Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: The Art of Giving Away

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.

Not long ago I read about an artist that would create small canvas paintings, beautiful creations really, and leave them around a city.  The artist would leave the artwork on bus station benches, park benches, at restaurant booths, in churches, store fronts, laundry mats, anywhere people might gather or stop.  On the artwork she'd leave a note saying something like," This is for you. This art was meant for you to find today. Take it and keep it. Enjoy it." Some call it Guerilla Art.

Giving away artwork is difficult for some people, just like letting go of our pain and guilt, or our egos and pride.  Anytime that we invest ourselves in something and then have to let it go... it is a painful process.

It can also be a rewarding process. The act of investment, and release, although painful, and although grief is part of it, can lighten our emotional load. It can relieve us of our internal baggage, our heavy -hearted burden that we drag with us through life. When we invest, and release, we can discover new life, new eyes to see the world. A renewed spirit. 

Definitely a journey worth taking. Although painful, is worth the journey, most would say.

So, with this in mind, this weeks Making Whole art process challenges you to take a small (4x6") pre-stretched art canvas and some acrylic paints and create something beautiful.  Whether an abstract swirl of color and line, a whimsical backdrop for a heartfelt poem, a fiery rose or scenic pasture with a lovers confession or mother's regret written across the bottom.  Whatever moves you... create it on the canvas.
Allow it to dry completely. Do not sign it.

On the back, attach a note. Say whatever you want to say, but make it clear that the finder of the art may keep it, may love it, may accept it in the sense that it was made and given to bring joy and happiness.

Take your art to a place where it will be found and leave it there. With it, leave any sense of ownership, pain, regret, grief... and walk away from it.  With each step you take, breathe deeply and feel lighter and lighter.....

Own the new you.

Read more about other Guerilla artists...

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by cHimprints

Friday, February 22, 2013

God Speaks: Real Stories of God's Guiding Hands in Real People's Lives

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

the below story is from

Would You Follow His Directions?

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?"
After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God.. If you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought, stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk.
He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home. As he passed Seventh street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will". He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop.
He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.
Again, they sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep.
He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid."
Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away.
The man was standing there in his jeans and t-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?" The young man thrust out the gallon of milk,"Here, I brought this to you."
The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, "We Were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk."
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?" The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand.
He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.
--- Author Unknown --- Sent in by Derrick Jordan --- Florida
 from :
Attribution Some rights reserved by d.i.o.d.e.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Make A Difference Today: You Can! Project Cuddle

Project cuddle was recently highlighted on the Jeff Probst show and is really something we here at Treasuring Grace can get behind. Started as a grassroots project, Project Cuddle helps pregnant women in crisis in any way they need it, including pre natal care, and adoption set up.

In 16 years, they have saved 715 babies from being abandoned, aborted or worse. They provide "safe and legal alternatives to baby abandonment" and you can help.

Aren't we always looking for ways to make a difference? Here is a great opportunity for our readers to get involved in some way.  A monetary donation can help keep this great organization moving along, volunteer or be a rescue family!  There are so many beautiful ways you CAN make a difference. 

Here is some more information from their website:

Project Cuddle is a nonprofit organization that operates a 24-hour, 7-day a week crisis hotline that works as a search and rescue program.
We search out safe and legal alternatives for women that are contemplating abandoning or dumping their babies.
We work with volunteers to rescue newborns and infants from abandonment. We do not discriminate against anyone who is willing to rescue a baby. Project Cuddle is a non-profit charity and charges nothing to the girls in need or the Rescue families. The adoption process can cost between $10,000 and $30,000, but Project Cuddle charges nothing.

We really need your help through your generous donations towards any of these wishes!
Heart  Reams or Boxes of Copy Paper
Heart Gift cards in increments of $5-100 from the following are always greatly appreciated:
  • Wal-Mart
  • Target
  • J.C. Penney
  • Sears
  • Motherhood Maternity, etc
Heart Silent Auction items  for the upcoming Events
Heart Host a  Virtual baby shower for Project Cuddle!!!  This is what you do:
  • Everyone must bring a wrapped gift
  1. Start off with some yummy party food and watch a DVD about and provided by Project Cuddle
  2. Everyone exchange gifts and unwrap them
  3. Skype with Debbe so that she can chat and answer questions
This is a great way to raise awareness about Project Cuddle.  Your guests can then write a check or donate a gift card that will be used to help save babies!
Heart Baby items
Heart Maternity Clothes
Heart A New Computer
Heart Postage – books or rolls of stamps
Heart A LCD Projector and/or Screen
Heart Bequest your home to Project Cuddle to help save girls in traumatic situations and are pregnant.
Our dream is to have a safe, confidential place where women can be during the remainder of their pregnancies.
Heart You can also donate your old cars to help save lives.
Just call (800)766-CARE (2273) or CLICK HERE for an online donation form.

