Creating Wonder: finding your one word


If you have come over from a beautiful life, thank you so much for joining me here.  I hope you will be inspired to take a journey of discovery. If you have found us accidentally or are a creative faith follower and would like to read the ABL post that I wrote, you can find that here: One word, One journey, One life

I am so glad that you have decided to stop by. I treasure your virtual friendship and look forward to inspiring you in 2018! In my ABL post I talked about focus words, phrases or mantras. Here I am going to give you some ideas on how to discover YOUR word and how you can use it to redefine who you are and how you go about life. Now this is all from my perspective, and an important thing to remember is that not everyone is the same or sees things in a similar way.  I will try to keep my suggestions general so that you are able to take them and use them to fit into your 2018. As always, the Lord is your ultimate guide and all that you do points back to His greatness and love.

My posts typically are not this long, I value your time and appreciate your visit. But to start off the year, this topic of focus words is one that entire books can explore.  I will try to keep my commentary as brief as I think necessary to give you great perspective and a wonderful start to the new year and new you!

Finding your one word

How you go about finding your focus word, phrase, or mantra will be as individual as the personalities of the seekers. I can only tell you how I found mine and hope that by doing similar things, you may find yours as well.

Here are my top 3 techniques (for a lack of a better word)

  1. Listen:

There are several ways to listen. The first involves quiet and solitude, giving your spirit an opportunity to speak without all of the noise and confusion of life. This kind of listening seeks an inner voice, communication with the Spirit of God, and knowledge that surpasses anything you might otherwise think. God is often found in the tranquil, quiet moments and speaks with a still small voice. If you are running from one activity to another without so much as a thought of your own, how will you ever hear Him?

Another way to listen is picking out key words when hearing others speak such as during a message on Sunday, a video lesson, a conversation with friends, or even reading a book.  The word, when it is one that you should pay attention to, will leap off the page, out of the context in which it is spoken and become so prominent in your mind that you won’t be able to ignore it. Have you ever experienced a time when you kept hearing the same thing over and over from different sources? This is what I am talking about. Pay attention: It is obviously something you need to hear.  Sometimes it can be difficult when it isn’t something you want to hear, but really since when is life ever easy? If you listen, follow, and learn what you need to, you can maybe move on to something hopefully a bit more pleasant.

In my experience, God is more interested in your character than in your comfort

I once had the impression that I needed to slow down. Everything I tried to do fast, was thwarted. Cars blocked my way, plans fell through, projects turned out badly, accidents happened.  It wasn’t until I finally took a moment to tell myself to slow down, that things started to click into place.  I didn’t always see it heading out, but when I was intentional about going forward slowly, success found its way into my situations and I learned that fast isn’t the best way forward.


  1. Ask:

For guidance. I do this in my Morning Prayer time.  But maybe you aren’t a pray-er. Do you meditate? Take daily walks? Talk to the Creator of the Universe while you are driving down the road? This is a great time to turn off the radio, your phone, and any other distracting element and ask for wisdom in choosing the appropriate word for your situation. He sees the beginning to the end.  He knows what will take you to the best life possible. He loves you and wants only the best for you –

So ask

What should I focus on this year?

How would you like me to spend my time?

Where do you want me to make a change for the better?

If you seek…you will find!


  1. Visualize:

Sometimes I will have several words that I think will be great focus words for me, but one is really better in trying to accomplish change or experience discovery. I will write them all down on individual pieces of paper, then work on some visualization exercises to discover what I think may come from using that particular word.

Make a list of things you would like to see happen pertaining to that word.

Brainstorm all of the possible outcomes, both good and bad

Then choose the one you are most drawn to.

-We are all works in progress.  Sometimes there are many things we would like to do or work on. I call this creative ADD. My mind doesn’t like to choose just one thing because there are so many awesome options. But when I do too many, I often find myself spread thin. Too thin!  Can you relate?

Choose oneyour creative spirit will thank you!

Maybe you still don’t know where to begin or can’t decide on a word?

Maybe these exercises didn’t produce anything definitive?

Here are some possible one words:

  • Worship
  • Journey
  • Center
  • Strength
  • Creative
  • Gifts
  • Vision
  • Follow
  • Healthy
  • Focus
  • Spirit life
  • Prayer
  • Rest
  • Discover
  • Write
  • Travel

This list is by no means exhaustive, it is just some things I have considered in the past. Finding your one word may be as easy as just choosing and knowing instinctively what is missing in life and how you want to rectify it. That is why I included the above list.  Sometimes we just need some suggestions to get us going. The rest follows quickly.

