Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: Time to Stop Worrying & New Workshop

"Who can add a single hour to his life by being anxious?" Matt 6:27

Well it's not for a lack of trying on my part! For the past few years, it feels like I haven't had a single day where my "to do" list needs fewer than 25 hours to be accomplished. I bet you have days like that too...there is just too much "do" and not enough day!

And on top of that - I start worrying about HOW I'm going to get it done and WHAT the consequences are going to be when I don't. After all, that's what RESPONSIBLE people do right? We focus on getting the "tasks" done.

Ahh - but God says His wisdom confounds the wise.

When you don't have time to get everything done, God says "stop and come tarry with me for an hour."

When everyone is looking to you to solve their problem, God says, "Let me show you what to do."

When you look at your list and say "there's no way!" God says, "I am within her, she will not fail."

When you would say, "I can't go to bed, I have too much to do." God says, "Come unto me all who are weary and I will give you rest."

When you look down the path that you must walk and are afraid of what is around the next curve, God says "Let not your heart be troubled - neither let it be afraid for I am with you!"

I want God's kind of wisdom...His way works....my way is just a lot of WORK and WORRY...and that doesn't add even one hour to my day!

Supplies: watercolor, Prismacolor pencils, Pitt pens, Distress Ink in Tumbled Glass for background

Pre-Register Here!

I am having the best time working on the lessons for my newest Illuminated Journaling Workshop: Words in the Word. This self-paced workshop will cover lots of tips and techniques for adding a variety of lettering styles to your Bible Journal entries. We'll cover basic hand lettering, spicing up your handwriting, using stamps and stickers as well as imitating your favorite fonts. Learn how to make your Words pop and add impact to your entire page. The Workshop will start April 12th, but if you Pre-Register you can save a little bit. I have also added some Workshop Bundles so you can catch up on any classes you have missed.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: See and Remember

 See and Remember: Imagery is a powerful memory and study tool. Even before we master reading and writing, we draw. Images have the ability to transport us back to a moment in time and remind us of the details of that moment like it happened yesterday. It brings the past into the present. It brings a spiritual lesson to the forefront of our memory and refreshes our mind and our heart.

In the scriptures, God often used things we would SEE as a sign to REMEMBER the things that He has done. In Genesis, He used the rainbow to remind us that He had made a covenant that “never again would all flesh be wiped off the face of the earth by flood.” In Joshua, He had the Israelites take 12 stones from the dry riverbed of the Jordan and stack them up so that “When your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean to You?’ Tell them, ‘They are a memorial to what the Lord has done.’”

Something really remarkable happens when we engage imagery with our time in the Word. When we take the time to express what we have learned in a tangible way, with words and images, it is like the flash of the camera casting illumination on the subject and recording that moment in time in a way that insures our ability to return to that truth time and again.

See and Remember...this idea occurs over and over again in scripture...God providing a tangible reminder of a spiritual truth.

This page blends all of these thoughts together...I loved the vintage "flash" camera (I'm a bit "vintage" myself) and I loved that everything was monochromatic except for the one photo of the rainbow. This one has been running around in my head for a few weeks now - and I have to say that as I saw it coming together - it moved me more than what I had imagined. God is so good to me like that!

Here is a photo of this "in process" - it felt a bit chaotic and I wasn't at all sure that I was liking the results...but I just kept on going...even in art, we don't have to have it ALL figured out to begin...I'm really glad I kept going - as this particular journaling page has touched me in a profound way...and I have had some truly delightful moments of discussion with my Heavenly Father about just how AWESOME He is - and how wonderfully He meets with us in the most unexpected moments and ways!

I hope you will try to "keep going" on something this week that you find yourself wanting to give up on...and I pray that you are delightfully surprised with the results! Blessings!

Supplies: Watercolor, Colored Pencils/Gamsol, Micron Pen, White guache

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Illuminated Journaling: Avoiding the Miry Bog

One of the things that I love the MOST about journaling in my Bible is that the Word is always freshly applied to my heart.

I was studying Psalms 40 a few weeks ago - and so totally identified with the Psalmist when he said, "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog and set my feet upon a rock making my steps secure."

When I was first working through these verses, I was so very grateful that God hears my cry...and that He acts on my behalf...He draws me up...out of the miry bog! Have you ever found yourself in a miry bog?

My face still gets twisted up remembering the SMELL of a miry bog that I found myself in as a child. I wandered a bit too deep into the woods near a family friend's farm...chasing butterflies with their hound dog. The hound dog had enough sense to not keep going when the ground got squishy...I however, did not! That place STUNK to high heaven (as my grandmother used to say). It was filled with rotted vegetation and it seemed to grab my feet and hold them in place. The more I struggled to free myself - the higher the mud and the muck oozed up my legs.

And the friendly hound dog? Oh he ran off - either continuing after the butterflies or just AWAY from the stinky, muddy, miry bog.

I wanted OUT! But I wasn't gonna get out on my own! I can't say that I exercised patience and "waited" upon my rescue. If I recall correctly - I pitched a fit...that no one was there to witness - but I pitched it none the less. Eventually, someone noticed that I was gone...and came in search...and while I was never in serious danger...it certainly caused me to be much more cautious in my future adventures - always seeking out firm ground and forever wary of finding myself in a miry bog.

So - while I learned a lesson about avoiding squishy, stinking ground in the woods...I have to confess that I have found myself in a few spiritual miry bogs in my life. They were just as stinky as the real thing. And in most cases, I had NO ABILITY to get myself out of them. The truth is - most of those spiritual miry bogs grabbed me when I was chasing after some illusive "thing" that caught all of my attention and I totally forgot to keep my eye out for "squishy" ground and my feet firmly planted on the solid ground of the Word and the guidance of my Heavenly Father.

This whole reflection caused me to want to create a journal post to remind me of those times that He has rescued me...and put my feet back on the firm path of His will for me.

And yesterday, I finally got around to working on that post. I was sitting in an airport waiting for ANOTHER delayed/cancelled flight - and decided to pull out my bible and sketch out my post...I must admit it was an act of my will to focus on the Word rather than my irritation at yet another inconvenient delay on a trip filled with all kinds of crazy travel dilemmas.

And that is when it hit me...a fresh application of this scripture. I can AVOID miry bogs by waiting patiently upon the Lord. He can save me from even getting NEAR to them. By stopping and inclining my heart to HIM - He picked me up out of the path that was headed to the bog (I was so close to being pouty, irritated, ungrateful and frustrated)..and by pulling out my water brush and watercolor pencils, my feet moved off the squishy ground and by the time my flight was called - I was standing firmly on ground that was blessed and even had a bit of an attitude of gratitude! I could never have gotten THERE by myself. Thank You God!

Supplies: Watercolors, Pitt and Micron Pens, Prismacolor Pencils, Distress Ink (used as watercolors for the background).

I've gotten several emails from folks asking if it is too late to participate in my Illuminated Journaling Workshops...and the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! They are self paced, and you can begin whenever is convenient for you - and continue working through them for as long as you like. I have also set up a  Facebook Group called Illuminated Journaling Workshop Community. It is a closed group - but when you sign up for one of my Workshops, I will send you an invitation. It is another way for us to interact while you are working through your class - AND you can interact with other students and get inspiration and encouragement from them too!

I have some fun things to share this week...so hopefully, I will be back soon. Hope you are having a blessed week!