so many things pulling at me



Oh it has been a minute or two since we've come together.  I miss you desperately.  These days it seems that I can barely keep my thoughts straight let alone put them down on paper.

I hope this post finds all of you doing well.  I am doing so-so, still having problems with my mouth.  Still working at my God-sized dream.

For the past few weeks I've been diligently working with my 17 year-old son who has had a lot of questions about the Bible even questioning parts of it.

This broke my heart because I felt like I'd fell as a mother--as his mother.

"What?!... wait?! Where is all of this coming from Lord?"  I cried out.

My son is such a deep thinker.  He thinks of things that have never entered my mind.  He looks at things and reasons in way that are Greek to me.  God is growing me with this child.

For the past three weeks we stay up way past 2'o clock reading Chuck Swindoll's study guide, Hope in Hurtful Times!  I can't tell you how much it means to me that people like Chuck Swindoll have made it their life's mission to produce such material.  It is a God sent and it has been our life saver.  I have clung on to my Bible and the Word like never before friends because I so see the fiery darts of the evil one trying to get a hold of my child's heart.

What the Lord has showed me in this was that just because my son's questions have never been my questions, it doesn't mean that his questioning is wrong.  I've learned so much about God and His Word that I didn't know by searching out my son's questions.

Even still though, I do remind him that at the end of the day. . . when it is all said and done, knowing and not knowing the answer to the questions will not make a difference.  The difference is only made by each of us knowing God's Son as our personal Savior, and then living in lives according to His standards so that His kingdom is blessed and we will not only inherit the Kingdom as our home, but we will inherit some rewards.

I have plenty more to say about this, but for now I will let this be enough lest I ramble too much.

xo,
Angela


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Psst . . . 

Are you a blogger who needs help with your blog?  Or maybe you are an entrepreneur and need a virtual assistant, or maybe you need a graphic designer for a website, ebook, or other online endeavors, or you need a social media manager.  If you need help with anything virtual friend, I ask you to consider hiring me.  My prices vary depending on the project, project size and the length of time.  If you are interested in hiring me please send me an email to gatewaystojoy@gmail.com.

Maybe you don't need my services, but you know of someone who does.  If that's the case will you please consider referring me.  I will give you a referral fee for your kindest.  

Thanks again.

xo

What I Love Most About My Home Artwork

I feel so proud to show this to you!

Why?  Because normally I would be too afraid to share my work with anyone, but I am conquering my fears!

This one is for sale!  If you're interested in buying it email me at: gatewaystojoy@gmail.com, and put "art work" in the subject line.

I'm taking custom orders too!



So how are you doing with your art work?

Are you conquering your fears?

do you feel worthy of your dreams?


I don't.  I don't feel worthy of my dreams or anything else today.

I hate those days when I let someone else dictate my mood.  That's what I'm fighting through right now.

I'm not worried though because I know it will pass.  I just hate letting myself get here in the first place.  When I think about it long and hard, the reason, the real reason someone was able to change my demeanor so drastically is because I am feeling unworthy.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3: 22-23

Regardless of how I feel, God reassures me in my head that I am worthy, thanks to the blood of Jesus and me accepting Him.

Friends, no matter what mistakes I make, no matter how many times I fall down, I will get back up and serve God forever.  Hopefully, you will too.

Are you feeling unworthy today?

Is that fear of unworthiness holding you back from going after your God-sized dream?

Do you remember a man name David, or a woman name Rahab, or a guy name Paul?  We would look at each of them and their lives and by our human sinful standards we would say they were unworthy, right?

But as Holley Gerth points out in her book, God-size dreams, "God chooses messy, broken people to accomplish His will."

Guess what?  Today He's choosing you and He's choosing me.

My gift to you today is this video.  This video is for any of you who is creative and want to start putting their art up to share with the world, but doesn't have the foggiest idea of how to do so.

This is the second part to a video series that I'm doing showing you how to set up a blogger blog and design it all for free!

Now you have no excuse not to let the world view your God given talent (s).

Share your gifts.  Do it in spite of strongholds, situations, circumstances, feelings of unworthiness and fear.





xo, Angela blog subscription  | twitter | facebook

a tutorial on creating and setting up a blogger blog for the creative soul

The last time we were together we talked about fear as a stronghold of us back for going after our God-size dream.  We also said that fear of failure is often the stumbling block to trying.

I know for me a lot of times the reason I am scared of failing is because I feel like my skill level is inadequate.  I always end up finding someone who does things that I am trying to do "better than me," and I start to feel inadequate.  Fear by comparison is lethal.

Many of you have written me and told me your stories.  I see where you are creative women, mothers-- no different from me, who have put your art on hold in order to care for your family. However, as we are learning, it is hard to squash the want and desire to create for too long when God has gifted you in that area.

I've decided to do a couple of breif {15-20 min} tutorials explaining to you to set up a free blog and design a free blog.



