Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Made Perfect in Weakness

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bible Journaling

Ready for Retirement

Today was one of those hard days in the life and times of a bible journaler – a time to say goodbye and retire or archive a chunky, well-loved bible. It was time. It was getting much more difficult to follow a devotional prompt as most pages had already been journaled. And, chunky bibles, though cute, can be really challenging to continue to work with and even more challenging to photograph, since, they don’t lay flat anymore!

But I am quite sad since this was my first journaling bible. It contains 7 months of my heart and journey of both falling in love with bible journaling, but also in reconnecting with my Lord and Savior as I poured over the scriptures, more than ever worrying about the right color combination or complimenting ephemera pieces.

How could I have know that a simple workshop last summer would open the door to this?! Something I look forward to on an almost daily basis and a place where I have found so much encouragement and connection. The bible journaling community is like no other! In my 5 or so months of engagement, I have not encountered even 1 troll, negative comment, bullying or anything close to it. It’s just this incredible, close-knit group of (mostly) ladies who uplift, encourage and inspire each other. Gals, I love it. I love it so much.

And I also love this first bible because of all that it symbolizes. I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite entries that never made their way onto Instagram since I just created my bible journaling account in Nov 2017.

Early on in my journey I didn’t have a whole lot of supplies to work with, and honestly didn’t know what was available to me, so I just experimented with paints, lettering, etc. I also apparently had a real thing for song lyrics…

 

I also really enjoyed (and still do) journaling the sermon notes from my pastor’s sermons, podcasts that I listen to and even books that I am reading through.

 

Then I stumbled into the amazing and fun world of Illustrated Faith! I can’t tell you how much I love these products. The colors, the imagery, the devotional content… sigh, it’s amazing and very easy to spend a tiny fortune. I really got in to the monthly devotional kits…

And then, last but not least, I discovered Creative Retreat Kits… these simple, beautiful kits are so sweetly designed and filled with amazing little details, not to mention some seriously hard-hitting and soul-filling devotional content. I have a real soft spot for these pages.

And that brings me to where I am now… with my cute, chubby little bible exploding with color and memories. I will say, I am SO EXCITED to jump into my new leather-bound journaling bible, which was a Christmas gift from my mother in law. It’s truly beautiful – and that’s before adding ANYTHING in it!