Friday, February 13, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: Love Signs

When I was in high school I had an opportunity to take a class in sign language. It changed the course of my Senior I ended up having a group of girlfriends that were deaf. They graciously shared their world with me...and my world was expanded beyond anything that I could have imagined.

You haven't lived until you attend a dance where the music is too loud even for your teenage ears...but everyone can dance because they can feel the rumble of the bass! One of my favorite memories from high school.

It has been a long time since I have needed to sign...but there are certain words/signs that are still present in my memory. "I Love You" is one of those! I almost can't hear the words without seeing the sign.

When I first visualized this page, I was just going to do a finger with a string on it...but when I sat down to draw - I kept seeing the sign for I love you! I ended up thinking it was more appropriate than just the finger with the string...1 Corinthians 13 is about remembering what love is...patient, kind, does not envy or boast, is not arrogant or rude, does not insist on it's own way. With Valentines Day just around the is good to remember what God says love is really all about!

I've joked in the past, that every hand that I draw has a strangely masculine form to them! I've been practicing - and I feel like this hand doesn't look totally manly...see practice does help! I am glad it doesn't look too "guy-ish" - but know that I can see the resemblance to ET's long bulbous finger! LOL  Ok...a bit more practice is in order.

I colored the hand with just colored pencils...and have included it in the sessions in my Illuminated Journaling Workshop: 101 Techniques. It is all about layering...and I would love to share with you what I learned in the process.  There is still time to pre-register for either or both of my saves you a little money - and you will be ready to go on the 15th!  Here is a link:

Click Here To Learn More

Supplies: Prismacolored Pencils/Gamsol, Distress Ink, Micron and Pitt Pens, Signo White Gel Pen

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Here are the basic tools and supplies I use when I journal:

Friday, February 06, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: Toe Tapping Praise

When I began thinking about how I wanted to document Isaiah 66:1 where God declares, "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool" I totally saw this pair of chucks in my mind...and even though I kept trying to find another option...there just was I thought I would take that image and the inspiration from the style of another Bible Journaler, Lisa Rutherford-Montgomery and go with it!

I was teaching at a worship conference several years ago and one of the other teachers was talking about worshiping in the midst of our difficult times. He said, "Praise in the hard times is one of the purest ways we can tell God we trust Him." "Praise in the hard times reminds our hearts that our future is in God's hands, not ours." and "Praise in the hard times, makes God's heart glad!"

Great teaching, right!?!?! And then he told a story...and I have remembered the image that he created with that story ever since. He said, "God told us in Isaiah 66, that heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool...and I recently made a connection between that and another scripture found in Acts 16. This is the story of Paul and Silas singing hymns of praise at midnight after they had been thrown into prison. As they were singing and praising God, there was an earthquake...!!!"
And then the teacher said, "Now I don't know if this is true or not - because the Bible doesn't tell us...but I couldn't help but think that when God heard the praises of Paul and Silas - His toe began to tap...and the more they sang in joyful abandon - the gladder His heart got and the faster His toe the point that the earth began to shake beneath His feet resting on it as His footstool!"

Now don't get me wrong...I'm not sharing this story because I think it is where the earthquake came from...I'm sharing it because it has become a visual memory that reminds me when I find myself in a difficult place that the very best thing I can do is PRAISE GOD. Circumstances should not dictate my praise.

Perhaps that is why I couldn't imagine another illustration for this verse other than the "chucks" - they just seemed like the kind of shoes that would be "tapping" along with a song of praise. One of the things that I love the most about journaling in my Bible is that the visuals are tied to my study of His Word, and when I see the picture - I remember the TRUTH that He taught me when we met on the pages of His Word. Our minds think in pictures...and the pictures and words and images we add to the pages of our Bibles reinforce our memories...and I bet THAT makes God's toe tap a bit too!