Last year my word was CREATE.  I’ve always been creative, but renewing what I believe I had lost was an important step for me in moving forward in what I believe God has purposed me with. The whole year was trying out various creative avenues for sharing what I know and learning new things to explore what I was capable of.  Through this process I discovered what kind of a creative I was, my strengths, weaknesses, and how I thought I wanted to move forward.  There were times of confusion and doubt as well as aha moments that made me think that I was not so lost after all.

Did I figure it all out?

Absolutely not! This is not meant to be a fix-your-life gig.  It is simply a way to get your brain focused on something meaningful to you.  What you may discover along the way can be pivotal, and sometimes it will lead you to a different word – another step along the path of life.

What my word means to me

Wonder- 2018

Over the last few months I have encountered this word through so many different avenues that it was hard to ignore. Songs, books, movies, classes – then God spoke to my heart:

You are too busy – you’ve lost the wonder you used to have. Rediscover it!

…and he is right – I have

It is the little things in life, the ones that make you look closer to see if there is really something there, that means the most.  It is finding the wonder in the common, mundane, and even ugly of life that will change your perspective and bring you to a place of seeing the world through God colored glasses. But to see that, I first need to slow down – again. But this time it is a slowing of mind, of focus, an intentional exploration of the infinitely smaller parts of this vast and beautiful place we call Earth.

Evidence of God is all around us, but are we choosing to see it? I want to see it. The evidence. The miracles. The beauty that He has created for us to discover.  I want to see the wonder of this world and all that I am meant to have and discover and experience.

And it all starts here: with WONDER

Where do you go from here?

Knowing what to do with your one word once you discover it can be a challenge.  If you make it too complex a process or expect too much from yourself, you won’t stick with it…just like those New Year resolutions that often don’t make it past the first week.

If all you do is look at the word every day and ponder its meaning to you and your life…that is enough. This is your life, your journey, and your word.  Everyone’s process of discovery will be different.


  • Look up the dictionary meanings and jot them down. This will get you to think about the different ways that it can impact your life.
  • Write a new way that you can use your word in your day – each day. Keep a journal with these notes so you can reflect back when you feel like you’ve wandered off the path. This doesn’t have to be fully formed sentences, they can be just a couple of random thoughts….you’ll know what they mean even if no one else does 😉
  • Create a piece of art that incorporates your word or uses it in some other creative way. Keep an art journal with these creations and use the pages to journal other thoughts and experiences on. Make sure to include what works, what doesn’t, and what you would like to try next. This art is for you and no one else, it is a visual diary of your word discovery.
  • Write your word on a notecard (or 50) and place it/them around your house. Tape them on mirrors, magnet them to the fridge, tuck them in books, put one in a drawer at work or at home. These will serve as reminders as you go about life, of the discoveries you wanted to make. Every day is one step closer to an epic discovery.


Me? I will be using Wonder as a jumping off point for the rest of what I do this year. Art, classes, stories… I can see a wide world of possibility unfolding before me, and I can’t wait to explore its depths!

As an added bonus, I have included a short tutorial below of a mini book I am creating from a deck of cards, 52 cards/pages to document my weekly thoughts/experiences on. Whatever your creative outlet is: art, writing, photography, prayer, I hope you enjoy it and are inspired to make one of your own.

So apparently I am long winded….I’ll have to work on that!  Check out the video below for some tips on using a simple deck of cards to create a 52 page booklet to journal your 2018. The video timed out before I could add the cover so I included a couple of pics below to help you to finish it off.  Have fun with it!  You can also use note-cards or index cards in place of the playing cards. The point is to create something small to increase the possibility of successfully finishing the page each week.  At the end you will have a great mixed media book documenting your one word journey!

Video Tutorial: One word-52 pages     

supplies: 1 deck of playing cards, mod podge or tacky glue, ribbon of your choice, book board, gesso, stencils and modeling past (if you would like to add a bit of texture to your pages)

  • Using book board or chip board, cut pieces to just slightly larger than the card book you just made
  • glue a pieces of sturdy ribbon to the edge of the free end of the cover. (it should be twice as wide as the cover plus the width of the stack of cards…then add a pinch for gluing on each side)
  • you will then glue down the free edge of the ribbon you used to create your book. the loose end of it should be pointing toward the side that you just glued the tab on.
  • coat whole piece with a heavy sticky glue (like tacky glue) and place another card on top of the ribbon to cover it.
  • fold the outside ribbon around the cover of the book and glue in place. Clip and let dry.
  • fold the ribbon around the stack of cards and then fix the back cover piece in place…glue ribbon down and tuck into other side. glue down that end and the original ribbon down to create your completed book.
  • decorate your cover with your One Word and the year!

Next Monday we will begin again with our daily prompts to get you going in your one word book.

See you then!!



Sacred Grounds -the foundations of art

The elevator stopped with a jolt.

