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Bible Journaling Basics...

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Bible Journaling Basics...

Hi everyone!  Sorry this took me all week to get posted...  This week has been busy with car issues and home repairs.  So fun... I know.  ;)-

So I did a post about Bible Journaling back on January 15th but I've had so many people since then ask me about it I thought I would do an update.  And, since I went to Italy with Shanna Noel, the "OG" Bible Journaling lady, I have some more insight into this art form that might be interesting to you.

If you are new to this, Bible Journaling really has been around for a very long time, just not in the way you see all these pretty bibles on Pinterest.  We know many bible theologians, authors and bible study leaders who have shown us ways to highlight in our bibles.  Or we have underlined or written notes in the margins of our bibles.  We were just cleaning out the garage last week and I found three old bibles of mine!  I opened them to see highlighted passages that spoke to me as a young girl and even hand written notes in the margins that I was so happy to read 30+ years later!  So this is not new... But what IS new is taking this "note taking" or "highlighting" in your bible to a whole new level!

This is how it all started for me... well I think for Shanna too.  If you haven't been to one of her Bible Journaling classes I highly recommend going!  She shared how this page came about and it's a really great testimony.  But when she posted it on Pinterest she really didn't think anyone would notice or think twice about it... Oh how she had it all wrong!  This blew UP.  This was what I first saw on Pinterest and got immediate goosebumps!  I think thousands of people felt the same way!  Especially those of us in the scrapbooking world!  What??  You can actually color in your bible?  And you can put STICKERS in your bible??!  hahaha

At first I think it was a bit shocking for some people.  But for me it was a way to COMBINE my LOVES!  I love color, I love art, I love creating... AND I love the Lord and His Word!  To put them together was a lightbulb moment!  But what I didn't realize would come out of this is a new found PASSION for God's Word.  It's not actually ABOUT the stickers and colors and fun stuff... Oh it's definitely a fun aspect of it... but it wasn't the ultimate GIFT that I have gotten out of this. 

That is the GIFT of a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

So I truly encourage you to start this if you are at all interested.  There is NO right or wrong here.  There is no judgement, no perfection... It is ALL about you and your alone time in His Word and what He speaks to you and wants you to focus on.  I am not an artist in that I have great hand lettering skills or artist abilities and can draw a gorgeous tree or lion like you may see on Pinterest.  Do NOT stop yourself from this expression of faith because you don't know how to draw!  Use stickers, paints, letters, etc... and just go for it!

Here is a picture of some of my favorite items I bible journal with.  And below I have a list of some of the items I have found work best on the thin bible pages.  I give a "Bible Journaling Supply List" at all my classes so this is pretty much off of that list:

Inks:

Ink pads from Illustrated Faith
Pigment based inks like Stayz On work best and don't bleed
India Inks from Faber-Castell
Chalk Inks from Prima or Ranger

Paints:

Water color is my favorite and any cheap water color tray works.
Pebeo Paints.  These are acrylic but when applied you can see through to the pages.
Water color pencils
Faber-Castell Gelatos are one of my FAVS!

Pens & Markers:

Prisma Color Premier Markers
Faber-Castell PITT pens are great
Stabilo Fine Liners and Markers
Copic Pens
Illustrated Faith has a line of pens that work great too
Crayola Twistables actually are great if you want to have just a little color

Sprays:

Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye (very vibrant... use sparingly)

These are just some of the many products you can use.  Added to these items I would say to experiment with:

Stickers of any kind
Lettering - Whether it be by hand or with letter stickers
Stamps - There are thousands to choose from!
Washi Tape - we all LOVE Washi tape, right?
Tabs, paperclips, shaped clips
Flowers, Scrapbook paper, embellishments (get out your old scrapbook stash!)
The sky is the limit of this... so use your imagination!

Here are some TIPS for working in your bible with these products:

I like to PREP my bible pages first before I paint or color in them.  This isn't a necessary step if using some of these products above but I just prefer to do it. It gives you an added protection on the thin bible pages you are working on.  You can use a Gesso or Matte Medium.  These both strengthen the page and give some "tooth" to the page so the inks adhere and stay.  I like to use Art Basics Clear Gesso as it dries fast and smooth. I apply it with an old credit card/room key and just put enough on to cover very lightly over the whole page.  It only takes a few minutes to dry if you have a very thin layer of gesso. 

If I am spraying ink (as in my very first bible page below) I spray the ink from a good distance away and have a few paper towels on hand to blot the ink right after I spray so it doesn't soak in too much or be too dark.  

When using watercolor, (or Gelatos which are water-based) I like to use a blender pen instead of water and paintbrush. That's the water brush you see in the page below.   This is because you can have more control over the amount of water you are using when you use the water pen.  I always have a paper towel when doing this as well because I like to blot my pen on the towel so I can control how much water goes onto the thin bible pages.

I encourage you to look on Pinterest and see what speaks to you.  If you are nervous to start in your journaling bible, start in a art journal.  I have several journaling bibles now and my first one does have mistakes in it.  But I look at it as an art journal that I learned in and I am ok with imperfection.  These are not really the bibles you are taking to church or doing your bible study with.  Some of the pages will be covered, some of the words you won't be able to read.  That is totally OK with me because I have other bibles I will take to church or study in.  These bibles are where I do my WORSHIP and ART in.  And let me tell you... it is life changing!

Some people have asked "How do you start?"  How do you know where to begin?  Do I start in Genesis and work my way through the bible?  Well, the answer really depends on YOU.  

