Welcome to the Journaling by Heart Free Workshop
Welcome to Lesson 4 of our free Faith Art Journaling workshop! I'm so glad you could make it today. :)
In my last lesson we talked about tools to use for Bible Study and today I want to talk to you a little about what to do after you study a particular scripture and give you some tips.
As I mentioned to you in my first lesson, I've been writing down what the Lord says to me in my quiet time, and when I go back and read my notes I am always amazed by two things- how much I forget (*seriously - thank You for pen and paper Lord!) and how the Lord subtly speaks the same thing to me over and over for weeks at a time.
I love seeing those threads through my entries. Today's topic is one of those threads.
Personalization of and Meditation on the Word of God
The Word of God is written to you. It's a love letter from the Father's heart to your heart.
A wonderful way to reinforce this in your mind and spirit, is to place your own name within the scripture.
In a recent study on brain activity, researchers found "evidence that hearing one’s own name has unique brain functioning activation."
Try it right now, take one of your favorite scriptures and replace any of the pronouns (you, him, her they) with your own name.
Here's one of mine:
Isn't that powerful? Romans 10:17 says that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
When you hear your own name in scripture, it not only causes unique brain activity, but it builds your faith!
A great resource is this list of scriptures put together by Kristy Aiken at Proverbs 31 Ministries, that have been chosen specifically to add your name to.
The article is all about how to make a little box filled with personalized scriptures and in Step 1 there is a downloadable pdf with a list of nearly 100 verses to choose from!
After you study a verse and apply personalization to it, it's time to meditate on it.
Now meditation has received some bad press in Christian circles. Often times people associate it with some mystic, eastern religion, but actually, meditation is a biblical concept and a key to God's blessing.
"They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed."
-Psalm 1:2 (NCV)
Those are some powerful promises for people who meditate on God's Word!
So what is meditation, how do we meditate? Let's look at the word mediation in Psalm 1:2, on Blue Letter Bible:
The Hebrew word for meditate is "hagah" (hä·gä') and it means to ponder, to imagine, to mutter.
This is something you probably already do all the time without realizing it. For instance, in the shower in the morning, maybe you think about what you have to do that day, talking to yourself about it, something like this...
"Okay, so I have to drop the kids off at eight, and then stop by the store and pick up the stuff for dinner, then let's see, I guess I'll go to the library right after that since it's across the street, but wait no, post office first 'cause it closes at 12, then library, then pick up the dry cleaning...do I have the receipt?...oh yes, it's tucked in the library book, better get that out and put it in my purse...oh, I need to clean out my purse...okay, then hit the gym, pick up the kids by three and get home and start dinner..."
Your day may be completely different of course, but the point is, you're probably mulling over things, muttering, meditating on your schedule for the day.
Now this may or may not help you, in fact it might just cause you stress, but meditating on the Word, that's a different story!
Psalm 1:2-3 says that those who meditate on the Word are strong like a tree planted by the water, healthy, bearing fruit and successful! Yes!
(oh I wish I had more time to get into a deep study of this with you...it's so good! Maybe soon...)
But How Do I Meditate on the Word?
So you might be thinking, "I get that meditating on the Word will yield amazing results in my life, but how do I meditate on the Word?"
This is something that I struggled with for a long time. I just couldn't picture what it meant by meditating.
Do I just sit there without moving and try to clear my mind of everything but the scripture? Do I have to say it in a certain way or a certain amount of times for it to be considered meditating?
And then the Lord began showing me that meditating was a natural thing that I already knew how to do.
Like the shower scenario above, it's simply mulling over His Word, thinking about it, moving it around like puzzle pieces in your mind, until it starts to form a spiritual picture, imagining it taking root in your life.
Let's look at an example of meditating on the Word, similar to the to-do list example above.
Maybe you're cooking dinner, or folding laundry, or waiting in line somewhere and the scripture you were reading that morning was Jeremiah 17:7-8, which is very similar to Psalm 1:2-3,
"Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
who rely on the Lord.
They will be like trees planted by the streams,
whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
or fail to bear fruit."
Now here's, what meditating on that could sound like,
"Happy, are those who trust in the Lord....hmmm...happy......what is happy?...joyful, peaceful, blessed.......are those who trust in the Lord......those......that's me......I trust in the Lord......the Word calls me happy, joyful, peaceful, blessed, because I trust in the Lord......those who trust ....what does that mean?......I believe, I put my confidence in, I have full assurance, complete faith, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can trust Him.......trust who?......the LORD......the Alpha and Omega, El Elyon, my Rock, the Creator of the Universe, I put all my trust in Him, and I'm happy and peaceful and blessed..."
