Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Who I Am In Him

Ladies, I will fully admit that when I picked up Lisa’s devotion for this month’s Faith Art Box, I think I made an audible “ugh”. The Proverbs 31 woman. If you’ve spent a good amount of time in church or reading Christian books, you’ve definitely come in contact with the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman. And likely been told that it is a measure for you to strive for as a wife, mother, and woman.

Like Lisa, I was not thrilled at the prospect of trying to fill the shoes of this woman, who gets up with the sun and goes down after the moon. Who is busy at work for her family, cleaning, shopping, preparing, dressing, and caring for everyone. All, while being a woman of honor, respect, beauty… and joy. That’s right… JOY. Not only does she do allllll the things well. She does them with joy. Sometimes I do feel like I can do all the things, but with joy? Questionable, at best.

But Lisa opened up my eyes to so many things when I dug deeper into this chapter of Proverbs. First, nowhere does it say, “girl, you need to be all of this, and more”. It is simply the description of a woman who is living and serving well – who has her priorities straight, who invests her time and energy in the right places. She was designed specifically for this life that she lives, just as God has designed us specifically for the life he has for us. And a life designed by God will look completely different from house to house, woman to woman.

There is so much in Proverbs 31 but we also have to take into account what isn’t there. In biblical times, women didn’t work out of the home. They also lived in very tightly knit communities and families. Women had HELP in the form of friends, family, neighbors and the community. This was not a woman going it alone. We, so often, directly or indirectly isolate ourselves and think that we are expected to do everything, alone. I can tell you, that is not how God intended us to live this life.

Above all, the Proverbs 31 woman LOVES and OBEYS her Lord God. God is first in her life… above her husband, whom she respects and honors, above her children who she clothes, feeds and cares for, above her home, which she makes comfortable and presentable. God first. And, of all of her notable and desirable qualities, her love and respect for her Lord rank highest v.31. I have no doubt that this woman of strong faith leaned on God more often than not, in order that she might be able to do all of the things this chapter describes. She found her identity in Him first, not in the works of her hands.

For this month’s entry, I wanted to have a significant place to write a lot of notes. I decided on making a pocket of out a piece of the devotional card. First I cut out, scored and folded the pocket together (using my tag as a guide to make sure I got the right sizing).

I taped down the pocket edges using super-strong double-sided tape. I added the Identity in Christ title with the stickers and wordfetti in the kit and finished it off with a bit of coordinating striped washi tape from my stash. I loved the look of the pocket with the accent bow so I tucked that in as well.

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The top of the page felt blank to me so I buffed in a little bit of Creative Retreat’s new pigment inks into the top of the page (I used Mermaid Teal and Bonsai). Next, I stamped in His Beloved and used white embossing powder to make it pop. I added the little I AM sticker as well and buffed the edges with a little more of the ink. Next, I wrote in some of the qualities found in the Proverbs 31 woman using a green pen. Lastly, I hit it with a little bit of dark teal watercolor splatters, and added a bit more of the striped washi.

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I used a little bit more of the splattering watercolor to highlight my Proverbs 31 header (The Woman Who Fears The Lord). When it dried, I added in the heart sticker for an extra highlight.

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I went to work on my journaling card next. I added the title Live with Purpose at the top. Next, I went verse by verse and summarized the best qualities described, using the fun wordfetti from the kit for keywords.

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I finished off the card with a bit of delicate polka dot lace ribbon. I love this card and all the sweet reminders.

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This page got a little more busy than I wanted, but I still like it. This entry was actually worked on over the course of a couple of days. I really took a long time to process the devotional material. It was really powerful!

Friends, my prayer for you is that you don’t look at the Proverbs 31 as an impossible measure of perfection, but instead be inspired by a woman who loved her Lord with her heart, soul, mind and strength. Through God, all things are possible… and he will love you and treasure you no matter if you do all the things, or simply rest in him.

Need creative inspiration? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Please, be my friend! Find me @bibleartgal.

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Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Worthy Woman

“And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.”
Ruth 3:11

We are in the time of year that many are choosing their one little word for the year. A word that symbolizes their hearts, calling, focus, goal, and direction. I’ve been at this practice for about 4 years now. Last year, my word was WORTH. It was something I had been deeply struggling with in the years prior. I will be the first to admit that I let the difficult circumstances of my life get the best of me and came to the conclusion that I was not enough and that I had no real worth.

