By Debbi Farmer
One of my favorite hobbies is scrapbooking. I have so many memories that I want to keepsake for others to enjoy down the years. I am often looking for new resources to add to my scrapbooking technique. Perhaps that is why I found this book and web-site to be so fascinating and wanted to share it with you.
Scrapbook Your Christian Faith: The Beginners Guide to Scrapbooking Your Spiritual Legacy by Donna Riner Weber is just one of those many treasures that you have to share with all of your friends. I recently interviewed Donna Riner Weber about her book and website and discovered for myself how to scrapbook my Christian faith.
What is Donna’s story?
One crisp, cool Friday afternoon in September, Donna flipped off the lights in her classroom. She thanked God for the week, her students, and for the upcoming weekend. She didn’t know that she had just taught her last class ever.
Donna had been living with chronic lung diseases which caused her to live a life of doctor’s appointments, medicines, and hospital visits. But with God’s help she had continued to teach.
This time this episode with her illness things were different. This time her life changed. She would never return to her teaching job again. You can read more here on her web site…
Donna, can you tell use about your book and what it is about?
Scrapbook Your Christian Faith: The Beginners Guide to Scrapbooking Your Spiritual Legacy by Donna Riner is presently an e-book (and soon to be in-print book) and was written to help newbies come to understand “how to Faithbook.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “everyone has a story to tell.” And then there is that old cliché “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now if you put your words and your pictures together, what do you have? A precious heirloom for your loved ones.
Now, in addition to your words, add some verses from God’s Holy Bible. And now what do you have? A powerful, precious, priceless, love letter for your loved ones and those who will follow you—a keepsake that will last many years longer than you live here on planet earth.
For the Bible tells us “So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” Isaiah 55:11 (The Message)
When I was new to Faithbooking, I was totally overwhelmed. I tried and tried to find resources but at that time I could not find the right book that would provide me with the help I needed. I did not understand the scrapbook language, the tools, and supplies. I didn’t even know what an embellishment was. It was all confusing, and yes, overwhelming to me.
Yet I wanted to do this. . . I wanted to learn how to leave my spiritual message for my son and granddaughter and other future descendants.
You may be thinking, “instead of going to all this trouble couldn’t you just use a journal?” Yes, you can and perhaps that is the way God will lead you. However, if you take a photo of your grandchild, add some of your own words and then add a scripture beside it, he/she will likely take the time to look at it, read your comments and also read that verse.
Numerous Bible verses instruct us to pass on stories of God’s presence in our lives. Some include:
- “One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:3-4 (NASB)
- “Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God…” Psalm 102:18 (MSG)
- “One generation makes known your faithfulness to the next.” Isaiah 38:19 (TLB)
Knowing this, I realized I wanted to help others learn how to leave their Spiritual Messages for their loved ones without having to go through all the searching and frustration I went through.
So, tell us what you did.
I wrote Scrapbook Your Christian Faith to help beginners to faithbooking learn how to:
- Express love for their family in a priceless keepsake
- Influence the Spiritual Future of their children/grandchildren
- Have a unique way of telling others about Jesus
Scrapbook Your Christian Faith helps the reader seize their opportunity to begin working on one of the greatest gifts they can ever leave their loved ones.
It is about 98 pages and it teaches:
- Basic tools and supplies needed for beginners
- How to incorporate scriptures, prayers and stories into the Faithbook layouts
- Step-by-step lessons on matting and paper piecing
- Examples to jazz up titles
- Scrapbook language
I understand you have some freebie stuff too.
Yes! Readers who would like to learn more are invited to come over to http://www.ScrapbookYourChristianFaith.com. There they can sign up for Free Five Faithbook Lessons. They will also receive Free Faithbook Bits and Pieces approximately once a month.
Ms. Weber; besides a lack of resources, what else inspired you to write this book and start a Faithbook ministry?
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good. . . to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (TLB)
Over the years Jeremiah 29:11 became “my verse.” I often wrote it on napkins for waitresses, scratch pads in hotel rooms, and on mini-cards, shared it with students and preached it to my son. I really believe that as long as we are here on planet earth that God has a plan for us.
