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.

dscf3324

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.

dscf3321

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.

dscf3323dscf3326

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.

dscf3329

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

dscf3330dscf3331

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.

Advertisements
Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | The Word Reveals

DSCF3114

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105

I’m not much of a hiker (a fact I think I’ve shared on the blog before) but I do love the outdoors. I also love to walk so you would think that hiking would just work for me? There are just so many complications with hiking that sort of intimidate me – knowing exactly where you are going and where you are at, strength, endurance, surefootedness… all things that I sort of lack. But because I do love the outdoors and connecting with God and his creation, I press on and pursue hiking.

I recall one particular solo hiking adventure I decided to take many years back. It was a trail recommended by an acquaintance that boasted incredible panoramic views, majestic waterfalls, amazing wildlife and more. I was told that I just needed to drive up to the trailhead in the Sierras and head out. It was easy peasy. But what followed were several hours of confusion, wandering and sometimes all-out panic. Because of a particularly rainy and snowy season prior the trail had become overgrown. The path was not clear. It would disappear and reappear, but not frequently enough for my comfort. I knew that getting lost in the mountains was not good for someone like me. Instead of enjoying the hike, I was in a state of stress and anxiety. I don’t recall the panoramic views, nor any majestic waterfalls. I don’t recall a single squirrel or bird or anything living except for the heart inside my chest, racing.

I ended up turning back early and just about running back to my car and to the trailhead. I told the acquaintance about the hike later. He was eager to know if I enjoyed it and what I thought of the waterfalls. I relayed my story and he just looked at me with mouth wide open and said simply, “you missed it!”

I was recently reading Psalm 119 when my eyes ran across verse 105 (“thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”) and I thought of this particular hiking adventure. The path was not clear. I needed a guide. I’m so thankful that the Word of God provides a path for us. In fact, Psalm 119 is chock full of affirmations about the Word… it is a giver of life, it is broad, it is sweet and affirming, it is a light and guide, a hope and a shield. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any better guide than that.

We get so busy in this life focused on what is going wrong, on what has led us astray, on what is vague and confusing, not realizing that the God of the earth and of our hearts is right next to us, asking us to let Him be our guide. He provides that guidance in His presence and in His word. It’s not just another book, friends. It is THE BOOK!

That acquaintance was right in the end, with regards to my hike… I missed it. I missed all the potential beauty in that trail because I was so fixed on where I thought I needed to be going, on the path that I couldn’t see clear enough, and on my own fear and anxiety. I needed something to hold fast to, not realizing my Savior is the only thing I need to hold on to and his word is the ultimate guide. Had I stuck with the trail, in fact, if I had even been within 50 feet of it, I would have seen the majestic waterfalls, the eagles that nest there in the spring, the fields of wildflowers. I missed it all.

The devotional content in this kit has been so powerful. I do hope you have picked it up and are digging in.

For this entry, I dove into Psalm 119 a little deeper. For the creative part, I started by stamping that sweet little cluster of books in the lower left of the margin.

DSCF3116

After it dried, I went in with some watercolors to paint in the spines of the books with coordinating colors to this month’s kit. I then continued those colors into a sort of soft, watery “path” that went up and winded around the scriptures I highlighted/boxed.

DSCF3117

After it dried I went in with almost all of the heart stickers from the kit, as well as some hearts that I cut out by hand from the text scrapbooking paper I used in my last entry for the kit. I then used the alphas and wordfetti to spell out my title – Hold Fast to Every Word, Verse, Passage and the little subtitle at the bottom – Every Word Inspired.

DSCF3119

I wanted the page to have a bit of “sparkle” so I went in with a pen, after tracing all the letters and stickers, I added some little stars and then hit the page with little black splatters. It wasn’t fully dry so I had some bleeding, but it didn’t bother me. I liked that the path wasn’t exact and perfect… much like the path in this life. 🙂

DSCF3121

Friends, my prayer for you is that you lean on the Lord and allow his Word to guide your path. Every word, verse, and passage of scripture is God-breathed and true. There is nothing more solid that can guide your life. Let the Word guide you and let the Lord love you.

Want to see other ways to use products from the Creative Retreat kits? Follow @creativeretreat 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.

 

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Written on My Heart

DSCF3104

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

-2 Timothy 3:16-17

Does anyone else still get excited to receive mail, like I do? I don’t mean the piles of junk mail, credit card offers and stacks of coupons. I mean real, actual mail from one person to another? There is nothing quite like receiving a hand-written letter or card. This time of year, when sparky Christmas cards fill our box, my heart just about overflows.