It’s a devastating place to be, feeling worthless. It’s also a place fueled by the enemy. Satan wants nothing more than for us to feel worthless. He thrives in those conditions. Fortunately, I recognized it and so made WORTH my word. I spent the year focusing on the Word of God and on messages of truth about the person that I am… the person that God says I am. The song You Say by Lauren Daigle came at the perfect time. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend it, especially if you are struggling with your own worth.

Women need to feel worthy. They need to feel loved. They need to feel beautiful. They need to feel precious and treasured. And ladies, we serve a God that feels all those things for us and more. We are truly BELOVED women in the eyes of our Savior. What HE says about us is the only thing that matters.

I loved jumping into the book of Ruth this month. Ruth’s story is such a good one and is so near and dear to the heart of women. I love this verse in chapter 3 where Boaz declared Ruth to be a worthy woman. It speaks not only of the character of Ruth and of Boaz, but to the heart of a woman itself. God sees and knows our worth. With Him, we are always worthy and loved. Thank you Jesus!

Let’s jump into this month’s GORGEOUS faith art box. The colors… ladies, THE COLORS. Let’s just say they are my absolute faves. Oceanic blues with a pop of yellow. It’s like a piece of my heart!

Because this kit speaks to the heart of a woman and so does this passage in Ruth, from the start I envisioned a silhouette of a woman’s face.

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Next, I reached for my tried and true watercolors. These ocean blues were begging for some soft washes of watercolor. I traced in my design and then just went in with several different shades, letting the water blend them together. I let it dry and then went in with another few layers, adding in hair details and finishing with a little splatter for a textured feel. For this page, I used blues from several different sets by Dots and Dust. I love her handmade watercolors.

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I wanted to be sure to use the insanely CUTE bows so I secured that to the top of the page with some coordinating washi tape from my stash, along with the blessed tag sticker in the kit’s sticker page. I just used a little EK Success Power Tool to take the stickiness of the back of the tab.

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Next, I went in and laid down my little using the alpha stickers and wordfetti from the kit (along with a few from a previous kit)… “I am worthy and loved.” To make them stand out a bit, I outlined them with a black journaling pen. I also drew a few tiny clusters of dots and circles around the page to add some more texture and depth.

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I wanted the rest of the entry to be simple and to allow for some journaling space. I often write a short prayer of thanks in these entries. I opted for one of my blue journaling pens since I was really feeling the blues with this entry.

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Friends, I pray that you know to the depths of your heart how worthy and loved you are. You are God’s beloved. He will never forsake you or leave you. And, like Ruth, if you step out in faith and trust him, he’s got big plans for your life.

Find inspiration using the January Faith Art Box, follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Are we friends yet? We should be! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Let’s Build Up

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For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

I was just a kid when my dad built a solid brick wall to contain some garden beds he wanted to cultivate in our Southern California back yard. I watched him in amazement, and a little bit of boredom, as he laid brick by brick. His motions became almost robotic as he meticulously spread just the right amount of mortar on each brick, carefully placed it in its designated spot and gently tapped at its corners to make sure it was even, level and flush with its neighboring bricks.

I asked my dad, “why don’t you just spread a whole bunch of that mortar stuff and lay down a whole bunch of bricks at once?” My dad patiently replied, “Because that wouldn’t work. The wall would slope uphill or downhill, the mortar wouldn’t set properly and it wouldn’t be even at all. A wall built that way wouldn’t stand for long.” As a child I probably rolled my eyes and walked away to find something more interesting to do.

As an adult I’ve reflected on that moment a lot. Every time I see a brick wall in fact. Brick, done well, seems to last a lifetime. We have brick walls in my town that are over a hundred years old and are standing strong. The secret to a brick wall is that precision that my dad talked about. Each brick has its exact spot and they have to be laid just so, or the whole wall will fall. They need each other to form a unified stronghold.

As I read this verse in Thessalonians I thought of us, as people. We are not meant to navigate this world alone. We need each other. Together is the only way we can truly be built up. It’s made me so grateful for the friends that I have by my side. Doing life TOGETHER is the only way to do it. When I am weak, my friends are strong. When my friends are sad, I bring them joy. We navigate the good, the bad, the happy, the sad… together. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think our Father in heaven is so encouraged when we, as brothers and sisters, invest in and build each other up.

