Two pages of mixed media fun have stretched out into eight pages of my Journaling Bible recently. I learned the basic technique of making a mixed media page and then cutting out letters from it during a gathering of other Bible journalers I met at an event posted on the Bible Journaling Association’s calendar page. I drove about an hour from my house on a Saturday morning for the event, and it was so worth it. There’s something about actually being in a room with other people who enjoy Bible journaling that is really special. The leader was very welcoming, and she gave an excellent talk about the peace from God that comes when we call out to Him. The peace of God can guard our hearts and minds when believers take our concerns to Him. You might be wondering what exactly I am talking about when I say “mixed media.” The picture here is what I made that morning. Each woman picked out three different paint colors. We used the side of credit cards to apply swipes of color to the page. After that dried, we did some stenciling, stamping, and washi tape applying on the page. We finished the pages with Neocolor 2 Crayons and splashes of paint. The two hour event was just enough time for the devotional and the mixed media technique. After I got the pages home, I have used them to cut out lots of letters and shapes to glue into my Journaling Bible. This technique is pretty simple, but it does look awesome. If you make two pages of mixed media randomness, you can stretch out those pages for tons of ideas. I also think of these pages in my Journaling Bible as a way of commemorating a morning that I want to remember: my first time attending a Bible journaling event in person!
Bible Journaling Challenge #12 Check out the Bible Journaling Association site to see if there is an event near you. Also, try out the mixed media technique that I shared. It is really fun!
Considering how much fun I had with the new Advent traditions I started for my family this past Christmas, I was intrigued when I read about Resurrection Eggs in the book Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt. It’s a pretty Smartt book (hehe) — but seriously, I highly recommend this book for those of us who like having family traditions and rhythms. If you want to start traditions and don’t have them, this book will give you more ideas than you could ever imagine, and then you can figure out which ones work best for your family. As a school teacher, I truly believe that students with a strong family life are better prepared for what life throws at them — and it throws a lot at them nowadays. Having the types of rhythms and traditions Smartt recommends would give a sense of security and also nurture curiosity. Anyway, back to the Resurrection Eggs. I had never heard of them, but it’s one of the ideas mentioned in this book. A quick Google search will give you plenty of DIY ideas for Resurrection Eggs; they would be very easy to make at home. I ended up ordering some online because I am in a pretty busy season of life, and they were priced very reasonably. The idea is that your family gets together and opens one Easter egg each day, starting 12 days before Easter (since the pack holds a dozen eggs). Inside the eggs, you’ll find a symbol from the Easter story. There’s also a short reading to go with each one. This builds up interest and gets the family ready for Easter when it comes. Lent is a time to reflect upon suffering and sacrifice, which could be an intense idea for little ones, but the Resurrection eggs tell the story in a way that would be memorable and accessible for everyone in the family. I’m going to give it a whirl, and I have a feeling it will become a tradition. I got a few other ideas from the book that I’m going to use this Lent and Easter as well.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for an Easter present or a new Journaling Bible, I was sent a really pretty one from The Artisian Collection in return for my honest review on Book Look Bloggers. This is probably the most pretty Journaling Bible I have ever seen. Teal is my favorite color, and I love how the flowers are weaved with the music notes on the cover. I plan to gift it to someone who will enjoy it. It has a musical and creative theme, which I think is neat. Even the outer edge of the pages have a design on them when you close the Bible. Personally, I am already working in my second Journaling Bible, so if this is a spiritual practice that you get into, you will probably end up owning more than one Journaling Bible too. Of course, you can also do Bible Journaling in a plain sketchbook if the cost or commercialism of it are a negative for you. Personally, I really like having so many different creative options, but don’t ever feel like you have to spend a lot to make Bible Journaling a part of your life!
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. – Colossians 3:23
Bible Journaling for the Fine Artist, coming out next month, is going to be a great resource for those of us who are into Bible Journaling. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy in return for my honest review. I picked up a lot of tips and inspiration from this book. The section on how to fix mistakes was pretty useful because — oops!– we all make mistakes at some point in our Journaling Bibles. One tip that I picked up was to go back over watercolor with a colored pencil to add shading and dimension; I had never even thought about doing that, but I can see how having that extra control over the color would make the art pop. There’s even a section of tips for people who want to paint the cover of their Bibles. I have seen some beautiful painted Bibles on Etsy, but you could paint your own cover if you have some artistic skill. My favorite part of the book was a tutorial section. I immediately wanted to do several of the pages, especially the cactus-themed one because I like cacti, and the one that says “Risen” with a painted rose theme. I decided to dig right in, and I want to show you how the Risen page turned out. The one in the book is even more beautiful, but I thought this came out pretty nice. It makes me think of Easter coming in April, which is an encouragement in all the rain, snow, and windy cold we’ve been having where I live. Here’s what I did based on the Risen tutorial (the left hand side is completely mine, and the right hand side is inspired by the tutorial).
If you see this book at your local bookstore or library, I encourage you to flip through it for your own inspiration! If you have any questions about how to do the Risen page, feel free to send me a message. I used a brush pen to do the lettering, and I used regular acrylic paint for the roses. Start with a darker red color for a dot in the middle, and then make outward circles in a lighter pink and then white for highlight. I did not have white acrylic paint like the tutorial suggested, so I went in with a white highlighting pen to add the white on mine. Let me know if you end up trying the Risen page!
The sermon that I listened to the Sunday that I did this Bible Journaling Challenge page matched right up with the verse and prompt. That’s God timing! He wants to create something beautiful in my field and yours, and He’s at work on it.