Whew! I'm getting happy just typing that out! Is this making sense to you? You're just rolling the scripture around in your mind.
Thinking about each word and what it means, pondering it, imagining it in your life.
You may not even feel like what it says is happening in your life right now, but I guarantee you, if you meditate on it day and night, it *will* begin to happen.
Personalization + Meditation + Art= Wow!
Okay, next we're going to put personalization *with* our meditation, and create a little art.
This is where it gets fun in your art journal. The meditation becomes even more personal and engaging as you insert your own name into the scripture and meditate on it while you're creating!
So here is part 1 of your assignment for this week:
Take a scripture about which the Lord has been speaking to you and personalize it. Break it down into small chunks and begin meditating on it a little at a time.
While running errands, doing chores, in between meetings at work, on your lunch hour...whenever you find your mind wandering, pull those thoughts into meditation on your scripture.
Next, journal about the experience and share with us what you're learning, I can't wait to hear about it!
Creating with Inkjet Transparencies in Your Art Journal
I love using inkjet transparencies in my art journal. The ability to layer them with colors and texture creates lots of rich, depth and movement on a page. There are so many fun ways to do this, but today I'm going to share just a few with you.
There aren't many supplies needed (beyond transparencies of course), but here are a few that I've used in the following projects (the links are amazon affiliate links, thank you with all my heart for your support if you choose to purchase through them!).
Gold Metallic Sharpie
Adirondack Alcohol Inks
Silhouette Pick Me Up Tool
Mat Gel Medium
My free printables (link at the bottom)
Printing On and Layering Transparencies
One of the quickest and easiest ways to use transparencies in your faith art journal is to print scriptures on them and layer them over photos or other artwork in your journal.
One of your assignments is going to be to create a self-portrait of sorts by layering scripture over a photo of yourself and adding all the blessings the Lord has given you.
Now before you start telling me how you don't like photos of yourself, let me just stop you right there.
If I can post a big ol' photo of myself here for the world to see (though I did strategically place my hair to cover my double-chin in this photo, ha!) then you can do this assignment too, k?
Make it more about what Jesus has done for you than about *you*.
*end of tough talk*
This kind of activity is so good for your soul and I want you to meditate on everything the Lord has done for you as you create this page.
I've made a printable with the scripture I used (link down below), but you don't have to use mine, you can come up with something on your own if you'd rather.
Here's what I did:
I printed the photo above just in black and white on plain printer paper. I actually printed it several times so I could experiment with different pens to see which looked best. I ended up settling on the Gold Sharpie.
Then I embellished the photo by sewing on a paper "crown".
(I typed one of my favorite scriptures on the crown before sewing it to the photo.)
It's a great example of personalizing a scripture, as the actual verse says, "He crowns you with love and mercy."
I also added sequins with mat gel medium using my favorite Silhouette tool, the Pick Me Up, and gold Sharpie dots.
The scripture is 1 Corinthians 15:10 from The Message. "But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am." *love*
I wrote all over the photo what Jesus has done for me....I am healed, loved, joyful, peaceful, blessed, delivered, forgiven (and so much more).
Next I sewed the transparency down the side of the page on my sewing machine, and then attached it to another page in book.
Here are some other examples of printing on and layering transparencies.
The photo above is a page from my Christmas art journal. I printed a photo of a vintage church on the transparency and then layered it over sequins and a doily. (I like sequins)
These next photos are from my Disney art journal.
Above, I printed a photo of Cinderella's Castle, covered in Christmas lights, on a transparency and then layered it over some Disney mail that we received about our vacation, for the front page of my journal. You can see I just sewed it down the side.
Sewing on Transparencies
I usually sew my transparencies into the pages of my journal, but I also like to sew things on the transparencies themselves.
Here is another page from my Christmas journal:
I sewed these chipboard letters to the transparency, added snowflake stickers and then placed it in a page protector.
I was inspired by this gorgeous page by one of my favorite artists, Pam Garrison and she was inspired by an instagram photo that Ali Edwards took, and she was inspired by a Starbucks window. Of course it all leads back to a good cup of coffee, ha!
You may have seen this next photo on the blog before.
I actually sewed these silk flowers to some clear, sticker packaging. This is a great alternative if you can't get your hands on actual transparencies.