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I started my entry with a prayer, using this super cute sticker from the Faith Art kid and a few hearts to form a colon. There were a couple of verses on this page that I found really fitting to the theme of encouraging and building up so I “fenced them in” using a black journaling marker.

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I then grabbed some Illustrated Faith watercolors to make a little wall at the bottom of my page. I drew in the bricks with the journaling pen and used some stickers from the Faith Art kit to serve both as bricks and as my title, “Brothers, Sisters, Be Encouraged, Build Each Other Up”. I added a few splatters with the black watercolor to make the wall and page look a little bit rustic.

I finished the page of with that sweet pink bow and just a little yellow striped washi tape.

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My prayer for you is that you have brothers and sisters to surround you, encourage you and build you up. May you never feel alone and may you never feel torn down by the world around you. Let’s do life together!

Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired in how to use this month’s kit. While you’re there, let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | He Overcomes All

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 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33

In college I studied journalism. I loved stories and I loved being a story teller. As a result, I watched and read the news A LOT. I devoured the newspapers in the morning and poured over the news in the evening. I liked knowing what was going on in the world and I liked thinking about how I would tell the stories if I had the chance. I was young and the stories captivated me.

As time went on and I grew older, I navigated my career away from journalism and in to advertising and marketing. Though the storytelling part of the news still appealed to me, I noticed that there was not much “good news” on TV. Every night was a back to back agenda of crime, destruction, hatred, theft, war, death and suffering. It was all too much. This compounded as the years passed and peaked when I had my children. I almost never watch the news or read news stories anymore. According to the news, there is almost no good left in the world.

I of course know that this is not true. But what really encourages me is knowing that even if the world is filled with hate and war and crime, there is the knowledge that our Lord and Savior has overcome it all. He overcame through his sacrifice and death on the cross. And I believe he overcomes for us every day. Because he overcomes, we have PEACE. Peace among all the things we see on the news. Peace and promise that we are going to be met in paradise. Pain and suffering are big. But our God is much bigger. Thank you Jesus! You overcome!

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The colors in this month’s Faith Art Box are so summery and bright. They make me smile! I ADORED the cute pattern on the back of the devotional card so I set about trying to recreate it. I used Target’s Hand Made Modern paints swirled on using some sponge daubers. After those dried, I used the ADORABLE texture stamps from the kit and stamped in using a black Versafine ink pad and white Craft ink.

I laid down a few titles including “Take Heart Jenn” using the stickers and alpha stickers in the kit. I recently read a devotion that talked about how important and powerful it is to personalize scripture. This is most easily done by adding your name to scripture and I must tell you, it really does feel powerful and like our God is speaking directly to you. I don’t know about you all but I definitely needed to heart the words “take heart”.

DSC_3464 I’ve gotten really interested in looking up the dictionary definitions of words so I looked up the word overcome and found that it meant defeated, prevailed and overpowered. Amen! I added that into my journaling and then layered in some washi tape and the rest of my titles, finishing the page with the SWEET striped bow (STRIPES ARE MY FAVORITE!).

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My prayer for each of you reading this is to know that our God is so much bigger than the ugly that we see on the news. He’s bigger than the pain and suffering in our days here on earth. He has overcome, and he will continue to overcome, for you, every day. He wants you to know the peace that he offers and to know that his peace covers ALL. Be blessed, friends!

Have you seen all of the amazing ways you can use Faith Art Kits? 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 | Faithful to Completion

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“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  -Philippians 1:6

In recent months I have cultivated a real love for gardening. I’ve always been interested in it but never really had the gumption (or time) to do anything about it. But recently, I went to a garden expo and listened to a gardening lecture and was completely fascinated with how the speaker talked about gardening, as therapy. I could use some therapy. I was hooked. I dove right in and have now been spending regular hours outdoors – weeding, planting, pruning and communing with nature and with our God who put it all into place. It has been so good for my soul!

My sons have been curious as I’ve embarked on this new adventure and have been eager to join in the fun. This past weekend we ventured out to buy some soil and mulch and my 5 year old begged for some seeds to grow his own plant. He picked out some beautiful periwinkle blue morning glory seeds and excitedly dashed home to grab a paper cup and handfuls of damp, dark soil to bury his tiny little seeds into. He watered it, set it in the sun and sat back in anticipation.

