Getting a bit creative

If you are following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have been sharing some quote images I have been creating using Canva. This is all part of an online course I am taking from Crystal Stine. This month, she has been sending out daily e-mails with an assignment for us to complete each day. The goal is that by the end of the month, we will be creating a printable to share with our own blog readers.

Since we are half way through the month, I wanted to share a couple of my favorites I have created so far:

I dwell in possibility - Emily Dickinson
It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney
Wess Stafford quote

At the beginning of May, this Creative Basics course will be available as a Kindle book for anyone to work through at their own pace. So far, I am really enjoying the pace of this course and learning how to manipulate text within Canva to make visually appealing quote images. 

Are you hoping to create some awesome social media art? I encourage you to visit Crystal's web site and learn more about her upcoming book today!

Day Trip and a New App

We haven't had much rain around here this season. So when we had a storm move through here earlier this week, I was a bit excited that one of my favorite day trip locations might actually have received a bit of snow. I was hoping there was enough snow to be able to take my iPhone and my DSLR along to capture some incredible photos.

So with a couple of friends and their children, we made the drive to Yosemite yesterday. We took along layers of clothing, expecting it to be a bit on the chilly side and possibly see some snow on the valley floor.

Unfortunately, the snow that fell on Tuesday had no chance of lasting with our warm spring temperatures. Even though we didn't see any snow in Yosemite Valley, the tops of the towering granite mountains had enough snow to add just a bit of a reminder that it really is still early spring.

On our way out of the park, we did stop at one of my favorite spots to take a photo:

Before photo, straight from my iPhone with no edits and no filters

Before photo, straight from my iPhone with no edits and no filters

Once I arrived back home, I took a bit of time to edit this photo with a new photo editing app:

After photo, edit done with Enlight

After photo, edit done with Enlight

What app did I use? I have been experimenting with Enlight. Not sure how I found out about this app, but I am loving all of the features of this app. Now, I am not usually one to pay for an app, but because I love photography, I decided the price was worth it.

On the Enlight blog and their Facebook page, they are starting to share some tutorials on how to use some of the features contained in the app to help you create some incredible images.

If you give Enlight a shot, be sure to tag me in one of your photos on Instagram. I would love to see what you create!



My First Post Visit Letter

It has been just over a month now since my Compassion trip to Colombia, and I have been hesitating to write that first post visit letter to Lina.

I was eager to upload and print out photos of my trip to mail to her, they have been here on my desk for at least a couple of weeks now.

So why has it taken me so long to write that first letter?

When I sat down at the table to start that letter and started looking at the photos of my time with Lina, the tears started falling down my cheeks.

Spending time with my Compassion child in Colombia

How do you even express in words what a trip like this means?

We had such a precious time together. I learned more things about Lina that I wouldn't have known if I hadn't made the trip. Precious things that fill my heart with so much joy!

But I also learned a couple of things that will keep me in continually prayer for her.

So what did I write to her? I told her I was so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to travel to Colombia to meet her. I asked her to thank her family for the sweet gifts and for allowing her to travel to meet me. Also, I asked her to thank her travel companion who chaperoned her on her very first airplane rides! 

Most of all, I reminded her that God loves her more than anyone and He has a plan for her. This is the most important thing I can share with each one of our Compassion children, each and every time I write to them.

Good News Still Comes in the Mail

Back in October of 2011, my daughter became the correspondent sponsor to a young lady in Uganda. Since that time, Kelsey has been a faithful letter writer and prayer warrior for Alesi.  In her letters to Alesi, Kelsey shares with her little things about her life and Bible verses to encourage her. 

Today, she received the best news in a letter from Alesi!

Good News Still Comes in the Mail
"I have accepted Jesus into my heart and I have accepted Him as my personal Savior in August 2014"

Everyday, we get really excited when cream colored envelopes from Compassion arrive in our mailbox. But this one letter, from one young lady in Uganda, is an extra special letter.

Because of one faithful sponsor providing the financial portion of Alesi's sponsorship, and because of the faithful workers and volunteers at the center Alesi is attending in Uganda, and because of the faithful prayers and letters of a 15 year old young lady, Alesi now has an eternal home.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" - Romans 6:23

Is it heartbreaking?

Yesterday, while volunteering at a Compassion table at an event, I was sharing with a potential sponsor about the opportunities I have had to travel with Compassion to Mexico and to Colombia.

Her initial response..."It must be heartbreaking."

I had to think a moment before I replied.

Heartbreaking? Yes...and no.

Which is exactly what I ended up telling her.

But as I was pondering her question a bit more last night, some of these thoughts were whirling around in my head and I just had to write some of them down and share them with you here.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I see how little in material possessions those families need to survive.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I realize how selfish we are.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I stand in my home with all of the modern conveniences and wonder how those moms handle life each and every day.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I wish I could do more to help.


Heartbreaking? No...because the smiles on the faces of the children and the many volunteers show me they are not just happy, but they are filled with that only come from knowing Jesus.

Heartbreaking? No...because I know that many sponsors around the world are making a sacrifice to make a difference in the life of a child.

Heartbreaking? No...because these children and their families are hopeful for the future.

Being filled with joy and having hope are not things I would associate with heartbreaking...would you?

And I would hate for anyone to start sponsoring a child because they felt sorry for them.

My hope and prayer is that many people will realize that a small sacrifice on their part makes a big difference for a Compassion sponsored child.

And as a sponsor, not only do you bring joy and hope to the life of a child, but you will be filled with joy and hope as you pray for and encourage the one child God has connected you with through the gift of sponsorship through Compassion.