Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | All Kinds of Love

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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Deuteronomy 6:5

February is upon us… bring on the red roses, stuffed teddy bears, and conversation hearts candies! Though, I recently heard a news story stating that the candies would not be made this year because the original company that made them went out of business last year. Initially, there was quite an uproar about it. People just can’t do without those chalky, sweet hearts with simple sentiments! The reporter quickly added that the company that took over plans to stock the shelves with them next year. Phew!

Without a doubt, there will be plenty of imitations and copycats this year to get us through. We get so worked up about the commercial part of love. We toil and fret over the perfect gift for our beloved and react all sorts of ways about the gifts bestowed to us by our partners – as if the gift itself is the sole measure of our love and understanding of one another. But, just like the conversations hearts, though there is great value in our earthly love and relationships, they are NOTHING in comparison to the real, true, lasting and all-encompassing love of our God. Imitators have no place.

As commanded in Deuteronomy 6, we are to love the Lord our God with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul, and ALL our might or strength. This is not conditional love. This is not love that takes or break or gives up when it’s too hard. This is not love that holds a grudge. This is not love that questions or doubts. This is a love to live by and to die by. Christ already did that for us, to reconcile our sin once for all. THAT IS LOVE.

The greatest part? As much as we strive to love and serve God… it’s just the faintest whisper of the love he has in return for us. THAT love is beyond human description. It’s love that can’t possibly be summarized on a conversation heart. It’s sacrificial, powerful love.

I was obviously inspired by conversation hearts for my entry this month. Once I saw the fun pinks, blues and yellows of the February Faith Art box, I immediately thought of them.

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I started by going through my stash and finding some simple scrap paper (no large or bold patterns) in colors that would match the kit. I then took a heart punch (mine is from Stampin Up and is discontinued) and punched out a bunch of different hearts.

In order to make sure I had enough space for the hearts, I used some of the thin washi tape from Illustrated Faith to block out and highlight my verses. Next, I buffed in some Distress Oxide inks into the page to create more depth and a background for the hearts, being careful to alternate the colors so they were opposite of the heart that would be on top of them.  I used the shades Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Faded Jeans (my favorite!).

Next, I grabbed a very small alpha stamp set and a few of the word stamps from this month’s kits and some previous kits and stamped out various love-related sentiments. I used Stampin Up ink in the shade Poppy Parade, which is a great match for the orangey red of conversation hearts text. Some of them got a little wonky with alignment but I actually loved that because if you’ve seen the original candy, they aren’t exactly precise.

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I secured the hearts down with some Tombow Mono tape. I then decided to punch a heart from the devotional card and use it for my title. I secured that down and then used the wordfetti to spell out Love the Lord Your God. I outlined it with a Sharpie Fine Pen in a pink shade to make it pop a bit.

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I felt like the page was lacking a bit of something so I grabbed my white Gelly Roll pen and drew in some detail to each heart with outlining, stitching and other marking techniques. I love the extra contrast with that white tracing! My bible is getting REALLY chunky so I opted for no tag on this page. I’m not quite ready to retire it so I’m going to try and limit my big dimensional pieces.

Friends, my prayer for you is that you don’t seek love any other place this season than at the feet of God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine and desires your heart. He desires your love – ALL of it from ALL of your heart, soul and might. He’s the only valentine you could ever need. Love, and be loved.

Need creative inspiration for this fun kit? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. I LOVE new friends! Find me @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.