Reflecting

I’ve enjoyed sharing my Bible journaling journey with you over the past four months. Hopefully you have been encouraged through the winter. It has been fun to express my faith in this way; Bible journaling has brought me comfort and challenged me at the same time.

As summer approaches, I’ve decided to take a break from my weekly Bible journaling posts. I want to enjoy the warm days with my son, cherish our time together, and Bible journal just for personal reflection as the spirit leads. I plan on writing some posts and doing book reviews over the summer, so you will still hear from me. In the meantime, looking back, here are a few of my favorites from the past four months.

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On a personal note, I am just wrapping up my master’s degree, so this summer will be a much needed break. After church yesterday, my family went out for Thai food and then saw a new Mucha exhibit at a local art gallery, which was definitely inspiring to me. My favorite piece in the exhibit was the magazine cover below. It depicts Literature as a woman in red and Journalism as the woman in white, with her writing supplies propped on a globe. What a beautiful concept.

1909 'Cover of 'The Literary Digest'

 

Have a lovely Monday!

Teresa

The Bookshelf Reviews

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The latest addition to my bookshelf is Good + Simple cookbook. The Hemsley sisters have written a cookbook that is filled with nutritious recipes that are really delicious. My favorite so far is the Slow-Cooked “No Fry” Chicken Curry on page 197 that makes the kitchen smell amazing as it cooks. It tastes divine. Truly. The book also piqued my interest because it has a bone broth recipe that I want to try. I’ve been hearing that bone broth has incredible health benefits. I want to take advantage of all the veggie recipes for summer, and I definitely want to try the Zucchini and Cannellini Bean Lasagne and the Reinvented Noodle Pot recipes that are a riff on ramen noodles. This book is very on-trend, but the ingredients are practical, and the recipes are not intimidating. The only incongruity I noticed was that several recipes included bacon — in a cookbook that is otherwise focused on healthy recipes. That seemed like a quirky decision. Otherwise, I was really impressed by the recipes, the beautiful photos, and the inviting tone of the entire book. Blogging for Books sent me this cookbook in return for my honest review. I am very pleased with the recipes that I’ve already tried in the book. This one is a keeper.

Also on our bookshelf: Adventure Bible Wild About the Bible Sticker and Activity Book. I am in the process of potty training my son, so one of the ways that I encourage him to sit on the potty and use it is by saying, “Mommy will get the sticker book.” It has been working so far. My son is a little younger than the age range the book is intended for, but he loves the reusable stickers. Some of the pages have outlines that show children where to put the stickers, and he really likes to put stickers on those pages. He says, “Jesus” when he puts the Jesus stickers on the book, which is really cute. Heroes and adventures include Creation, Noah, Moses, Esther, and the parable of the Lost Son. The illustrations are beautiful, and we’ve had lots of fun. Book Look Bloggers sent me this book in return for my honest review. I am pleased with the quality of the glossy pages and the stickers, and above all, my son has looked forward to using the sticker book together each morning.

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What’s on your bookshelf?

Teresa

This is Joy

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6


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This is my first ever abstract painting. For a first try, I think it came out pretty good. At times I wasn’t sure if it was going to look right or be a muddy mess because I really do not know what I am doing (haha). The Bible verse I chose for this week is a reminder to have joy in the chaos. God began a good work, and he will see it through.

xoxo Teresa

Abide.

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Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

When the whole picture does not make sense . . .

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1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

This verse is near all of the well-known love verses in 1 Corinthians 13. I think it tends to be overshadowed by the love verses, but it’s such a beautiful and encouraging message. What we as believers see now on earth is not the whole picture.

Teresa

Easter Bible Journaling

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Easter is coming up on Sunday, so I want to share some of my Easter-inspired Bible journaling with you. I read Mark 14-16 and then did this colored pencil sketch of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. At Gethsemane, Christ asked his closest friends to keep watch while he prayed because he knew that the time of his crucifixion was drawing closer, but his friends kept falling asleep. When I look back at some of the hard times in my life, I can remember some people “falling asleep” on me too. Yet, Christ forgave his followers and didn’t give up on them. That’s hard to do, but that’s the example Christ sets for us. It’s so much easier to put up a wall after you’ve been hurt; that’s what I have done in the past, but seeing Christ’s example, I want to do better in the future.

I also made a page for communion using this tutorial. I link to this blogger’s pages pretty often, but I’m learning a lot from her posts! I love to take communion; the symbolism is beautiful. By partaking in the bread and wine (or grape juice, in the case of many churches), I am remembering and celebrating the Lord’s sacrifice and what he did on the cross to bring new birth and eternal life. Communion is also a time to reflect and to surrender any burdens to Christ.

One other part of these journaling pages that you might have noticed is the sunshine that has “I’m a Child of the King” written on it. That was my grandmother’s favorite hymn, and she died a few weeks ago. She was a woman of great faith and very active in her community. The color red, lipstick kisses, curlers, lilac bushes, and country cooking remind me of her. She had dementia for about the last decade of her life, so the photos and remembrances at her funeral brough back so many memories of the grandma that I remembered when I was young, the one who was such a strong role model for all of her grandchildren. I thought I would end this post by sharing the words of grandma’s favorite hymn with you.

