Illustrated Faith - The Word and Being Still - Isaiah 55:11 and Exodus 14:14

[My word] shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:11

I think that this was the second page I ever painted in my Bible. I have fallen in love with gold, and love the translucency in creates on the pages. This verse says so much to me. It shows the importance of the Word, even the Old Testament books, which I often see people neglecting in favour of the 'easier' New Testament. The laws that are set out in the Old Testament have been overcome with the new covenant brought by Jesus, but I don't think that means that they need to be forgotten or abandoned. They still hold as big of an importance today as they did thousands of years ago. It's these laws that enable us to fulfil the law of the New Testament. That is the explanation of this verse. The word of the old testament will accomplish the teachings of Jesus. 

I encourage you to dig into the Old Testament. If you don't know where to start, study the Ten Commandments (find them in Exodus 20:1-17). It's these commandments which will teach you to totally love God, and to be able to love your neighbour.

The LORD will fight for you and you have only to be silent. - Exodus 14:14

I'll give you a little hint about being scared to paint in your bible. Paper and glue can cover mistakes! In the post above, you can see that there's a lighter yellow paper that I've written "and you have" on it, and that's because I somehow messed up the spelling when I was writing on the darker yellow piece of paper. Thankfully, it just adds to the dimension of the page. I am NOT a scrapbooker, and try as I might, glueing things together is definitely my weakness. Let me slap on some paint, and draw my letters, and I'm good to go. Try to use paper to build layers, and get those letter stickers on straight and even...I feel like I'm just no good at it. But you know what? I just don't care. I'm using this process to focus on the Word, dig in deeper, and help with studying and learning. I encourage you to not worry about being perfect, making everything look nice. You'll have days where you make a beautiful page that you love, and you'll have days when you don't. Brush it off, shake off the dust, and move on. God knows that we aren't perfect in any other aspect of our lives, so why do we need to believe that He'll be disappointed in us if we have spelling mistakes or pages that aren't stunning. 

Interested in learning more about Illustrated Faith? Visit Shanna Noel's blog, and learn all about it! Join me on Instagram with the hashtag #illustratedfaith and share your illustrated Bible pages with the community! You can also find lots of other Bible journalling artists through the hashtag. Give 'em a follow!

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Illustrated Faith - Clean my Heart (Psalm 51:10) and Number the Stars (Psalm 147:4)

Create in my a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10

I partnered this verse above with a painting/illustrations inspired verse 7 in the same chapter, which reads "Purge me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." I loosely rendered the idea of the hyssop plant. I love the spiky small leaves, which remind me of rosemary. Plus the purple flowers. Give me all the royal purple flowers out there please! I love them! (After painting this piece, I went to the local greenhouse and picked up a beautiful purple hyacinth plant. It smells so good!)

Before this year, I never thought much about the cleansing properties of plants, so this verse didn't resonate with me like it does now.  As I've started researching (lots!) about essential oils, and plant healing and cleansing, my eyes have opened up so much regarding everything that so many little plants are capable of. This passage makes me want to dig deeper into hyssop now. 

But cleaning on the outside, no matter how much you scrub, isn't going to affect anything that needs cleaning on the inside. This Psalm, when used as a prayer for yourself too, is one step that you can take to start cleaning yourself from the inside out. It's something that I'm going to start incorporating into my life more, that I may be a better tool for Christ.

He determines the number of stars; he give to all of them their names. - Psalm 147:4

Does this verse blow your mind? When I look up at the stars, and am in awe at the sheer number that my little eyes can see, I often think of this verse, and am shaken about how big our God is. He knows every single one of those stars, and has given them all names! They are important to Him, and he remembers them ALL! If He knows the stars, and holds them close to Himself, imagine how He feels about all of us here on earth!! We have been created in His image, cherished and loved, and He knows every hair on our head. He knew us before we were born. He loves us unconditionally, even when we are horribly undeserving of the slightest bit of love. Isn't that just the greatest? Now, when I look at the stars, I practically feel a hug, knowing that I'm just as well known, valued, and loved, even though there are billions of others on the planet too. How great is our God?

Interested in learning more about Illustrated Faith? Visit Shanna Noel's blog, and learn all about it! Join in on Instagram with the hashtag #illustratedfaith and share your illustrated Bible pages with the community! You can also find lots of other Bible journalling artists through the hashtag. Give 'em a follow!

Grace Upon Grace - New Print in the Shop!

I've had this verse inked and saved on my computer for a while now, just waiting for the time to paint some pretties to adorn it. I just couldn't come up with something (I was also without spare time to make up anything!) I guess I was also feeling slightly uninspired. It's been so cold, and I've been working on projects that just aren't my style, and I was struggling to get back into my groove. So in the mean time, I was pinning inspiration florals to my Pinterest boards, to go back to at other times, times like this. Thank you Pinterest, for allowing to keep my hard drive free of all the images I want to hold on to for inspiration.

I chose to paint some little lilacs to go with this verse. Lilacs remind me of spring, and I love watching the new buds of all the new kinds of growth peeking through the snow and muddy ground, and popping up on the barren trees. It reminds me of grace, the grace from God. We don't deserve any of God's love, because we as humans are just awful, yet, He keeps giving it to us, no matter what the day looks like. Just like the new growth, grace looks out of place in our rotten filled lives. Somehow, God's love peeks through our rottenness, and we have the chance to grow, to bloom. 

This print is now available in the Shop. You can get it three different sizes, mailed right to your home! Let it be a reminder of God's grace in your life too.

Open for Change - Customizing Pre-Existing Designs

Recently, I got a little note from a client asking about changing the colours on some of my pre-existing prints that I have listed in my shop. I have had other clients ask about removing a border, or changing the words, but keeping the style and design the same, but this was the first time I had been asked about changing the colours of a specific print. The client loved the design of my Be Still piece, but was wondering if it was possible to make it have the writing in black, and the leaves in yellow. At first I thought to myself, Oh, I'm going to have to repaint this piece exactly like the first one, but with the new colours, thinking about how much time that would have to take, and trying to estimate the pricing for her. But then I had a duh moment, and remembered the beauty of Photoshop. I could keep the costs down for my client, and maintain the exact style of the original piece. Keeping the look of watercolour painting and variation in the leaves was important to me. With a little playing around, I managed to come up with the colours that she loved and was happy with.

This whole process got me thinking though. How many others of you out there have ever thought about asking for a colour change of a print you love? Not even one of my prints, necessarily. I thought it was pretty brave of my client to reach out and ask, as typically that's not something that I would have ever done. I usually look at what a shop has to offer, and think that I'm limited the variations that they list as being available, and believe that's all that I have to choose from. Having the opportunity to ask, especially with the non confrontational ease of email, makes it quick, easy, and harmless. I will have to reconsider doing it more often in the future.

So now you know that all it takes is a little bit of typing, and you can hopefully change a piece to fit you and your style perfectly. Ask away, I won't mind! And if it's possible, I will change a piece to meet your needs!