Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends & Family,

As many of you know, 2012 was a nutty year for us. We wanted to give you a visual snapshot of our life this year.

Sam worked 2 full time jobs: as teacher & nurse. Add to that hubby & daddy & wow... let’s just take a nap. Sugar became a night nurse’s friend & the doughnut holes got him through the 3 a.m. low. God graciously kept us pressing on  & we made it through!  

Julie held down the fort as well as grew Life Verse Design, designed books for Tyndale, led bible studies, did more family photography, & coached soccer. 

My Favorite Little Mister is as passionate as his parents & this year the passions were botany, owls, reading, piano, & cello. 

Sunshine Girl's passions include art, soccer, comic books, homework, piano & reading.

Pumpkin Poo's passions include art, puppies, dolls, ballet, & books. 

{Can you tell reading is a theme in our family?!} 

We wish you a very MERRY Christmas & a RESTFUL New Year.

 {here is an out-take}

{& here is Sunshine Girl 
after my good friend called it a wrap, 
she stood there enthralled in her Spiderman book 
until we had to pry it out of her hands! That's my girl!}

Grace & Peace, the Chens  

Friday, December 14, 2012


Like all Americans, I am grieving the tragedy of lives lost today in Connecticut.

Like all mommies, I am hugging my kiddos a little longer, looking at their sweet faces & counting my blessings that they are snug in bed, safe & sound.

I am completely baffled, shocked, sickened & brokenhearted that innocent lives are lost every day.

And we all ask, "Why?" "How on earth can this possibly happen?"

And all I can think of may sound like a cliche, but it is truth.

All we need is LOVE.
All we need is healing.
All we need is to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us.

We all have brokenness in our lives and I believe only Jesus can heal those cracks, mend our hearts, and make us whole. He came to save the lost. He came for the brokenhearted. NOT for those who "have it all together" (which is not possible anyways!) This Christmas we celebrate His arrival as human form, the best gift of all.

I hope the country (& world!) takes this precious gift as their own, receives His love & forgiveness to experience hope, love, freedom, peace, and new life.

Just think if we really lived out my life verse, Ephesians 3:14-21, KNOWING & EXPERIENCING the LOVE of GOD how much this broken world would change as we would be empowered to love one another.

My prayers, tears, and love is with Connecticut.

Grace & Peace,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Custom Work: Little Lamb

I customized this print for a customer today who emailed me asking for the "Mother, You're one of His precious little lambs" to be added to the bottom of the print.

Her mother is 86 years old & a woman who visits her weekly tells her during each visit that she is one of her little lambs. So, in turn the mother calls herself one of her little lambs.


It reminded me of James 1, caring for widows. (I am not sure that this woman is a widow, but am making the assumption.) What a blessing in this world that we have people to reach out and care for the elderly & make them feel so loved, as little lambs.

No matter how old you are, you are still God's little lamb.

Grace & Peace,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Custom Work: Wedding Keepsake

Hi you all! I hope your Christmas season is merry & bright.

I just wanted to share with all of you this amazing image I had the joy of creating for a very sweet customer. It will be a gift for her sister-in-law & new hubby!

I love creating custom work. If you have an image & quote you'd like me to work with, please see my ETSY shop for pricing & email me at

Grace & Peace,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Worship

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music. I LOVE traditional Christmas songs & it is a joy to sing along.

This year, the biggest gift I am giving my 3 children is my time. All of me. Fully present {you know, not multi-tasking in your head your to-do list while you are spending time playing on the floor with your child, which is soooo typical of me, the do-er}.

We started an advent devotional which the kids are totally digging. I am sure it's partly due to their love of art, but each night as I read to them out of the Scriptures, they color their ornament to hang on their own special tree. Even my 5 year old has made comments about reading about Jesus & connecting it with what she is learning in preschool. Blesses my heart {the devos I am using are a little over her head.}

I am trying to savor the moments & truly worship this Christmas, instead of being caught up in the busyness of the season. I hope you will slow down and do the same.

The magic is all around us! He is in us. He is with us. Emmanuel!

OH & I almost forgot: I am giving free shipping this week & even combining it with my buy 3 8x10 prints & receive the 4th FREE offer! I am hoping you buy meaningful Christmas gifts to bless others with beauty and truth for their lives.

If you are purchasing the 3 8x10's to get the 4th FREE, simply write in that 4th print in the NOTES TO SELLER when you check out of my shop. {ie: please do not put it in your cart}

And the THANKFUL coupon code is in the checkout area also.

Grace & Peace,