I have found that as I started this journey it has changed along the way.  And it may look different at different times.  Sometimes I have a devotional that speaks to me so much that I want to do a page in my bible on it.  Sometimes I hear a song on the radio that prompts me to look for a verse I could journal in relation to that song.  Or sometimes I am going through something  difficult and I look up verses to help me and that inspires me to make a page.  There are so many ways to be prompted... just go with what the Holy Spirit is putting on your heart.

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This page was inspired by the song by Hillary Scott.  How many times have we heard this scripture and not let it really soak in?  One thing I LOVE about Bible Journaling is that it has helped me remember more bible verses than I ever have before!  And now I find myself thinking about them during the day and repeating in my mind ALL. THE. TIME.  Especially this one because it is where I find I have to remind myself daily to trust the Lord and His will... not my own.

This page I made while in Italy WITH Shanna!  It was such a fun time together.  I had had a prayer running through my head before the retreat and had circled these verses.  I posed about it a few weeks back if you want to hear the whole story...  But this page is BIG for me and I am praying BIG prayers over it still.  The paints we used in class were the ones she brought from Pebeo that she collaborated with them on.  Then she had some fun stencils that I used with a globe stamp and my PRAY BIG stamp I got from one of the ladies that came to my retreat in June.  I love this page and go back to it often.

So as you can see there are SO many things you can use to CREATE in your bible!  To me it is a time of worship and a time with the Lord.  I don't have time to be creating like this every day but it is something that has become a top priority in my life.  I LOVE that it has pushed aside other things in my life that were time wasters and this is now a life saver!

Next week I will be talking about being a LIGHT in this world and how the Lord shines HIS light on the darkness in our own lives.  Kinda a tough one I'm finding out...

Hugs to all of you!  

Have a wonderful weekend!!  I'd love to hear what you use if you have any FAV products you use in your Bible Journaling!  You can leave a comment for all of us so we can see what fun "tools" you like to use as well!

Laura

 

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Why...

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Why...

Don't those three little letters pack a BIG punch?

I remember as a young mom that word was one of the most important words to a 2 year old. It didn't matter if I was driving in the car, in the grocery store, giving the girls a bath or putting them to bed... that question was asked countless times a day and about anything and everything imaginable!  In fact here's a crazy "why" story I will forever remember.

We were in the Cerritos Mall eating lunch in the food court at Chick-fil-A (the only place they had it back 15 years ago).  They had sky lights in the ceiling and it all of a sudden got really dark.  My oldest daughter (6 at the time) asked "Why did it get so dark mommy?"  and before I could answer, my 2 YEAR OLD answered it for me: "Well duh, the sun went behind the clouds!"  WHAT?  We all just looked at her like she was from outer space... A 2 year old KNEW THIS?  I guess I should thank Sesame Street or something for that one b/c I don't remember answering that WHY question!  hahaha

Since then the WHY questions have become much harder to answer though and I think that word still is one of the biggest questions asked, by anyone at any age.  And I can honestly say that I don't know WHY things happen... Why is life so hard?  why do horrible things happen?  Why, you fill in the blank.... 

But I do know with certainty that if I stopped at that one word WHY and stayed there, I wouldn't be living my life.

Yesterday at church I thought a little bit about this. It was Mother's Day.  As a mom who has a beautiful life with three daughters, a great husband I get to go through life with and family and friends who support me... I am honestly SO blessed!  But the pastor started reading an article from Huffington Post about recognizing that Mother's Day isn't always a great holiday for some people.  Not everyone lives the perfect "Hallmark Card" life and there is pain on this day for a lot of people.  Many may not have had the best mom, or any mom.  Some moms have lost children.  For those like me who have suffered the loss of children through miscarriage you think about those kids you didn't get to hug and answer those why questions for.   There are a lot of single moms trying their best to raise kids on their own. Husbands that have abandoned their wives. There's a ton of WHY questions in all of these scenarios... 

You may never have the answers you are looking for to the WHY'S in life, but I do believe there are reasons for our pain, reasons WHY we go through things and reasons why the Lord make take us through the hard times.  

And what I do know is that there is always HOPE!

I believe one of those reasons for the difficult times in our lives is to eventually use our pain to help others.

Hard as it may be I do think that sometimes the reasons why we go through difficult situations as kids or young adults is to find out that our calling is to help others in those same situations.  Don't for a minute think that the struggles you have faced in life are solely yours.  Those same hardships, struggles, pain you've gone through is going on probably in every corner of the globe.  

I think of the verses above in Romans 15:1-7 "But we who are strong ought to bear the weakness of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."  For whatever was written beforehand was written for our instruction, in order that through patient endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.  Now may the God of patient endurance and of encouragement grant you to be in agreement with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that with one mind you may glorify with one mouth the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore accept one another, just as Christ also has accepted you, to the glory of God."

In my bible journaling page above I summarized it like this "Let us build up our neighbor with ENCOURAGEMENT of the Scriptures, that we may ALL have HOPE in Christ."

There is HOPE.  And it's not in some "self help" book at the bookstore.  It's in the Word of God. Just look at the crazy characters God uses in the Bible!  He didn't write the Bible with pretty stories of perfect people.  All through the scriptures He uses messed up, hurting, no good sinners... just like us, to show us He LOVES US ALL, and ultimately wants to USE US ALL.  And WHY?  Those examples are in the Bible for us to learn from.  So that we can see His hand in their lives (and ours) and to show us that He can take even the most horrible situation and turn it around for His glory and our good!    God seeks to restore us and then "send us out" to help others, encourage others and give THEM the HOPE which is in Christ!  

