Other Fun Stuff

Creative Retreat Kits | Joy to the World

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“Joy to the World! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing”

-Joy to the World, published in 1719, written by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98.

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!”

-Psalm 98:4

Friends, can I share with you how immensely glad my heart is that the holidays are upon us?! I had the amazing gift of writing the devotional for this month’s Faith Art Box, so hopefully, you know how deeply I feel about the importance of preparing our hearts for Christ as we enter into this season.

We prepare so very much for Christmas, through capturing that perfect Christmas card image, to buying gifts for everyone we love, preparing for holiday parties, baking trays of sweet cookies, and “decking our halls” with all the twinkle and trim that we can to make our homes festive. This season, I’m challenged to put in the same effort with my heart. My home might be ready to reflect on Christmas, but is my heart ready to remember the birth of our King and truly savor what he came to do for us?

As I dove deeper into Joy to the World, the carol that inspired this month’s devotional, I was struck to find out that it wasn’t intended to be a Christmas carol at all, but rather, as a poem inspired by Psalm 98. At its heart, it’s a true expression of the joy and power of our great Savior. A psalm expression of his love, the offer of salvation and faithfulness that springs forth even from the depths of the earth… the seas roar, the rivers clap their hands, the fields exult. That is some deep and expressive joy!

A lot of times I think we make the mistake of thinking that reflecting and preparing our hearts needs to be done in silence, in reverence or in study. But we serve a God of joy! We serve a God who delights in our praise and worship. This holiday season, I intend embrace the heart of Psalm 98, of Joy to the World, and will prepare my heart with joy of knowing intimately our King, who was born to save! I hope you’ll do the same.

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I knew I wanted to journal with this hymn and I wanted to keep this page pretty simple because I really didn’t want to cover up the lyrics (especially after I researched the heart of it). I always forget about stamping so I thought it would be fun to kick off this page with stamping… and when I saw the pine branch stamps in this month’s box… my heart went straight to garlands.

I used both pine branch stamps and layered them to form garlands, using Distress Oxide Inks in Cracked Pistachio and Lucky Clover. I then added a few embellishments to the garland using some of the heart stickers from the kit. It needed a little contrast, and a bit of sparkle so I added in some simple dots using a metallic gold marker.

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I knew I wanted to incorporate that sweet blue bow in the kit so I laid down a strip of plaid washi (from one of the Illustrated Faith Revival Camp kits this summer) that coordinated really well with the kit, both to reinforce the page and secure the bow. On top, I layered the word Prepare from the wordfetti in the kit as a reminder of the heart of this hymn… “let every heart prepare him room”.

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Lastly, I added a little more of the plaid washi at the bottom of the page to tie it together. On top of that, I layered a label sticker from the kit and then stamped 2018 in gold ink. I try to pick a hymn to focus on each holiday season, and seeing as I became so invested in this one, I found it to be the perfect fit.

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Friends, my prayer for you is that you prepare your heart as we enter into this holiday season. I pray that you know how deeply and fully God loves you and that YOU are the heart of why he sent his son. May you seek and find joy this season in all that you do.

Be blessed and pursue joy, my friends!

Need some inspiration as you prepare and journal this holiday season? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Are we friends yet? Let’s be! I love friends. Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

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Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | He Overcomes All

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 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33

In college I studied journalism. I loved stories and I loved being a story teller. As a result, I watched and read the news A LOT. I devoured the newspapers in the morning and poured over the news in the evening. I liked knowing what was going on in the world and I liked thinking about how I would tell the stories if I had the chance. I was young and the stories captivated me.

As time went on and I grew older, I navigated my career away from journalism and in to advertising and marketing. Though the storytelling part of the news still appealed to me, I noticed that there was not much “good news” on TV. Every night was a back to back agenda of crime, destruction, hatred, theft, war, death and suffering. It was all too much. This compounded as the years passed and peaked when I had my children. I almost never watch the news or read news stories anymore. According to the news, there is almost no good left in the world.

I of course know that this is not true. But what really encourages me is knowing that even if the world is filled with hate and war and crime, there is the knowledge that our Lord and Savior has overcome it all. He overcame through his sacrifice and death on the cross. And I believe he overcomes for us every day. Because he overcomes, we have PEACE. Peace among all the things we see on the news. Peace and promise that we are going to be met in paradise. Pain and suffering are big. But our God is much bigger. Thank you Jesus! You overcome!

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The colors in this month’s Faith Art Box are so summery and bright. They make me smile! I ADORED the cute pattern on the back of the devotional card so I set about trying to recreate it. I used Target’s Hand Made Modern paints swirled on using some sponge daubers. After those dried, I used the ADORABLE texture stamps from the kit and stamped in using a black Versafine ink pad and white Craft ink.

I laid down a few titles including “Take Heart Jenn” using the stickers and alpha stickers in the kit. I recently read a devotion that talked about how important and powerful it is to personalize scripture. This is most easily done by adding your name to scripture and I must tell you, it really does feel powerful and like our God is speaking directly to you. I don’t know about you all but I definitely needed to heart the words “take heart”.

DSC_3464 I’ve gotten really interested in looking up the dictionary definitions of words so I looked up the word overcome and found that it meant defeated, prevailed and overpowered. Amen! I added that into my journaling and then layered in some washi tape and the rest of my titles, finishing the page with the SWEET striped bow (STRIPES ARE MY FAVORITE!).

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My prayer for each of you reading this is to know that our God is so much bigger than the ugly that we see on the news. He’s bigger than the pain and suffering in our days here on earth. He has overcome, and he will continue to overcome, for you, every day. He wants you to know the peace that he offers and to know that his peace covers ALL. Be blessed, friends!

Have you seen all of the amazing ways you can use Faith Art Kits? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.