Bible Journaling Journey

For this week, I watched and waited for the UPS man to deliver my gel pens! I have not been so excited for a box in a long time. When they arrived, I was anxious to get home to all 150 of them. I even joked around with my co-worker saying I had to go home early. (maybe I was joking)

I couldn’t believe the colors and the variety! There are glitter, metallic, neon, glitter neon, regular and swirl pens. So far I have used about half of them. They glide so smoothly on the pages and the glitter is really nice- not too gaudy. I really like them a lot. They were good with a snack after work.

 

 

 

I chose a couple different places to study this week, but mostly I will be parking myself in the Old Testament for a while.

The current page is from the New Testament, and it is when the angel appeared to Mary to reveal to her all which was about to happen.  The theme when I read this is the amount of fear she must have had.  I cannot imagine sitting alone, minding my own business and WHAM an angel appears!

It must have been bright and probably loud I would imagine? I can only picture angels appearing as I have been led to believe on television. I wish I could start over and imagine it on my own.

I did have this conversation with my oldest granddaughter, who is 5 and wise beyond her years (like a six-year-old, I promise) She decided an angel looks like a bright light, with feathers and glitter. She also said it would be huge and expressed this with wide eyes and spread arms. She said an angel wouldn’t be a man or a woman, just an angel, and it would be so beautiful it would hurt to look at it.  This is why real life is way better than fiction- only a five-year-old could come up with such a description.

(The same five-year-old was afraid to go to the kitchen shortly after this conversation because of a “weird scary light”. Turns out it wasn’t an angel like she wanted but it was the refrigerator door left open. 😊)

We decided to talk about the story of Mary and her angel a bit longer, then I got out the Bible and read the actual scripture to her.

Luke 1:26-36 (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of The Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of The Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.

The best part of this story is when the angel says “Do not be afraid.” I have read this scripture many times, and I always stop there. It jumps out at me, “Do not be afraid.” I can continue reading but I always come back to this one part. I think it speaks to my fears on many levels.

Fear grips me, holds me back. It tells me I am not in control, and it is then I must remind myself who is.

I hope you enjoy this page.

        

On this page, I used a traceable from the book The Art of Bible Journaling. I have never used a traceable before, so this was a new experience for me. Also using those gel pens for the first time. I really like the result. Hopefully, I will get better with more practice.

Join me next time for a new page.

 

XOXO, Angie

 

The Most Important Words

The choice to live on a farm in the middle of a cornfield seemed overwhelming at first. I was worried about my children being “separated” from the small-town life they were accustomed to. There weren’t any sidewalks for bike riding. There was no park to walk to. There were no friends next door. In hindsight, it was the best decision we ever made. Hands down, moving out to a quiet place where the wind blows freely, and the sky is so dark at night you can see the stars has been a pure blessing. My heart is so full of the sense of “home”.

Yet this isn’t my home, is it?

My home is far from here. It is a place which is indescribable by man. There were various attempts in scripture to describe what awaits us in heaven.  I think those attempts are not complete. The sheer amazement must have been overwhelming to the writers describing such a place. The overwhelming peace, joy, and content, unlike anything we have ever known. The sheer magnificence of it all must have rendered them speechless. Don’t even get me started on the way it must look, let alone the way it must feel.

How do you put into words something you can’t even get your own mind around?

I make feeble attempts to describe the love I have for my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and my Savior. I try to describe the moments of joy, grief, love and heartache, but do I really capture the soulful etching which takes place? I make a valid attempt. As noble as it seems to share things with my readers, I am not sure how much of it they can relate to or how well I am able to convey the message on my heart. It makes me think of others who have written for a greater purpose than I. 

I wonder sometimes if the authors of scripture worried about conveying the message of God correctly.

I wonder if they worried about context, pronouns and correct verbiage to build a platform for Christ.

I wonder if my words touch anyone- I wonder if they felt the same.

I wonder if they knew the impact their words would have.

I picture them, sitting at a giant stone workspace or on a floor, writing on papyrus and recording everything, their pens unable to keep up with their brains and all they have experienced.

I picture Paul writing those hard letters to Corinth, telling them what they were doing wrong and how to fix it. Was he confident? Was he worried they would think he was “just another man”? Would they believe his words were literally from the God of the universe?

I picture Luke, recording his experiences with Jesus, wanting to get it accurate. I can envision him sitting down to record a timeline of events. He couldn’t possibly have understood the meaning or implications of most of them.

I picture John seeing the things he had revealed to him, writing Revelation for us. I imagine his wonder at what he was shown and asked to record. I wonder if he understood the possibility of it all.

I wonder a lot of things about words. One thing I have learned, God’s words ring true- every single time.

There has never been a time in my life when the scripture didn’t tell me exactly what I needed to hear, or sometimes didn’t want to listen to. There are times when people and their words disappoint fully. There are times when I am so stunned, tired or spiritually broken, I don’t have any words at all.