I don't think my job as a parent is to protect my kids FROM the hard times in their lives.  Over the years of sitting on their beds while they are in tears asking the WHY questions, I have asked the Lord to speak through me, help me to comfort them and console them.  But sometimes the words to make it all better just aren't there.  Sometimes the whys just have to be lived.  MAYBE these things are happening in their lives so that they can be used some day.  Both my oldest daughters are feeling lead into the ministry.  I know that isn't going to be an easy road.  I honestly don't like to think that they have to go through difficult times in order to use those times to help others.  I WANT a safe, happy, protected life for them.  I pray every day for their health and safety and for a hedge of protection around them wherever they go.  I WANT that.

But I also have to have FAITH that the Lord will be there for them, in any situation.  That He knows whats best for them and that He IS always faithful.  

And I want YOU to know that truth too.  

Romans 8:18 says" The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that is coming."

So when you ask yourself those WHY questions, do this:

Remember all the places that He has been FAITHFUL in your life.  

Let's give God the control of our WHY's...

I saw this online somewhere and I don't know who wrote it, but it's good:

"If we can trust God with the outcome, lets trust Him with the process."

John 16:33 says "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."

THERE IS HOPE.  

And your calling just might be in the WHY's too...

Look at the cute coffee mug Rebecca got me for Mother's Day!  Had to put it to use today!  And the little succulent was from our church yesterday.  Had to share it's cuteness too...  :)

Have a GREAT day everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

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Bible Appreciation Month

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Bible Appreciation Month

This seems kind of funny to me, but I heard on the radio last week that it is "Bible Appreciation Month".  So even though I think we should appreciate it every DAY, I thought I would play along and do a blog post on Bible Journaling.

As a side note: I did a blog post about a month or so ago called "Let me tell you about Bible Journaling" and I would definitely go check that out if you want detailed information on the how and what about "coloring" in your bible.  I give lots of information on my favorite products and some techniques that are important steps in the process...

But for today I wanted to spend time talking about my "new found" love for God's Word.

First a little background on me:  I was raised in a Christian home, loved the Lord from a very early age, grew up in the church and married a man who also loves the Lord.  I never had a "rebellious stage" in my life, have always tried to do the right thing, read my little devotional each day and trust me, I AM so grateful for all of this!  I say all this not to show off a life that's all rosy and perfect.  I say this because I think I was living the "typical christian life"...

And that's SO safe.

Safe is fine, nothings wrong with safe... but safe isn't GREAT.  And I'm not so sure that safe is where the Lord wants us??

I'd say about 4 years ago the Lord started moving me out of the "safe zone" and there were a few things that made me see He was stepping me out in faith and going to "move me and use me." lol

First was my stepping out in big time FAITH when I started my Creative Retreats in Italy.  That was a huge leap of faith and one that did not come easy.  As most of you know that come here to my website, I LOVE what I do and it's a total DREAM JOB!  The Lord opened the doors for me to do these retreats in beautiful Italy and bring all of YOU to a place I love!  That wasn't a "safe" decision for me to make and I have seen the Lord working in ways I never imagined because of it!  (that's for another blog post some day...) But I will say that what I "thought" was MY dream was really the LORD'S WILL and He started showing me daily what HE wants me to do, the minute I was OPEN to doing His will... (BIG leason learned)

Another thing I remember moving me out of the "safe" zone was coming across the following video.  I think I probably saw it on Facebook a few times before I clicked on it.  I still remember watching it through and being so totally blown away by this guy and what he was saying.  It was such TRUTH.  It was "OUT THERE" and yet it was needed to stir things up for people.  Take a minute to watch it.

Jefferson Bethke

Jesus > Religion

What a way to put it! Jesus is SO MUCH GREATER! A RELATIONSHIP is so much GREATER then Religion.

I bought his book, then bought more of them and gave them away.  I encourage you to read his book or go to his website and check out more of his videos.  

The last thing that I feel lead me closer in my walk with the Lord happened close to two years ago.  I was on Pinterest of all places. (lol, the mom hang out online :)  Just scrolling through and out of the blue I saw something that

BLOWS MY MIND, again...

(I really don't say that all the time  :)

Somebody had taken PAINT and SCRAPBOOKING SUPPLIES and used them in their BIBLE!  What?  I was floored!  Because my heart instantly new that I was created to do that too! I had been scrapbooking for the last 18 or so years, involved in the industry and on many different design teams over the years.  My Creative Retreats are based on creating scrapbooking and mixed media art!  And here I was looking at two things that I LOVE deeply, (the Lord and Art) and this person COMBINED THEM!!  My heart was exploding! <3

I tell you that day I searched for hours for more information on this, I found that this woman had started a FB page called "Journaling Bible Community" and there were about 200 people in the group at the time.  I asked to join and never looked back! I talked to this woman and told her how it jumped out at me.  Now it has grown to a world wide explosion and Shanna Noel, who started it has seen what the Lord can do through such a simple act of stepping out and doing something your heart(i.e. God) is telling you to do.  Shanna is actually TEACHING with me this September at my Art & Faith Creative Retreat and I am so beyond excited and blessed to spend this time with her and all the ladies getting deeper in His Word!

