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!
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.
I am going to be posting some more Bible Journaling soon, but I want to share a couple of resources that I really like. I am not affiliated with these resources in any way, but I do listen to them regularly. By the way, be sure to enter my Tori Kelly CD giveaway between now and Sept. 12.
I listen to this as a weekly podcast while I’m walking or driving, and it is very good. You can also watch the episodes online. Andy Stanley shares God-given wisdom for living. I have had a lot of “ah-ha” moments listening to him. He knows what it means to share God’s truth in a loving way.
This is a wonderful resource for Bible Journaling tutorials, challenges, and studies. Before I had ever even heard of Bible Journaling, Amanda posted a Journaling Bible giveaway online. She was just getting her website started. I entered and won a Journaling Bible. When I opened it, it was so pretty that I felt nervous about making art in it. The Bible I won from Amanda is the same Bible that I journal in for the site that you are reading right now. I don’t know Amanda personally, but I am glad I won that giveaway about two years ago!
The Simple podcast is thought-provoking. It challenges you to go beyond the mainstream. This is a podcast for anyone, Christian or not, who wants to live with more purpose and simplicity. Even though it is not a religion-based podcast, I think it appeals to many Christians who realize that we must go beyond the consumer mindset to live authentically in this life. This is a podcast for intelligent people who see through the status quo. It also gives a global perspective, which I enjoy.
This is a Christian podcast that I’ve found to be very encouraging when I’m walking, driving, or even cleaning the house. God’s truth is presented in a way that is powerful, insightful, and very approachable.
If you’re building a Spotify playlist of worship music, remember some Mandisa! I love her music and her testimony.
I encourage you to upgrade your week by checking out one of the resources I mentioned. All of the podcasts are on Stitcher and other podcast apps. The Andy Stanley broadcasts are also available as videos on his site, and Amanda is active on YouTube and Instagram. These free resources for life and faith will uplift and challenge you, I promise.