Browsing Tag

Leah Jones

Blog, Homeschooling, Parenting, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

Leah’s art, Mint Green Black Cat coffee cups and more: Make extra money on Etsy

Today is Day 7 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. The daily blog post inspiration was to go browse an interesting online retailer and see what pops into your head.

I checked out Bridget’s Etsy. I like the Mint Green Black Cat coffee cup, the tiny gold compass necklace, and I thought the This is My Selfie TShirt was funny.

I’ve been trying to encourage our daughter Leah to sell her art on Etsy. She totally could.¬†

We’ve always homeschooled Leah and several years ago, Ray bought her a graphic art tablet. I’ve been encouraging her since graduation to enroll in college art classes (she still “doesn’t know yet.”) She’s a completely self-taught artist and is just amazing. Here’s just 2 samples¬†of the incredible graphic art she’s drawn:

#10 Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones


#14 - Thumbnailing - 19th Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones


Her art is very unique. I also LOVE this cute one she drew!

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Leah could sell some of her art on Etsy and make some money to buy whatever she wants or needs.

You can sell items on Etsy, too. I have a friend, Jennifer Whiddon, an anointed jewelry artist who sells on Etsy. She also created a custom-made, sterling silver necklace just for my website here.

What talent or skill do you have that you could use to make some extra money on Etsy?

Leah's violin instructor & Leah
Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

Do you have dormant spiritual gifts?

Leah's violin instructor & Leah

Leah’s violin instructor Emily & Leah

We are into February now, usually Missouri’s coldest month with the greatest amount of snow and ice. Annuals’ seeds contain hormones that cause them to germinate in the warm spring weather that follows winter cold. Perennial plants, deciduous woody shrubs and some trees go dormant in the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

Like some flowers, plants, and trees that go dormant, you may have spiritual gifts that are dormant. Gifts you’ve never used or don’t even know about.

I believe our daughter Leah has some dormant gifts. This past Christmas, Leah suddenly told me that for her Christmas wish list, she wanted either an electric violin or a keyboard. She wanted to learn how to play them. This was nothing I  suggested to her or ever talked to her about and, like Mary, I pondered these things in my heart.

It’s interesting, because there is no one musical in our family. I believe this is just something that God put into Leah’s heart because He created her with a musical gift and He’s wanting her to use it.

God has also put spiritual gifts inside of you. Do you know what they are? Are you using them – and using them to their fullest potential?

Leah is an incredible artist and a very creative person so it shouldn’t surprise me that she might have a musical gift, too.

Leah researched electric violins and keyboards, looked at positive and negative reviews on Amazon and YouTube, and then showed me which ones she would like.

Leah was inspired by Lindsey Stirling

Leah also showed me a video of the incredibly talented Lindsey Stirling, a violinist who combines classical music with a modern twist, whom she had found on YouTube. I got goose bumps watching this video Crystallize. She is flat out anointed playing the violin!

I was so excited about this and immediately began praying for God to provide the money for this gift and for God to help me find a violin instructor for her, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to teach her myself.

I even asked God that if it were possible, for me to find a Christian instructor for her – but one who was really good as an instructor.

Ask and you shall receive

For Christmas, we bought Leah an electric violin! I don’t know who was more excited, her or me!¬† ūüôā¬† She thought¬†from the shape of the package that she was getting a keyboard.¬†She had the biggest smile opening her present.

Don’t you know that is what God does when you open your presents from Him – your spiritual gifts?

If Leah had never told me this is what she wanted to do, I would have never known about it and she wouldn’t have gotten the violin. God wants you to tell Him what you want. He wants to bless you with good things. Ask and you shall receive!

One day I was having Mexican lunch with my friend Diane Bishop and at the end of the conversation, I asked her, “Do you happen to know of a good violin instructor?” I explained how Leah wanted an electric violin and we bought her one for Christmas.

Leah and her electric violin

Leah and her electric violin

Huge Answered Prayer

Diane then referred me to Emily, who was¬†Diane’s stepdaughter Hannah’s violin instructor several years ago. She’s an anointed violin instructor and plays violin very well herself!¬†I got her number from Hannah and called Emily and we set up Leah’s lessons right away.¬†She is so sweet and I just love her and so does Leah. This was HUGE ANSWERED PRAYER!¬†God is so amazing how He does these kinds of things!