I kicked off 2019 by participating in a month-long Bible Journaling Challenge from Move the Mountains. I want to start to share some of my journaling from that challenge with you now. I’m sharing three of my favorites with you today, and I will be back with three more tomorrow!
By the way, I had a chance to read an advanced copy of Katherine Reay’s book that’s coming out in March, The Printed Letter Bookshop. Check out the book review page on my site if you’re someone who likes to read “bookish” books. If you are into Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, this author is one that I would really encourage you to discover!
Hello again, dear reader! Thank you for spending a few minutes with me online. I just realized that my last blog post said, “Christmas is not over!” Well, it is January 28. Might be time to update my blog, haha. I kicked off my New Year by starting the Daughter of Promise Bible Journaling Challenge with Amanda from Move the Mountains. It has been excellent. Even though I am a few days behind, I am catching up. I listen to her videos while I am driving to work, and they’re a pep talk for my day as a school teacher. Later, I go back and read the accompanying scripture and then do the Bible Journaling prompt. This is my first month-long challenge, and I figured the New Year would be a good time to start it. The focus of the challenge was using hand-lettering and claiming the promises that Christ has made to us as his loved daughters in faith. Amanda is not inviting new people into the challenge, but I plan to show you a lot of what I did this month in an upcoming post. Lots of other people have shared their work on Facebook and Instagram using hashtags that you can find on Amanda’s site. I was so moved by what she was providing for free that I decided to go buck wild on her site and spend about $60, which is a lot by this frugal gal’s standards — but I wanted to bless her, and the supplies she sells are pretty awesome. I got Stubby highlighter pencils that I am excited to use, and I also bought a few pens to use for another hand-lettering course that she offers. The biggest thing I have been claiming in my life as I have walked though Amanda’s challenge this month is the reminder that the same Spirit that raised Jesus is the Spirit that lives in us as believers. We are not given a Spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. I like a little quote that was shared during the challenge too: “I do my best and let God do the rest.” I have been watching the awesome PBS series of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (yes, the one with Collin Firth!), and I keep thinking how my shyness (and creative, contemplative nature) creates some “Darcy moments” in my own life. Who thought I would be identifying with Mark Darcy as I’m watching Pride and Prejudice (lol)?
Is anyone else doing Amanda’s challenge this month? Let me know! Before I go, I want to share one more neat thing I stumbled across this month: the idea of writing a letter to yourself. You can even use a site like Future Me to deliver the email to your inbox at a future time you can pick. I am going to use this idea with my students on the 100th day of school, coming up on Friday for my school district. Until next time, do your best and let God do the rest!
If you are feeling the after-Christmas let-down, it’s okay to keep singing the carols, looking at the lights, and watching the Hallmark movies (haha). According to the liturgical calendar that is used in many Christian churches, Christmas is really celebrated until epiphany on January 6. That’s the day that commemorates the wise men visiting Jesus. Even though I never grew up with the liturgical calendar myself (I have always gone to independent churches), I have enjoyed observing the holiday season that way this year.
I ordered my family a rustic candle holder from Germany on Etsy. When I say rustic, I mean rustic. It is wobbly, and someone could get a splinter from the bottom. I thought about sending it back because the workmanship was, ahem, poor. Then I decided to just put some candles in it and use it for Advent anyway. That wonky candle holder really grew on me as my family gathered around it each evening to light candles, read a small Bible passage, and say a prayer every evening of Advent, from December 2 to 24 this year. I used all white candles instead of the three purple and one pink that are more traditional. As Christmas approached, the candle holder started looking pretty to me. Then I realized: Jesus himself was placed in a manger when he was born. That was not fancy either, but it was just right in the grand design of things.
When it was getting close to bed time, we would have my son open a window on our German-style Advent calendar. I like to incorporate some German traditions into our celebrations since I have some German heritage. Then we would gather around the little wonky candle holder. My son would repeat back parts of the short prayer, and then he would do his favorite part: blow out the candles! Since he’s only five, observing Advent this way really helped my son understand when Christmas was going to arrive and what we would be celebrating. Honestly, it was something I looked forward to every evening myself. It made the season feel special, and it was a peaceful way to end each day.
We are going to continue lighting the candles and saying a prayer until January 6. This a link to where we got our prayers and readings (the cards are sold out this year, but I would guess it will be available again next year). If you have never heard of this tradition of observing Advent and then celebrating Christmas for an extended time, it’s really not too late to get into it. We are going to celebrate Christmas for 12 days. We will sing carols, light the candles, say special prayers as a family, and really appreciate the decorations and the spirit of the season. I am still thinking about how I will commemorate this in my Journaling Bible. I definitely will do some kind of Bible Journaling about it because this really has been special for us.
Exploring the Christmas story this year, Elizabeth stood out to me in particular. She waited so long for something, prayed for it often, and then gave up — and that’s when God said it was not too late. His timing was different and unexpected, but the timing was right for John the Baptist (cousin of Jesus) to be born of Elizabeth. John prepared the way for Jesus. If you’ve never thought much about Elizabeth, check out this sermon about her. It is an excellent sermon!
On a lighter note (and going back to the Hallmark movies, lol) my favorite television Christmas movie was not even from Hallmark. It was from Lifetime. It was called A Very Nutty Christmas; it was hilarious and heart-warming. A nutcracker comes to life in time to help a bakery owner (Melissa Joan Hart) get into the holiday spirit. Check it out if you get a chance. My close second favorite television Christmas movie was A Shoe Addict’s Christmas. As with any Hallmark movie, the cheese factor was pretty high, but I love it.