Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Meet Him at the Well

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13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 

John 4:13-15

I had the distinct pleasure of writing the devotional content for March’s faith art box and I sort of wished I could have an entire book to fill. When it comes to the subject of living water, let’s just say my heart is full. My heart is full because I have known what it’s like to be thirsty. And no, I don’t mean being in need of a Gatorade, but being deeply, spiritually thirsty and feeling like there was nothing to quench me.

I’ve been a Christian since the first grade, nearly my entire life, and though a huge part of me knows how incredibly blessed I am, a part of me also knows how easy it can be to get disillusioned in my faith. Things start to sound more like cliches than truths, bible verses get quoted for comfort but often lack the spiritual depth that our God intended, and you can start to operate by “that’s just the way it’s always been done” kind of thinking.

When I got to college, I was nearly bowled over by the constant spiritual attacks and rhetoric in the curriculum asking me to give grounds for my faith, only to quickly attempt to knock it down. I struggled greatly in those years to give the real reason for my faith besides “that’s just the way I raised” or “because my parents taught me…” That would not stand in the world. I found myself so deeply thirsty for God, and not just because that was the only thing I knew, but because I craved RELATIONSHIP with him. I was lonely, lost, overwhelmed and so very, thirsty for Him.

I’m happy to share that I survived those college years and as a result built an incredibly strong faith and relationship with the Lord that I defy anyone to try and topple. In the years since, I have seen God answer prayers, deliver desires of my heart, and reveal a path and purpose for my life. Over and over again, he has met me at the well, much like the thirsty Samaritan woman in John 4, and quenched my thirst with the Living Water that only our Lord and Savior can give. We come to him as sinners, and leave filled with his gift of living water and the promise of eternity with Him. Thank you, Jesus!

For my entry this month, I knew I wanted to use that sweet sketchy well stamp from the kit and I knew my title before I even started – Meet Jesus at the Well because it’s happened for me over and over again. I come to him, a sinner, and leave forgiven, filled and loved.

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I started out by laying down my background by smooshing some Distress Oxide inks in Broken China and Peacock Feathers with a few sprays of water and the plastic packaging from the kit contents. I let that completely dry and then stamped in the well at the bottom of the page using archival black ink.

Next, I worked on my title by starting with a pink plain label/tag that I found in my stash (I think this was from Studio Calico) and building my title on top, using the adorable water drop alphas and some of the stickers in the kit. I also decided to use some of the stamps and one of the tag stickers (I love these new additions to the sticker page!). I secured that down with a few washi tapes from my stash as well and finished if off with the living water sticker from the kit.

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I wanted to use more of the wordfetti so I did a Mad Libs style journaling at the bottom, using the stickers to supplement my writing. I then went in and outlined everything with my black journaling pen to make it pop and to tie in the black stamping.

I added a few more bits of washi around the page to tie everything together, including some at the top of the page to create a better foundation for my bow. How CUTE are the bows in this kit?!

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To pull it all together, I hit the page with a little bit of black watercolor splatter. I felt like it needed that rustic look to help the well stamp feel more organic and sketched.

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Friends, my prayer for you is that in your time of thirst and need, you seek out Jesus. Meet him at the well and offer up your heart. I promise that in return he will give you soul-filling, thirst-quenching, all-fulfilling living water. With our God, you never need to thirst again. Drink, and be satisfied.

Need some more Living Water inspiration? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | All Kinds of Love

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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Deuteronomy 6:5

February is upon us… bring on the red roses, stuffed teddy bears, and conversation hearts candies! Though, I recently heard a news story stating that the candies would not be made this year because the original company that made them went out of business last year. Initially, there was quite an uproar about it. People just can’t do without those chalky, sweet hearts with simple sentiments! The reporter quickly added that the company that took over plans to stock the shelves with them next year. Phew!

Without a doubt, there will be plenty of imitations and copycats this year to get us through. We get so worked up about the commercial part of love. We toil and fret over the perfect gift for our beloved and react all sorts of ways about the gifts bestowed to us by our partners – as if the gift itself is the sole measure of our love and understanding of one another. But, just like the conversations hearts, though there is great value in our earthly love and relationships, they are NOTHING in comparison to the real, true, lasting and all-encompassing love of our God. Imitators have no place.

As commanded in Deuteronomy 6, we are to love the Lord our God with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul, and ALL our might or strength. This is not conditional love. This is not love that takes or break or gives up when it’s too hard. This is not love that holds a grudge. This is not love that questions or doubts. This is a love to live by and to die by. Christ already did that for us, to reconcile our sin once for all. THAT IS LOVE.

The greatest part? As much as we strive to love and serve God… it’s just the faintest whisper of the love he has in return for us. THAT love is beyond human description. It’s love that can’t possibly be summarized on a conversation heart. It’s sacrificial, powerful love.

I was obviously inspired by conversation hearts for my entry this month. Once I saw the fun pinks, blues and yellows of the February Faith Art box, I immediately thought of them.

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I started by going through my stash and finding some simple scrap paper (no large or bold patterns) in colors that would match the kit. I then took a heart punch (mine is from Stampin Up and is discontinued) and punched out a bunch of different hearts.

In order to make sure I had enough space for the hearts, I used some of the thin washi tape from Illustrated Faith to block out and highlight my verses. Next, I buffed in some Distress Oxide inks into the page to create more depth and a background for the hearts, being careful to alternate the colors so they were opposite of the heart that would be on top of them.  I used the shades Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Faded Jeans (my favorite!).

Next, I grabbed a very small alpha stamp set and a few of the word stamps from this month’s kits and some previous kits and stamped out various love-related sentiments. I used Stampin Up ink in the shade Poppy Parade, which is a great match for the orangey red of conversation hearts text. Some of them got a little wonky with alignment but I actually loved that because if you’ve seen the original candy, they aren’t exactly precise.

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I secured the hearts down with some Tombow Mono tape. I then decided to punch a heart from the devotional card and use it for my title. I secured that down and then used the wordfetti to spell out Love the Lord Your God. I outlined it with a Sharpie Fine Pen in a pink shade to make it pop a bit.

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I felt like the page was lacking a bit of something so I grabbed my white Gelly Roll pen and drew in some detail to each heart with outlining, stitching and other marking techniques. I love the extra contrast with that white tracing! My bible is getting REALLY chunky so I opted for no tag on this page. I’m not quite ready to retire it so I’m going to try and limit my big dimensional pieces.

Friends, my prayer for you is that you don’t seek love any other place this season than at the feet of God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine and desires your heart. He desires your love – ALL of it from ALL of your heart, soul and might. He’s the only valentine you could ever need. Love, and be loved.

Need creative inspiration for this fun kit? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. I LOVE new friends! Find me @bibleartgal.