A hand-written note or letter tells you that you matter. It tells you that you are worth spending the time to connect with. It shows that you are remembered. It tells you that you are loved and important enough to share in what is contained in that envelope or package. It takes thought and effort to send real mail… to write a real letter.

Did you know that the Bible is basically God’s letter, to us? He loves and cares so very much for us that he wants to connect with us through his word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that Scripture is God-breathed. It goes on to tell us how very useful and important it is in our lives. The Bible is not only here to encourage, inspire and guide us, but it’s also here to correct our paths, to train us and to prepare us for whatever comes before us. That is one POWERFUL letter. Let’s not take it for granted!

The December Faith Art box provides all the beautiful tools to celebrate the word of God. The colors are beautiful soft jewel tones and are so pretty when combined. When I think of God’s word, I think of His heart for me and my heart for him so I wanted to be sure to use a big heart in my entry.

I started by using the ink smooshing technique to smoosh in about 5 or 6 colors of Distress Oxide Inks. It was a lot of different colors but I love how these just blended and flowed into each other. After that dried, I started my title with the wordfetti and alpha stickers from the kit spelling out “His Word is Written…”

DSCF3105

I wanted to be sure to get some stamping in so I grabbed the various word stamps from the kit and stamped them in flowing blocks with Brilliance Moonlight White pigment ink. I started with the phrase “On My” repeated over and over. Then, I finished with some other phrases repeated about the word.

DSCF3109

Next came my super fun heart. I used a heart punch to punch out a heart from some paper that has a bunch of text on it. I then glued it to three layers of pink tissue paper. I rough cut around it, leaving about a half an inch of tissue all the way around. Next, I used my fringe scissors to cut all the way around and make this delicate fringe border.

DSCF3111

I secured that to my page and added a few heart stickers on top. I finished off my page by tracing my stickers and my heart with a black journaling pen, using some “stitch” marks around my verse as well.

I finished with a little cluster at the top of my page that consist of a circle punched out of the devotional card, a few stickers, a heart from the same scrapbook paper, all secured with a bit of the silver feather washi tape from the kit.

DSCF3113

Friends, my prayer for you is that you spend the time to read God’s letter to you. I pray that his words wash over your heart and bring you comfort, guidance, wisdom and truth. Let his Word guide you and reveal his plans for you. You are so very dear and loved.

Want to see how others are using the December Faith Art box? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Please, be my friend! Find me @bibleartgal.

 

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Made Perfect in Weakness

DSC_4302

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

There was a time in my 20s when I felt like I was in really decent shape, and was at a phase in my life when I wanted to try everything. I said YES to as many new experiences as I could. I was single and had all the time in the world, so when my singles group at church invited everyone out for a day hike in the mountains, I said YES.

What I quickly learned, just minutes into this “easy” hiking trail was that I was in fact not in decent shape and I was not cut out for hiking. Let’s just say that I huffed and puffed, and at one point, was seeing spots, on the verge of passing out completely. Layers of clothing were shed. At one point, a heroic gentleman in our group offered to carry my backpack. Even stripped of everything weighing me down, I struggled.

The mental attack on myself started, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you do this? You are such a joke! You look like a fool right now.” I couldn’t deal with my own inner enemy screeching in my ears. I started to pray and pray hard, “Lord, I need you. I can’t do this. I don’t want to hold this group back. I said yes to this so I could live richly, deeply and fully. God, I need you.” The prayers continued as the incline grew more sharp.

As I continued to falter and take many, many breaks, I started to recite scripture. It was amazing. Scriptures I didn’t even know that I could remember by heart started flowing through me. Psalms, Proverbs, James… I recited until the intensity of those scriptures covered me and I could no longer focus on the pain in my legs or the burn of my lungs. The word of God was covering me and giving me power I didn’t know I had.

At some point, I didn’t even realize when we reached the summit. That summit contained the most beautiful oasis tucked into the canyon – a lazy river, great trees towering overhead and a peace that I hadn’t seen or felt in a very long time. “Thank you Lord!” I exclaimed, both out of relief of the end of our ascent, but also at the reward that was waiting here for me. The struggle was so worth it.

As I read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians, speaking of our Lord, “my power is made perfect in weakness” I thought of this hiking trip. Physically, I needed the Lord to get me to the top of that mountain. Mentally, I needed his peace and guidance too. And as I reflect on it now, in my moments of great weakness (and not even physical weakness, but spiritual weakness, pain, grief, stress…) I have needed God more than ever. I think God’s power really is made perfect in our weakness. Without weakness, we wouldn’t need a Savior. Our weakness creates a hunger for God that only he can satisfy. And not only does he satisfy… he heals, restores and brings power! Like Paul says, when we are weak, we are STRONG because of our God! And often, like the oasis that revealed itself at the end of my hike, there is incredible beauty and reward waiting.

