40 Day Devotional: Day 8: Praying in color


Today I feel especially creative and colorful and I googled ‘praying and drawing’.

Then I found this AWESOME website I want to share with you today!

God made us in all colors and shapes and therefore we can pray in all colors and shapes and forms and manners too. God has a sense of humour too!

Here goes:

Praying in Color = prayer + d o o d l i n g

When multiple friends and family members received ugly and scary diagnoses, Sybil MacBeth found herself exhausted by the words of her prayers and stymied by a lack of focus. One summer day, she retreated to her back porch for a session of mindless doodling with a basket of her favorite colored markers. She drew a shape, put the name of a friend inside, and added lines and color. She drew another shape with another name and added detail and color. When the page was covered with designs and names, Sybil realized she had prayed. The action of drawing was a wordless offering of friends and family into the care of God. The page of drawings became a visual reminder to pray. This was the beginning of Praying in Color.

Here are some reasons to Pray in Color:

1) You want to pray but words escape you. 2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.

3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer.

4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.

5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task .

6) Your mind wanders and your body complains.

7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray.

8) You Need a new way to pray.

Here’s what you need to get started:
1) Paper
2)  Pen
3) Colored markers or colored pencils or colored gel pens
4) A table or clipboard or book to put your paper on.

If you want to read more on how to get started:

go to the website:


“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelations 4:11)

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40 Day Devotional: Day 37: Creativity


During this time of Lent, I’m already reaping the fruits of spending less time on social media than I did before.
Above is a watercolor painting I painted during my retreat. I just asked myself the question: what would the little Ester like to paint now? The answer was: ‘Happy birds in bright colors!’
And so I did.
I feel really happy when I’m creating: painting writing, taking pictures etc., because
a) I’m wired that way
b) My God is a very creative God! He made everything out of nothing. The ultimate creative act! And I believe I am made in His likeness.

#true images via Pinterest

To think about
What kind of creative activities did you love as a child?
Maybe it’s time to pick it up again!
Shut down your computer and make some art 😉

Via pinterest

Focus of 2013: Creativity!

Amanda Cherie

My focus for 2013 is: getting more creative!

The past year I’ve been looking inward, searching for ways to be more balanced and self-loving, dealing with fear and procrastination and from there reaching outward in love to others, rekindling old relationships.
I regularly wrote about the benedictine monks and their daily practices, which inspired me and led me to interesting insights about time, setting priorities and being mindful and grateful.

I also found out that from silence comes balance and serenity which in turn gives birth to inspiration and creativity.

Here’s a sneak peak at ways in which I want to
BE more creative and DO more creative things regularly in the new year:

1) Chihuahua A Day


On the first of January I started my Chihuahua A Day project on Instagram. I love taking little snapshots of pretty things and animals, making a cute little virtually framed ‘painting’ out of them. It makes me feel joyful and gets my creative juices flowing!
And who would be better and prettier to portray than my precious blonde 10 pound chihuahua Kiara.

2) Writing regularly with low thresholds

via Pinterest: etsy.com

In 2012 I have learned an invaluable tool in my battle against perfectionism and fear based procrastination: setting encouragingly low thresholds to start an activity: committing to write at least 1 line a day. Possibly more, but one is enough and is just as big an accomplishment as writing whole page.
I’m learning that there are shades of grey between black and white.
I apply this to my blog writing as well as other activities and tasks. A true breakthrough for me!

3) Creative prayer and meditation

via Pinterest: benedictinemonks.co.uk

I also want to get more creative in my prayer and meditation.
Recently I got a lot of helpful hints from different sources suggesting I can pay or meditate as I am. Everybody is made unique, so why do I think I have to pray or meditate in the same way as other, completely different people and that there’s even a right or wrong way to do it?

What freedom lies in that notion!

4) Following the Artist’s Way image
I’m also planning to follow Julia Cameron’s widely acclaimed program: the Artist’s Way, in the new year. Just like a whole lot of (aspiring) artists, I deal with a lot of negative self talk and assumptions about myself, my work and my potential. The Artist’s way deals with that, in a very gentle and encouraging manner, by means of weekly assignments and encouragement.

I cannot wait to share my progress (not perfection 🙂 with you all!

Do you have a creative focus for 2013 as well? Let me know! Leave a comment below or contact me via:

Facebook, Google + or Twitter

You can also follow my Chihuahua a Day project 365 via: www.instagram.com/esterkaren or http://www.tumblr.com/blog/simple-inspiredliving

Love, peace and happy newyear!


The power of words

Here’s a beautiful and profound piece by Henri Nouwen, from Bread of the Journey, as an introductory on today’s topic: using creative versus destructive words

Words, words, words. Our society is full of words: on billboards, on television screens, in newspapers and books. Words whispered, shouted, and sung. Words that move, dance, and change in size and color. Words that say, “Taste me, smell me, eat me, drink me, sleep with me,” but most of all, “buy me.” With so many words around us, we quickly say: “Well, they’re just words.” Thus, words have lost much of their power.

Still, the word has the power to create. When God speaks, God creates. When God says, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), light is. God speaks light. For God, speaking and creating are the same. It is this creative power of the word we need to reclaim. What we say is very important. When we say, “I love you,” and say it from the heart, we can give another person new life, new hope, new courage. When we say, “I hate you,” we can destroy another person. Let’s watch our words.

What influence do you have with your words?

Is it creative, life-giving, encouraging, hopeful? Do you give praise, give positive feedback, say loving words, say kind words, do you create encouraging pieces of writing like blogging, noveling or poetry?

Or are you mostly lured by the temptation to be destructive with your words; do you gossip, slander, say denigrating words, say hateful words, use sarcasm or cynicism, or do you disclose other people’s secrets or give a lot of negative feedback?

Here’s a proposition to cut back on your negative words and increase your positive verbal expressions in 4 weeks:

  1. Week 1: Just tally marks every day on a notepad, noting the amount of times you used your words destructively and how many times creatively and kindly. This is just to make you aware of what you’re doing before changing your behavior.
  2. Week 2: This week’s challenge will be to daily replace two bad words  with two positive encouraging or creative words. Keep notes everyday and reward yourself with kind words or by doing something you love. Positive feedback for yourself is important!
  3. Week 3: This week focus solely on eliminating gossiping, because that is one of the most destructive uses of words. You damage other people as well as your own soul. Here’s the solution: put a rubber band on your right wrist. Every time you gossip or gossip along with somebody at home or at work you put the rubber band to your left wrist and after a positive remark you can place it back again, the goal being to keep it always on the right wrist. Quitting gossiping can be quite daunting, especially when you tell people you don’t want to talk about anybody else behind their back anymore and you could be perceived as a killjoy or a spoilsport. Just think about it: people will respect you more for your integrity in the end and you will have a clear conscience.
  4. Week 4: In this last week I want you to play with words and experience their creative usage. Write, blog, write a poem, write a tiny letter to your spouse and put it — with a hint of perfume — on his pillow, journal, write down beautiful verses of Scripture or poems with a nifty pen with lavender ink, play, enjoy, be spontaneous, be creative!

Now you are further along the path of kindness and love than most people around you probably will be .

And if you fall back again: say kind words to yourself and try again 😉