I’m a Child of the King

by Harriet E. Buell

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.

I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.

I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King.

xoxo Teresa

Bible Journaling Jonah

The Bible story of Jonah in the Old Testament is pretty intense. Jonah’s disobedience to God’s directions causes him to be swallowed by a great fish, but God listens to Jonah’s pleas and gives him a second chance. Jonah prays an honest, sincere prayer in his time of distress, and the prayer is answered (Jonah 2:1-9).

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. . .” Jonah 2:2 (NIV)

Be Still.

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It’s funny how a gal decides to journal about being still . . . and then all kinds of chaos comes her way. That happened to me this winter. I literally had to keep coming back to this page and looking at it in the midst of a busy and challenging time in my life. I had to keep telling myself, “Be still, and let God take care of what is beyond your control.” My natural mode is to plan, plan, anticipate, and plan some more when chaos comes my way. I try to control life on my own terms and with my own wit, but God wants me to trust Him. Have you ever been there?

Teresa

#Bible Journaling Life

1 John 4:10(ESV)

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

This verse is a good reminder that my faith is rooted in what God has done for me, not in anything that I can do of my own strength.

xoxo Teresa

On Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13-18 (ESV)

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

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Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
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for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
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Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
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She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

 

Have a wonderful Monday.

Teresa

The Presence of God

 

James 4:8 (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you . . .

As I worked through the Bible Journaling Challenge last month, I felt like this verse was so true for me. I was drawing near to God by spending time in his word each day, and I was feeling His presence in a deeper way than I had felt it in a long time. I was in awe of what God was doing to strengthen my faith and what He was communicating to me.

One of the places I feel close to God is the ocean because it is so easy to see His beauty and power displayed there. The constancy of the waves reminds me of His character. My watercolor entry in my Journaling Bible represents how I feel God’s presence at the sea.

He is with us all along, but drawing near, we become more aware. He is at work even when we are not aware, but it is so reassuring to sense His presence and see Him work in ways that you know are from Him.

I think about how my son draws near to me for attention and love each day. He makes it impossible to do anything else but notice, hug, and love him.

Yes, draw near.

 

Teresa

 

Hope.

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Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This entry in my Journaling Bible is short and sweet, but I think simplicity can be a good thing. I used watercolors and a marker to make the feather. I tend to gravitate toward verses with the word “hope” in them, and this is a good one!

If you are interested in Bible journaling, I encourage you to check out a new Tuesdays to Create Bible Journaling Challenge . You don’t need a Journaling Bible to do this, by the way, even though it is really fun to have one. Any notebook will work as long as you have access to a Bible or a Bible app to look up the verses. I’ve signed up for Tuesdays to Create, and I’m looking forward to it.

Have a great Monday.

Teresa

Cute Animals to Brighten Your Saturday

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Awww. I woke up this morning with a cup of hot tea and The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja Safstrom. The black and white illustrations are beautiful, and the facts brought a smile to my face. For example, did you know that penguins laugh when they are tickled, or that it is physically impossible for pigs to look up at the sky? Or that a blue whale’s heart is as big as a car? My favorite: goats have different accents depending on where they are from.

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Books like this bring back our sense of wonder in the world. I was the girl who had to read every issue of Cat Fancy when I was in sixth grade (lol), so the facts and illustrations brought a feeling of nostalgia. What is neat about this book is that it really could appeal to all ages. I enjoyed it, but so would my niece in elementary school. My toddler son would like the pictures, but older children and adults could also enjoy the drawings and facts. I think it would be great choice for a classroom shelf, on a coffee table, or as a gift. It definitely has awww factor. Blogging for Books sent me this book in return for my honest review. Obviously, I am pleased!

Happy Saturday!

Teresa

The Mapmaker’s Children

themapmakers_cover_333x500When I’m picking a new novel to read, it seems like I constantly gravitate toward historical fiction. I love the idea of escaping into the past, picturing what the characters wore, experiencing all the sensory details of a time long-gone, and thinking about how the past still impacts the present. Sarah McCoy’s The Mapmaker’s Children caught my attention because it is set in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, one of my favorite places to spend a day in nature, with its gorgeous view of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. I also thought the idea of telling a story from the perspective of John Brown’s daughter sounded intriguing.

Here is the synopsis:

Sarah Brown, the vibrant, talented daughter of abolitionist John Brown, is dynamically changed when she stumbles onto her father’s work on the Underground Railroad shortly after being told the shocking news that she won’t ever bear children. Realizing that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the movement’s leading mapmakers, hiding maps within her paintings while bigotry and hatred steer the country toward a bloody civil war.

Interwoven with Sarah’s adventure is the present-day story of Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, who moves to an old house in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. Sarah and Eden’s connection bridges the past and present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.

Sarah McCoy had me from the beginning of the book with her descriptive prose. Her storytelling ability is wonderful, though honestly I tend to always like the story from the past better than the present day one when I’m reading a novel that weaves present and past. If you are a fan of historical fiction, I would definitely recommend this book.

Blogging for Books sent me a copy of this novel in return for my honest opinion.