How To Create A Simple Infographic

by Cathy Baker 

I love blogging. (Hope it shows!) 

I’m constantly striving to learn new and effective ways to communicate with you, my phenomenal reader. 
Enter, the Infographic. Its usage is practically endless! Post it on Pinterest, along with other social media outlets, or insert it in your handouts, bulletins, etc.
I recently discovered Canva, my new go-to for graphic applications. I still like Pic Monkey but Canva, at least to me, seems easier for the newbie. Many of their templates have fonts installed, ready for you to manipulate, if you like. 
You’ll need to create an account to get started. There’s no charge unless you use a background or graphic that’s not free (each item is tagged free or $). I was pleasantly surprised by the number of free options across the board. In fact, the last three graphics I’ve created have cost me nada. Each background or graphic you choose with a $ is only 1.00 each. 
I created the Infographic below (ahem, I’m obviously still learning) to show you one option I chose from a list of ready-made templates. I kept it uber simple cause, well, that’s how I roll. Want more details? Simply take one of their tutorials to spiff up your skills. It’s all there! 

{Click on graphic to enlarge.}
Do you use infographics? This month is all about learning and sharing what we learn. If you post something you’re currently learning on your blog, let me know, along with the url, and I’ll share it here. 
Learning never exhausts the mind. -Leonardo da Vinci

NEW August Series…Learning is in the Air!

by Cathy Baker

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” -Picasso

Okay, so the word always is wishful thinking on my part but I am striving to be more intentional when it comes to learning and attempting new things. What kinds of things, you might ask?

During this hot muggy month of August, I’ll share everything from Pic Monkey tips to lessons learned behind the spiritual woodshed. I’ll even throw in the kitchen sink table (how to distress it, that is!)

One thing I’m most looking forward to is learning from you. If you post something on your blog that you’re currently learning, or have recently learned, (hey, is this a challenge?) I will link your blog post here. After all, sharing what we learn is what makes it so much fun! Agree?

So, let’s kick this new series off right. What’s one thing you would like to learn this month, or what are you currently learning? 

****Congratulations to Susan Ely {The Shared Table…Breaking Bread, Building Relationships}, the winner of the Starbucks giveaway in July! Watch for the next giveaway coming up later this month.


Staying in the Step with the Spirit Via Pure Motivations

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 29 }

It didn’t take long
for me to realize that we writers can quickly become fascinated with numbers. The
number of books sold, or hits on a particular blog, article, or Facebook
post. Let’s face it. All of these things, in some way, validate the fact our work is being read, and hopefully finding its way to the hearts of those God intended. But, if we’re not careful, over-focusing on numbers can not only choke out our joy but it can take our motivation captive. 

That’s a lot of liking!

For some reason, I thought I’d escaped the clinching chains of counting numbers until this summer when I
found myself face to face with discouragement. To make my point, I must be painfully honest. Sigh. You see, discouragement slithered
its way in the back door when I began noticing a drop-off in blog comments,
leading me to question if the time required to create my posts was a wise use of God’s time.

that same time, a handful of people, some I’ve never met, began emailing me after reading
particular posts. Their emails often resulted (and still do) in a deep
abiding gratefulness no words can describe. (You know who you are! Thank

the thing. Their comments showed up in a private inbox, for no one else
to see. In other words, the comment count on my blog didn’t change but God used these private messages to not only encourage me but to also teach me a game-changing lesson I’ll take with me to eternity.

In the midst of my deepest discouragement, I sensed God asking, If your motivation is to glorify Me alone, does it matter if comments show up on your blog or in your inbox?  
Truth snapped my soul
like a taut rubber band awakening me from my spiritual slumber. Ah, now I remember why I often begin my time in prayer with Psalm 139:23, 24: Rarely, if ever, can I trust my own motives. God must be the motive searcher of all things for He alone knows meβ€”really knows me. He alone sees past my good intentions and zeroes in on specks of pride searching for places to take root in my heart. 

Yes, comments and emails still delight and encourage this old soul but now they’re simply a gift, not a measuring stick for validating my time.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24

Staying in Step with the Spirit: God alone is our Validator. When He is invited to search our hearts and to test our anxious thoughts, we are humbling ourselves before Him… and a humble heart is one close to its Maker. 

Heavenly Father, search our hearts and test us. You alone know our true thoughts and deepest motivation concerning all things. Purify us and lead us in the way everlasting as we humble ourselves before you.

Your turn! Have you ever looked to anything but God for validation along the way? 

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