It’s been my goal for a while to start taking what I know about journaling and begin to teach others about how to hear from God, and incorporate it by creating an art journal.
I have been journaling since I was sixteen, then about a road trip our family took to Arizona to visit my grandparents. Since that time I have written about important events we lived through and everything I could remember about encounters with the Lord. It is fascinating to read back and see personal growth and changing mindsets over the years, realizing that the Lord set a path before me and how that journey has taken me on a roller coaster ride to the present. Not everything was a smooth road but He has been so faithful and kind to lead me even when I got sidetracked.
A local church group of women came to my house and we had our time of creating art in my backyard. The day was beautiful and everyone said they loved the event and couldn’t wait to come back for more. In the craziness of teaching and managing the event, I didn’t remember to take pictures of the actual ladies and their art projects while they were here…worst blogging mistake ever! I did capture a few pics of the setup and decor. Of course, part of any successful event is food and we had plenty of apps (appetizers) and drinks
I started the Art Journaling class with waiting on the Lord – listening to what He may be speaking to our hearts, so that we could create a picture depicting what He was saying. Here are some examples of the techniques of layering paint and paper that I used to teach the ladies, resulting in creation of a journal page of “words” that we were hearing. Their projects turned out fabulously and many were surprised that the Lord actually spoke to them. All-in-all it was a very special day and one I won’t soon forget – I’ve actually journaled it, ha ha!
Our lives should contain hope for our future, hope of God’s promises being fulfilled, hope of what Jesus has done, and hope that comes from living in our new completed identities.
Many people who I’ve encountered lately have just given up and are going on with their lives trying to make the best of the days they have left… however, that is no way to live! Christ promised us abundant, eternal life and each day should be glorious! We do go through trials, tribulations, conflicts, and momentary despair, but we should have that underlying confidence that Jesus is there giving and maintaining the hope that comes with our living in Him and His Spirit in us. We cannot give up! All the hardships that we endure are just a momentary affliction compared to the eternity of glory we will live in. We have to thank Him (giving thanks in all things) and believe in hope. We can have heaven here on earth – ‘let Your will be done, as it is in heaven, so shall it be on earth’. – Jesus
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of welfare and peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
If you have lost your hope, if you feel like nothing good will ever come, if time is slipping away, then there is one solution in gaining it back. In my own life the return of hope has come with repentance. Asking God to forgive me of not believing Him and the desire to re-establish the connection that I once had with the Father, that loves me and you beyond all measure. He will be faithful to restore that which has been forgotten. He will give you new HOPE
“Then you will call upon Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 12-13
I have worked on this Faith Art Journal since the end of June with weekly assignments given by Erin Leigh @ Art by Erin Leigh and with Melissa @ Pink Paper Peppermints, both with websites and Etsy businesses. They were offering free classes via Facebook and I welcomed some new ideas and tutorials that would help me develop my own journaling. Enjoy! May it inspire you to begin journaling and finding the heart of God for you in your life.
In our lives we sometimes don’t understand exactly what God is doing or saying. When we ask, “God, I don’t know what is going on and I can’t hear your voice.” We have a sure way of understanding His purposes: His promises to us; whether in the Word, dreams, visions, or the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts.
Recently, a prominent Christian leader suggested to look back at the year 2008 to see where we were going and what God was saying then. That was the year the world changed; economically, politically, and personally. I know in my own life it was a very significant season and things did change. I can look back at my journal of 2008 and see exactly what it was that was going on by what I wrote. I was very surprised by the specifics of what happened (I had forgotten most of it), especially the passion that I had in seeking the Lord. I realized that I wanted to return to that place of utter faith and dependence on Him. My heart was crying out then and as I read more over that year my heart began to yearn more deeply for the things of God now. This became a prayer:
What was God speaking to you in 2008? How does it change your life now? Do you want to go deeper and deeper still?
Since I’m living in a situation without many distractions I seem to hear the Lord’s voice more clearly (those day-to-day distractions will always impede your ability to hear) and this is one thing the Holy Spirit said to me as I woke up: “Your talents have been buried – now is the time to use them for the Kingdom.” I wrote it in my journal.
Journal page entry
I have been consciously working on doing the things He’s asked me to concentrate on, but I have been using my natural talents and giftings which don’t require much risk or getting out of my comfort zone. (I’m just being very vulnerable here.) When I heard this word from the Lord I felt no condemnation or guilt, only love and encouragement to start walking outside of my own personal box. I felt like I really needed to pray about what it was that He was actually requiring of me and to find out what my heavenly talents were.
So I went back through all my journals to find everything that had been spoken to me by the Lord, prophetic words, dreams, and encouragement that others had seen in me. Honestly, I have developed the ones that I could, but the ones that really put me on the edge of stepping out in more faith were the ones that I had “buried”. (Journaling is an excellent reminder of all that God has said to you.) My heart is to be clear and open to the Lord and if I am not responding to Him the way that I should, I pray, repent, and try to walk in the grace to change.
My encouragement to you today is to ask the Lord what He’s given you and begin to walk by faith and not by sight, to do those things that will bear fruit and give you a passport to His heavenly Will.
Be brave and encourage yourself in the Lord.
Here is the scriptures about talents:
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours. But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.'” Matthew 25: 14-29