Affordable Art: Aerial Beach Views

6 aerial beach view art prints for under $35 (large sizes!!). Love these!

Summer may be quickly coming to a close, but a good aerial beach view never goes out of season. Photographers like Massimo Vitali, Gray Malin and Antoine Rose have demonstrated the allure of white sand, blue water, and bright beach umbrellas for some time now, but the hefty price tags aren’t in the cards for me.Cue these super talented photogs with a great eye for a good beach shot and a price tag that can’t be ignored ($31 and under!). And at 23×17 some of these could fill a large Ikea frame and make a huge statement like this!

1. Beach 17×17 | Maite Pons ($30)  /  2. Beach 23×17 | Ingz ($31)  /  3. Beach 23×17 | Ingz ($31)  /  4. Let’s Go Swimming 17×17 | Maite Pons ($30)  /  5.  The Beach 17×17 | Maite Pons ($30)  /  6. Longing 17×17 | Maite Pons ($31)

p.s. As always, none of these are affiliate links.

Stephanie from praylivecreate.com

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5 ocean themed art prints for under $25!    5 gorgeous flamingo art prints for $30 or less!

 

linking up with Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family

What Stay at Home Moms Taught Me About Changing the World

Stay at home moms were the ones who taught me that God doesn’t need our huge and our big to change the world. He just needs small things done with great love and a heart fully surrendered to His.via

When my husband went out of town for a weekend I took all kinds of opportunities to treat myself, and what that basically means is I spent an entire day at home on the couch in my pajamas with books and magazines and a pizza and movie combination on Saturday night, because there are some things you never outgrow and because for better or for worse, we’ve not yet been gifted with children.

As I was reading one of these magazines, I saw a phrase that kind of stopped me in my tracks, The author was talking about famous people who do “big things for Jesus.” And while I promise I didn’t mean to think it, I just couldn’t help but wonder…

Can we do big things for God?

When I was in my 20s I truly believed it was possible for me to do awesome things. In other words, I thought it was possible for my life to be cooler than others. And I did all sorts of things that on the surface looked pretty big. I worked with celebrities and hot “up-and-comers” and I made phone calls that determined who would be the next featured artist on MySpace (I told you this was a long time ago, right?). I saw websites and bloggers write about the things that I told them were cool, I earned a gold record that’s buried in the back of one of my closests today, and I helped launch a big music festival that’s still going all these years later. (Please stick with me, because I promise this isn’t all about me.)

And all the while I was striving for more.

When serious illness hit it brought my world to a halt, all of a sudden I was way less concerned with what I could build with my own two hands and way more concerned with my own inner poverty. I realized nothing was as cool as needing or having a relationship with God. In the years that followed He opened my eyes to new ways of seeing, doing, and being and do you know what rocked my world almost more than anything else?

Stay at home moms.

Stay at home moms were the ones who taught me that God doesn’t need our huge and our big to change the world. He just needs small things done with great love and a heart fully surrendered to His.

I was desperately spinning my wheels trying to build my own life up, while these women modeled what it was to lay down their lives and let God build something beautiful instead.

I am not yet a stay at home mom (though my heart’s still holding onto hope), but when I read this piece about doing big things for God my mind automatically went to the women I know. For a few months I was a moderator of an online group for Christian women with chronic illness, and everyday I spoke with women who pushed through pain and fatigue to serve their families. I spoke with women who battled mental illness while raising three kids. I watched my sister walk away from a career far more successful than mine to teach 2 years olds how to sing “Jesus Loves Me,” and I don’t think any of them is doing less for Jesus. I think Jesus is doing beautiful things through them.

I think we’re all just men and women sitting at the foot of the cross, playing our parts in a much, much bigger story.

One of the things I love about walking through the names that God has for us is that it reminds us that God sees things so much differently than we do. He’s not as concerned with the outward appearance. And whether our acts of obedience, faith, and love are seen by a whole lot of people or just a few, He calls us gifted and chosen and enough in Him.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

Kim from praylivecreate.comOriginal image by skysthelimit via morguefile. Modified for this blog post by Stephanie Oh.

linking up with Jack of All Trades at A Harvest of Blessing.

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Dose of Hope: Forgiven

One of the many names that God has for us is "forgiven."  He is not mad at you. {praylivecreate.com} #Bible #scripture #faith

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been using our Doses of Hope to talk about the names that God has for us – the things that He says are true about us – so we can let that truth sink in. And while God repeatedly calls us chosen, loved, blessed, and gifted (and that we belong), there’s a huge truth He says about us that can sometimes be hard to fathom: we’re forgiven.

I think most of us know that on an intellectual level. But as easy as it is to know that God says we’re forgiven, how difficult is it sometimes to truly forgive ourselves? I’m talking about loving ourselves as God loves us. Last year I shared that we can’t love our neighbor as ourselves until we learn to love ourselves.

And loving ourselves sometimes starts with forgiving ourselves… of all the things we don’t do perfectly, all the things we fall short at compared to others, all the things we mess up, our limitations and the dreams that haven’t come true yet, and all the things other people have to say about us, too. If God Himself washes us in forgiveness and looks at us with love, then why don’t we forgive ourselves? 