Many people will tell you to get your own domain.  While this is good advice and true, for where most of you are right now, I suggest you start slow.  Learn first, get your feet wet and then in a couple of months or even a year from now, see where you are and then evaluate where you want to go next.

Today's video and a few subsequent videos are going to be demonstrations on me sharing how to get the process going.  I have only done tutorials for a few clients, but I've mainly coached using Skype so doing the videos are still new to me.  I say this so that you will forgive the "and so's" that I find myself uttering so much.  As well as I hope you forgive the smacking of the lips and the "um's" :-)

On this particular video, also, for some reason unbenonuced to me I continued saying "hover" instead of "hoover."

You are welcome to ask questions and I will do my best to answer.  Please understand that I am a blog coach, and if you're interested in learning about the particulars of blogging and how to reach your target audience and specific goals you are welcome to send me an email to find out about the specify on being coached.  These videos are just my gift to you and an introduction because I truly understand where a lot of you are.

Also note that I only take about 4 ladies in my queue because I, too, am trying to focus on my art business, homeschool my kids and be a wife.  You can send me an email to gatewaystojoy (at) gmail.com for more information on blog coaching.

It is my hope that you come away from each video feeling more empowered then you did before the tutorial, and ready to share your God given talents with the world and experience your God-size dream unfold.

Happy learning!

xoxo

"What gifts are waiting to be opened within your heart?"

"How will you use them to change your little corner of the world today?"

Read 1 Peter 4:1-10 to find out more about serving others.

"God, thank you for creating me with gifts.  I'm grateful for the strengths that you've placed within me, and the ways those are expressed as actions through my skills.  I humbly acknowledge that I do have something to offer and that you have made me to make a difference." Amen. ~ Holley Gerth

Lastly, if I that many of you have the same questions, I will start a Google handout community where we can video chat, maybe once a month, while we go through this series and you call can meet each other {on video} and encourage one another.

We will see.


is fear holding you back from experiencing your God-sized dream?



Right before I got ready to publish this post, I received an email from another blogger, Angela England, whose post I subscribe to.  What caught my attention about this particular post was her title, 'The Power of Exposing Your Dreams.'

I opened the email and this was her introduction:

"Did you know that a dormant seed is so well protected it can survive for years in a dead-but-not dead, alive-but-not alive state?

In fact, kernels of wheat found buried in ancient Egyptian tombs were able to be germinated. The wheat survived for centuries, yet never served its true purpose."

We do that with our dreams, don't we?  We keep them safely tucked away and protected in the shell of our minds and hearts in a state of dead, but not dead, alive, but not alive, and no one benefits.  Why do we do this?   Because we're fearful.  Fearful of the unknown, fear of failure.

After you read the blog post today, please take time to listen to Alma Loveland and Melanie Burke, two of my favorite graphic designers, as they discuss why they are glad they failed.

Today we're going to continue looking at the strongholds, and as I'm sure you've guessed by now we are going to take a look at the stronghold (or stumbling block) of fear.

Fear can be a good thing in certain situations as we all know.  It is one of our God-given emotions that help us sense danger, and protect us from harmful situations.  The bad thing about fear is that it is an emotion that is induced by our perception of something, and because perception is involved many people use their fear of failure to completely stop them from trying something they are unsure about.

"I want to be a female entrepreneur."  I say this over and over, and over again to anyone who will lend me their ear.  More than that I want to have a thriving business, and I want to encourage others to go for their God-sized dream too.

As I sit in my living room drinking my morning coffee, my heart is sadden.  I've just finished thinking to myself, "Why am I still trying?"

You see the printer that I use to do my work is acting up and I can't figure out why.  It always seems to be the same with me.  I start and feel like I'm headed somewhere then this small nit-picking thing will happen, and that small nit-picking thing will happen, and to be perfectly honest... and I just end up being so downtrodden and discouraged.  It never fails.  Seems like something is always happening.

It's so disappointing to have planned something and prepared for it, only for it to become disarrayed.


Sadly this is not an uncommon thing for me, and many others who are trying, working on making their God-size dream a reality.

Granted your stumbling block may not be mine, nor mine yours, but when starting off you have something.  Question is, what are you going to do when you're faced with that something, hum?

Jesus came face-to-face with His stumbling block of fear too.

Grab your Bible if you can and take a look at Luke 22:39-46.  It reads:

"And He came out and went, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him.  And when He came to the place, He said to them, 'Pray that you may not enter into temptation.  And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.



And there appeared to Him an Angel from heaven, strengthening Him, and being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow., and He said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."  ESV

Did you notice where it says, "... and being in agony?"

This word has many definitions, but one meaning that stood out to me is the meaning of competition.  Right here in this passage we see Jesus battling to not give in to His fears... and wanting to accomplish what His Father had for Him.

Jesus was approaching His God-sized dream too.  His "dream" if you will of accomplishing the will of the Father.

Lovelies, each of us has a God-sized dream that's going to take will, wit, determination and perseverance, along with much more.  It's okay to be scared.  But we must not let our fears stop us from getting to what God has for us.

