Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | The Greatest Commandment

“And he said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Matthew 22:37-39

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I recently did one of those cheesy Facebook “assessments” where it screens your account to find out that words that you use most often. I wasn’t entirely surprised when it told me that single word I use most often is LOVE. Honestly, I was pretty delighted that the word love is constantly on my lips. And I do consider myself to be a person of love. One, because that’s just the way my heart leans – I have big emotions and when I love something, I REALLY LOVE IT. That goes with people, equally. I LOVE my people.

But more importantly, I love because our God commands it. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22 that loving God was the greatest commandment. And not a shallow, easy love. But to love “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And why not?! Because our God loves us more than anything. He loves us so much that he sent his son to the cross for us. The ultimate sacrifice of love.

Second to that command to love our God, is to love our neighbor. And no, that doesn’t mean just the person who resides next door to you. Neighbor = everyone. Even that nasty person who cuts you off in line at school drop-off. It’s loving the thief that steals the package from your front door. It’s loving the careless coworker who says the project you poured countless hours into wasn’t that great. It’s loving the parent who never loved you the way you desperately needed and deserved. It’s our own kind of sacrificial love.

This is not easy! Just as I mentioned that I am a person that loves deeply… unfortunately, when I don’t like something, I REALLY don’t like it. Loving is not always easy. Loving sometimes comes with a price or a sacrifice of our own. But love is always worth it. Love is powerful, cleansing, healing, and restorative. I can’t really count a time in my life when love was wasted – even if it wasn’t returned.


Let’s jump into the entry! I started by highlighting my verse in a soft pink because I keep forgetting to do that first and I often get carried away and make art right over my verse!

Once that was taken care of, I knew I wanted to use the gorgeous embellished letter stamps in the kit. I stamped out LOVE first and then grabbed some fun Dear Lizzy Thickers from my stash to spell out Lord. There were so many letters that coordinated well with the February kit colors! I used the awesome, simple black alpha stickers from the kit to compliment my titles.

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I layered in some strips of fun yellow striped washi to break up my titles. I can’t remember where I got this washi and it makes me sad because it’s almost gone and I use it A LOT. Next, after stamping out Love again, I grabbed all my alpha stickers and made the People title using all sorts of different letters that coordinated with the kit colors. I liked how varied this look and felt like it represented how different people can be!

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Then I grabbed some markers and filled in the flowers and embellishments on the stamped letters. I used Stampin Up markers in Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil Delight and Bashful Blue – some or all of these may be discontinued because they recently re-worked their color line. I finished up by adding some fun enamel dots and hearts to the page just to pop. I love how these looked with the stamped letters!

I was gifted this cute heart fabric clip and decided it had to go on this page. I secured it with the washi and then laid down a label sticker and other stickers and alphas from the kit to spell out love.

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This was such a quick and easy entry but I love how it turned out. I hope you guys are enjoying the kit this month as much as I am!

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Friends, my prayer for you is that you practice love in your daily life – love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind. Love his people, even when it feels like they don’t deserve it. Love because the Lord commands it and love because it feels so good to love and to receive love. Love first, and be amazed at what follows.

Need creative inspiration? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits.  While you’re there, come find me and let’s be friends! I’m @bibleartgal. 

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Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | A Season of Preparation

My Post

Now that we are halfway through the month I’ve heard that quite a lot of people using the November Faith Art Box to document Advent. I just loved that idea so I decided to do something similar and use the kit with a sort of “mini series” about preparation for this wonderful season of joy, celebration, anticipation and gratitude.

This season holds a special place in many people’s hearts and I am no exception. I have always loved Christmas, though the reason behind that love has changed and evolved as I have matured. As a child, of course, the draw of presents and treats was almost electric. Now that I am grown and have children of my own, I get the double joy of watching them experience the wonder of Christmas in its twinkle and treats, and to help them understand, as I have learned, that the best gift we could ever receive is the love and salvation of our Savior. Thank you God for sending your son for us!

This season, I am preparing my heart for all of the many facets that this season offers, in experiences and in remembrance of the tiny King who came to save. As I mentioned, I did a series of 7 mini entries using the kit, and I love how each one has both special meaning and slightly different look. This was great because it allowed for in depth bible study and a short creative time to finish – which is ideal in this busy time of year. It also helped for pages that already had a mini entry (much of my current bible has entries from Lent) .

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I wanted each entry to have it’s own unique look and feel but have a common thread. In this case it was the same color scheme, a few lines of personal journaling, and a date stamp to document each day.

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I didn’t do tabs for each of my entries, but I couldn’t resist using this sticker from the kit as a little medallion at the top, secured with a little washi tape (I got rid of the stickyness on the back using the EK Success Powder tool).

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I also wanted to be sure to us ALL the elements in the kit. I mentioned in my last post that I always sort of forget about the stamps so I decided to be sure to use them as often as I could… though I just fell in love with the pine branch stamps and used them almost exclusively! The entry above had a little white embossing in the title too and I love how that turned out.

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For the entry above it doesn’t show AT ALL in photos but I layered both brilliant white and platinum pigment ink stamping using the cute star stamp in the kit. It makes for a great background with a subtle, shimmery pop.

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I also dug around in my stash to find some coordinating enamel dots, another item I always forget to use. I love how they look like little festive pops of candy here. I also just HAD to use that cute mini leather bow. How fun is this delicate silhouette?!

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I did a little ink smooshing on this page with the Distress Oxide inks I used in my last post as well. I just loved how they coordinated with the kit and gave a soft wash of green. And black splatters… a must. 😉

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Sometimes, a little washi tape is all you need to tie a title together. I had about two minutes for the entry above so that’s all I could do, and I sort of love this simple, sweetness of this. These entries really allowed me to focus on the scripture first.

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Right when I saw those pine branch stamps I envisioned a wreath so I knew it would happen at some point. This is probably my favorite little entry of all of them. I love that little wreath, and I ALWAYS love the message of hope. Now, and every time of the year.

I didn’t follow a study for this series, I actually just did my own research and tried to focus on the things I wanted to be sure to prepare for this season. These verses really meant a lot to me and I hope you can take the time to check them out for yourself:

  • Prepare for REDEMPTION:  John 1:29
  • Prepare for HOPE:  Romans 5:1-5
  • Prepare for WORSHIP:  Matthew 2:1-2
  • Prepare him ROOM:  Luke 2:6-7
  • Prepare for JOY:  Luke 1:14-15
  • Prepare for MIRACLES:  Matthew 1:18-25
  • Prepare for his FAVOR:  Luke 1:26-38

Friends, I pray that you take some special time to prepare your heart to celebrate our King this season. I pray that God reveals to you the areas that you need to focus on and that you feel deeply how much he loves you and wants you to draw close to him. May you find the time and words to share with those you love how valuable this precious gift of salvation is.

Be blessed friends!

Need some inspiration? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. I love friends! Find me @bibleartgal.