All of these things have drawn me closer to the Lord, to delve into His Word deeper, to let it spill forth in my life each day and get me out of the "safe zone" I was in. I think of this verse in Psalm 27:4 that says:

"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple."

I want to DWELL in the house of the Lord...  I want to meditate daily on His Word...  I want it to CONSUME my life!

That is what the Lord is calling each of us to.  To be in His Word daily.  To have it on our lips, to be ready with an answer, to SHARE His love with others...

For Bible Appreciation Month I want you to please pray about what God's Word means to you.  You don't have to get out your paint and stickers and put them in your bible if you don't want to.  But get a prayer journal, or sign up for a online devotional bible study through Our Daily Bread or She Reads Truth.  Or read Jeff's book that I mentioned above. Open God's Word and ask the Lord to show you His will for your life.  Start in Psalms, it's full of beautiful praise to the Lord.

My word for the year (Ali Edwards started #onelittleword years back) is DWELL.

My prayer for all of us is that we would DWELL in God's Holy Bible and gain life from it.  Learn from it and share His message of LOVE to a world that so desperately needs it!

Here's a few Bible Journaling Pages I did recently that may inspire you to find your passion in His Word like I have.  

I found this quote on Pinterest that Toby Mac got from Paulo Coelho and I knew I had to do a page on it.  As Christ followers, we are an example to the world... good or bad.  Let's do our best to be the example Christ wants us to be, to share His love and kindness to the world.

I did this page a few weeks ago when someone I love was having a hard time.  That's another reason I love bible journaling.  When I'm struggling with something or someone I love is, I can turn to the bible and find a verse that helps to remind us that the Lord knows.  He's always there and He is always FAITHFUL.

This old hymn has new life in my bible and in my heart!  How great is it that we serve a God that forgives us,  who heals us and who redeems us!

This bible journaling page I did last night and this morning.  I love Rifle Paper Company and took inspiration from one of their cards that I bought.  Life IS so beautiful when you realize that God is Love!  That He wants us to know that love and then give that love to others.  To give HOPE and LIFE to this world. Here's what the passage in 1 John says:

1 John 4:7-12 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

The bible is a living, breathing book of life and it is because God loves us SO much that He gave us His Word and His Son.  Take a look at it again with new eyes and be BLESSED this Easter Weekend as we celebrate what Jesus did on that cross for our sins to be NO MORE!  

Hugs to all,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Friday. Scratch that... TGIF!

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Happy Friday. Scratch that... TGIF!

Ever feel like you are SO done with the week and you can not wait for it to be O.V.E.R.???  Are you nodding your head, "Yes Laura"... every week!!  lol

That was this week x10!  This week has been such a week full of emotions, tears, ups and downs and all arounds, that I am sooooo ready for the weekend to be as calm and relaxing as possible. 

Maybe it's just the life of a middle-aged mom (hormones gone wild...lol) But I am telling you that life has been throwing me some major curve balls and I'm not doing the best with them.  I'm not going to lie, I've been a mess this week.  Through all the tears, the talks with friends, the devotionals I've read, the prayer time I've had, I've had to tell myself  "Nope, you're not going there"... and yet I still do!  I don't think I'm the only one with this problem either.  Why is it that when we are overwhelmed with too many things at once, I think we have a tendency to dwell on the negatives and keep thinking about them over and over in our minds.  I really think that's a tactic of the enemy.  The enemy wants us to DWELL on our problems instead of DWELLING on God's Word...

Lightbulb moment!

My word for the year... my #onelittleword is tripping me up!  The word I chose to focus on this year (DWELL) is the one thing I'm struggling with!  Oh my stars, how ironic is that? I'm seriously just realizing that as I'm typing this post.

Psalm 91: 1-2 "He who DWELLS in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."

I made this page LAST week! Coincidence?  I don't think so...  See where I wrote on the bottom of the page "Don't dwell on your problems?" and I even put a big "REMEMBER THIS" in the middle of the page!  Oh dear...I am so stupid some times.  

There are two things I'm figuring out this week and I mean JUST figuring out as I write this...

The first is this:  No matter what we are dealing with, no matter what we "dwell on" (even the crappy stuff we shouldn't be dwelling on) there is one constant.

The Lord remains.

He is always there.  He is the One constant in our lives.  He is waiting for us. 

2 Timothy 2:13 "If we are faithless, He remains FAITHFUL; He cannot deny Himself"

We get all worked up, we get all emotional like a chicken running around with it's head cut off. (sorry, that's gross) But seriously... We are running every which way.  Oh, I'll do a little of this and I'll try a little of that and maybe this will calm me down... And the one thing we need to do is STOP the madness.  We need to "Be STILL".  He is waiting for us to drop all of this "stuff" at His feet and just trust in His faithfulness.  He doesn't change! His faithfulness remains. 

The second thing I have come to realize is this:

It's all about God's LOVE.

Yes that's a simple answer, but yet so profound that we don't quite grasp it. 

He is waiting for us to come and DWELL in His love and like Ephesians 3 says: 

 "to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Just had to stop and make this while the thoughts were flowing...

His love IS amazing!  He cares for us SO much and He is FAITHFUL to love us, to surround us with his love and to change US by that love.  So that we can see that life is NOT about dwelling on our problems or the "wrongs" of the world... It's about taking that LOVE that the Lord is faithful to give us and in turn go give that love to others.  To give GRACE to others.