This became very confusing to me as my chronic illness and pain caused me to stop teaching. I felt so frustrated, depressed, and non-productive. I would lie on the sofa and cry day after day and ask God but “What is your Plan for me?”
I knew it wasn’t to lie around on the sofa and wait to die. I kept praying that questioning prayer. “What is Your plan for Me?” What is it that a person like me with a chronic illness and daily pain can do?
God did not immediately answer my question—like I wanted Him to. Rather He began to give me little steps and as I took one step He revealed another one to me.
- First, I began to feel God wanted me to write down stories of how He had been faithful to me and my family.
- When my cousin, Nora, from Chicago came to visit our family, she brought her scrapbook. As I flipped through the beautiful pages, I thought it was so wonderful but I’m not able to do that. I’m not an artist. (I didn’t realize it at the time, but God had planted a seed in my heart.)
- I didn’t know what to do with the stack of stories I had been writing. After praying about it, I became interested in going to Christian Writers Conferences.
- That scrapbooking seed God had planted earlier started to sprout. I had never been interested in creating a scrapbook—but I had this notion that I wanted to go to a class and check it out.
These steps happened over several years. And I still did not realize God was going to call me to combine these new interests. As I learned to create scrapbook layouts I discovered a very vital part of my life was not included in the album. They did not show my relationship with God.
How could I solve that problem? I had written some stories, but how can I put them into my layouts?
I attended Christian Writer’s Conferences and Scrapbook classes and conventions. I learned from each one—but nothing taught me how to mesh these two concepts. And I began to search for books to help me combine these new interests. At that time, I could find only 5-6 that were even slightly related to what I wanted to do and none of them solved my problem.
At that point I felt called to write the guide book that I had needed— one that explained how to include our Christian faith in scrapbooking. The result was Scrapbook Your Christian Faith—The Beginners Guide to Scrapbooking Your Spiritual Legacy.
When did the web site come to be?
I learned that in order to market this book I needed a web-site. This was yet another new learning experience for me. But God has continued to lead me step by step through this exciting journey. It is one that I travel at my own pace—a rather slow and at times tumultuous one because of my chronic illness and daily pain.
It amazes me because I did not realize where God was leading me and I still don’t. Even though chronic illness and daily pain keeps me from being what I consider a “normal person” on the work force, I still know that God has a special plan for me—and I anxiously await the next step!
This sounds like a totally fascinating way to scrapbook your family memories! What do you think our readers from Rest Ministries can gain from learning about faith-booking?
I pray that others—especially those like me who are in a different season of their life now because of chronic illness and chronic pain—will be inspired to create their Spiritual Legacy. I pray that their Faithbook will touch the hearts of their loved ones and others who will follow them and that ultimately their scrapbooks about their Christian faith will make a difference on earth and in eternity.
Thank you. And how can our readers get the faithbook lessons?
I would like to invite the readers of Rest Ministries to visit http://www.ScrapbookYourChristianFaith.com and sign up for the “Free Five Faithbook Lessons”. In addition they will receive approximately once a month Faithbook Bits and Pieces which will cover tips, techniques and various related topics on Faithbooking. This is also free. My book is scheduled to also be published in print book form by early fall.
You had mentioned to me you would love to hear from our readers at RestMinistries.com. How can they reach you?
When they contact me, please ask them to identify themselves from Rest Ministries and let me know that they also have chronic illness/pain. I would love to pray for them. They can write to me at donna@ScrapbookYourChristianFaith.com.
I also would appreciate their prayers as I continue to learn and expand this ministry—that it will always be one that honors Our Lord.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Ms. Weber! Your book and web-site sounds exciting and I personally look forward to learning more about Faithbooking my Christian life through your great resources.
You can follow Donna on Twitter @FaithScrapper . Did you catch her article last week here at Rest Ministries You Are God’s Messenger Today For Someone Who is Hurting?
Debbi Farmer, a part-time writer in North Carolina, loves art and finding great resources. She shares her life with her family more creatively now thanks to the Lord’s wonderful and sufficient grace. She suffers from several illnesses including Fibromyalgia. She wishes she could give you all a cheerful hug today and share with you a tiny morsel of hope.