay attention to your body and your thoughts. When you notice you are going in circles, feel stuck, anxious, tense or aggressive, or find yourself having negative thoughts, implement your routine.

I would love to know the tools you put in your “Go Bag” … tag me on social media with #GoBagTools

What’s in my Toolbox

What comes to mind when you read the words, tools and toolbox?  Perhaps images of hammers, wrenches, stud finders and other construction related equipment?  What I am referring to when I mention tools are skills to aid you in times of stress or other emotional difficulty.

None of us are issued a toolbox full of tools when we enter this life but have the opportunity to gain and learn how to use them as we grow.  We gain our initial toolset from our family.  They could have a highly developed set of tools and therefore pass those on to you…kind of like a super computer.  They may have antiquated tools that no longer serve you well…kind of like an abacus.  It was highly sophisticated instrument when it was first developed but if you need to solve a difficult problem, using the abacus will keep you in the dark ages.

Some tools are literal, like planner/organizer, pens, paper, laptop, iPad, and cell phone.  Other tools are more abstract like prayer and meditation, choosing to love unconditionally, nonjudgmental listening, seeking to understand so you can then be understood, being intentional, looking for the positive perspective, making the next right decision…the list goes on and on.

The tangible tools I keep in my “Go Bag” to help me get unstuck can vary but the consistent items are my bible, a pencil bag filled with various pens, pencils, highlighters, page flags, washi tape, and scissors, at least one planner (usually my goal planner to help me focus on what’s important), an iPad or laptop, a protein bar, an essential oil or fragrance that is relaxing to me, CBD oil & lotion, TENS unit, list of self-care strategies, and Altoids…you’d be surprised at how centering it can be to take a moment and enjoy a peppermint!

The intangible items are always with me.  It takes intention to focus on and use them but the more I do, the more readily available they are to me.   Using them, refining them, and replacing when I find a new one that serves me better, helps me to reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm and allows me to focus on implementing the techniques to help me get unstuck.

This list is no by means exhaustive, as the items do change from time to time, but this is a very representative list of what I like to keep on hand when I need to change my scenery and get a fresh persepective.  I hope they have given you insight into some “tools” you can gather for your Go Bag.

Schoolwork Junk Journal

My friend, Katie, shared her dilemma about what to do with all the papers her son brings home from school.  You know the ones. The beautiful works of art and weekly quizzes boasting 100% in red ink across the top.  They invariably find a place of prominence on the refrigerator.

I have a confession.

I have most of my daughter’s graded school work, drawings another other ephemera in storage bins and drawers…she is in college now.

Relating to Katie’s struggle, I decided to pull out my daughter’s papers and create a “Schoolwork” junk journal and I am so glad I did.  Now my treasured bits and pieces are gathered together and displayed on my shelf and I can flip through it anytime I wish, what’s more, I plan to share it with my daughter…one day.

 

Mixed Media Cards

Time to share another FREE printable!

I love making mixed media journal cards and have started creating birthday cards in the same style.  Recently, I was requested to make a video teaching how I make them and it is available on my YouTube channel.

I decided to provide some of my favorites as a printable you can use in your art or Bible journaling, with Project Life, or to write a quick note on and give to a friend.  How you use them is up to you, but they are for personal use only.

Faith, Hope and Love – Journal Cards

Camels and Crowns?

It’s Wednesday and that means “hump day” for many people. For me, it includes looking to God in my planning. I need Him to help me get through the week…and that means trusting Him.
So, I am meditating on the camel today as a visual reminder to trust Him. Why, the camel? Think about it.  God made everything with a plan; you, me and even the camel.
His plan of equipping each of His unique creations with everything needed to face their day, week, month (even difficult seasons of life) is observable in their physical characteristics.  These unique features help us adapt to a sometimes changing environment.  All we need to do is trust that we have been or will be provided with everything we need.
Have you ever felt as though you were going through a desert…perhaps a drought?  How does the camel respond to such situations? Do they worry? Do they stress about crossing a hot, dry land with no relief in the foreseeable future? No. They just keep moving forward. But how?
They can survive in a desert because of physical features, such as:
Large feet that help them to walk on sand without sinking in.
Nostrils that they can open and close to keep out blowing sand.
Long eyelashes to protect its eyes from blowing sand.
They store fat in their hump, not water. If they cannot find food, they use this fat to produce energy. When full of fat, the hump stands up. But when empty, it is just a loose flap of hairy skin.
Unlike most mammals, the body temperature of a camel changes during the day. As a result, the camel doesn’t sweat as much when the temperature rises. Sweating causes water loss, so the camel’s temperature changes help it to conserve water.
Camels have thick lips so they can eat the prickly desert plants with out being injured.
The color of their bodies helps them to blend into their environment. This protects them from predators, such as wolves.
Camel’s ears are covered with hair, even on the inside. The hair helps keep out sand or dust that might blow into the animal’s ears.
The protruding bone on their forehead acts much like a sun-visor, which helps to keep sunlight out of their eyes.
So, next time you are facing a desert, drought, or simply struggling to get through the week, look to the camel and be encouraged knowing if God provided the camel with everything he needs, He has done the same and more for you. Remember, you are a child of the King and wear an invisible crown.

Developing Your Style – Start with YOU!

 KNOW THYSELF

“The essence of knowledge is self-knowledge.” – Plato

“Who am I in the midst of all this thought traffic?” – Rumi

It is important to ask questions and reflect on the answers you develop in order fully know who you are and what motivates you in the areas of Service (which I identify as Being), Syle (identified as Body) and Scholarship (identified as Brain).  

Being is how you identify yourself in relation to your contribution to the world.  It encompasses your platform which identifies the type of SERVICE you share with people and organizations.  Your BEING can be identified as your purpose; your personal mission statement and ultimately defines your STYLE.   

Brain is your (SCHOLARSHIP) educational pursuits, both personally and professionally.  Additionally, it covers areas of personal development to include your TALENT.  

Body is a large category that includes the areas of health and fitness, as well as your physical environment.  The sum of these three parts (Being, Body, Brain/Service, Style, Scholarship) is also categorized under Body/Style.  You, your style, your image is a brand and is the output of all the other factors contributing to the definition of who you are.  STYLE, then, is HOW you relate to the outside world; your family, friends, school, and community.

Hopefully, you can see how important the knowledge of who you are and what you value.  It is not only important to your core identity but it is extremely helpful in determining the what and how you plan to give, do, and be during your year of SERVICE as Miss (Local/State).

What do you know about you?  How can you share your unique gifts, talents, skills, and abilities with your community and the world at large?  Download this FREE Style Inventory and to get started on identifying your personal brand.