Am I a “Grown Up?”

Adult Card2On Tuesday nights, the Coach has a night class. My typical routine is to take him into school before lunch, and pick him up in the evening so that the Champ can get a car ride home with his daddy before bedtime. A couple of weeks back, as I was strolling around campus with the boys I overheard a couple of freshmen talking about their moms as they were skateboarding in the quad.

“She can’t tell me what to do. I am an adult. I live on campus by myself and everything.”

I chuckled at the statement. This boy was ten years younger than me and had more confidence in his adulthood than I had in mine.

I frequently ask the Coach when my adult card will come in the mail because I simply don’t feel like a “grown-up.” Even though I am married, paid bills for six years, have completed my degree, held a couple of “big girl jobs,” and have two children, I still feel as if I am a little girl playing house.

I pulled out a tube of lip balm from my pocket the next day. When I went to twist it up, it wouldn’t come up anymore. For the first time in my life, I finished a tube of lip balm before it was washed in a pants pocket, lost, melted in the car, or eaten by the dog. Somehow, this empty tube of lip balm felt like a real sign of my becoming a “grown-up.”

Lib Balm

There are various definitions of adult: no longer young, not childish or immature, fully grown or developed, mature. I suppose by those worldly definitions, I am definitely a grown-up.

However, am I spiritually grown-up?

“It’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature- for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14)

“However, we do speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages of our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthinas 2:6-8

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Perhaps I have been living on the milk of the word for too long. It is tempting to be spoon fed the basics of the Christian faith from the pulpit. However, have I neglected my pursuit of spiritual maturity? Have I been seeking out the more complex aspects of the Word? In order to mature in wisdom, I should be seeking the wisdom of God.

Much like adulthood, spiritual maturity does not come with a card in the mail. But, it will be apparent in the way we live our lives and walk out our faith.

But unlike adulthood, we will never be “fully grown or developed.” We must constantly seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and continue to grow in knowledge over the course of our lives.

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Prayer for My Thought Life

Lord,

I cannot hide the thoughts of my heart from you, Lord (Jeremiah 23:24). Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

Help to cast away my anxiety and turn to you in everything (Philippians 4:6). You know my needs and will provide for me. Help me to not seek the things of the world, but to seek the kingdom of God (Luke 12:29-31). When I cry out to you in my trouble, you will save me from my darkness (Psalm 107:13). You will deliver me from my troubles when I cry out to you (Psalm 34:17-18).

You tell us that an angry man stirs up strife and a furious man abounds in transgression (Proverbs 29:22). Help me to not be quick to anger (Ecclesiastes 7:9) Help me to not be envious of others or self-seeking because evil exists where envy and self-seeking exist (James 3:16).

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Plam 51:10). Help me to be spiritually minded, so that I may have life and peace (Romans 8:6). Give me the wisdom to be pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).

Renew the spirit of my mind (Ephesians 4:22-24). Help me to be of good cheer in times of tribulation because You have overcome the world (John 16:33) and your comforts delight my soul (Psalm 94:19).

Amen

Bible Journaling on a Crayola Budget

Crayola Budget

If you think that you would enjoy Bible journaling but are worried that it will not fit into your budget, don’t worry about costs. Journaling is a creative process and when it comes to budgeting for it, we can get creative.

For me journaling is more about the process than the final results, so using simple supplies was not much of an issue.

The biggest initial expense in Bible Journaling is buying a “Journaling Bible.” These are special Bibles that have a wider margin and thicker paper than traditional Bibles. If you are like me and are living on a shoestring budget, even the $25 Bible seems like a big amount. In this case, you can read the passages from any Bible (or online if you do not own a Bible), then journal in any journal or notebook that you already own. My first week of journaling was done on plain copy paper and my son’s art paper.

There are no required tools for journaling. You can simply use your Bible, journal, and a pen or pencil. However, most people want to create a more colorful page. I started out by using tools that I already had around the house. I used regular pens instead of the nice archival pens. I used five of my son’s crayons as highlighters. I also had a box of Crayola colored pencils and an off brand children’s watercolor set.