I posted this on my @awelldocumentedlife IG account a few days ago.  (This is the IG account I am posting all my Bible Journaling pages on, if you want to follow along)

Here's what I wrote:

"I'll be honest with you... I'm finding this one difficult today.  Was actually looking through my bible for some words to give me peace today and this jumped out at me.  Guess that's why this journey of Bible Journaling is so much more then painting pretty stuff in our bibles, right?  I'm glad it's a way to draw me closer to right where I need to be... Ephesians 4 talks about how we are all given GRACE by Christ, so then we should also give grace and forgive others.  I guess I need to work on that today."

Yes, sometimes the Lord needs to push us to where we need to be. One little nudge at a time...

So my prayer is for all of us to take the time to BE STILL and DWELL in the Lords love for us.  We are all SO blessed and SO loved by a God that keeps giving us Grace upon Grace.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

P.S.  This month is "Bible Appreciation Month" (kind of funny to me that it's one month...) But I thought next week I would post more about this Bible Journaling art form that I have fallen so much in LOVE with!   Also, I will be sharing a little "secret" I've been keeping that I am SO excited about and will be doing a blog post of AMAZING photos my friend Cathy Walters took at the last Art & Faith Creative Retreat last July in Italy!  I'm so excited to share these beautiful photos and update you on the June & September retreats... You are still welcome to join us this June & September if you are still thinking about it.  I can get more apartments if I need to and I've always said that if the Lord is calling you to join us, then He will make the way for YOU to be there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative Retreat Update...

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Creative Retreat Update...

Hi ladies!

I wanted to do a blog post to update everyone on this years Creative Retreats.  I've made some big changes to the classes and retreat in June and thought I'd share what we are doing this summer with all of you!  


These are all changes that we have prayerfully considered and everyone feels a total peace about going forward.  I've talked with everyone involved and we are so excited to share what we are offering and I hope you will be too!

As most of you know, last year was my first Art & Faith Creative Retreat. I've hosted many Creative Retreats in Italy (and France) but this last June was my first where  we said "Art & Faith Collided"...  It was such an AWE INSPIRING week that it's hard to even explain how great it was!  I remember during that week telling some of the ladies "This is all I want to do from now on..."

 

To have a week that like minded women can come together and have a safe place to just talk and share about their lives and feel connected... and to feel pampered in one of the most beautiful places in Italy. It's incredible, and I want that for EVERYONE!  I want my Creative Retreats to be more then just a week in a beautiful place,  making beautiful things.  I want you to be changed.  I want everyone to grow and to learn, I want you to have your hearts filled up, I want you to see that you just made lifelong friends with the other ladies in this amazing location... and most of all, I want you to feel SO BLESSED.

So going forward this year I really felt the Lord putting in on my heart to bring this to the June Creative Retreat.  I know June was supposed to be just a "Planner Girl" week...  and that would have been fine.  But I feel like after last years Art & Faith retreat I should have kept with what I said and felt in my heart.  

So I am.

Sometimes you just have to listen to that small voice nudging you... (well you should probably always listen... hahaha)

With that being said... Now for the week of June 25 - July 2nd I am SO excited to tell you about the classes that Cori Spieker (of The Reset Girl) is teaching!  You can click on the SIGN UP button at the top of the website and click on TEACHERS & CLASSES to see an in depth description, but I wanted to give you some highlights here...

As you know if you follow Cori, she is a believer and has had a BIG "RESET" in her life and it's a big part of her business.  I wanted her to really share that with the ladies coming and help all of us with evaluating our lives and where we are.  That's ALWAYS a good thing!  So I am THRILLED that she is bringing this part of her to her classes and sharing it with us during our week together. Here's just a sample of 2 of the 3 classes she will be teaching:

Planning with Purpose: Are you ready to Reset Your Life? This amazing workshop is your first step towards your incredible transformation. First, you will learn what it means to build a foundation for resetting your life by first learning how to build a healthy relationship with yourself, learn how to truly understand yourself, and begin to show yourself love and kindness. Then, you will explore how to encourage yourself through setting strong goals. You will end the class with building a customized planner to help achieve your complete life reset.

The Faithful Planner Girl Workshop: Are you ready to take a walk deeper in your Christian faith? Take this faith-building course and learn to set up a custom planner for bible study, journaling, faith & vision building, affirmations, and note taking. You will create dividers and tabs TRG style. Inspiration will be provided to you for building a planner and developing a vision for your spiritual walk. 

Cori will share examples of bible journaling in a planner for those who don’t wish to use the bible for their art as well as numerous ways to use the scripture cards provided. Be encouraged to journal, create, and be all you can be, while listening to worship music, enjoying refreshments, and being uplifted.  Cori will share some of her testimony and the many stumbles on her own walk along with the many triumphs. Leave this class with a deeper understanding of your personal faith journey as well as a creative way to document your individual faith. 

Don't these sound like AMAZING classes to be a part of?!  I will also be teaching and sharing with you my life story and how I started this DREAM JOB and also how I got into Bible Journaling a couple years ago.  Throughout the week we will have time for getting deeper into the word through devotional time and bible journaling.  I will also be teaching a Travel Journal class at the beginning of the week that you will be able to keep your thoughts in throughout our time together, as well as your travel ephemera and photos.  And for those interested in watercolor art, there are two wonderful local teachers that teach painting classes and I would love to offer a class in watercolor as well if enough students are interested~

 

Sounds exciting, right?

I hope you will consider joining us for this week.  Oh... another BIG change is the PRICE for the weeklong event!  I've lowered the price for this week since it will be just Cori and myself teaching and accommodations are 3 to an apartment now.  (If you want private accommodations or 2 to a room, that is still available... just email me for pricing on that)  I just know with past experience that the ladies have had such a great time and the apartments are plenty big enough for 3 ladies so why not offer a better price break for that.  My heart has always been for the people who are feeling lead to come, to be able to come!  My pray is ALWAYS that the Lord would bring those who need to be there.  Even when I didn't have the space for anyone else and was "sold out" I knew that if there was someone who needed to be there, there would be room for them.  And there always is!  That's what's so awesome when you give it to the Lord and ask Him to show you what He wants things to look like.  Then you know for sure you are doing what is right and you are right where you need to be.

Well, I know it's a lot to "change up"  but I know it's the right decision and the direction I feel the Lord was leading me.  I hope you will consider joining Cori and I for this week filled with lots of FUN and PURPOSE. 

 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or need help planning your trip with us!

Have a GREAT day everyone, and I can't WAIT to meet you... in ITALY this summer!

Hugs to all,

Laura



 

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Let me tell you about Bible Journaling...

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Let me tell you about Bible Journaling...

I think it's been about two years since the day I discovered Bible Journaling.  I remember it completely... I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a picture of a bible that had PAINT and STICKERS and FLOWERS on it!  I couldn't believe what I was seeing?!  I had never, ever, ever considered that you could do that IN. YOUR. BIBLE! (Shocked emoji inserted here)

But it instantly touched my heart in such a way that I got "goosies"  (ya know... goosebumps) I just knew it was something I wanted to find out more about and start doing!  So I researched a little bit more on Pinterest and found Shanna Noel's Blog.  I was SO excited to see what she was doing.  I mean it was taking two of my FAVORITE things and combining them!  

So I went and bought a journaling bible (an Black ESV from Crossway) and I also joined the Facebook group that Shanna started called "Journaling Bible Community" when it was I think around 200 people in the group.  It has now grown to thousands and thousands... You should join if you are at all interested in this.

It took me a bit to get started and actually PAINT in my bible...  I know you may be thinking the same thing?  Am I doing something BAD to my bible?  Am I going to mess up my bible if I make a mistake and cover a word?  I've had all those feelings and quite frankly, I'm over all of that. lol   I say that to you because I believe 100% that this IS a type of DEVOTION to His Word.  That what we are doing by spending time in our bibles, by focusing on scripture and thinking on His Word is right where he wants us.  He wants us to be IN His Word, to daily meditate on His Word and to LIVE in His word.  If living to you means being CREATIVE.... then BE CREATIVE in your bible!  We were CREATED by a CREATOR and I know He loves when we use our gifts and abilities for Him.  Are we going to make mistakes, maybe cover up words or smudge some paint... Yes.  Is this the only bible we have?  Probably not.  I use this bible specifically for my time of worshiping the Lord with my artwork.  Sometimes I can't see every word of scripture... but I know that if I want to see a bible verse I may have covered up partially I can go to my other bible that I take to church with me and read it in that one.  So this is a bible for my expression and notes and journaling.  

 

There's a great book out by Lisa Nichols Hickman that's called "Writing in the Margins" and I highly recommend it.  It talks about how the margins in our bibles are FOR us to draw closer to His word and how over history there have been so many well known bible scholars who have worn bibles with notes and sketches in them.  I love this saying:  "A bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."  I don't know you said that but If you think about that, it makes so much sense.  When we live our lives daily in the Word of God our lives are controlled by His love, His joy and His peace.  How can you go wrong there?

So here's what my very first journaling page looks like:

FullSizeRender4.jpg

 

I thought for a while on what I wanted my first page to be about.  What did this new journey I was embarking on look like to me?  Well, I knew that it was going to be something exciting, I knew it was something I was going to talk about and blog about and I knew it was going to shed a light on something new, yet old...  drawing closer to the Lord through His bible.  I wanted this journey to not only be for me, but for it be to a "light to the world" for them to see Jesus through it.  That was my prayer then and still is.  I pray that this creative form of worship and devotion ignites something in YOU to go to your bible and take another look at it.  It's the only book that when you read it, the Author is there WITH YOU.  He want's to have a RELATIONSHIP with YOU.  It's not a "religion" it's not just a "good book"  It's the Word of God speaking to each one of you... because He has a heart for YOU and wants to show you how much He LOVES YOU.

I've done many, many pages in this bible and now have even bought two other journaling bibles that I use.  One is a small travel size bible that I LOVE to take on trips.  It's only the New Testament but for traveling and journaling in it, it works.  Here's a page I did in the travel size bible while I was in Bora Bora this last September:

Each right sided page is blank and I love that!  I think there are now full sized bibles that do this.  There is also a brand new bible coming out that has drawings already in the bible for you to color in!  For those who feel intimidated by this, that would be a perfect start for you.

For those who are interested in this and would like to know how to start, I thought I would share some of my tips and supplies that I like to use.  There is SO much out there and I've searched far and wide through a lot of it.  I suggest doing the same and getting an idea for what people are using and then try everything out.  See what works best for you.  I've made some mistakes and have "bleed through" in my bible... but that's part of the process.  You will find out what you like to use and want you don't like.  I love to use watercolor and I like to use letter stickers in different colors.  I use lots of pens and paints and I've even used spray ink!  But here is a run down of some of the products that I've used and what works for me.  The picture below is just some of the simple supplies I use when I want to use stickers and washi tape.  I don't get super detailed on every page. If you want to be more creative and use the inks and paints, then the list below will help you with that.

