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. 

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.