I attached the page with washi tape, as it's a little tricky trying to sew that close to the binding on those thin journaling bible pages!
Transparencies in your Journaling Bible (or any bible)
Transparencies are the perfect embellishment for those who don't wish to cover up the text in their bibles, but still want to add embellishment.
This is a transparency that I designed for my bible and I've attached it to cardstock with washi tape so that it can be lifted up. That way I can still make notes and read the text easily.
I made a free printable version of this transparency (plus one more that you'll see in a minute) available at the end of the lesson!
Before we move on, I wanted to give you a quick tip for applying sticker letters evenly in your journal.
Take a piece of waxed paper and line your stickers up on the edge. Now stick the top part of the stickers down on the page where you want them, and the gently remove the waxed paper and your letters are all lined up and evenly spaced!
Alchohol Inks and Transparencies
This is a quick and simple technique, and the results are really pretty.
It requires Alcohol inks, rubbing alcohol and transparencies. It doesn't work with dye inks or spray inks. I tried those, but they don't really blend well together.
First just coat your transparency with rubbing alcohol. I used a paper towel.
Next begin dripping the inks onto the wet transparency. You'll see the pretty patterns start to form right away.
Keep adding inks until you're happy with the pattern. If they're not blending as well as you like, sprinkle a little more rubbing alcohol over them.
I suggest starting out with one color family first. All cool colors (blues & greens) or all warm colors (yellows & reds), just until you're more familiar with the technique so you don't get a muddy mess.
That's it! Let them dry for 10 or 15 minutes and then you can use them in your journal.
Here's what made:
I layered the alcohol-inked transparency over one of my journaling bible transparencies (included in my free download below) and those are attached to a vintage ledger page. Don't you just love the depth and interesting layers it creates?
I also added some transparency birds that I had painted with acrylic paint and cut with my die cutter.
As usual, I sewed the pages together with my sewing machine.
This was a fun technique. I can see myself using it a lot! I love the messy, spilled ink look it creates.
I plan to cut the other transparency I made into shapes like tags and labels to use elsewhere in my journal.
Using Digital Scrapbooking Supplies on Transparencies
This last technique I'm really excited about, because you're going to get a sneak peek at something new that I've been working on! The first faith art, digital scrapbooking kit I've designed, called Chosen by Grace!
I'll be doing another post to tell you all the details about it, but you'll get to see a few pieces of it here! (and hint: this first kit will be a free download!)
If you haven't explored the world of digital scrapbooking supplies yet, you are in for a treat! There are so many beautiful and relatively inexpensive supplies from which to choose.
While digital supplies are meant for designing digital scrapbook pages, the great thing about them is that most of them can be printed and used for what's called "hybrid" scrapping and art journaling as well. This simply means it's part digital and part paper.
That my sound a little complicated and techy to you, but if you've ever printed out a free printable and then did something paper-y with it you've already done some hybrid art!
The page above was made by printing one of my new digital papers (eeeee! <--squeal of happiness) on a transparency.
I layered it over another transparency on which I had printed my personalized scripture. I created kind of a giant "shaker" pocket by sprinkling...you guessed it, sequins on the page and then sewing all the four sides of the top transparency to the bottom page.
The bottom page is actually the back of one of my fabric pages from last lesson. That's why you see all the strings and sewing. I *love* the texture created by this.
The ballerina and roses are elements from my kit. I chose several elements and printed them all on a transparency (below) and then cut them out and stapled them to my art journal pages.
So I hope you learned a lot today! And I hope you'll try some of these techniques.
If you don't have access to transparencies, then try using clear packaging from stickers, or paper. Or the windows from from security envelopes or food packaging like pasta.
If you have a laminator you can run a sheet of lamination through with nothing in it and use that as your "transparency".
Create a self-portrait with a transparency (or some other clear substance as noted above) and fill it with words of life from the Word. You can use the same words I used, or find your own in your favorite verses. Be sure to share it with us on the Facebook page if you're comfortable.
Free Printable Downloads
The printables are large pdfs that have been compressed into a zip file.
When you click on the images above you should have the choice to open or save the file.
If you are on a windows machine you can choose "open with windows explorer" and it will download and then open the file.
You should then be able to save that folder wherever you would like on your machine.
If you get a chance I would be so blessed if you pinned some images from today's lesson and/or shared on Facebook so we can invite more students to join us this summer!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Grace and Peace,
"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget none of His benefits,
Who forgives all your iniquity,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy"