Psalms Day by Day | Part Two

Apparently I’m making series-style posts a thing here this year because this is the second post in my series of working through the Psalms. It feels positive to be a month and a half in and still making this project a priority. That’s not to say that I haven’t missed a day here or doubled up there, but it has been a good practice in slowing down and making time for something that it important. I know I mentioned this in the first post of the series, but I just can’t shake it. God is doing a number on my heart.

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As I completed days 7 & 8, I realized that in the grand scheme of things, the extent to which I’m decorating my bible doesn’t affect my faith journey or what I’ll retain. As I reflect back in the coming months, I want to remember that God’s word is already good. It doesn’t need to be over embellished for God to get through to me. I want to remind us that the importance is NOT how pretty our pages are but how fulfilling our worship and time with God are during the process. photo BAC951B1-3B10-42B9-8303-CB7BDB698A50_zpsds5wsycr.jpg

Sometimes you hear the right thing at the right time, that’s what Psalms 9 and 10 were for me.

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Just like other books in the bible, there are times when certain Psalms just don’t speak to me right away. I take this opportunity to check out other resources and commentaries to see what things might be picked up from context clues or time period hints that I might not be picking up on. I LOVE the Old Testament but sometimes I just get so confused trying to track down cross references so this really helps me learn more than I could have at face value.

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I had some major issues with days 13-16 because in my bible, they were all on the same page. It’s crazy that I allowed something so simple to hold up my bible reading/worship practice. Learning from this and (slowly but surely) moving forward.

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I love that this project is as intense (or not!) as you want it to be. Some days (like 7-10 above) words are all I want to write just to keep going to keep learning and studying, yet for day 18 I was able to try a new technique with some mesh and paint to create a fun background. Again, it’s the process that’s important. photo EF25651D-4DD9-47D2-9E3F-0A262E32E44C_zpsuoyibmen.jpg

The toughest part for me is to visually connect an entire spread, especially when there are multiple chapters on a page. Even though this has been challenging, I love that it has allowed me to pull out and use some of my old supplies that I’ve been holding on to forever. I’m so looking forward to flipping back through these pages when I complete all 150 Psalms.

Psalms Day by Day

Just like last February, I decided to set a goal of bible journaling every day for the entire month. I was going to go through randomly, until I saw that my IG friend, Bailey, was going to be working through one psalm a day from February until June and was encouraging others to read and worship through them with her. Here is my first week of entries.

Days 1 & 2: One of my favorite parts of reading the Psalms is the ability to easily pray through them. I definitely underestimated how much room I’d need for each chapter since I’m using a double column journaling bible, but that’s ok – I just tried to emphasize the points or key verses that stuck out to me during my prayers. I really enjoyed pulling from other versions as well. At the end of chapter two, The Message translation reads, “Run for God, you won’t regret it!” Oh yes.

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Day 3: Any time I read a verse about God being armor, it reminds me of Ephesians 6:10-20:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

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Day 4: You all know that if there’s a verse with “joy” in it, it’s going in my bible immediately.

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Day 5: I’m trying to keep my bible a little more slim this go-round, so I’m only using pens, stamps, and flat stickers/embellishments. I’m trying to pair down my stash before I pick up some of these lovelies.

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After just one week, I’m realizing that my face-paced culture and mindset have played tricks on me. I always beg for more and more information that it’s become hard for me to slow down to accommodate this practice of reading only one Psalm a day. I’ve always tried to consume as much as I can in a short amount of time in hopes of retaining all that God’s word holds as fast as possible. There are scenarios where this could be useful (like when I read the Bible in year) but I’ve realized that it isn’t the best practice for me to really dig deep into God’s promises and hide his words away in my heart.

In pushing myself to over-consume, I’ve found that my heart is really overwhelmed. I’m talking about feeling overwhelmed to the point that I feel deterred from doing anything – praying, reading, or turning from my sin. Because to be honest, none of these things will ever be complete and I’m not sure I know how to handle “to-dos” that will be on my list every day for the rest of my life. I’ll never get to a point where I won’t need to pray or read or repent.

As I hold on to this practice, I’m giving myself grace to take it day by day in hopes of tackling a slower pace that God will use to soothe my soul and teach me how to take action wen I’m overwhelmed.

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Written Worship | Update

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Even though I don’t post Written Worship entries here as much as I’d like, I’m still posting over at my IG account @withinmylens. Here are a few of my most recent bible journaling entries in catch up style with the photo and the caption I used over there.

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Ephesians 4:15 – Reading “The Best Yes” with some ladies at work. In the very first chapter I read this: “In this great day when most women wave banners of authenticity about our pasts, we crouch back from honesty about our presents. We’ll tell you all about our broken places of yesterday but don’t dare admit the limitations of today.” I needed to hear this.

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Love this artwork that came with my last Illustrated Faith purchase. Stick some writing on the back and we’re good to go!

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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

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Fear of the Lord means you don’t have to fear anything else. – Jim Thomas

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Simple, yet powerful.

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“If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” Three months ago, I asked God to direct us to where we need to be. Two months ago, we met this adorable house, and I asked God to close doors and open others if it wasn’t meant to be. Three weeks ago, we got the keys and two days ago we moved in. There is no better feeling than knowing we’re exactly where we need to be. I’m thankful for God’s abundant blessings.

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Asking God to make my heart like His. (This song is constantly stuck in my head. Repeating these lines over and over is good for my heart.)

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Thank you, Lord for your unfailing love.

What have YOU been up to in your journaling bible?

Written Worship | Jeremiah 29:13

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Sometimes I forget about that “with all your heart” part.

Today, I’m reminding myself of what’s important.

Today I’m coming up with a plan to move forward.

Today, I’m thankful for the grace and mercy my Heavenly Father continues to show me.

Today, I’m relishing in His Holy Presence because His love never fails.

This post is part of my challenge to post every day in July! To see them all, click here!

Growing in Soil

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A couple times a week, I get emails from Illustrated Faith with information about new items that have come to their shop, new blog posts and every once in a while, they send out freebies. This past week, the Growing in Soil Devotional was put in the shop for free (it’s typically $3) so I thought I would go ahead and print it on some sticker paper. There are two pages and each one is the exact same size as the pages of my traveler’s notebook, 8.25″ by 4.33″, so I cut them down just a little bit more to make sure I would not have any hanging off the page or getting stuck in the binding. I then cut apart the smaller pieces so I could place them around the pages.

I decided to stick everything to the notebook before even reading the devotional. It was one of those times where I was so caught up on making the page look pretty that I didn’t take to much care about the words. I thought I’d just write something, post it on Instagram and move on. When I finally read them, it hit me like a ton of bricks and didn’t leave. It was tugging at my heart where I needed it the most, where I know I’ve been lacking. This devotional was such a good reminder that I continually let myself fall out of the habit of reading my Bible and meeting God daily, something that’s so good for me, while God continually pursues my heart. I encourage you to check this one out and see what else Illustrated Faith has to offer!

This post is part of my challenge to post every day in July! To see them all, click here!

Gratitude Documented

Originally posted on

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In November, Illustrated Faith introduced their traveler’s notebooks and a challenge to document the things that we are grateful for. I decided to follow along (at a bit slower pace) in my YPH Mixed Media Artist’s Notebook and make it into an art journal of sorts. While I really love using my journaling bible, there is nothing quite like this thick paper to smear my paint all over. I love that this challenge can be done anytime and you can customize it to add as many items as you’re thankful for. This could be another one of those never ending projects for me. The photo below shows Illustrated Faith’s prompts for each day of the month.

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I love that this project incorporates bible journaling and art journals. This is such a good starting place for people who may not want to go all in and buy a bible and more supplies. You could easily do this with any notebook or journal and the supplies you have – even if it’s just multi-colored pens! I’ve also seen people on instagram incorporating this into their daily planner or just using these prompts as a guide for pages in the journaling bible. The options are endless.

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Personally, I love being able to layer paint without having to worry about making holes and ruining other pages. But most of all, I loved thinking about these things that I’m thankful for and writing tidbits of how God has blessed me or answered my prayers and bible verses that these words reminded me of. I did hide a bit of writing under flaps and in a pocket just to keep things out of sight and a bit cleaner looking. It’s my little love letter to God.

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I’m not quite done yet, but as I continue working on this project, I realize how small my gratitude is compared to the big things that God has done in my life. I realize how much I take for granted. Pretty often, I think and pray about how thankful I am for my family, friends, and job but I rarely thank God for my salvation, freedom, and hope. Wow…what a wake up call.

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It almost reminds me of reading One Thousand Gifts and keeping track of one thousand things that I’m thankful for. While I did more abstract art, you could definitely use more photos or actually draw or paint out each things instead of writing about them.

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I’ve been keeping this journal in my Chic Sparrow Traveler’s Notebook and when I’m having a bad day or when I’m having a hard time seeing how God is working in my life, I take a take a look at these pages. These pages are proof of the amazing things that God has done and they remind me to continuously work for the kingdom goal.

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Did you follow along with the #GratitudeDocumented project? I’d love for you to share your photos or links to your blog below!