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It is here, September 1st and dang, it is HOT. When it is hot, nothing is more refreshing to me than a big ol' styrofoam cup filled with LOTS of crunchy ice and Diet Coke. That would be awesome about 4pm daily except for the fact that on June 1, Diet Coke and I ended our friendship and not one time, have I gone back.
It feels good and I am about 3.4 pounds lighter (big whoopie!)
I did not do anything life altering or habit breaking on July or August 1st but today being the first day of a new month, I am excited to tell you that I now have an assistant, my sister and she starts today! YAY!
She is younger, has naturally beautiful curly hair and has two girls. I am 3 1/2 years older, have naturally fine straight hair and I have two boys. I have always said that she is academic and I am artistic BUT she has a left and right brain and is creative, she just doesn't admit it. She is a Dental Hygienist by trade, married to her high school sweetheart and now, she also works for me and I am excited for all the things we are going to figure out, work on, plan, schedule and organize. I always say " I don't know where I am going, but I am headed in the right direction" and today I feel like this is a new step in the right direction. I am filled with excitement and hope.
While we are not going to actually be the dynamic duo Elsie & Emma from A Beautiful Mess, we are Stephanie & Jennifer and we are going to make a great team and hey, who knows....
Only God knows so we will leave that all up to Him!
Happy September 1st! Maybe today you can start something new, break an old habit or just set a goal. Whatever it is, go for it!
I looked at it as a piece of clay that He plopped down in front of me as an idea. He chose me to mold that clay into something and I have been constantly working on for myself and for you. It is where my art and faith collide. I don't question why he chose me anymore because of this:
Some of this will sound repetitive when I share what Documented Faith is all about but we often need reminders. I listened to myself explain my DF Moleskine Planner while in Oklahoma and I thought it would be good to share here again.
Q: So what is Documented Faith?
A: It all started out because I had a need for a place...
I had a need for it to all be in one place and a need to be able to take it with me whether I am driving a few miles down the street or if I am flying to the other side of the country or world. A place to record my life, my dreams, my prayers, my moments. A place to document my faith sometimes monthly, often times weekly,even daily....creatively.
It all comes together daily, weekly and monthly in a 2015 Moleskine Planner. Sometimes I document with just an ink pen or pencil, sometimes with photos, often times with watercolor paints, with LOTS of Washi Tape, quotes, weekly Bible verses....and truth, sometimes hardly anything at all (p.s. IT IS OKAY!)
Q: What is Documented Faith Online?
A: Each month I choose a focus word to, well...focus on. Each week has a Bible verse that coordinates with the monthly word. You can just read it, you can journal about it, create based on it, pray about it...whatever you want to do. There are no rules. I think the most important thing is that you create a habit of a daily/weekly creative & quite time.
Q: Because it started on January 1st, can I still participate?
A: January 1st was just a start date. Even though today is August 28th, it may be YOUR DAY ONE. Just START NOW. Don't worry about the past 35 weeks. Start now and once you have created a habit of doing this, then go back and work on the previous week. THERE ARE NO RULES, no timelines, no right or wrong way to do it and no pressure. Take what you need.
Q: How much is it and where do I sign up?
A: First off, it is a FREE year long workshop. On January 1, 2016, we will start/continue on with a whole new set of words and a new planner (details soon, I promise) Don't go out and buy your 2016 Moleskine Planner just yet. (I mean, I am not the boss of you and if you want to, you can.)
Q: How do I get the monthly word and weekly verses?
A: Another "loaded question" I do have an email list that you can join BUT if you have a "gmail" or "hotmail" email address, there are SEVERAL internet security blockers installed via those programs and it makes it very difficult to get emails from me through the program I use from Constant Contact.
If you would like to register for emails, you can follow this link BUT make sure that if you get a "confirmation" email from me/Constant Contact, you respond to it or you will not get anything. (So sorry for all of this. There is nothing I can do to help this issue. Internet, can't live with it, can't live without it.)
Register for emails here:
To join the Documented Faith Facebook Group (group is "closed for privacy so please request to join) click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1555537877994436/
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at honegrown1(at)att(dot)net
Documented Faith has evolved, grown and flourished because of the thousands of women that have made it their habit. I hope that you join us.
It seems I am always apologizing for not blogging but if it counts, I think about this blog and you, the readers everyday (and I am not just saying that, I mean it.)
I am just back from an AWESOME trip to Oklahoma where I taught five sold out classes in three days at the beautiful and amazing store, Paper Crown. A huge, gigantic, thank you to Cindy, Jackie, Amy, Jill, Colleen, Jennifer and to every single lady that came out and spent so much of their time with me. It was such a great three days of non stop creating, laughing and eating! A special shout out to Robin for letting me be the boss of her for about 10 minutes, to Angie for not listening closely to my directions, To one of my best pals, Jennifer for driving 7 hours to come hang out with me, to Jackie for the incredible name tags, themed cookies and gifts she created for me, to the few of you that had Distress paints blow up on you, to Susan for being the mom of 6 boys, an encourager and a beauty queen that LOVES JESUS, amen! seriously..the women, to store, the stories we shared, it was just, I don't know, I don't have the right words..I am gushing...I almost bought an Oklahoma Sweatshirt at the airport. I am going to keep my eye out for an "Okie Dokie" shirt!Five classes was a first for me and as crazy as it was to get thing prepared to teach, I was overwhelmed with love, friendship, hospitality and hours of creative happiness.
