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!


  1. This is so wonderful! I love seeing the finished project after seeing you working on it. Now I have, "He brought me out of the miry clay - He set my feet on the rocks to stay - He puts a song in my soul today, a song of praise, Hallelujah!" in my head!!! :)

  2. I have visited your blog often as I have you listed as one of my fav's. I don't know why I haven't left you a comment before now that I very much enjoy your inspiring journaling. Thank you for sharing your work!

    1. Thank you Sara! Your intentional effort to encourage me came at just the RIGHT time! I very much appreciate it! It is a joy to get to share these posts with you - and a particular blessing when I hear that they were an encouragement to someone in particular! Hope you are having a blessed day!


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