So this week let’s accept the forgiveness we have through Christ and let’s speak forgiveness to ourselves. Let’s not withhold from ourselves the very thing our Creator died for us to have. And let’s continue to let the love of Christ change us from the inside out.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the richesof God’s grace… – Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with youin my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:27-29 (NIV)

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”- Acts 10:43 (NIV)

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Fave Finds: Affordable Cards

7 adorable greeting cards by super talented artists #floral #tribal

L-R from Top to Bottom

triangle thank you cards by penandpaper

1. | Triangle Thank You Set | penandpaper | 24 for $10

set of 4 folded note cards by penandpaper

2. | Set of Four Folded Note Cards | penandpaper | 4 for $8.50

Be Filled with Joy Note Card Set by thewheatfield

3. | Be Filled With Joy Notecard Set | The Wheatfield | 10 for $12

midnight garden thank you card by rifle paper co

4. | Midnight Garden Thank You Card | Rifle Paper Co. | 8 for $16

arrow hellow mini cards by penandpaper

5. | Arrow Hello Mini Cards | penandpaint | 24 for $10

You are So Loved Floral Folded Note Card by penandpaper

6. | You Are So Loved Floral Folded Note Card | penandpaint | 4 for $8.50

hello dear note cards by eastwestdesignco

7. | Hello Dear Greeting Cards | eastwestdesignco | 5 for $8.00

Kim from praylivecreate.com

Collage by Stephanie Oh

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What Saying No Has to Do With Compassion

Of the many things that busyness steals from us, compassion is close to the top of the list. Who of us, when we’re stretched thin, has time to enter into another’s pain? Writing about compassion at praylivecreate.comupdate: image by Lizzy Gadd

Last weekend my husband was away on a business trip. And when he came back the first thing he wanted to do was lay on the bed together with our window AC unit blowing in cool air against the mugginess outside and talk about the things he’d seen and heard.

He told me about an article he read in the NY Times about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and how officials had narrowed the outbreak down to the very first victim, who they were calling Patient Zero: a 2 year old boy. The child brought it home, then the mother got it, then the sister, and the entire family. They all died. So did the doctors treating them. And the others who came into contact. The people at the funeral homes and the families of those people.

Ebola is tearing communities apart.

This is not news to anyone, but because I’m not great at staying up to date with what’s happening in the world, the specifics were news to me. Apparently the article went on to say that only two organizations are on the ground, truly making a difference: Samaritan’s Purse and Doctor’s Without Borders.

They needed gloves, Heshan told me. That’s it. Rubber gloves could have saved lives.

I remembered what it was like when I was denied medical treatment for an illness I went through, and I thought back to two weeks ago when Steph had strep throat and even in our sophisticated medical system had to go to the doctor three times to get the antibiotics she needed to get better. I remembered how much it sucks to be sick or watch the people we love be sick and not be able to do anything about it, and for a moment I felt their pain.

In that split second, I wanted to send the rubber gloves. Or at least the $10 it would take to buy some.

And it was also in that split second that I realized that in order for us to be generous we must feel another’s pain.

In His earthly ministry, Jesus felt other’s pain. A guest speaker at my church told us that the original word used in Mark 1 to describe the way Jesus felt about a man begging to be healed of leprosy is actually better translated to being punched in the gut. Jesus felt His pain. He saw the man suffering and it felt like having the wind knocked out of Him.

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” – Mark 1:40-41 (NLT)

Of the many things that busyness steals from us, compassion is close to the top of the list. Who of us, when we’re stretched thin, has time to enter into another’s pain?

I usually want to run from the ugly stuff, because most days it feels like I have enough problems of my own. One of the reasons I don’t know much about world news is because it can feel a big joy-stealer in the small amount of free time I have.

But Jesus was moved by compassion, and He uses compassion to move us as His hands and feet. When we actually feel someone else’s pain we’re more likely to do something about it. 

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)

One of the biggest revelations for me emotionally in this whole following Jesus into less experience is that every time I say no to something that’s not a real need (even when I feel guilty about it), I’m actually opening up the door for Jesus to show me what to say yes to, and compassion is a lot easier for me when I’m not feeling overwhelmed or stressed out myself.

I know it’s not a new thing and that people all over are talking about yes and no and how to do each well. I’ll be honest with you that as I’m taking things off my plate I’ve been asking God to help me care about others in the ways He wants me to, because I feel like generosity is something I have a lot of room to grow in. It kind of blows my mind that real compassion (not just the knowledge that I should care about something but the actual caring feeling to do something about it) is something I need a lot of personal space for, and I’m really glad He showed that to me. It’s one of many things that is confirming for me that God is calling me to a slower pace and to a life that’s less about getting things done and more about being available when He calls me to move.

