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 | The Word Reveals

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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 | Refuge and Strength

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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

Psalm 46:1-2

Getting and staying in shape has always been a big challenge for me. For starters, I don’t enjoy exercise at all, and everything in my genes and metabolism is seemingly fighting against me. I recently acquired a gym membership and as part of the onboarding process, I was offered a free physical consultation and comprehensive testing. This was a pretty thorough test and involved all different facets of health (blood testing for glucose and cholesterol, measurements for BMI, fat caliper testing, blood oxygen testing, endurance testing, etc.).

I had done most of that before but I had never been through any strength testing. Though I wasn’t surprised at most of my physical results (like I said, I’m healthy but I know I’m out of shape), I was really surprised to see that my strength testing was pretty solid. In fact, for someone so out of shape in every other way, I have above average strength.

But physical strength only counts for so much. As I’ve grown older and endured much more adult problems and responsibilities, I’ve realized that emotional and spiritual strength is invaluable. Fortunately, I am pretty strong in both those areas too… but I definitely need a Savior. I need the strength of my God to cover me when my humanness makes it feel too hard to endure. In this life, those times are pretty often. God created us as beings who need him.

Scripture is very clear in stating that there is no one and nothing more powerful than our God. I love Psalm 46 and how it describes our God as both a refuge (safe place, protected, shelter) and strength – a very present help in time of trouble. AMEN! It goes on to describe how we need not have any fear even if the earth gives way and oceans roars and the ground trembles beneath us. God is in control of all things. That is POWER and that is the only power I want in my life.

I wanted to do something a bit different for this entry so I pulled out my little Psalms book. I also wanted to keep the entry pretty simple because there isn’t a lot of space on these pages and I didn’t want to cover the text.

I started with a soft wash of pinky purple watercolor from Dots and Dust‘s Cupcakes and Cocktails palette (Shade: Manhattan). This actually has a lovely golden shimmer to it that you can’t see in the photos but added a really nice pop. I then used a matching marker to make very rough circular shapes, similar to the circles on the back of the devotional card in this month’s kit. Let’s be honest, mine are just scribbles but that’s exactly what I wanted.

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Next, I highlighted my verse with the same pen. I grabbed some of the wordfetti and stamps from the stamp set to spell out a few titles (faithful strength, and In My Weakness You are Strong). I couldn’t resist adding in a few random strips of my favorite mustard yellow striped washi tape. I wish I could remember where I got it because I’m quickyl running out. I sprinkled in a few enamel shapes from a previous kit, as well as some of the heart stickers.

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I journaled in a prayer at the bottom of the page with a blue pen. Lastly, I added that super cute jumbo bow (which is started calling a jumbow) and a sticker, with more of the washi tape, mostly to secure the big bow in place. This was a super quick entry but really fun to jump into this Psalms book. I might have to pull this one out more often. Don’t you just love the Psalms?

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Friends, my prayer for you is that you know and feel the strength of our God. It is beyond imagination how powerful he is and how much he loves us. When you are weak, call out his name and feel the refuge that is provided in his strength. You need not fear with the Lord on your side.

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For more inspiration using the September Faith Art box follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Be sure to check out our Facebook Insiders group for more inspiration and some fun freebies! 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.