Oxygen Mask

My last post shared the fact that I was having some difficulties here at the blog.  I had to step away from it for awhile because I could NOT. FIGURE. IT. OUT.  It was so frustrating.  I finally had my blog looking the way I wanted and then little things wouldn’t work.  Some of that is MY lack of knowledge, but some was just a mix of other issues.

Well, I had to change up the look of the blog again – but finally got the link situation figured out.  It wasn’t major, but I had to change themes.  It’s kinda like having to change to a new coffeemaker.  Which for me can be a good thing. =)

And it just so happened that school ended and we were thrown into our summer schedule all at once.  Whew.  We have had miscommunication and missteps already.  I wanted our first day home to be relaxing-spend-the-day-in-pajamas, but it did NOT turn out that way and it was really just the beginning of several days that piled up all over one another.

Change is not always easy.  It is not always comfortable.  It is not without problems and obstacles.  And our change has been full of all kinds of surprises.  But we will get there.

I have spent some time viewing a couple of different webinars for moms and was reminded how much I need to put on my oxygen mask.  I am not talking about spa days and manicures – I am talking about digging down deep and getting my roots what they need.  Getting Nourished.  and Being Enough.

One thing I restarted was my prayer journal.  So of course, difficult times only got MORE difficult.  I have been committed to reading one chapter of Hebrews every morning and sometimes 2 or 3 mornings in a row.  I am finding some wonderful Scriptures that are both convicting and uplifting.  I have been Bible Journaling, too, and it has really been refreshing.  These are just a couple of verses I LOVE so much…  Hope they give you some oxygen too!

For me, my oxygen means getting into the Word every day.  When I don’t – I shrivel up and wither away at the slightest pressure.  These verses remind me of Who fights for me.

Daily Bible Journaling. Sort of.

Just to be clear, I have included amazon links in this post.  That means if you click them and decide to buy the recommended item – I will receive a small referral commission.  Feel free to browse at your convenience – and know that I appreciate any purchases you choose to make via Grace & Glory!

So I referenced a new hobby in my last post – and then life got crazy and I didn’t get to do it for a few days.  I was actually participating in it on a daily basis and really enjoying it.  For me, Daily Bible Journaling has been taking less than 10 minutes of my time on a regular basis and if I wanted to embellish it to a larger degree, I can.  That’s where the artsy part comes in.

What I love about this Daily Bible Journaling is that it really focuses on the Scripture.

Well, for ME, it helps me to focus on the Scripture.  There are several places to find a monthly plan and I will include those links below.

I’m also including some pictures so you can get an idea of how simple it can be.  I have seen some really amazing artistic examples in some of my FB groups, so you can get as creative as you would like to be.

Here are the supplies you need:

And that is really all you need.  Where you can get creative is by using colored gel pens (including these on amazon), washi tape, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, primer & paints, and more.

Depending on the type of notebook you select, you can either keep it strictly to writing – or you can use an art journal with heavier paper, to allow for a vast array of artistic expression.

20160213_201058.pngI am finding that I enjoy this particular habit of Daily Bible Journaling because I can use my good study Bible (that I just discovered hidden away last week!) and don’t have to commit to a journaling Bible just yet.  And it really only takes a few minutes.  But the few minutes I spend focusing on writing out the Scriptures is a really beneficial discipline.  For example, I can tell that i have missed a few days of the Daily Bible Journaling this week because I have not been focusing on the Word like I should and my nerves are frayed.

So as I wrap up this post, I’ll be grabbing my new glitter gel pens and writing out today’s passage.

Here’s where you can find suggested Daily Bible Journaling Scriptures:

  • Sweet Blessings – this is the one I am actually using
  • Heidi St John – I love this lady’s blog & podcasts!
  • His Mercy is New – these are printables for praying the Scriptures, but you can obviously use them to journal as well…

20160213_204739.pngThere are other sites as well if you do a google search, but I think these 3 resources are really good ones.

FYI – I used a variety of pens to do mine.  This particular one is done in all glitter ink.  It is quite shimmery and pretty and I liked the outcome.  But you can use a black pen and highlighters to add color and depth if you want.  It is really up to you and your style and preferences.  The MAIN thing is to focus on the MAIN thing:  SCRIPTURE!!!