I give a "Bible Journaling Supply List" at all my classes so this is pretty much off of that list:

Inks:

Pimento based inks like Stayz On work best and don't bleed

India Inks from Faber-Castell

Chalk Inks from Prima or Ranger

Paints:

Water color is my favorite and any cheap water color tray works.

Water color pencils are great too!  You can color with them and draw and then come back with a water pen and blend.  love that! <3

Pens & Markers:

Prisma Color Premier Markers 

Project Life Journaling Pens

Faber-Castell PITT pens are great

Stabilo Fine Liners and Markers

Crayons & Pencils:

Crayola Twistables actually are great!

Faber-Castell Gelatos are one of my FAVS  

Sprays:

Studio Calico Spray Ink

Heidi Swapp Color Shine

Sei Tumble Dye (very vibrant... use sparingly)

These are some of the many products you can use.  Here are some TIPS for working in your bible with these products:

I like to PREP my bible pages first before I paint or color in them.  This isn't a necessary step if using some of these products above but I just prefer to do it.  You can use a Gesso or Matte Medium.  These both strengthen the page and give some "tooth" to the page so the inks adhere and stay.  I don't like the feel of Gesso on my pages though because it has a "grit" to it.  So I have pretty much stayed with applying a very light layer of Matte Medium to my pages.  I use a tiny amount of it and spread it on the page with an old credit card to get a very thin layer.

If I am spraying ink (as in my very first bible page) I spray the ink from a good distance away and have a few paper towels on hand to blot the ink right after I spray so it doesn't soak in too much or be too dark.  

When using watercolor, I like to use a blender pen instead of water and paintbrush.  This is because you can have more control over the amount of water you are using when you use the water pen.  I always have a paper towel when doing this as well because I like to blot my pen on the towel so I can control how much water goes onto the thin bible pages.

Just like the page above says... I want you to find who YOU are meant to be.  Who God CREATED You to be.  There is a purpose and a plan for each person and starting in His Word is where you will find that purpose.  This journey of drawing closer to His Word and studying His word and then being CREATIVE in it has changed me.  I had dreams I was following, but it wasn't until I gave the Lord the REIGNS of those dreams that I saw how AMAZING HIS dreams are.  WAY more then I could have dreamt up! 

There is a song that always makes me cry... well actually two.  But the one I'm thinking about is "How Great Thou Art" and it's  an old hymn that I sang as a kid.  But now as an adult I understand the depth of the song.  It was written in the 1880's and popularized in America through the Billy Graham Crusades.  The words are so powerful and let you see what WONDER God has created!  It's mind blowing that the GOD of the whole entire universe cares about each and every one of us.  He cares enough to listen to each of our prayers however many times a day we come to Him, He shows up when we are reading His Word and speaks to us and just loves us SO much.  It's incredible.  That's what inspired the page at the top of this blog post.  How GREAT is the Lord and worthy to be PRAISED!  <3

Carrie Underwood sang this song at a awards show a while back.  Take a listen and tell me you didn't cry... hahaha

I hope that blessed you today!  If you're interested in more about bible journaling, feel free to send me an email.  I'm going to be teaching more about this art form at my Creative Retreats this year in Italy and would love to teach locally as well.

AND... if you want to join me in Italy this year, Shanna Noel is going to be one of the teachers!!  To say I am excited about this is an understatement!!  To have the person who INSPIRED me to start on this journey TEACH with Junelle Jacobsen and myself in my favorite place is beyond exciting!  It is going to be an AMAZING week together in Italy using our CREATIVE GIFTS and sharing in our FAITH with everyone!  So I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us!  There are a few spots left and just like last year I have prayed that whoever is being called to come will be able to!  If the Lord is putting it on YOUR heart to join us, then I will find a way to make that happen, even if the spots get filled up (like last year).  So send me a message under the "contacts" page and let me know if you are thinking about it...

 

And if you want, you can also find me on Instagram at "akissonthechic" and for my retreats it's "creativeretreats"  My Facebook Page is "Akissonthechic's Creative Retreats & Classes" and I just joined Periscope too!!  You can find me there doing video's very soon as "akissonthechic"

Have a GREAT day!
 

Hugs to all,

Laura

P.S.  The other song that makes me cry is Oceans by Hillsong United... but I'll leave that for another day  :)

 

 

 

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Hi everyone!

We are 20 days into 2015 and I don't know about you guys but I'm kinda falling short of some things I wanted to focus on the year...

Some of those things I talked about in my "one little word" post and some things that I didn't talk about but have been pressed down by for a while.

I'm going to be honest with you, I just don't have time for everything.  You probably don't either. At least I think I'm not the only one...  But boy don't we think when the New Year comes around we are GOING TO!  lol  

We have been remodeling our house and are STILL in the process of a complete make-over on the backyard.  We started this process last March.  I was REALLY hoping that we would be done by now.  But not so.  Tomorrow starts another big project; organizer closets in every bedroom!  It's very much needed as the builder of this home seriously didn't think people would have STUFF to put away.  But it's a HUGE undertaking and I just am tired of all of it.  I wanted to be focused on other things this year and there's still SO much to be done on the house.

