What’s a busy mom supposed to do?
She’s becoming aware that all is not right in the world. She’s connecting the dots between the health of her family and the products she buys and uses. She wants to make more informed choices, but her days are filled to overflowing with all the jobs she is responsible for getting done? She would like to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and do her own research, find her own answers…
But the baby’s crying.The toddler is feeding his lunch to the dog. The laundry she washed yesterday is still in the washer, because the load she did the day before is still in the dryer. All the hampers are overflowing. And now the teenager is sulking
Labels are created to grab your attention and convince you to choose that box/bottle/product setting on the shelf or pictured in an online ad. Manufacturers are VERY good at covering up anything that would make us not want to buy the product.
Would you choose a product with a label that openly said it has these ingredients?
No! You wouldn’t. But if you’re not paying close attention, you probably are.
Manufacturers know this, so they omit those words (and others) instead choosing misleading words to make us THINK we’re buying a clean product. It’s called “greenwashing.” And it is becoming more and more prevalent.
“But that’s why we have the FDA, right?”
I used to think so. But the FDA doesn’t know or care about a product or its label until consumers report damage in large numbers. And then it may take a decade or more before they actually take any action. Many American companies make two versions of their products: one for Americans with the yucky stuff, and one for Europe because the yucky stuff has been banned. Say Whuuut?
SIDENOTE: Have you watched Dopesick? It has strong language and isn’t appropriate for children, but if you can stomach profanity, watch it! It’s the sick saga of how Purdue Pharma was able to hoodwink America into thinking OxyContin was a good thing. The role the FDA played in that fiasco is just one instance of how corrupt and duplicitous big business and big government are. (FYI - the woman that approved the “black box label” is the SAME woman responsible for blocking a specific treatment protocol that practicing physicians were using successfully with their patients during the scourge of 2021 and beyond. Grrrrrr!)
My pastor says that the greatest question ever asked is found in the book of Acts: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Here’s how he answers the question:
The Apostle Paul outlines the answer to the question in his letter to the Romans. Chapter 3 verse 23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” None of us are in good standing with God. We have broken his Commandments, we have taken his name in vain, we have done things against his precious holiness. We're all guilty and we stand before God that way: Guilty!
If we do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our payment for our sins, then we'll have to pay the penalty. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” That word, death, means that we will be eternally separated in a place that wasn't even prepared for mankind; a place of torment called Hell.
In that verse, God says that the wages of our sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. I've often thought, “Why would a loving God send his precious son to this earth to die in such an inhumane way?”
The answer is found in Romans 5:8, “For God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God loves us so much that his Son willingly “for the joy that was set before him” went to the cross and volunteered to shed his blood on our behalf - the sinless blood of God!
Again, the question, “What must we do to be saved?” is answered in Romans 10:9. “That if Thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved." Then in verse 13, he says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
So you see, God didn't make the Plan of Salvation like an Einstein formula. It is as simple as
a. I accept Christ as my savior.
b. I believe on him as my Savior.
c. I accept him as my Savior.
When we do those things, the Bible says we are saved. So I pray that if you haven't made that commitment that you bow your heart before God and you pray this simple prayer of salvation. Just say to the Lord,
“Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sin. Come into my life and save me. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Now help me from this day forward to live for you. In Jesus name I pray, amen.”
So you're ready to finally get started drawing, but you don't know what you need or how to get started. As a former high school art teacher, I can hook you up!
First of all, you need good paper. Not typing paper or copy paper, but honest-to-goodness artist grade paper that will stand up to good drawing pencils and erasing. My favorite all-purpose drawing paper is 90# sulphite loose paper. But you might prefer a bound pad of paper, so I've linked to both below. Whichever paper you choose, I recommend that you get at least 80# or 90# paper.
You'll also want a good eraser, one that won't buff up the paper and leave ghosts of what you have erased. As long as it's a good quality plastic eraser, you will be fine.