Catch UP and Another New Hobby for Mom

Catch up is kinda of a life theme for me.  Not because I like falling behind or taking on too much and getting overwhelmed.  Not because I want to put things off or ignore meaningful things in my life.  Not even because of a “new hobby for mom” that has just brightened up my life every day!  My catch up does have something to do with being intentional – something I have yet to master in my life.  It also helps to write down your password to your blog so you can log in and blog at any moment without having to reset it.  Twice.  In the past 2 weeks…


Roy & I have been in a process of working towards some assistance for Curly at school.  Between reviewing her ADHD diagnosis, homework OVERLOAD, assessments, tests, medication changes, and falling grades – it has been rough.  BUT we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and feel like we’re on track to get her the help she needs. Progress is a good thing at this point, so we are very HOPEful!

We have also dealt with the nasty cold virus going around everywhere, a stomach bug, a flat tire, and a car accident.  My husband was rear ended on his way into work last week – totaling his car – is very sore but thankfully was not seriously injured.  So we are down to 1 car for 2 jobs and 3 kids and it has gotten challenging to say the least.  (Don’t get me started on what the other insurance “should” do…)

I started a new Bible study and do feel like the intensity of life hit an all time high (see previous paragraph!) but it is so good.  Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God Bible study.  Whew!  This is REALLY good stuff!  I love knowing WHY Paul referred to things the way he did in the passage of Ephesians 6, and learning how important it is to DAILY prepare for battle.  Cuz y’all – the battle is ON!  Every day.  Whether we want it to be or not.  More later…


As far as Bible journaling goes, I still have not jumped in fully.  Selecting a Bible is, for me, somewhat like selecting a business partner or life partner. I want a Bible I will use, not just a book to color in.  Frankly, I have been waffling between a really good study bible and a journaling Bible. [amazon affiliate links]  In one of my Bible Journaling Facebook groups, I kept seeing people share pages from “daily scripture writing” challenge.  Various challenges posted online – and they would design their daily pages.  One of the gals in the group started her own FB group for just the daily Scripture writing.  I thought I would try my hand at it, and WOW has it been awesome!  A NEW HOBBY FOR MOM!

Typically, it’s been 3 – 8 verses of Scripture to write out per day.  And honestly, I don’t do much “decorating” – but have found that the writing out of Scripture is an amazing way to spend time in God’s word.  I am LOVING it.  Passages of Scripture I’m really familiar with have taken on different meaning.  Familiar phrases have taken on new life, and some of them have shouted loud into my day.  I am honestly surprised at how much it has begun to affect me and HOW. MUCH. I miss it if I don’t write it out every single day!  If you are interested in joining any of these groups – the Scripture writing or Bible journaling – let me know because I can add you (they are setup as “closed” so you have to get a link and request to join).  So instead of posting journaling pages from my Bible, I will share some of my daily Scripture journaling instead.  (Just a notebook, colored ink pens, colored pencils, and a little washi sometimes…)


Bible Art Journaling Pics -*NOT*

So, I’m not able to post any pics today of my personal Bible journaling.  My phone is how I take my pics and for some reason I cannot get it to charge.  It’s staying well below 50% and that means taking pictures is a real drag.

It’s almost time for our phone contract to renew and almost every time that comes around, my phone starts doing WEIRD things.  *cough* Can’t possibly be me, right???

Scripture Journaling - using colored pencils and a quick sketch
Scripture Journaling – using colored pencils and a quick sketch

Anyway – I have posted a pic before so I will share that again.  It is one of the first ones I doodled into my Bible using colored pencils.  Again – I prefer to see the text through the art (or rather, my attempts at art) and every time I turn to this page, I’m immediately thrown back to elementary school when I first memorized the passage of Psalm 1.

Again, I am NO artist, but I am learning so much through my Bible Art journaling groups that I am becoming inspired to stretch a little and try more sketching and even tracing. I found a really cute coloring page that had an ADORABLE bird that I want to trace so I can journal “His eye is on the sparrow” verse.  Even though that verse does not contain my word for the year, it gives me hope.  It reminds me to trust God and every time I see a pretty little bird, quite frankly, it’s what I think of and I find peace in that.