Ground floor…or so I thought. The door opened and the scene before me didn’t register for a moment. I wanted to go the front desk of the hotel that I was staying at in Germany, but that was not what had appeared before me.

Funny how something as simple as an elevator could be so confusing in another language. Apparently the ground floor in Germany isn’t the same as in America. Who knew? I punched another button….choice number two…and reached my desired location.

How often do we start off making the wrong choice?

-in life…

-in art….

We choose what we think will get us to where we want to go, yet more often than we care to admit, it is the second choice that actually gets us there.

Choosing to ground your life…and your art, will set you up for success.

In life, knowing where your center is, the foundation of who you are and how you were created, will put into perspective everything that comes after. Making that connection keeps you rooted in who you are and filters out all else that can derail you from your purpose.

Our spiritual lives and rooting them to truth, grounds us in a way that will help everything else that we seek to accomplish, stick. It will allow us to build upon that foundation, fusing purpose and passion.

Art is no different

Without the proper foundation, things can lift, peel, absorb, and generally create an undesirable effect. The Unexpected! (like our lives sometimes, yes?)

In art, a GROUND is a primer, or the background surface on which you paint, or create other processes. It is what protects the substrate from the process you intend to use, keeping the components from damaging the integrity of the substrate.

When you purchase canvas, it is always coated in gesso (unless of course you buy it unprimed). This will allow the paint, either acrylic or oil, to stick permanently to the substrate.

If you are wanting to use watercolor on a canvas, you would need to use something called an absorbent ground. If you tried to watercolor on top of a regular gesso meant for acrylics, the paint would just roll around, and you would not get the desired watercolor effect you are looking for. Watercolor needs an absorbent surface to create its magic.

This is not to say that you can’t appreciate the effects that can be achieved on an unprimed surface. Plain paper, mixed media paper and water color paper are all virtually naked surfaces. But. If you tried to do a heavy collage on a piece of printer paper, you most likely would not be happy with the result. So keeping your intended purpose consistent with the components is important.

Speaking of heavy collage- with the emergence and popularity of mixed media art, several other “GROUNDS” have come front and center, such as texture grounds.  These are typically rooted in an acrylic medium base. Sand, mica, gel beads, and modeling paste are just a few of the products that mixed media artist use to create texture and interest to their work.

When employed and allowed to dry, the paint or processes used to cover the ground take on an entirely new effect and creates excitement within a project that might otherwise be flat or uninteresting. I’ve even used drywall mud to create peaks and valleys on a canvas and sometimes will press it through a stencil for a much for controlled impression.

However you choose to use grounds in your creating is up to you.


Glue an unexpected item to your page and cover it with gesso to make it a part of the page itself, then see where it takes you. This is how innovation is found, by stepping outside the box and taking a chance.

As in life and art, grounding is an important consideration. It is the undercoat to your future. It is what everything is built upon, and what keeps the undesirable outside forces from harming your surface.

It can



and improve

Consider what is under your surface today. GROUND your efforts in truth and a firm foundation.

And love what comes from it!


~Creative is who God is. It is who we are too – His breath, His being, in us. Would you like to explore that creative side? I am the resident artist on Creative Faith –discovering the art you were born to create. There we explore what it means to be creative in many areas of life. I would love for you to come and find the artist hidden within you.

thoughts and art….

Daily Creative Prompt ~ October 6: SCRIBBLE

Here we are on the last day of our mixed media prompts…for this project anyway 😉

Scribble is right up there with messy for me.  I tend to think that it belongs on the first day of the project. But maybe the unexpected is just what we need to take us to a new level of creativity.  Today was actually quite simple for me. I’m sure there are other ways to define scribbling in terms of art and creation, but for me it speaks to my journaling heart.

I love to scribble down thoughts and feelings, plans and failures. It is a way for me to release those things and move on, whether that means with a new project, or a journey in my life.

The materials I chose are pretty much the same as yesterdays.  A gellyroll pen in white, and a piece of black carde stock to cover up the quote from yesterday’s prompt.

I like to write with abandon. Covering up the quote allows me to write continuously and not break my string of thoughts in order to avoid that area. As far as what you write?  It is totally up to you.  It could be a prayer, how you felt about this project, thoughts on creating art in general, or heck, it could even be your grocery list!

The point is to scribble your heart, and being able to read it is not necessary, maybe even preferable. Just getting your thoughts out is the important part.  It can be very healing to let some of that stuff go that you have bottled up inside. I mean really, creamer and laundry detergent can really put a crimp in your creative process –

Release it!

After you have filled the page with your random thoughts and concerns, remove the piece of cardstock and you are done!

Mixed media project #6 – Only 46 more to go for a whole year of Mixed Media! 