It was just minutes later when he declared in frustration, “why isn’t this thing growing yet?” I laughed a little then explained to him that it not only takes sunshine, water and soil for little plants to grow (which is what he’s been learning in school), but that it also takes time. Lots of time. And that we have to be very patient, but that the wait is SO WORTH it when we see that beautiful little plant pop out of the ground.

He wrinkled his forehead and proceeded to ask me about every 5 minutes why the plant hadn’t grown, when it was going to grow and why it was taking so long. I could not help but think of us, as children of God. We are so very eager for the HARVEST, but have no patience as we navigate the planting, watering, weeding, pruning and growing. We want the rewards right now. We want the deliverance of the desires of our heart today. But we become so weary as we labor through the twists and turns that happen as we grow, the pain we experience in the pruning and weeding (of God cutting the useless stuff out of our lives) and the agonizing wait until the bloom.

But the bloom is the best part! That’s the part where God brings to completion the very things that he has planted in us. What incredible beauty there is in that. There is beauty in waiting. There is an exercise of faith in waiting. But we know that the God who starts good works in us will be faithful to complete them. We just have to wait to bloom. And when we bloom, we should glorify the God that planted in us from the very beginning.

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When I saw the May Faith Art kit and the sweet blooms, I just about lost it. It’s crazy how God moves in you and then reminds you of his good in those movements. I needed this sweet reminder that the things that God has planted in me are growing, and that the blooms are coming.

I started my page by laying down my title, “what God planted in me will bloom” with various stickers and the alphas from the kit along with my favorite yellow striped washi.  I then added a soft wash of watercolors from Dots and Dust (how amazing are homemade watercolors?!) to look like soil. I added in some flecks and pebbles with a black journaling pen and added some personal journaling.

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Then I added a small round sticker to signify a “seed” and layered in one of the cute blooms from the kit. For my tag I cut out a coordinating green from a set of paint chips (they make great tags!) , layered in a few stickers and embossed it with the BLOOM stamp from the kit. I anchored it with a little more washi tape and couldn’t resist adding the sweet pink bow from the kit. Finally, I highlighted my verse with a little bit of thin pink washi tape.

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My prayer for each and every one of you to is feel loved, valued and at peace as you wait for the blooms in your life. God has promised to complete these good things in us. Know that you are not alone in your wait and that beautiful blooms are coming! Be blessed, friends.

Inspiration is all around! Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Memory Keeping

Creative Retreat Kits|His Promises

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“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

Genesis 9:13-15

I’ve always been terrified of thunder storms. Something about the loud boom and crackle of thunder strong enough to shake the windows always makes my heart race. As a child I remember running to my dad in fear and him saying, “God is talking right now,” when the cracks of thunder would roar over our house. While I’m in awe of the power of God in those moments, I’m also very aware that I am a fragile, tiny human that is deeply vulnerable.

The crazy thing is that I also love a good storm. There is fascination buried in that fear. And maybe, just maybe it’s that I hold out hope that the end of the storm will bring a bright rainbow. We don’t get a terribly large amount of rain where I live in Central California, and we don’t get epic storms like you see in the Midwest and East coast. But every once in a while, we get a good one and right at the tail end, the clouds will part and the sun will pierce through, igniting a bright, prismatic rainbow stretching from one end of the sky to the other (the perk of living in very flat lands).

I adore rainbows. Beyond the science of it all, it’s just shockingly beautiful and every time I see one, it reminds me of God’s promises. From the very first promise in Genesis where God specifically set a rainbow to be a reminder of his covenant and promise to never flood the earth and destroy all life again, to the everyday promises that he makes to his people:

  • That he loves us.
  • That he died for us to forgive our sins, once for all.
  • That he is all powerful.
  • That he heals the broken-hearted.
  • The he has compassion for us.
  • That he will give us wisdom.
  • That he has a purpose and plan for our lives.
  • That he will never leave us or give up on us.

I could go on and on listing his promises. They are endless. I can barely wrap my mind around a God who promises so very much to his people, but still sees and loves me. He sees me in the storms and he shows me his promises. I look at storms differently now. Though there is still fear, I hold on to his promises and love and always look for the rainbow.

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We’ve had quite a few storms in my neck of the woods the last month or two and I’ve been loving it. We’ve also been blessed with some crazy beautiful rainbows. One so beautiful that I grabbed a photo and raced home to make sure my little boys would see it, which they did and loved. I’ve actually taken a lot of “rain pics” the last few weeks (guys, we were so desperate for rain in our dry lands). I thought it might be fun to do something a little different and use the April Faith Art kit to do a pocket page for my scrapbook.