Illuminated Journaling Workshops

I'm excited to tell you that I have developed a series of workshops that focus on Illuminated Journaling. You can pre-register for them now (and save a few $$). To learn more you can click here: Illuminated Journaling Workshops.

The tools and supplies I used:

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: Paper Piecing and Giveaway!

I have loved the Julie Nutting mixed media dolls since I laid eyes on the first one! I'm sure it is the little girl in me that LOVE playing dress up with her paper dolls...but I could serious use one of her dolls on a project a week and not get tired of you gotta know that I was a bit giddy to find a way to use Zoe on one of my pages in my journaling Bible!

I have been working on the content for a College and Career Women's Retreat that I will be teaching in a few weeks. I am excited that we will be doing an interesting combination of in-depth Bible study times and then Illuminated Journaling times inter-mixed. My own journaling comes out of my study times - so will LOVE seeing how God meets with these precious ladies on the pages of their Bibles.

But I digress...As I was saying, I have been working on the messages I will be sharing during the study time - and found myself focusing on what it means to have Biblical humility. As a younger woman - I think this is one area of my Christian walk that I struggled with the most...and not for the reasons you might think! LOL

I can't point to any one teaching that led me down this path - but, I KNOW that I firmly believed that being humble meant not thinking highly of myself...specifically, I thought it meant thinking that I was unworthy. But somewhere along the way I took this perspective to a point of some "stinkin' thinkin'."  It was a strange combination of the Dana Carvey/Mike Meyers' in Wayne's World chanting "we're not worthy" and Robin William's quote in Dead Poet's Society "we're all food for worms, lads!"

I no longer define biblical humility this way.

Don't get me wrong! I KNOW I am a sinner. I KNOW I received a gift of unmerited Grace when Jesus died for my that sense I am NOT WORTHY. But by His death for ME...for YOU - Jesus said "I love you so much that I was willing to take your place!" Wow...tears on my face.

But as I came to terms with the fact that Jesus said, "I've made you worthy," I knew I needed to dig into the Word and find out what GOD says about humility...what He desires from HE says we should view ourselves. I found perhaps my FAVORITE verse on humility in Romans 12:3.

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."

Ahh....there is the key...we shouldn't think more highly of ourselves "than we OUGHT to think." When we see ourselves as GOD sees us - we know that our gifts are from Him...our ability to do right, comes from Him; our strength, wisdom and compassion, come from Him. But that doesn't make me no better than a makes me BLESSED!

I began to use this phrase: "Do not think less of yourself, rather - think of yourself less!" I believe that true Biblical humility challenges me to use the good gifts God has given me for HIS glory - not mine.  To help others - not just myself. To make a difference in this - not just a splash.

As I was working in Isaiah 66,  I read:

"Thus says the Lord:
Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool; 
what is the house that you would build for me, 
and what is the place of my rest.

"All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word."

So many things to love in those two verses...the picture of God in His Heaven and earth as His footstool!?!?! So love that image...and I have already sketched some ideas based on this visual...and therein lies the HILARITY of this whole post.

While these verses in Isaiah do address humility to some extent, I intended to use my quote on a journal entry on Romans 12...but just as I was FINISHING this page, I realized I had done the whole thing on the page in Isaiah! Hmmmm! Not off by a page...a chapter....or book...oh no, I'm not even in the NEW TESTAMENT!

Not gonna sweat it! Will just move my footstool image over to the other side of the page...and move on! I got the benefit of my studying time...and I like the whole I'm happy it is done and I refuse to give it a second thought - but thought you might want to know things don't always go as planned.

Here is the tutorial/process video I did to share how I used these cute Julie Nutting stamps and dies to paper piece this cute Zoe girl.

I am super excited that I have an extra set to share with one lucky winner! To enter - head over to my website on the Giveaways page for Illuminated Journaling....and enter! I'm using Rafflecopter to manage all the entries so that's why I need you to hop over there....thanks for helping me out with this little experiment. I will draw a winner on February 15th. Good luck!

Click here to enter!