I return to scripture, where the words ring true. I return to the words penned through men by God. These are the words I can depend on. These are the words I can live by and turn to. They are never inaccurate, they are never impossible.

These words make promises and keep them. They are a beautiful story of life from the very beginning of time; a love letter written for all the world. All we need to do is read and understand them. Accept and cherish them, and pass them on to others we love.

XOXO

Angie

Bible Journaling Journey: And So It Begins

This week for my first **official** Bible Journaling post, I decided to inventory my goods. Basically, I need to purchase a few things so I don’t ruin my pages with the wrong type of permanent marker or pen. The pages of my Bible are created for journaling, but if you are using a Bible you already own you may have to treat the pages to prevent tearing or bleed through. Even the softest colored pencils can tear a page, especially if you work like I do and get super excited.

I already own water pens for using with watercolor pencils (one of my favorite mediums ever)

I have Crayola crayons, soft colored pencils, and washable markers. I would like a nice set of Gel pens and a nice set of fine-tipped Bible Journaling pens. I have watercolor paints, brushes and plenty of paper towels. I also think some of the fun stuff like washi tape and glitter pens may be in my future. I have a few rolls of tape, but no glitter pens. I would love to dive into the stamping and fancy tie die look eventually. But first, essentials.

**(glitter is a situation for me. I should be banned from using it. This past weekend a well-meaning 5-year-old put some glitter eyeshadow on my eyes. It’s now 4 days later and I’m still sparkly.)

This week’s verse is about love. Ahhhh, love is a wonderful thing. Until we forget about its meaning and the possibility. The verse is from

Matthew 22:37-39(NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

This commandment is the sole purpose of walking with Jesus. We must love one another. This time of year, I see a lot of love being dished out- and it is wonderful. It is so easy to get caught up in the giving, serving and sacrifice the season naturally brings. But when the cold winds of January blow- where does the love go?

Back to work. Back to school. Back to the routine; the mundane.

Why aren’t we capable of choosing unconditional love for one another all the time?

Why can’t we choose to live like its Christmas all year round, so everyone is loved and cherished?

We should be doing exactly this. We should be loving, cherishing, and holding on to one another 365 days a year. We should be taking on one another’s burdens, praying thoughtfully and serving with intention. We should never hold back our love for others and wait for a season or holiday.

Tomorrow is not promised.

On the page, I outlined the heart first, so I could leave that space blank. I wanted to try out the soft colored pencils I mentioned. I basically swept the pencil across the page to give it some color, yet still be able to read the text underneath. I added the washi tape at the top (super lightweight, so it really rests nicely on these pages) Finally, I penciled in my lettering and traced with a type of marker I need to stop using in my Bible- a sharpie fine point. (strike one- it bled through badly)

 

 

I hope for both our sakes, I get better at taking pictures and documenting this process. I also hope I learn quickly from my mistakes, so I can improve and pour out in worship on the page as I soak up God’s word!

Until next time!

XOXO

Encouragement to be More Than “OK”

How easy it is to deceive others with a fake smile and an off-hand laugh. How easy it is to make people believe what they want to believe- that you are alright and your world is stable and good and everything is ok. How simple a task to throw others off our game; to cover up depression and anxiety by just acting like we are alright.

Although it does look simple, it is exhausting. Covering up your real-life issues is hard. Masking the emotion and weariness even harder. Taking the time to ensure everything appears wonderful, especially during this time of year is too much. Why do we keep doing it?

It seems to me if people wanted to know how you are, they would stop when they ask. You’ve seen it, probably done it. You pass someone in the hall and they say, “how are you?”, yet they never stop for an actual answer, so you reply “I’m alright”.  Except you aren’t alright. You are drowning.

You are drowning in sorrow, debt, depression, and loss. You are barely keeping afloat at work, at home and personally. You dread social functions. You sleep a lot. You avoid eye contact with others. You skate through the day dodging and avoiding real human contact. The reason for the facade? What if they find out you are not fine?

What if important (?) people find out you have been faking it for a long time? What if “they” know you struggle with being alone, and with being around people? What if “they” see the real you, broken and bruised? What if you let down your walls and allow others to see the mess you have in your head, the mess which is a true reflection of all your disorder?

So what if you let them?

So What.

The reaction when I came out of my abyss has been mixed. It has defined friendships. It has been a revelation. Some people, as feared, avoid me altogether. It’s ok. I have lived all my life with the notion that I am too much for some to handle. It’s a badge I wear and its part of who I am. Some have drawn closer to me, accepting my dirt and crazy as their own. It’s amazing to find how many are just like I was- afraid.

Fearful of the “truth” coming out, fearful of the repercussions of living their actual life as they see necessary. Fearing the reaction of family and friends when the secrets of not being ok come to the forefront. But the fear is irrelevant if your life is brought into the light, out of the shadows of worry.