What about you guys? How do you feel about busyness or compassion? Does it come easier to you even when your plate is full or are you more able to feel compassion when you have less on your plate? Let’s talk about it… 

Linking up with Unforced Rhythms and Jack of  all Trades at A Harvest of Blessing and Community Brew.

Kim from praylivecreate.com

Update: the image above was incorrectly attributed via unsplash. Original image by Lizzy Gadd. Modified for this blog post by Stephanie Oh.

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Dose of Hope: Gifted

God calls us gifted. Looking at what His Word says about who He made us to be. {praylivecreate.com} #Bible #faith #quotes

Doses of Hope have a way of sneaking up on me and surprising me every single time. When we started out digging into the names that God has for us, I didn’t know where it was going, just that myself and a whole lot of women I know could stand to let those names sink in and know how much He loves us. This week, I was sure that I was going to write about “rescued,” until Hebrews 2 snuck up on me.

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” – Hebrews 2:3b-4 (NIV)

And not-so-hidden in there is a truth that I often overlook: God calls us gifted.

How many of us really believe it’s true? And how free would we be if we did?

Here’s the thing about gifts: they don’t come from us, they have nothing to do with how much God loves us, we don’t get to choose them, and (on the same token) we don’t use them to earn God’s love either. 

Our gifts are just that – presents from our Lord and Savior. Made alive in us by the Holy Spirit. Given to us because God loves us and given to us to be used.

As I read through Scripture this week I was overwhelmed with just how much God wants us to know we’re gifted and how much our gifts bring glory to Him.

And as we use our gifts, I believe it matters way less to God that enough people notice or applaud, and way more to Him that we are boldly, confidently, unabashedly entering into community with our gifts, finding out who He made us to be, and that in the process we are learning who He is as well. 

Which brings us back full circle.

If we don’t know we’re chosen, we don’t know we belong, we don’t know that we’re loved, and we don’t know that we’re blessed, then we’ll find ourselves trying to earn other’s love and probably trying to earn God’s as well (or at least feeling like it’s always hanging by a thread).

We will hide our light under a basket, and in doing so, we’ll miss the deep fellowship with others and communion with God that comes from just being real. We’ll have no idea we’re gifted.

(Jesus speaking) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16

(Paul writing to the church at Corinth) “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ… Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it… This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12, 14-18, 25-27 (NLT)

Our gifts, no matter how big or how small, bring glory to God when we use them with the confidence that we are exactly who He says we are: chosen, loved, blessed, and people who belong.

“The only requirement of an artist is this: You must try to love and forgive yourself completely before you create. If you are ashamed of any part of yourself, you will hide the one thing from us we most need to see… Only the forgiven and loved can help others be forgiven and loved. Only the free can free others. Don’t be talented, be free.” – Glennon Doyle Melton, You Don’t Need More Time or Talent

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The List

a collection of blog posts about saying yes (or no!) for less stress and more joy. Love these! Definitely worth a read!

1. | “Worry is a horrible tenant. It lives rent-free in your soul, and furthermore, it demands to be paid — with the deposit of your precious thought life.” - A Prescription for Worry by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

2. |”When we really and truly trust God with the little details of life—even the important ones, like money and housing—we are free to do both the wild and the small, however He leads. If we’re daring enough to let go of our stuff, then we can pack light…knowing there’s a net below us, held by Christ himself, who said He’d never leave us.” –  The Wild and the Small by Tsh Oxenreider via (in)courage.

3. | “In her book, Lysa says, “The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep.  The schedule you keep determines the life you live.  And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul.” – Saying Yes to What Is Best Allume

4. | “… It’s fun to say yes. That word makes people happy. Yes I will do that. Yes I will be there. Yes I will work on it. But sometimes, we don’t understand that when we say yes, we are saying no to the things that really matter.” – 5 Ways to Say No by Jon Acuff

5.| “..The movers and shakers would have us thinking that a platform is what elevates your visibility above the crowd so your message finds its audience. But there’s a deeper current of Truth running through the cosmos: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” – 3 Truths About Platform and What Your Soul Was Never Made For by Ann Voskamp

6. | “It’s becoming clearer every day that the price I pay for trying to attend to even just all the good things is my joy and creativity. Everything cannot be done. Or addressed. Or even acknowledged. This is a new thing from me as a person. It’s crept up slowly but now it slapped me in the face.” –  The World Needs Makers to Say No Boldy by The Nester

7.| “You, the one without time or talent, you are the one. Write, paint, dance as a public service to our human family. Be a servant with your art. Don’t use it to say “Here I am!” Use it to say “Here we are. We are okay, you know.” Forget talent and just use your hands.” – You Don’t Need More Talent or Time by Glennon Doyle Melton

8. | “Sometimes, you need to ask yourself really tough questions and then be ready to accept the answers. As I sat still, I asked myself, “what is causing my noise?” Then, in the deep, deep well of my spirit came the answer. My noise was three things – the desire to please, the desire to succeed, and the desire to have things as perfect as possible.” – Freedom Because of Christ by Leann Burda

image in header from Lysa TerKeurst’s new book The Best Yes

Kim from praylivecreate.com

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