I did have a little bit of supply envy after getting on Pinterest and reading blogs by others that do Bible journaling. So, I started a wish list and asked for supplies as Christmas and birthday presents. As I received these products, I noticed that my pages looked a little nicer. However, they were not necessary to build the relationship with God that I get through Bible journaling. For reference, the top image on this page was done with the Champs art supplies. The bottom image was done with the supplies listed in my last post.

Crayola Budget2

Prayer For Humility

Lord,

Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). You oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble (James 4:6). You bring down the mighty from their throne and exalt those of humble estate (Luke 1:52).

Help me to humble myself like a child, so that I may enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:2-4), because you have said “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15).

Do not allow myself to justify myself before men because You know my heart and what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15). So, then, what good is it to me if I gain the whole world but lose my soul? Help me to humble myself and to take up my cross daily to follow you (Luke1:23-25).

Amen

Bible Journaling: Tools of the Trade Part 2

Tools of the Trade2

Last week, I talked about my journaling Bible and the tools I use as I am reading. This week, I want to focus on the tools I use for illustrating my journaling Bible.

Pencil.

You can use whatever pencil fits your style best. I use a regular No. 2 wooden pencil. I love Ticonderoga Pencils. They are fairly inexpensive, have a great eraser, and don’t seem to break as much as traditional pencils. If you go with a wooden pencil, make sure to have a pencil sharpener in your arsenal of supplies. Mechanical pencils are great for smaller detail and you don’t have to worry about sharpening them.

There are a variety of artist pencils on the market and the difference is in the lead. The amount of smudging a pencil does will be based on hardness and how dark a pencil marks is based on blackness. No. 2 pencils fall in the middle of the hardness and blackness scales, so you can adjust accordingly.

Eraser.

My husband (The Coach) picks on me for being an eraser snob. I have only used White Pearl Erasers since high school. They don’t leave any smudge marks and are inexpensive.

Pencil Sharpener.

This is an area where I am not picky. I just use the simple pencil sharpener that came with my son’s Ticonderoga pencils. I know that some of you out there will prefer an electric pencil sharpener, but I prefer all of my tools be portable.

Colored Pencils.

Crayola is the way to go here. I prefer Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils because they are pretty and you do not have to sharpen them. I started out with the traditional Crayola colored pencils. They worked fine until Swayze realized he loved the taste of wood. He has not even attempted to eat my Twistables (yet).

Pens.

I started my Bible Journaling journey with my favorite pen straight out of my pencil cup. It was a Uni-Ball Vision Pen and it glided over paper like butter and was fairly inexpensive. The ink was beautiful and dark and really made the colors on my page stand out. I was journaling on my son’s drawing paper, not in a Bible, so I did not really care about bleeding through.

Once I moved to my Bible, I switched to a pen from my bank. It worked fine for a few days. The ink was not bleeding through. The color was still standing out and the pen was free. However, I got tired of seeing the indentions on the next page from where I was writing. I was able to solve this problem some by placing a piece of cardstock between the pages while I worked; however, pressing down still showed up on the backside of the page.

I quickly went out  to the craft store and bought Micron Ink Pens. These are an archival ink, which means they are going to be rich in color, be less likely to bleed through, and not fade away. They come in different tip sizes. I started out with an 01, 03, and 05 which range from 0.25mm through 0.45mm. Just as a frame of reference, most mechanical pencils have a tip of 0.5mm or 0.7mm. I love the fine tip because it really allows me to draw in fine detail. These pens come in bigger sizes and a smaller size as well. So far, I have discovered that I like my 005, 01, and 02 the most. I don’t like using the bigger sizes because I can see the shadow from where I have written on the back side of the page. These also come in a multicolored pack.

For the perfectionist, you may want to try Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pens. I do not have any personal experience with these; however, they have piqued my interest. They write like a ball point pen, come in a variety of colors and are erasable.

Watercolors.

