Friday, April 27, 2012


"Joy of the Lord"
acrylic over collage paper
©Teresa Kogut

If you had a choice would you rather be happy or joyful?.......what is the difference anyway???? This is a topic we discussed with our Edge youth group a couple months ago and it really stuck with be honest, I never really thought about there being a difference between the two......

Happy - c. 1205 means lucky, favored by fortune, prosperous, chance.

Basically it is a feeling we get when something good happens to us. It can be fleeting.....very soon as something doesn't go our way, we are no longer "happy".

However, joy is another story. Joy is rooted comes from within.....even when something has gone wrong, joy remains in us.....why? Because joy comes from faith; a confident trust in God. Faith is essential to joy because it wards off worry, doubt and fear.

I know from my own personal experience, I would not be joyful without my faith.....our family has faced some tough financial difficulties but I do not let that situation or happenstance (a chance circumstance) bring me down. I continue to pray, work hard, move forward and trust God. We always pull through or I should say, God always provides.

As Nehemiah told Israel:
"The Joy of the Lord is your strength."
Neh 8:10

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I just posted on my facebook page

"Wishing everyone a fabulous day!! The sun is shining and I'm feeling energized!! Now let's go do something great! Even if it is as simple as smiling at a stranger :)"

Then I opened my email and read the below message from was so closely connected to my fb post I felt I needed to share......

The Importance of a Smile

By Zig Ziglar

The dictionary says that to smile is to “look joyous,” or “to have an appearance to excite joy; to contract the features of the face in such a manner as to express pleasure, moderate joy, or love and kindness.” 
Generally speaking, the first thing we notice when we meet a person is the smile—or absence of same—on their face.  A favorite compliment is, “You certainly have a beautiful smile.”  Factually, there are very few things that influence for the good and give more encouragement than a sincere smile.  Henry Miller said, “There is power in a smile.  It is one of the best relaxation exercises I know of.”  Joseph Addison said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  They are but trifles, to be sure, but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
Several years ago a study revealed something that most people have known for a long time.  After weeks of testing the appearance, personality and attitudes of subjects and their influence on others, the professors at Yale University discovered that a smile is the single most powerful force of influence that people have.  That’s good news, because all of us can generate enough energy for a smile.
A smile has been identified as the “little curve that sets a lot of things straight,” and we’re often told that if we see someone who does not have a smile, we should give them one of ours.  However, we must do more than smile if we’re going to be successful in having a long-term impact on other people. 
If we’re really going to influence people after we’ve gotten favorable attention with a pleasant smile, we must communicate with sincerity and honesty.  Now, obviously, a university study should not be required to know that, because the saying is still true that you communicate what you are.  In summation, a warm, friendly smile is a very fine thing.  Think about it.  Better yet, try it!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

retreat weekend

This past weekend was spent with 28 kids (8th grade - 12th grade) and 8 adults in the Bethany House at the St Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt Michigan.

I had never been to a retreat before and it was an experience I was proud to be a part of!! The weekend consisted of music (and lots of it), singing and dancing, small group discussions, chapel time (sitting in silence), games, scavenger hunt, skits, lots of food, not much sleep, anonymous Q & A session with Fr Dan, mass on Sunday and my favorite......adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ.....during which, the holy spirit was working the room and there wasn't a dry eye in the house....a very special moment that I will never forget!

The kids were is exciting and inspiring to see teens growing in their faith and having a blast doing it!!! The leader of the retreat said to the kids (and adults) just before we left not to let this be a "moment" in our lives but to take what we've learned and experienced and apply it to our everyday live our faith...

Here are a few photos of the retreat center grounds and a few of the kids..........

The grounds were beautiful. They have a gardening society that takes care of the landscaping. There are paths to walk the entire property with wonderful statues and places to sit in silence to reflect and pray.

They had a path were you could walk and reflect on the stations of the cross. The stations were on each side surrounded by blooming lilacs...beautiful...

Now, go LIVE it!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

moved by the spirit

"Pray Without Ceasing"
©Teresa Kogut

I debated whether or not I was going to blog about an experience I had in church last Sunday, but, as I have posted before......this is me......this is who I am, and these are my thoughts and daily happenings in my lil' world, so here it is........

I made a Lenten challenge in addition to a Lenten sacrifice this year.....I sketched an angel a day for 40 days during Lent. I really shouldn't call it a challenge...although it started off that way, it ended up being a blessing and I looked forward to it every day.