I love the subtle color scheme of the September Faith Art box and I felt that tones of gray would go perfectly. This simple entry started with just a few strips of a gray plaid washi tape, laid down at angles. On top I layered my title using the wordfetti and title stickers – made perfect in my weakness.

DSC_4303

Then, I used the heart stickers to form a sort of path of arrows to my secondary title, I am made perfect in you. The white border of the “perfect” and “weakness” stickers seamed a bit stark so I went in with a bit of Ice Spruce Distress Oxide ink on a Q-tip and buffed it around the edges. This helped it settle into the washi tape a bit better. I like that it ended up a bit distressed, messy and not perfect… it really fit the theme of the page. 🙂

Next I made a notecard for my sermon notes using half of the devotion card from this month’s kit. This sermon from Chuck Smith was really powerful (and can be found on Blue Letter Bible) and I wanted to capture his main points.

DSC_4304

I used the number stickers from the alpha stickers and a bit more of the washi to capture all the points. I cut the title out of the other side of the devotional card and attached it to the top. Finally, I used a bit more washi tape to tip it into my bible.

For finishing touches I did a little bit of splattering with gray watercolor paint. I found this cute gray fabric in my stash and made a quick clip to secure to the top of my page with a bit of washi. I tape all my clips in so they don’t fall out.

DSC_4305

Friends, my prayer for you is that you realize how badly we need a Savior. May we not see weakness and being vulnerable as a bad thing, but rather an expression of our open need for the power and might of our God. I pray that in your weakness, you will cry out to him and find immeasurable strength, healing and love, and that you will be greeted by an oasis more beautiful than you ever imagined on the other side.

Be blessed, friends!

Not sure how you can use September’s Faith Art Box? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Are we friends yet? Let’s connect! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Child of God

DSC_3710

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

1 John 3:1

I’ve already shared a few stories about my dad here in the blog, so it’s probably easy to tell that I’m a big fan. 🙂 I know that I am very lucky to have the father that I have on this earth. He is wise, loving, kind, patient, strong, protective and a strong follower of Jesus. My dad has modeled so many important things to me and has helped shape me into the woman I am today. A lot of my best stories involve him. I love him dearly.

This made it particularly hard and painful as my dad started showing some strange symptoms a few years back. Besides a pretty progressive amount of forgetfulness that was not characteristic of a man in his early 60s, there were other things – confusion, anxiety, mood changes and declining comprehension. We began round after round of testing, second and third opinions, traveling for expert doctors and finally landed at a specialty clinic north of where we live. Just a few days after his testing there in December 2015, the doctors called a family meeting and sat us around a large oak table where they broke the news that my father had early onset Alzheimers Disease at a moderate stage.

Everything became a blur punctuated by a few phrases… “terminal disease”, “will never improve”, “average diagnosis to death…8 years.” I had seen signs of my dad slipping away prior, but this made it official. My dad was fading and we would have to watch him fade away before losing him completely. To say my heart was crushed is an understatement. I never imagined the possibility of losing a parent in my 30s or 40s. We were supposed to grow old together, sprout gray hairs together and laugh about “the good old days”.

My emotions have ebbed and flowed as we’ve navigated the last 3 years since his diagnosis and the slow loss that accompanies time. I have really good, strong and positive days, and I have very dark, sad and lonely days. Mourning the gradual loss of someone who is standing right in front of you is indescribably painful and exhausting. As I explained the emotional roller coaster to my best friend, I found myself choking out what my heart had been struggling with…”Sometime soon, I won’t have a dad anymore. Who is going to take care of me? Sometimes you just need a dad! I can’t do this life without my daddy.”

It was a few weeks later that I first heard the song “No Longer Slaves” from Bethel Music and cried my eyes out. These particular verses were gut-wrenching and beautiful to me:

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name.
I’ve been born again to my family
Your blood flows through my veins. 

I’m not longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God.

I am surrounded
By the arms of the Father.
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance.
We’ve been liberated
From our bondage.
We’re the songs and the daughters.
Let us sing our freedom.

It was a real WHOA GOD kind of moment for me. Though I will have to endure the pain and loss of my early father, I will never be without a Father. The God of the universe was my father first. I AM A CHILD OF GOD. I belong to him. I always will. And what greater love is there than the love of our heavenly father.