I started off using a set of dollar tree watercolors from the kid’s craft section. I was reluctant to buy a set of Sakura Watercolors, but I was gifted a set at Christmas. They are in fact amazing. The colors are vibrant and I have a lot more options to choose from. My only complaint was the waterbrush that was included. It screws on counterclockwise, and I broke it by overtightening when I intended to open it. I simply use a regular paintbrush with the kit now, but you can purchase replacement waterbrushes if you need to.

Come back next week for a look at “Tips and Techniques for Non Artists.”

*Please, note that I get a small percentage of sales from the Amazon links above. However, I use all of these products myself (except where clearly noted) and I am personally recommending them to my readers.

Prayer Against the Enemy

 

Lord,

You are a faithful God and nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from your love that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). I will give thanks to you because your love endures forever (2 Chronicles 21). Help me to not have fear because you are with me. You will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with your righteous hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Help me to recognize who my battle is truly against (Ephesians 6:12). I will surrender to you, Lord, because the battle is yours (2 Chronicles 15). I know that the enemy will flee from you (Psalm 68:1) and not have victory over me (Psalm 30:1). You will give me strength and protect me from him (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Be a light when I am in darkness (Micah 7:8). Keep me from temptation and guard me from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).

Amen

Bible Journaling: Tools of the Trade Part 1

Tools of the Trade1

The world of Bible journaling can be quite confusing because there are so many options out there. Today, I am discussing the type of Bible I use and the tools I use when reading. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to journal as long as you are spending meaningful time with the Lord.

Bible.

Pick a Bible translation that speaks best to you. I prefer the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It is the version my pastor uses and it is claimed to be faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek while also remaining readable. At the time I purchased my Bible, there was only one Holman available and it was expensive so I settled on the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible.

After you settle on a translation, you will have a variety of sizes, styles and colors. I chose a single column journaling bible with a plain black cover. I prefer the single column format because it is easy to read and my illustrations are next to the text they are referencing. I also picked out my Bible based on size. I wanted something small enough to toss in a diaper bag.

Bible Commentary.

I find a good Bible commentary to be helpful with reading my Bible. When I get to a passage I don’t understand, I enjoy reading more about it. Usually, there is some kind of historical or cultural significance that I did not pick up on. Commentaries are also great for linking passages back to other passages. You can use online commentaries or books, but be selective in choosing one. The Bible is God-breathed and authoritative. Commentaries are human written and therefore can actually contradict the Bible. When reading through scripture, always pray for wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit. Also, remember that the Bible was written for everyone, not just those that have been through seminary school. I use The Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary.

Highlighters.

Last week, I mentioned that I do a lot of highlighting in my Bible. Ordinary highlighters will bleed through your pages. However, several people use them with no problem. I would definitely test out any pen, paint or highlighter in your Bible before using them. You can use one of the reference pages at the front or back of your Bible as a test page.

When I first started Bible Journaling, I used Crayola crayons. They worked to keep me engaged in my reading; however, they had a bit of grittiness to them.

ACCU-Gel Highlighters are my highlighter of choice. I like a Bible highlighter that works more like crayon because it will not bleed through the page. These are very vibrant. The colors do not rub off, but they will leave a waxy feeling to your page for a day or so (this goes away quickly).

I have seen the Zebra Eco Zebrite Highlighters recommended, but I have not used these.

Storage.

Depending on where you plan on doing your Bible Journaling, you will need a way to store all of your tools. If you will always be journaling at the same desk and don’t need your tools to be portable, you can always use a pencil caddy and desk organizer for your supplies.

Otherwise, you will probably use some sort of bag for everything. Any bag will do for storage. Even a gallon size Ziploc bag works just fine. It is clear, so you can see everything at once and it is a very inexpensive option. Some people like to get a makeup case. Most of these have elastic holders designed for makeup brushes that allow you to keep your favorite pens organized easily. I personally use a zipper pouch from 31 Gifts.

Next week, I will discuss my favorite tools for illustrating the margins of my Bible.

*Please note, I get a small percentage of sales from the Amazon links above (except where noted). However, these are all products that I use myself and am personally recommending for my readers.