Just last week I scanned all of the sketches into my computer and using photoshop, put scripture to go with each angel. I chose the beatitudes from the gospel of St Matthew for a few of them, such as,

Blessed are the merciful
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

I feel I need to insert a little background here before moving on with the story. I posted back in January (or was it December??) about a book I read, "Rediscover Catholicism" by Matthew Kelly. It really set my soul on fire and made me thirst for knowledge about my faith and the bible. Since then I took a 6 week bible study course where we went into great depth and discussion on the book of was an amazing 6 weeks and can't wait until the next bible study starts in the fall. I also started praying 10 minutes a day (or more, but at least 10 min).....a prayer mostly of thanksgiving but also praying for God's guidance in my life, hoping that what I do is pleasing to Him and I seek to do His will.

I often wonder if God is trying to speak to me but I am too busy "talking" or "doing"....I rarely sit in silence (which is really something I need to do). In the book of Genesis, God sent messengers, or would speak directly to his people and I've also heard people say they've heard the voice of God. How do you discern if it is God nudging you to do something or it is just something you feel compelled to do because, really, it is what you want to do???

Sorry, I am not a very good storyteller so I hope this all comes together in the end.......but last Sunday after communion as I knelt down and started singing "Blest are They", I was moved by the Holy Spirit and tears started to fill my eyes.......I couldn't sing and I couldn't stop crying. I can't quite explain the feeling inside...........that was God........he was there to tell me something........

I am posting a video I found of the song "Blest are They"...........listen........

This song is about the beatitudes.......I know now that I am exactly where I am suppose to be in my career.......creating paintings with the talent HE gave me to exalt His name, to give glory to God and to spread the word of His son Jesus Christ. Tears are filling my eyes as I am typing this........I am still moved.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

mark your calendars!

So excited for this show! Hope you can make it, it promises to be worth the trip! This is a brand new  show this year that Handcrafters has added to their list. I have exhibited at their shows in Northville Michigan and let me tell you, they are quality shows. The exhibitors are very talented and offer great handmade products. I am excited that they are including antique dealers as well! For those of you that exhibit at shows......don't you always hope you do well enough at the show so that you can go shopping yourself?!?!? LOL!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

another yummy...


1 stick butter
1 8 oz jar cheese whiz (or Velveeta w/little milk)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg chopped broccoli
1/2 cup celery (optional)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can sliced water chestnuts (drained) (optional)
1 cup minute rice (uncooked)

Cook broccoli and drain. Melt cheese in microwave. Mix all ingredients in 9x13 dish and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

This recipe is another goody from my Aunt Marsha. This is a great side dish to almost any meal but I really love it with roasted chicken. A yummy way to fatten up broccoli. I love steamed broccoli with a touch of butter and salt or raw broccoli chopped small in my salad but once in a while ya just gotta add some CHEESE!!! 

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

one of my faves....

My Aunt Marsha made this amazing banana pudding when we visited over Easter vacation. I could eat this every day!! She gave me the recipe and I want to share it with you so you can enjoy in it as well!

Quick Banana Pudding

3 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
3.5 cups milk

beat above ingredients
and add:

1 tsp vanilla
8 oz sour cream
6 oz cool whip

vanilla wafers
sliced banana
pudding mix

Top with cool whip and wafer crumbs

It is so good when it is really cold! Delicious....ENJOY!

Friday, April 13, 2012



This is a repeat from Dec 2011, but I have four more of these beautiful lace wall hangings, so I thought I would give another one away! This wall hanging is manufactured by Heritage Lace. Post a comment below or on my facebook page to enter the drawing! It cost you nothing...I pay to ship it to YOU!!!



Veronica Valdegamberi

Congratulations Veronica! I will do my best to contact you via facebook but if you see this before I reach you, email your address to so I can send your free 8x10 angel print!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

back to work....

looking north on my Aunt & Uncle's farm

Holy cow! I came into the studio this morning with my planner all filled out for the week of everything I need to accomplish......only to open my email and discover I need to add many things to my to-do-list that popped up while I was away! I also need to do the drawing for the March give away!

I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now so please be patient with me while I get things in order. I will one day this week do the drawing for March and announce the new April give away, share vacation photos, etc. But I will be buried the next couple of days getting as many things done as humanly possible.

Hope you all had a blessed Easter! What an amazing spirit-filled time of year! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

last day......

Well, this is the last day......of vacation!!! We are enjoying our visit to Bernie Missouri visiting our family. The weather is amazing here. This is the first year there has been no rain and in the 80s our entire visit! Absolutely beautiful.......I told them we are taking this weather home with us tomorrow!  I will have some pictures to share when I return. I am behind on my picture taking because I forgot and left my CF card in my computer at home!

Although I am enjoying our visit,  I miss our eldest, Kyle and our puppy dogs. This is the first year in 19 years that Kyle couldn't come with us because he couldn't get the time off work. We have always brought our dogs with us too but we left them behind with Kyle.

There's no place like home!!