I arm wrestle with the "enemy" (that is a nice "g" rated word) every time I leave home and struggle with NOT letting anxiety, doubt and fear get the best of me before I get in the car to go to the airport, step on the airplane or step into a hotel room. It has nothing to do with the people or the places I go, but then everything to do with them. It also has a lot to do with leaving home which I have struggled with all my life. Here is a little about me in case you have never seen this...
Here is the part where I feel like I have proudly earned a Girl Scout Badge for my sash. The moment I step into a classroom or wherever I am teaching, I have defeated the enemy and his attempt to derail me from sharing, teaching, encouraging, reminding and inspiring.
You see, those things are part of my purpose and I have learned that anytime I am going to use my talents & abilities, which are a gift from God, "someone or something" will try to convince me otherwise (including my own mind, dang it!)
I share this because I know that I am not alone and we all need reminders. I also have to share that even though I have been doing it for several years, it doesn't get any easier.
It happens every time (I just don't cry on the way to the airport anymore.)
Here is where I have to remind myself of something I already know, just forget to remember (and sometimes I have to physically point my own finger at myself )and say "HEY, STOP IT...." (that is why you will see "Hey's" in my Bible Journaling and Documented Faith Journal)
because guess what???
No matter what, I will be OK.
HE has got my situation handled (TIP:ya gotta give it ALL to HIM and then remind yourself along the way of that fact)
Hand it ALL over to Him and no matter what, you will be okay, too...
p.s. those right up there are stickers, not my writing! Coming soon from ADORNit! eeek!
I am sure that I am not the worlds worst blogger, but I may be runner up. I am trying to divide myself up evenly between this blog, the Documented Faith site, Instagram, FB and now...a You Tube Channel. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/stephanieackerman1 and an invitation to check out my first "blah,blah,blah" I mean, video.
As I mentioned, I am trying to manage several social media streams at once and just like anything else, when you are trying to do too much, you realize you can not do it well soooo, I am going to be making some changes soon. (I would say that you could always just come here to find out what it new, but geez, I am a runner up for the worlds worst blogger so that may not be the best thing to do.)
In honor of doing too much, I am reading Hands Free Mama and LOVING the first 23 pages so far.
And speaking of social media streams, don't forget that I am giving away TWO 8 ct. sets of Distress Markers (1 via FB, 1 via IG) in honor of the upcoming release of my Creative Faith Coloring Book from Adornit.
This Blog (you are here now): www.homegrownhospitality.typepad.com
Documented Faith Site: http://www.homegrownhospitality.typepad.com/df/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.ackerman1 (you can friend me but FB says I can't have anymore friends. They are NOT the boss of me!)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Ackerman-Designs/155208567881776
For now, I must pack because I am headed to Paper Crown in Oklahoma City tomorrow morning. If you are going to be there, see you soon!
There are only a few things in life that we know for sure..blah blah blah. Really, at least for me, there is only thing I know and it is what I know for sure:
"I do not know where I am headed, but confident that I am going in the right direction."
What that means is that no matter what, in the end, everything will be okay.
But (and dang it there is always a big ol' but) the things in between (like the dash in between your birth date and death date) can make you go crazy if ya let it. You know, things like missing emails, disagreements on social media, flys, missing socks, tomato worms, tragedies, scheduling conflicts, football practice in 100 degree heat, laundry, family matters, deadlines, droughts, litter, the nightly news, clutter, junk mail, political debates, unloading the dishwasher, gas prices, cellulite, Donald Trump..the list can go on for days but I think you get the picture.
So, do you?
Do you let those things make you crazy?
I have to be honest and say that sometimes, I do.
Like when I am really tired or right now.
I lose focus on the truth and only see the chaos. I get over stimulated and overwhelmed. This is when I become a "whirling dervish." I was starting to feel that way, but as I sit here and type this to you, I am able to re-align and focus. "It is just me reminding myself (and you) of something I already know, just forgot to remember."
I don't want you to EVER think that I have it all together because I don't (none of us do, duh) in fact, it is all of my mess that I turn into a message and usually becomes some sort of creative endeavor. THAT is part of my purpose.
Don't forget that we all are really in the same boat, just on different bodies of water. Some boats have motors that are out of gas, low on oil, heck, some don't even have motors. Some have a set of oars or just one oar and it might be broken. It is the LIFE JACKET you have on that matters.
For the third and final time, whew!
p.s. just noticed there is a cross in an anchor.