Would you like to join in?  We would love to have you join this creative initiative. Sign up on the follow tab and start creating!

Have questions?  You can email me at

Have a fantastically creative weekend! See you Monday for a new week and a new project!


Are you creating with these prompts?  I would love to see them! Post them on Instagram with the tag #CP4aCL

9 must haves for every artist and creative soul


I’m an art supply junkie.

Seriously, I should own stock in several craft stores, not to mention all of the artist supply stores. When I have a few extra dollars and a 50% off coupon? – watch out! So it is safe to say that I have a pretty vast array of tools that help me to create to my heart’s content. But there are a handful of things that truly I could not do without. They are what I use day in and day out, regardless of the project I am taking on. Here are my 9 go-to’s that I would recommend for any start-up art journaler:

  1. A Journal – This can be any size, shape, texture or color. Pick something that inspires you. Some sketchbooks lend themselves to an easier journaling experience. If you are planning to use a multitude of chunky, wet or heavy media like paper collage pieces, glue, and acrylic paint, you are going to want a journal that can stand up to the task. My favorite: Dylusions 12×9 Mixed-Media Creative Journal. The paper is heavy duty and will stand up to whatever you throw at it – literally! ($24.99 at Michaels…use a coupon!)
  2. Stabilo marks-all pencil – you can certainly use any graphite pencil you want, even the trusty old #2 that you filled all those bubbles in with at school. But let me tell you about the Stabilo Marks-all. It is creamy, dreamy, it writes with a rich dark line, even on painted surfaces, and I love it. And – Blick art has them for $1.39. Enough said?
  3. Microns (set of 3: #o8, #05, #03) Also a michael’s coupon item. These come in sets of 5, 12 and also individually. The larger the number, the heavier the line. The three sizes that I noted here are by far the ones I use most, and I always buy them in black, although you can get them in colors and sepia too…hmmm, sepia. The great thing about Microns is that they are permanent. So you can sketch something quick, and then lay a wash of watercolor over the top of it without any blurry ink. Awesome!
  4. Colored pencils (watercolor, oil, regular) My favorites are the Derwent Inktense pencils. But these are kinda pricey…so if you have Crayola’s? Start with those. Watercolor pencils are really nice, though. After coloring something in, you can wash a bit of water over it to give your picture a painterly feel.
  5. Paint (craft, acrylic, watercolors) Choose what you are comfortable with. I like watercolors primarily, but I also use a fair amount of craft paints. Definitely use what you have. Most people have at least a few bottles of dollar store paint hanging around. THose are just fine for what we will be doing.
  6. Inks (pad, spray, India ink) – pads are for stamping, spray inks are great for misting over pages or on stencils, and india ink is another permanent ink that is fantastic for lettering. But gel pens work great too. Start with what you already have (most people atleast have a stamp pad) and add some other things later if you are so inspired.
  7. Markers (fine tip or brush style) – This is one of those items that can be cheap, like the skinny markers from school, or horrifically expensive such as the Copic and Prismacolor markers. Expensive is not necessary. I would gage what to get by what you intend to do with them. I don’t use a ton of markers.  We will explore using them, but I don’t recommend buying the artist quality ones unless you really want them. Don’t get me wrong – they’re nice, but not necessary unless you are a pro.
  8. Brushes (cheap are good here, too) I’ve had expensive sable brushes, and I’ve had cheapy throw away’s. They all end up looking the same. Granted, the cheaper brushes lose bristles…sometimes into your art, but a high price tag doesn’t guarantee that your pictures will be hairless. I suggest a good midgrade brush. You can usually get them in packs of assorted sizes for under $15 at …you guessed it – Michael’s. I’m not promoting Michael’s over any other craft store, it is simply the closest one to me, so probably the one I visit most. But if I will be driving by a blick art?  Now we’re talkin’!
  9. An assortment of papers that you like. This can be anything…and by that I mean ANYTHING! Newspaper, magazines, mailers, literature, book paper. Choose paper that has texture, color, or some other interesting feature. No one said that you had to use paper created for artists. But if that is what you have, by all means, use it.  I’ve used pieces of old bibles or music books that are falling apart. Even a piece of plain white paper can be painted with watercolors and then used in a multitude of journal spreads. Start by looking through the mail or in the slush pile. You would be surprised at what you can do with all of that junk mail. I’ve even used seasonal napkins at times. Choose something that speaks to you. Gather them up and put them in an envelope for future use.

And speaking of envelopes, the journal that I talked about first?  It has a large manilla envelope fixed inside the front cover to stash all of that ephemera that you will be collecting – Bonus !!

You can start with all of these items or none. It’s entirely up to you. Gather up what you already have and as you go along, you will figure out what you want or need. But from one artist to another – these items will serve you well!

happy creating!


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