If you have questions regarding these or any other donations, please contact the Project Cuddle office.  Contact Us
Thank you for considering Project Cuddle and helping us in our efforts to save the tiniest victims…the babies.

Learn More:  Go to their website:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Love Note to Yourself

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

With Valentine's Day being this week, I thought about how we share our love with others, but often times give away our love, without loving ourselves first. Many of us judge ourselves most harshly, are overly critical of ourselves and say things to ourselves that we would never, ever say to a beloved friend or lover. 
Love Thyself is a great philosophy, one we are all familiar with, but it is difficult for some of us to do.  Sometimes we punish ourselves for past mistakes, or refuse to forgive ourselves for our human flaws. 

Whatever our issues, Valentine's Day can serve as a reminder to care for ourselves more tenderly and see the good in ourselves that our friends and family recognize.

In this art process you are asked to first pick up a pen and paper and write down all the lovable things about yourself. Make a list of why you love yourself, or why you SHOULD love yourself. 

Then, use the media of your choice, watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencils, collage materials, whatever you like, create a valentine as big as you like for yourself. Make it as colorful and creative as you can imagine. It will be a gift to yourself and a reminder of how lovable you are.

Once done, take a black sharpie and write along the border or within the heart all the reasons you are lovable. 

Hang on a wall or display somewhere as a reminder that you are a lovable person who is worthy of love and tenderness. 

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Clearwater Public Library System Photos

Friday, February 8, 2013

God Speaks: Real Stories of God's Guiding Hands in Real People's Lives: An Angel in the Form of a Homeless Man

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

The below story is from a public forum post from

An Angel In The Form Of A Homeless Man

By: kbentley17
Written on December 7th, 2009

Monday, February 4, 2013

Make a Difference Today: You Can!...Set Up a Babysitting Network for Teen Moms

Part of our calling here at Treasuring Grace Ministries is to help make it possible for women to say YES to having babies, even under difficult circumstances. That is why, on our blog, we list resources for Moms in need.  Everyone can make a difference, and the organization "Do" recognizes that as well.

I found an article on their site about how people can put together a babysitting network to help out teen moms who might need that extra helping hand to make it possible to return to school or find a job. They offer tips on how someone might go about organizing a network and making a REAL difference in their community. 

I find this to be very INSPIRING. and I hope that by sharing it here, it will spark an idea within you to get busy in your neighborhood, church or community to start a movement to help others.  Check it out....

How To: Set Up a Babysitting Program to Help Teen Moms

Teen playing with young child

Only 1/3 of teen mothers earn high school diplomas. Set up a babysitting program that allows teen moms extra time to study and pursue goals that will benefit them and their child.
  • Recruit your sitters. Find experienced babysitters that are willing to volunteer their time. Ask your friends, classmates and other neighborhood moms for referrals.
  • Set requirements. Your sitters should pledge a certain number of hours a week that they will help out.
  • Learn some extra expertise. If your team of caretakers isn’t fully confident with their child-watching skills, sign up for a babysitting and/or CPR course at your local community center, YMCA or Red Cross location.
  • Find moms in need. There are plenty of moms to choose from! To get some business, you can:
  • Snag the necessities. In order to do the best job possible, your sitters are going to need a few vital details from their prospective child-bearing clients. Such information includes:
    • Emergency contact information (where to reach the mother or family in case of an emergency, child’s physician, etc.)
    • Where the mother will be, if they are not staying at home
    • Any allergies or medication that the child has
  • Preparation for the job. Participating babysitters can brainstorm to figure out the most effective ways to entertain and take care of the child while the mom is studying. Whether you want to stay at home with the child or go on excursions to allow more peaceful study time for the hard-at-work mother, talk with the mama to decide the right call of action. 

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