I have found great comfort in the knowledge that I was, am and forever will be loved by our Father God. No matter what comes, I am his child and will be covered by his grace and compassion. On tough days, I meditate on 1 John 3:1 and the promise contained therein. The promise that our Father loves us so very much that we are called his children. And I honestly feel his arms wrap around me and surround the pain, and provide me with peace and love.

When I opened the August Faith Art box I was blown away when the very first thing I saw was the child of God medallion sticker. Friends, our God really meets us where we are at and where we have a need, and I needed to be reminded of this powerful truth.

This was an emotional entry for me and honestly, creatively, I struggled. I was inspired by the beautiful entry that Lindsey did last month and so I framed out the verses for the entry in a similar fashion. I then got out some different shades of red and pink gelatos (Iced Currant, Red Cherry, Metallic Melon, and Guava with some accents of Metallic Icing) and made some circular shapes reminiscent of the rosettes in the stamp set. I used a light wash of water to make a watercolor effect and blend the shades together. After they dried I stamped in the rosettes on top using black VersaFine ink using some paper masks to layer them and then sprinkled in some leaves from this and previous kits.

DSC_3711I then framed the verses with a few strips of light blue paper that matched this month’s colors and fastened on this sweet lace border using a bit of clear embellishment glue. I used a dimensional dot to place the child of God medallion and make it pop up so I could layer the blossom stickers underneath.

I finished with a few of the enamel shapes from last month’s kit and a bit of journaling at the top right of the page.

DSC_3714

I really wanted to include the lyrics from the No Longer Slaves song to make it really personal so I cut the reflection questions from the devotional card, printed off the lyrics and fastened them to the card, framing it in a bit more of the lace border. Then, I used the wordfetti from the kit to add the title, “My name is child of God”. DSC_3715I love this little extra card! I’m using the sweet floral print bow to secure it into my bible. DSC_3717

And I love that it includes the great reflection questions on the back. I love having a reminder of what I’ve been studying right there on my page.

DSC_3719

My prayer for you is that you would know the love of our heavenly Father. Love that is deep, pure, unconditional and grace-giving. No matter what your earthly father is like, or whether you know or have a relationship with your dad, you are still a precious, loved child of God and there is nothing better than His love for you. His love covers all pain, fear, shame and doubt. You will forever be his.

Be blessed, friends!

Need inspiration? 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 | Bounty of Blessings

DSC_3494

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

Galatians 5:22-23

I am very fortunate to live in Central California for a lot of reasons. But, one of my favorite reasons is the absolute bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables grown here. Reedley, a town just north of me (and consequently where I met my husband… at a peach orchard of all things!) is known as the “fruit basket of the world” because for the size of the area, it produces more fruit than any other place in the world!

All throughout the valley, tucked between country homes, little housing tracts, large expanses of land, dairies, churches and a network of roads are orchards, vineyards and fields producing masses of fruit – strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, kiwis, oranges, cherries and more. We have the best fruit and I have learned more about fruit than I ever thought possible living here.

The most important thing I’ve learned about farming is the incredible amount of work it takes to produce even a small harvest of fruit. There is no plopping seeds in the ground, splashing a little water on it and walking away until harvest time. Farming is painstaking, backbreaking, expensive and time-consuming work. It takes great dedication to sow, water, protect and harvest. There is disappointment along the way. And there are also tremendous awards when all goes well.

Galatians tells us all about the fruit of the Spirit. This is a different kind of fruit than the ones we are chopping up for that sweet summer fruit salad, but there is a lot we can learn from this fruit. The fruit of the spirit is literally the harvest sown when the Spirit abides in you. If you are walking with and in a relationship with the Lord, his Spirit is living in you and it will produce fruit… the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That is some GOOD FRUIT.

But just like the farmers that rise with the sun and retire well after it has gone back down, good fruit is not produced without investing yourself. You must invest the time, effort and expense in producing good fruit in your life. It doesn’t just come on its own. Good fruit comes from living and being led by the Spirit. But what incredible blessings come from that investment! Who doesn’t want the blessing of love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Oh, goodness yes! What an incredible bounty of blessings comes from living in the Spirit.

july_hero2

I probably say it every month but I am in love with the July Faith Art box. My eyes were the size of peaches when I opened it up. This is such a gorgeous and fun kit – so much that I went a little color crazy, but I couldn’t help it!

DSC_3487

I started by very lightly putting down some heart stickers from the kit to create little masks and putting a light layer of washi tape over my verse to mask that. I then experimented with some of the Studio Calico Color Mists by lightly spraying a few coordinating colors down (I first covered EVERYTHING in sight but my page and sprayed very gently and from a great distance). I let it dry completely because these are very rich and saturate quickly. I lightly pulled up the heart stickers I had placed to reveal some nice crisp hearts.

