Monday, March 21, 2016

Illustrating Your Bible to Get Out of a Funk

I've been feeling melancholy lately. I get this way when the seasons change. Part of the S.A.D.(Seasonal Affect Disorder) I suppose. My moods fluctuate from sadness to aggravation to both. Worse is that for a variety of reasons, I haven't written in over a week--and I'd committed to writing my novel every day. Part life getting in the way, part lethargy.

The more time slips away, the more disinterested I become, and that scares me. I am committed to finishing this, and I'm drifting right now--somewhere in the middle. When life prevents me from continuing, I become angry...with life, and with myself (I'm very hard on myself).

During all of this, I hear the Spirit calling. I feel the tug in my most inner being. Yet, I ignore it. After all, what do I have to offer you Lord? I feel like I'll just sit there, not knowing what to say, becoming bored when I don't hear anything. And opening the bible to just any old place---I'd probably get, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" Because right now, I can only see the woes and not the blesseds. 

The other night I was restless. I was too annoyed with things from the day to write--I was afraid that my attempts would cause my characters to defect into another novel--and try as I might, I couldn't concentrate on reading. I felt the creative pull, but I just wasn't in the mood.

I saw my Beautiful Word Bible sitting on my footstool. It truly is a beautiful bible. It's illustrated--in the margins--like what's trendy now. I started reading through Philippians and before I knew it, I wanted to illustrate my bible. So I picked up my journaling bible and copied (Beautiful Bible is on left; my copy is on the right).

There is something about copying the Word, and staying in that scripture for an hour that does the heart, soul, mind and spirit good. My mood lightened, my burden lifted, and my spirit connected with God. How could I not praise the Lord?

Next thing I knew, Hubbles was going off to bed, and I was looking for another scripture to copy (mine is on the left this time--and I have a different version).

I needed to be creative, but I just didn't have it in me to create. And that bothered me. But copying I can do. And knowing that God has made me, will carry me and has saved me put me in the right frame of mind to sleep soundly (and I did!).

The next day I woke up and felt that closeness to God that I'd been missing, and realized that was part of my sadness. After work, I plunged back in to the novel and copied three more pages in my bible!

If you're interested in the Beautiful Word Bible, it can be purchased any place bibles are sold (I got mine at Amazon).

If you're interested in how I made my beautiful copies, I first used pencil, then micro pens for the words (erasing the pencil after the ink dried, or erasing as you outline, before you fill.). Micro pens work nicely on bible pages because they don't bleed through. I used water color pencils for the flowers (water color pencils typically come with a small brush-you can color then paint over top with water to blend the colors to look like a watercolor painting). 

If you find yourself in the same ugly place I was in, don't hide from God. He knows where you, are and guess what? He loves you still. Do whatever your inner self needs to connect with Him. But remember this--

It's okay to be in that place. It's okay to sit there and have nothing to say. It's okay if you don't feel His presence. It's okay if you don't "hear" anything. Faith isn't about feeling or hearing. It's about knowing. If you feel far from God, it's because you've moved, not Him. 

Blessings (not woes!) Along the Path,

Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies  


  1. I love this! LOVE this. Haven't seen the Beautiful Bible yet--is it in any other translation than NIV? You are very artistic, too--lovely lettering. This is an exercise we teach in Principle Approach Education in our literature studies relating to coloring illustrations in classic literature ink drawings. There is something that engages in the brain for focus and depth, allowing you to slow down and brood as the artist originally did in bringing the details of the illustration to be a matched companion to the words in the text. We have been teaching coloring for all ages for decades--long before adult coloring books, art journals, and these new artistic Bibles became popular. I just wish they made these Bibles with larger font. So far I've only found it in tiny 8pt. Gah--hurts my eyes. Beautiful job, Mare. NOW--go write the next chapter!!!!!

    1. There is another version--I don't know what it is. The font, however, is a bit small--don't know if it's 8, but most likely. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm writing as time allows...still committed every day, but some days, I just can't do it all (have to get in that "daily" exercise too, and I'm gone all day till 5, 5:30. Sigh...deep sigh...

  2. Mary, you are an ARTIST!! Oh my, your work is just beautiful! I think whenever we *add* something to the reading of God's Word, it just sinks in deeper. We just got my mom some Bible coloring books, and I think this will be nice for her, as reading the Word on her own is more difficult now. And I like writing stuff down. Reading and writing always cements the message for me.

    Just remember when you get down on yourself - the message of defeat and discouragement never comes from God. The enemy loves to berate us when we feel sidetracked. But, let's just not listen...OK?! :-)


    (P.S. I do NOT call that copying - you have CREATED works of art!)

    1. Thank you, Sharon, for the encouragement as well as the reminder! He also likes to distract us from our purpose and knows what works to discourage us. But greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world!

      The only thing to keep in mind when purchasing one of these bibles is that the font size is typically quite small, I guess to accommodate the side margins for journaling. Unless your mom has super sharp eyesight for an older woman, you may want to think twice. Thanks, as always, for such engaging responses!

  3. Mary, as always you deliver with depth and creativity. Reading your posts is always worth the time!