Next, good drawing pencils are a must. If you already have a good quality #2 graphite pencil, that might be all you need. If, however, you want an actual drawing pencil, I've listed a set of chunky ones that I like plus a good pencil sharpener. Choose smaller diameter pencils if that feels more appropriate. #2, #4, and #6 are my favorites.
Choose materials that speak to you. And know that you can pick all these things up at a brick and mortar store. I'm adding links because that is a super easy way to show you exactly what to look for. (And yes, I might receive a tiny commission if you buy at Amazon.)
For years I believed the lies I told myself: I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t know enough. I didn’t have enough talent and skill. Someone else could do it better, so mine wasn’t needed.
But God kept nudging me though His Word and His people. He directed me to Bible passages that spoke to my very soul.
Luke 12:48 ends with this admonition, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
I knew I SHOULD be doing more to further God’s Kingdom, but continued to hold back, waiting for all the pieces to fit together. I wasn't even sure what those pieces were!
List the thoughts that pop up frequently when thinking about following a dream, making a change, or otherwise stepping outside your comfort zone. Before we can correct a problem, we must see and acknowledge the problem. Included on my list was that I didn't have any formal education. I had married right out of highschool, but secretly wanted a college degree. By then all of my four children were in school, so I stepped way outside my comfort and enrolled in college. I became a licensed Biology and Art teacher the year our oldest son graduated high school.
Tip # -2 Keep a Journal
As part of a creative writing class in college, I was required to journal. Although at first it seemed there simply wasn't time in my day for yet one more thing, my journal was therapeutic and saw me through some dark days. Journaling became a habit that continues to facilitate introspection, tracking progress, and planning.
Tip #3 - Use Positive Affirmations Effectively
I taught for seventeen years. When I started, I loved teaching so much I would have done it free! It didn't take long for that opinion to change, but I enjoyed it on most days. Until I didn't.
Knowing that I wouldn't continue long enough to retire from teaching, I got a business license and started working as a professional photographer on the side. Before every portrait session I looked in the mirror and stated positive affirmations: I am ready. I know enough. I have the right equipment.
Was I nervous? Absolutely! Was I scared? For sure!! Did I make mistakes? Mercy yes! But each time it was easier. And each mistake taught me something I needed to know.
King Solomon, the wisest man to live other than Christ, makes it abundantly clear how important our thoughts are. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."
If we think we're not good enough, not talented enough, not educated enough... If we think we're unlovable, too far gone to be forgiven, too sinful to be redeemed... Those thoughts grow and become our truth.
Tip Number 2 - Replace the stinkin' thinkin' with good thoughts.
When we dwell on our troubles, our sorrows, our pains, and regrets, that is what we have more of. But when we think on our blessings, our joys, our successes, and our dreams, more of those fill our lives.
Now before you think, “If only it was that easy,” hear me out. It doesn’t end there. Once we’ve acknowledged the negative feeling and thoughts, we release them to God and replace them (with His help) with thoughts and feelings more in line with what He has planned for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. "
For too many years of my life I listened to my pesky, petty little inner voice and believed the lie that I didn’t have what it takes to be successful as an artist, a good mother, a businesswoman, etc. Then through prayer, Bible study, journaling, and God’s intervention, I learned to take control of my thinking. My whole life changed!
Do I never have setbacks where I have negative thoughts.?Goodness no! It is a constant battle to squelch my negative inner voice, but thank God, now I can recognize it, acknowledge it, journal about it, and then release it to God.
Is it always easy? Again a hard no. But it has gotten easier.
I'm creating a journal to help others do the same: change your mindset and live happier, more fulfilled lives. It is a combination of coloring pages (with an affirmation at the top and the Scripture reference at the bottom that validates it) and journaling pages (set up like bullet journal pages.)
This journal will be finished and ready for sale soon. It is my prayer that as you color the page, focus on the scripture and ask God to guide you, you will say the affirmation out loud, believe it, and trust God to make it so.