When I was young and Scripture memory was something I did at school and at church, these kinds of images came to my mind.  I learned about using mnemonic devices to memorize Scripture and SO. MANY. of the passages I learned as a child have stuck with me.  I think that for me, Bible Art Journaling is another mnemonic device.

God designed a visual world for a visual humanity.  Psalms reminds us that the “heavens declare the glory of God” and even if no one on earth acknowledges who He is, the stones would cry out.

Any visual cues and processes that build on Scripture are going to be helpful for me to tuck God’s Word into my heart.  But it could be really easy to focus solely on technique, supplies, and ability while journaling, and much like those who worship the creation rather than the Creator, I could easily become distracted by the process of the journaling rather than the content.  It’s like focusing on the author of a new Bible study, rather than the study itself…

But God blessed me with a creative soul and I want to worship Him in His Word as much as anywhere else.  I want this process to be as much about getting more of Him as demonstrating my walk with Him.

And if I can ever get my phone to charge, I’ll post some pics that show you I’m no artist.  But the little bits I’ve done bless me when I see them because they remind me of a moment in my walk with Him that grew my faith and that touched my life.

Whether you journal or notebook or art journal, I hope that you too will grow in your walk with HIm and in your faith in 2016!


Books and Journals – Bible Art Journaling

Because Bible Art Journaling has grown in popularity, book publishers have taken note.  If you go to amazon.com, christianbook, Lifeway and other stores – you will probably find at least one style of Bible designed for Art Journaling.  And if you can’t find a Bible, you will most certainly find a journal!

This is – in part – due to the division over whether or not the art should travel over the margin onto the words on the page. Unlike simple highlighting and coloring, Bible Art Journaling *can* cover the words on the page.  While some people view this as artistic licensure, others see it as completely irreverent.  Personally, I don’t want to hide the words on the page.  I don’t mind coloring or illustrating over them if the text still comes through.  That’s my personal preference. No biggie.

The truth is, publishers have noticed the growing interest and exploration into Bible Art Journaling and decided to lend a helping hand.  YAY FOR US!

One of the first Bibles I remember hearing about and seeing used is the


This is, actually, a redesign of an earlier Journaling Bible, but is one of the most popular versions to date.  A singe column of text with ruled margins are 2 inches wide – similar to a Moleskine notebook – that allow you to take notes as you wish, or create an illustration inspired by a sermon, morning devotion, or Bible study.

Another popular one is the

NIV Journal Edition

It is similar to the ESV one listed previously – but in the NIV text.

You will find – if you start looking for journaling Bibles – that there are very different styles where journaling Bibles are concerned. Some offer the wide side margins with or without lines, like the two mentioned here.  Some offer larger margins across the top or even the bottom.

In fact, there is a new Bible coming with black & white illustrations sprinkled throughout.  It is an NLT version, which is my only hesitation in ordering this one.  I already own a Life Recovery NLT Bible, so I don’t want to invest in another version of that.

And there is another new Bible coming with one page of text and one entirely blank page in each layout.  It is called an Interleaved Edition.  I am really intrigued by this one.  It allows for extreme note taking, as well as illustrating and lettering.

For me, whichever Bible I choose (because I have not yet been able to make up my mind and commit to making the investment), I want it to be a Bible I can take to church with me and use every day – not just for a creative form of worship.

Until I can make that commitment, I am using the small margins of my current Bible or a moleskine notebook to do my illustrations and then I use washi tape to attach it to the page in my Bible with the corresponding Scripture.  (You can use any notebook you’d like – moleskine notebooks have faint lines, thicker paper and perforated edges, so I prefer them!)

My sketchings & letterings are rudimentary at best, but I will share what I have done in a post to come!  There are many techniques that a lot of different people use and that is what makes this so appealing to me.  This can absolutely be customized to MY likes and MY skills & bents – and MY walk with God.  Everything from a notebook journal with Bible study notes to incredible art-scapes in someone’s Bible.  What an amazing opportunity to grow in the Lord and use gifts and skills to honor HIm!