Leah has now had two violin lessons and is doing really well. She’s excited about the lessons and Emily is pumped about teaching her. Leah has never had any type of music lessons, so she is learning music theory (learning to read notes) as part of her lessons.

We also bought her a small amp and a shoulder rest for the violin. It came with the nice black case, the bow, and the rosin, which is to grip the strings and make them sound. Without rosin, a violin (or other stringed instrument) won’t play. It causes¬† the tiny scales on bow hairs to stand up and cause friction when dragged across¬† the violin’s strings.

It brings tears to my eyes and gives me so much joy hearing Leah practice on her violin each day. I’m sure this is how God feels about us, too, when we use the gifts He has given us-for HIS glory.

Do you have dormant spiritual gifts?

To find out more about the spiritual gifts and how to use them, I recommend two excellent resources: Step Out and Take Your Place by Krista Dunk and Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit by Lester Sumrall.

You can also take spiritual gifts tests at your church or tests online.

I also recommend the incredible movie August Rush, about an orphaned musical prodigy who uses his gift as a clue to find his birth parents.

Blog, Faith, Homeschooling, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

Brave movie and Leah’s homeschool graduation tonight

Merida with bow and arrow, Brave movie

“If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?” – Merida, Brave movie

Yesterday I was wracking my brain, trying to think of something FUN that Leah and I could do for a field trip for her last homeschool day before she graduates tonight. I had googled Missouri, Kansas, homeschool field trips, events, you name it. We’ve been to so many places in Kansas City NUMEROUS times, such as the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, the Kansas City Zoo, Science City, Union Station, Powell Gardens, etc.

What could we do that was different and which would make Leah smile big and have a sweet good memory of our last day homeschooling? I wanted to end homeschooling on a great note. Then the idea came to me: go to the animated Brave movie and then eat lunch out afterward!

It was God-inspired.

Excellent movie! I highly recommend it. And Leah really liked it. The story is of a girl with flowing red hair on the thresh of womanhood named Merida, who is a Scottish princess and an aspiring, skilled archer. She protests against the expectations of royalty’s tradition (marrying a suitable lord after a sports competition for her hand),

Merida makes a reckless, foolish choice to try to change her mother the queen (who has been training and preparing her for years to be a “proper” princess and for marriage), and her rash decision results in chaos and near destruction of the kingdom.

I loved red-haired, high-spirited Merida, her big black horse, the beautiful scenery in Scotland, the Scottish music, the spiritual symbollism of archery (prayer, intercession, prophecy), the humor, and the realistic story of a relationship between a girl and her mother. The movie is about the importance of family and of a young woman creating her own destiny, which I felt was an appropriate theme for Leah’s graduation tonight.

Leah is a lot like Merida – strong-willed, independent, passionate. I laughed at the frown on Merida’s face when her mother would say things like, “A lady does not place her weapon on the table” and “Princesses don’t bite into their apples.” Despite my attempts at “training” Leah, she often insists on her way about doing things, choosing a new path.

When the queen helped Merida to dress for the special occasion of the suitors’ games, Merida felt restricted in her tight dress and headdress and she gasped, “I can’t breathe!” “You look perfect!” the queen said. Seeing her daughter’s discomfort and misery in the dress, she admonished as she left the room, ‘Just remember to smile.”

Tears sprang to my eyes several times during the movie as I recognized Leah and myself in the daughter and the mother characters, as Merida ran her black horse (reminding me of Leah’s horseback riding and horse show winner days), and as she used her gift – her bow and arrow against an enraged black bear (the ancient prince Mor’du).

As I watched Leah smiling at times through the movie, I prayed a prayer of thanks to God for leading us to this movie to close out her homeschool years. I also felt it was prophetic for her life – the bow and arrows, the horse, the blazing of her own trail.

Ride like the wind, Leah. Touch the sky. And remember to smile.

Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led. – Brave movie (Pixar)

Video of Touch the Sky (Julie Fowlis)