If you are concerned your life is too much for others to handle, you are normal. If you are afraid your issues are more than those who love you can deal with, you are wrong. If you decide to answer the question truthfully you will be liberated!

Working toward “ok” is the first step. Recognizing there is a lot more to spend your energy on than hiding is a gift. You can be “ok” because you are accepting yourself right where you are. Your circumstances do not define you. Your grief, loss, worry, and fear, do not define you.

Your willingness to turn it over to Jesus, reach out for help when he sends it and grow through the depression and anxiety of your life? That can define you. Let yourself be the first one among your tribe to say, “Hey, I am not ok, but I will be.”

A New Adventure; Bible Journaling for the Coming Year and a Book Review

I’d like to start a new journey, with you.

I have owned a Journaling Bible for quite some time, and now I will be putting it to good use.

Join me on Thursdays as I share my journey through the Bible creatively in the coming year.

 

While I get this party started, please read my BOOK REVIEW on Hollywood Jesus for Erin Bassett’s new book The Art of Bible Journaling. Here is a sneak peek.

 

“If you are looking for a way to dive into scripture, but you aren’t the “reading” type, put your creative juices to work!  The Art of Bible Journaling is a step by step guide in basic concepts to turn your time in the word into a fantastic new process. The end result can be a Bible with personal journaling to reflect your study and creativity. As an added bonus, you can create a complete work of art. It is a worthy hobby growing in popularity among people of all ages, and I have found this book to be most inspiring!” Click here to continue reading!

 

XOXO- Angie

Humbled to be your momma

Adult Kids.

Tricky business at best.

When your kids are little, all you can think about somedays is surviving. There were days I would be counting down the day by the activity. Dinner, bath, snack, story, and bedtime. Then came laundry, dishes, my own shower and possibly tv, unless I fell asleep on the couch. I got busy doing all the things for all the little people. I had no idea I was missing so many things, so many moments. I never heard anyone say “slow down a bit momma”, so I didn’t.

Full throttle ahead for grocery store trips, birthday parties and holidays. Immunizations and new shoes combined with a milkshake on the way home only led into the evening routine of dinner, bath…you get the picture. There was a lot of “stuff” to be done with four kids. The obligatory parenting things were high in number, and at times overwhelming. It was a wild and crazy time.

You may be surprised to hear me say, some days I would give anything to just go back to the year 2000 and spend my time differently. My kids are officially all adults now, and there are things I feel like I need to teach them still.

Can I get a re-do?

Can I get a few, life-changing moments in the year 2000, to save my children some of the heartaches they are experiencing right now?

Can I have a couple of minutes to change my thoughts, my answers, my reactions in the year 2010?

Can I get Marty Mc Fly to take me back in time to tell myself to slow down and think about the future a bit?

I love my adult kids. Clearly, the regrets I may have are all about the things I missed teaching them. They are a group of amazing people. If I had to use a few keywords to describe them,  I would say:

Sacrificial

Technically savvy

Healthy

Independent

Strong willed

Hard working

Respectful

Responsible

Feisty

 

It seems really easy for me to look back now and say, “I wish I had…”  I  spend time with my granddaughters and realize how much I missed with my own kids because I was as busy as their parents are with them.  I want to scream- WAIIIIITTTTT! You’re missing it!  But I realize, they are me- twenty years ago and busy making a life. They are doing all the things I was doing. Most of all, they are surviving it all.

 

Parenting didn’t start out graceful, and we still won’t make a shiny magazine cover. But we make a family, and this is what it is all about.

Loving my adult children has come so easy because they are so awesome. If I sound like I am gushing, it’s because I am. I should be. They make me proud. They also make me shake my head sometimes.  On those days, I remember when they were toddlers because sometimes they act just the same.

 

Now instead of bikes all over the yard its cars and car parts. It’s their kids’ toys and the chaos of grandchildren and grand-dogs I must contend with. It’s helping them to heal in loss and grief while encouraging them to express themselves because they are individuals. It’s watching them make some of the same mistakes I did and laughing because “I told you so” is written on my face, and they know what that looks like.

 

No one ever prepared me for the great amount of loss I felt when the first one left the nest. It overcame our entire household and rocked our world. No one ever warned me about the new kind of sleepless nights, the worry and the need for comfort for my broken momma’s heart. No one ever prepared me for the quiet house, the feeling something just isn’t the same or the emotion of missing them so much.

 

They also didn’t prepare me for the sheer amount of joy and privilege I have felt and embraced, knowing how my adult kids turned out to be. The one thing I do know, and cling to?

These adults will always be Mikey, Grace, Mattie, and Maxx to their momma. And there will never be a day when their place in my heart shrinks because it was amazing to have them toddling around as children, and even more breathtaking to know them as adults.

I am honored.