DSC_3492

The pattern on the back of the devotional card is AMAZING so I just had to fussy cut some letters to form the FRUIT part of my title. I did a little additional outlining with a white gel pen and accented it with a few of the cute enamel pieces from the kit. I went back to my super chunky bible this month so I went a little dimensional and used foam tape to elevate my title and even glued in a button over my “i”. I finished my title with a few of the wordfetti pieces and Spirit sticker and traced over everything with the white gel pen.

DSC_3489

I made a little cluster at the bottom of the page for a little GROW subtitle, which I stamped in white craft (pigment) ink and added another little button and enamel accent. I used the round alphas from this month’s kit to put in the date for my entry. The page was looking a little bland so I grabbed my white gel pen once more and added some dots, crosses and other textures to mimic the sketch style of the devotional card art.

DSC_3495

I finished the page with a little cluster tab at the top, combining a little mint washi tape, a sticker from the kit and a quick clip that I made from some scrap ribbon.

My prayer for each of you is that you choose to walk in the Spirit of our Lord so that you may experience the incredible bounty of blessings that come when you live in his power. I pray that you are living a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Be blessed, friends!

You’ve got to see the incredible things being done with this month’s kit! Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. I love making new friends, so please check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling, Other Fun Stuff

Creative Retreat Kits | Gentle Shepherd

DSC_3312

“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.”

-Psalm 23:1-3

For years I have thought of my father as a “gentle giant”. Towering at over 6 foot 4 inches, my dad’s presence is not something you typically miss in a room. In fact, I feel like it might have been quite a big factor in me never having many suitors during my dating years. 😉 Though he’s built like a linebacker, I never thought of him as an enforcer. I always thought of him as my protector. My guide. My source of wisdom when the world didn’t make sense… which in my teen years, was often. He is truly, a gentle giant with a heart for his family and an even bigger heart for Jesus.

We often think of leaders needing to have a commanding presence, or needing to instill a dose of fear in order to be respected and followed. But real leadership is not found in a commanding, order-barking presence. It’s found in gentle giants. It’s found in shepherds, guiding foolish and meek sheep like us. A good leader creates a love and trust that makes you WANT to follow them and allows you to have faith that you are in good hands.

I love the countless references you find in scripture describing our Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a shepherd (the good shepherd, the one shepherd, chief shepherd). There is something truly remarkable about the peaceful but fierce guidance of a good shepherd. He tends his flock and will not lead them astray or allow them to fall into an enemy’s hands. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. He also leads his sheep to wells of living water so they will not be thirsty. What a precious gift, the love of a shepherd gives us.

I’m truly thankful for the gift of my earthly father and all of the years of his gentle shepherding  to make me the woman that I am today. But I’m completely speechless when it comes to the love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, the one true shepherd of each and every one of us.

DSC_3304

I decided to dive into my hymnal with the May Faith Art box and found this beautiful hymn called Gentle Shepherd written by Gloria and William Gaither (1974). The words are beautiful:

Gentle Shepherd, come and lead us, For we need You to help us find our Way. 
Gentle Shepherd, come and feed us, For we need Your strength from day to day. 
There’s no other we can turn to, Who can help us face another day;
Gentle Shepherd, come and lead us, For we need You to help us find our Way. 

I started my entry with a very soft wash of a few Hand Made Modern acrylic paints from Target, using a baby wipe to apply. This give such a sheer lovely, easy application. Next I got out some texture paste and mixed the yellow acrylic paint in and then smeared it over the crosses stencil that is cut into my bible journaling mat from Illustrated Faith. I wanted a little extra dimension and texture paste works like a charm!

DSC_3314

I then laid down a few titles using the stickers and alpha set in the kit, first “Jesus Leads – Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Trinity” and then “Follow in Faith”. I accented with my yellow striped washi tape (I use this one so much!) and outlined with a black journaling pen.

DSC_3317

I then used the devotion card to make this little “garden” at the bottom of the page, using various stickers from the kit to make the flowers. I layered it with a little strip of green scrap paper I had laying around and affixed the little “follow him” title on the bottom. I used this to do a little private journaling on the back.

I finished with a tab punch from the devotion card as well as that adorable yellow gingham bow. I really like hymnal entries and how they tie so beautifully into the scriptures I’ve been studying.

Friends, my prayer for you is that you know the love, provision and protection of the good shepherd. Know that you are being led down the best possible path and that you are under the constant and vigilant eye of the shepherd who loves you more than anything. Be blessed, friends!

There are so many fun and creative ways to use Faith Art Kits. Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. Let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.