Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Illuminated Journaling:

We had a quiet New Year's Eve...actually - those have become my favorite kinds. Family, a Netflix binge watch together, Rotel Cheese and sausage dip and of course...a little Bible Journaling.
I had several things that I was looking forward to working on in my Journaling Bible...an illustration in Ephesians and a couple of prayers sparked from some of my devotional time over the Christmas break...so I did something I don't usually do, I got my lapboard and brought my Bible, watercolors and colored pencils into the room where my guys were watching a football game...I just wanted to be in the same room with them AND I wanted to be in my Bible...so I decided to do both.
I was reviewing my notes and slowly turning through a couple of verses that I had thought would be the right location for illustrating my prayer...and something apparently happened on the football field because the guys went wild - and I HAD to look and see what brilliant thing had happened! I honestly don't recall what happened...but when I got back to my Bible I had left off turning pages on the last page of the Old Testament...Malachi...and I read the final words of the Old Testament.

"He will turn the hearts of Fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers". Malachi 4:6

I couldn't help glancing across the room at my guys...there is something incredibly wonderful about seeing a Dad who loves being with his son...and a son who is equally glad to hang out with his Dad. I love watching the relationship that they share...sometimes I don't exactly "get it" - but that's because I'm a girl...but this Mom's heart just gets all "swoll up" watching them laughing together - or headed out the door on some "Man Errand!"

But I have several friends who are working through the pain of estrangement from one of their kiddos -or equally painful - seeing their child not walking in right relationship God. My heart hurts for them, with them...and I join them in praying for restoration of relationship.

As I have prayed with them - it has turned a light on how God must feel when we intentionally choose to go against His commandments. When sin separates us - we are not the only one who hurts...our Father in Heaven is heartbroken too! He gave His only Son so that we/I could always be in right relationship - so when I feel the sting of separation...the responsibility for it rests fully on my shoulders. Fortunately, He eagerly awaits for my heart to be turned back to Him.
So if you are still with me after the rabbit trail I took us both down...I had to change my plans for journaling that day. I needed to capture all of these thoughts and put them into a visual to remind me of the insights that sprang to mind in those few short moments

1. To rejoice that God's Word has promises like this one for me to cling to when I am discouraged.
2. How thankful I am that I see my son and his father enjoying a relationship that is reflective of their hearts being turned towards each other.
3. How much I want to do everything I can to be in right relationship with my Heavenly Father. I don't want to hurt his heart...I want to give up my own stubborn will and to submit to His best for me!

All of these things seem to be summed up in this illustration of a dad and his son walking on the beach at sunset...a child that reaches his hand up to take his Daddy's hand in trust and love...gains the strength of his Dad and the safe assurance that his Dad is by his side.

Sorry for the winding path...but I appreciate you all letting me share the "behind the art" story. I don't just want to add "pretty pictures" to my Bible...I want them to Illuminate what I have learned from my time in the Word and with my Heavenly Father. I am going to begin tagging them (here and on Instagram and Twitter) with the hashtag: ‪#‎IlluminatedJournaling in addition to the ‪#‎IllustratedFaith tag. If you share your story behind your Journal Entry - I would love to be able to search and find you through these two tags...I grow in my Faith by being inspired by yours!

Several of you have asked what the back of one of my illustrations looks like...and I remembered to take a picture this time....I thought it would give you a better indication of what goes through on this page that was blank. Bible pages tend to be thin...and I have developed a technique to use watercolors and colored pencils in layers to keep the bleeding to a minimum. The pages do definitely get a bit wrinkly when I use watercolor on them...but they smooth out pretty well after a few days with the weight of a couple of books stacked on top. I actually kind of like the bit of wrinkling that is left, because as I turn the pages and feel a "wrinkly" page coming up I know I am about to revisit a passage that captured my time with the Lord.

Here is an introduction to Illuminated Journaling that I wrote on a blog post last year.

I am working on some resources for you in the YouCan! Classroom and my website. I will be back to share those soon. 

Supplies: Watercolors, Prismacolor Colored Pencils, Gamsol, Micron and Pitt pens


  1. I saw this page on your InstaGram account and wanted to post a comment but could not at the time. I then saw it on Facebook and decided to take the time to comment. I now have come to your blog and, once again, that beautiful illustration is here. Reading your "back story" on the origin of the illustration brought joy to my heart and a few tears to my eyes. My friend, I am blessed by you in so many ways. I used to think that I would like to be you when I grow up. Now I am finding that it is enough to rejoice in your art and your heart as you create and share. I no longer envy you and your talent....I am blessed by it.
    Love you - Leslie

  2. These are the great blogs; I assure you that I really enjoyed a lot in reading. Turret lapboard


Thank you for taking the time to stop by for a visit and commenting! Your input means a lot to me. Have a great day! ~Jann