Other things are still lingering too...  My health issues are not resolved yet and I know a surgery of some type is coming up soon.  I also know that there are a ton of little projects that need to be finished before we can call this remodel DONE.

But I say all this to let you know that even when we get down and are bummed about what we DIDN'T accomplish or didn't have time for... it's OK.  I try to take a minute and just step out of my thoughts and think LONG TERM.  Will all this be a big deal 2 years from now?  Will I look back and really care if the closest or the remodel got done in January of 2015 of June of 2016? Does is matter 5 years from now when my surgery was or is it just important to take care of our selves and do what needs to be done regardless of the timing...  We ARE making progress on things, and even though it's slow I know one day we will get to enjoy the benefits of the beautiful back yard we are creating and we will be happy when we have actual SPACE in our closets for the stuff we have and I will be back to walking and being healthy again.  So I need to remind myself these things and just BREATHE...  

Do you need to "just breathe" too?

Ok, here's my Health Tip of the day:

Go ahead... I'll wait for you.  Breathe in for 7 counts, hold for 7 counts, and breathe out for 7 counts.  (At least that's what Dr. Weil's says to do)  I actually do this breathing exercise at night in bed a lot and it really does help! I do it about 10 times and it just calms me down any time of the day. 

But I also have found that another thing that helps me is my bible journaling.  I don't have a lot of time for it, but when I am in the WORD, it helps me focus on what really matters.  Journaling in my bible is such an AMAZING new thing for me and I really can't say enough about it.  I love the Word of God and I love being creative.  Being able to blend these two things together brings me so much JOY.  Honestly, I really wasn't reading my bible every day before this.  I was doing a devotional a few times a week but if I'm being honest I just wasted focused on reading the word of God and having it be a daily part of my life.  I am so THANKFUL that I found this new way to connect with the Lord and use the talents HE gave me to draw close to Him and be IN THE WORD.  It's such a huge blessing and I really encourage everyone to give it a try!   I can't WAIT to share this with all the ladies at my Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy this Summer.  It's going to be a part of our day each morning after breakfast and I'm so excited to see what comes from this... So here is a page I just did when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed the other day:

Luke 12:22 - 31  

Do Not Be Anxious

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[b] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his[c] kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

I wrote "You are SO valuable" because if he loves and cares for those little birds every day, how much more does he LOVE us, and care for us and TAKES CARE of all our "stuff"...  So needed to hear this.  Now I can "just breathe"

I hope this blesses you as much as it did me. 

You can find more information on bible journaling on Pinterest (my Pinterest link is at the bottom of this website if you want to see my pages) and you can also join the "Journaling Bible Community" FB page to learn more and get started with this great little community.

Have a GREAT Tuesday everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

 

P.S.  There are just a few spots left for my Art & Faith Creative Retreat this summer.  If you are at all thinking about joining us, send me an email soon.  I have one apartment left but I can try to get another or a hotel room next door.  I don't want to have to say no to anyone who feels lead to come to this because I know the Lord is going to work in the lives of these ladies and I can't WAIT to see what happens!  And I know Stephanie Ackerman and Jeanne Oliver are SO excited about it too!  Just today we were all talking about it (and booking flights) and it's going to be SO FUN!

 

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Guest Blogger today!

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Guest Blogger today!

Hello and Happy Monday!

I am so honored to be a guest blogger today on Shanna Noel's Illustrated Faith blog!  If you don't know who she is let me tell you a little bit about her...

Shanna is an amazing lady with a heart for the Lord and His word!  She started the "Journaling Bible Community" on Facebook and I encourage you to go check it out.  It's a wonderful community of believers who have taken writing/journaling in your bible to a whole new level.  To back track a little…  I started noticing this kind of "art" on Pinterest at the beginning of this year.  I was just IN LOVE with it the minute I saw this…  In fact here is the first photo of what I saw on Pinterest:

 

It just got my attention like nothing has in a long time!  I knew the minute I saw this I wanted to find out more and start doing this as well!  So I did a little more digging and found this whole new world of bible journaling!  I found the community on FB that Shanna started and I instantly wanted to be a part of it.  I joined when there were around 200+ people in the group and now I think it is well over 5,000 in our group on FB!  It has really taken off and opened up so many doors for people to draw closer to the word AND use their God given talents at the same time.

So about a month ago Shanna asked me if I would guest blog for her and I was SO blown away by that.  I haven't really done as much bible journaling as I would like to because of my busy life and health issues I've been dealing with.  But I said YES immediately and prayed that I would know what to talk about and share from my bible.

I really felt like I wanted to share about how I came to find out about this creative expression in our bibles and wanted to share what my plans are for this in the future...

So please check out her blog and let me know what you think!  We would LOVE for you to join us on this journey of falling back in love with the WORD and sharing our thoughts, prayers, devotions and anything else that comes to our heart… IN our bibles!

Here are some of the pages in my bible that I've created.  You can find MANY more pages and SO much inspiration on the Pinterest Board called Illustrated Faith

There are SO many different levels of bible journaling and it really doesn't matter what your style is. It's not about showing others how talented you are or what you can do artistically, but it needs to be something that comes from your heart and whatever that expression is will be perfect in the eyes of the Lord.  I will share a few tips on how to paint on the thin bible paper, what kind of bibles works best for this and will list some of the products I like to use later on this week...

Have a GREAT Monday everyone!  I will be back on here tomorrow sharing my Love, Tuesday this week and it will be about this amazing weekend my hubby and I just had in Los Angeles...

Laura

 

 

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