We must break the stronghold that fear has on some of us.

Remember Beth Moore defines a stronghold as anything that exalts itself in our minds, "pretending" to be bigger or more powerful than God.  It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Control.  Mastered.  I would say that about sums up what many of us allow fear to do to us.

In order to go after your God-sized dream we are going to have to be like Jesus and say, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine will be done Lord." Then we, like our Savior, will have to pick ourselves up, even if it isn't a physical "pick me up" and move toward the cross of crucifying those fears and negative thoughts.




Like last time, I want to say that the battle of a stronghold is primarily in our minds.  If you want help with your strongholds I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Ask God to help you with your plans of making His dream for you a reality.

Tell me, have you identified any strongholds in your life that are holding you back from your God-sized dream?

What are you going to do about them?  Tell me about it in the comment section below.

God bless you.

xoxo 
Angela

Psst, would you be so kind as to like my Facebook page and then follow me on Instagram and Pinterest?  Thanks, and don't forget to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss anything!

share your gift with me






"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

Are you sharing the gift that you received from God with others friends?

Today is a fun post!  I want to share my son's, my youngest boy, art work with you all today. He did this all on his own when he was 8.  He did it at the same time I was learning Photoshop.  Everyday for at least an hour they have to work on something creatively and this is what he did.

Sadly I had put it on my computer and didn't find it until two years later {today}.  So he's 10 now.

Anyway, I want this to be a place where you can share your dreams, talents, gifts, fears... whatever it is.

At the end of this post would you so kindly share in the comments below what you believe your gift to be?  It doesn't have to be anything artsy, and then share your story.  Are you using your gift?  If you are in what way?  If you aren't, why not?






Psst, would you be so kind as to like my Facebook page and then follow me on Instagram and Pinterest?  Thanks, and don't forget to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss anything!


xoxo, Angela

a new begining



Do you still dream?  Seriously.

What are they? Have you attempted any of them, even one?

Do you plan on pursuing any of your dreams?

For weeks, I've been sharing with you how I've finally started, back {after 20 years},thinking about my art, and having my own business.  I put myself out here big time, calling myself an artist, because normally when I think about art I think about those people who can really draw.  I can't draw.  After reading Emily Freeman's book I decided to embrace the talent of art that I feel that God has blessed me with.

Even though I was publicly embracing who I was, there was still another problem that I faced.  I've always had aspirations of being an entrepreneur and I still loved writing.

Trying to figure out what to pursue and how to pursue it my heart became overwhelmed so I started hitting and missing with writing, blogging, painting, doing my wood signs, graphic designing, and even what I was called to do for my family.  I didn't know what to do really.  One conclusion I came to was that I had to overcome my fears of being inadequate, not knowing everything and wondering what others would think of me or rather my talent.

"What if they don't like..."

"What if they think I'm ..."

"What if..." became the driving force of my thoughts and actions, until it had me all over the place, thinking that I had to try and do everything possible to make people like and accept what I was trying to do.

You see I know that God has gifted me {I don't mean this to be arrogant}, and I know that He has given His children special gifts and talents.  I've just been unsure of how to bring everything I feel like He's calling me to together.

As you all know, those who have visited her a while, I am once again a leader for the (in)Couragers Community Group.  Holley Gerth is a co-founder of (in)couragers and Daysprings {if I'm not mistaken}.  Anyway, Holley has a book that I purchased not too long ago, 'Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream.'  

For whatever reason, I decided last night to open it up and read it.  Not only that I went to her website and looked around a bit, and discovered that she has another site dedicated to God-Sized Dreamers-- the site is actually God Sized Dream.




Anyway after looking around I saw where she offered a link-up and the link up this week is about the backdrop of your God Sized Dream...your story.

After thinking about my gifts, talents, what I like and what I am trying to accomplish as far as fitting all of my stuff together.  Stuff being what I told you all I have always had an interest in art, writing and entrepreneurship I think I want to spend my time sharing my art which includes my paintings, but also my love for writing, entrepreneurship and my new found gift as an encourager.

I love doing all of those things and find such a great "exhaling" kind of moment when I'm thrust into any of these situations.  I find great peace and joy doing these things, and just like I do when I'm homeschooling my children, I know that not only am I exactly where I want to be.  I know that I am exactly where God wants me to be.




So I'm starting a new beginning here on Gateways to Joy.  My mantra is still "everything if given to God can be your gateway to joy."  I experience this in my life everyday and have even learned that this statement is even true when pursuing your God-sized dream.

I ask you dear friend once again: do you still dream?

Before I leave you, I want to share with you what a God-sized dream is as define by Holley.  A God-sized dream is a desire in your heart for more of what God has for you.

In the weeks to come, we will examine more of our new beginnings and following our God-sized dream.  But we will also continue to look at how strongholds can prevent us from getting to that God-size dream that God has tucked away especially for us.

Until next time,

xo, Angela
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This post is linked to Your God-Sized Dream Backstory & Wednesday's Prayer Girls and Link up Party

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