I started by laying out my pocket page protector and then printing a few photos, keeping in mind the dimensions and to space them around the page evenly. I put everything on top of the protector before I ever put anything in pockets. It allows you to quickly move things around and make adjustments easily. I pulled out some coordinating scrap paper and washi tape from my stash that would match the gorgeous blues and pop of yellow in this month’s kit. I swoon for the color combo of this kit!

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I printed out the verse in Genesis, as well as some song lyrics from Rain Down, by Delirious. I then wrote up a quick journaling card and then got to stacking things up.

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The stickers in the kit were absolutely perfect for a rain-themed page. I used SO MANY of them, but still had plenty to go around.

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The secret to a fun pocket page, scrapbook page, even bible journal entry is LAYERS. It’s all about layers. And the more you layer various textures and colors, the better. If I sit back and look at a page and think it’s just “undone” looking, I just add another layer. You really can’t go wrong… though I would caution from going too layer crazy! 🙂

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I pray that you are all able to see and feel God’s promises for you every single day. He is there in the storm of whatever you are going through. His promises do not fail. Look for the rainbows. Be blessed, friends!

Don’t miss out on all of the awesome and fun ways to use Creative Retreat Kits. Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Even in Rain, He Reigns

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“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?”
– Matthew 8:23-27

The past several weeks have brought my home state of California a series of back to back late-winter storms, bringing much needed rain to our drought-ridden lands. It’s been a dry season and this is rain that we’ve prayed for, sometimes desperately, so we don’t dare complain or fret. Though these storms have brought unexpected flooding, mudslides and worries of their own, we are still grateful for the life-giving rain. Storms, by nature are dark and brooding, sometimes downright terrifying. It can be hard to see benefits hidden in the darkness.

Can’t we say the same about the storms of life? I know that I can. The past few years have brought the same back to back storms that we’ve been experiencing lately where I live. But instead of life-giving rain, I’ve felt the pain of depression, anxiety, job loss, extreme financial stress, a terminal diagnosis of a loved one, new demanding jobs, marital discord, and the constant roar of “overwhelm” that often comes with life as a wife, mom, caregiver and more. I have often been tempted to shake my fist in the sky and shout, “Where are you God???”

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My local pastor recently preached on the passage of Matthew 8:23-27 and pointed out something so simple and profound, but something I had definitely missed the gravity of when studying it in the past. Jesus was in the boat! The Savior of the world, Messiah, Son of God, was right there, in a state of total peace, sleeping. How often do we run about frantically when the storms of life hit? Screaming, crying, begging for help. But forgetting that God is right here. He’s in the boat. He’s got us under the same hand that he can stretch out over a roaring storm and speak words of peace, and it’s over. It’s calm. Storms are inevitable, but so too is the love of our God. Without the storms, we wouldn’t need him like we so desperately do.

The winds and the sea obey him. He’s calling us to do the same. To trust and obey that he’s in control and that the calm is coming. We need only have faith.

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To say that I love everything about the kit this month is an understatement! The bows, the colors, the stamps, the powerful devotional. I started off my entry with a soft wash of pastel that I “massaged” very well into the page, wiped over with a paper towel and then set down with a very light wash of clear gesso.

I then stamped those adorable raindrops and hit them with some white embossing powder for an extra pop. I set my title down, which is my favorite part… when I saw the kit, two words jumped out at me, “rain” and “reign” and I thought… “Even in the rain, he will reign.” I traced around it in a blue Micron pen, hit it with a few splatters of white acrylic paint watered down just a bit for optimal splattering.

I found this cute cloud in my stash and layered it over that adorable white bow for a really big tag. I love a big, loud tag. Lastly, I wanted a few extra big white raindrops but wasn’t sure how to make them, then laid my eyes on the plain white hearts that came in last month’s kit. Did you know that if you cut a heart in half, you get two perfectly, cute raindrops? They were the perfect addition!

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I pray that even in the storms of this life that each and every one of you can find peace and know that you are not alone. He’s in your boat. He hears you. He knows you. He loves you. And you can trust that he will bring calm to your weary heart. Be blessed, friends!

Want to see other ways to use products from the Creative Retreat kits? Follow @creativeretreatkits on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to see how others are using them! And please check out my Insta account @bibleartgal while you’re there.