My Bible arrived Thursday of last week. I gathered my art supplies from my card-making stash (horde) and just jumped in. I knew I wanted every piece of art to be meaningful, to be an expression of times I'd encountered God. I wondered about where I should start...all my favorite verses (so many), tell a story (too much structure). I was flipping through my new Bible trying to get a sense of how to begin. My eyes landed on Psalm 34:7 and I knew instantly this was my page. I was reminded of a very vivid encounter with God's power and protection.
It happened a long time ago...my boys were babies. Matt was three months old, Jeff was 3 and I was out on my own as a single-again mother of two, struggling to cope with a broken marriage, being alone, and living in an old run-down house out in the country. A man recently released from prison had targeting me and was stalking me, but usually during the day. Late one night, he started driving his motorcycle past my home...again and again, revving the engine to make sure I knew he was there. The boys and I all bunked up in the dining room because the upstairs bedrooms had no heat. Matt was in his baby bed beside me and Jeff lay in a twin bed along the other wall. Thankfully both were peacefully asleep and unaware of the ensuing danger.
I was shaking and praying, praying and shaking with every roar of his engine. I prayed harder. I ran to the throne of my Father to earnestly seek His protection. I told Him I had no protection other than Him...and I knew His power was sufficient to guard my children and me. The more I prayed the more relaxed I became...the more I trusted Him in my dire situation. I put my open Bible over my heart, surrendered myself completely to my Father's will and somehow miraculously dropped off to sleep.
I KNOW I'd had barely dropped off. I will never know if I was dreaming or saw a vision, but in one glorious flash of light, I was looking down upon my house and a brilliant circle of angels were encamped around it. They were glowing. Suddenly there was a deafening noise; I simply cannot describe it. The noise was the angels unfurling their wings. They stood wing tip to wing tip all around my house. The noise caused me to wake up as I gasped to even be able to take a breath.
The angels were there. I had no doubt then, and have no doubt now. I started to get up and rush to the window, but felt God restraining me. I sensed that He didn't want me to look out the window in search of those angels but to trust that they were there. I lay down again, and I really think I had the best night's sleep of my life! I never heard that motor cycle or saw that man again. Never again. He vanished.
So you can imagine my delight, my tears, when my eyes read God's precious Word, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear the Him, and delivers them." Psalm 34:7
My drawing is so humble compared to the glimpse of God's army He gave me that night. But it makes me cry to look at my pages, to remember what He did for me. Across the page, highlighted in yellow are these beautiful words, "Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of His servant." (Ps. 35:27) I believe with all my heart God delighted in helping me that night. I didn't feel like a worthy servant, but I did trust Him. I believed His Word, and I saw His hand of protection over me, literally!
I gathered supplies from my basement craft room and brought them to my dining room table to work in bright sunlight coming in the windows. I had a vision of how I wanted to symbolize what God did for me that night, but getting it from my head to the pages of the Bible...it was a little intimidating.
I opted to use colored pencils. I'd purchased this huge set back in my card-making days, but right after getting them I discovered Copic markers and went crazy with them. But those would bleed through the Bible pages, so they weren't a good option for me.
My box has 132 yummy colors and they go on like butter. No bleed through and lots of control. Great for a beginning art-journaler!
I wanted to convey the power of the moment I realized the angels wings were unfurled and touching tip to tip, forming an impenetrable hedge around my home. So the wing tips were to become the focal point. It seemed natural to have them meet in the center of the page. I used a mechanical pencil and drew as lightly as I could.
Once the wings were outlined, I just started coloring! How easy is that? No real plan, but I wanted them a light gray-taupe.
I love the colored pencil too because the text of scripture still shows through. I highlighted the key verse, and a couple of others that were meaningful, then used a cloud mask and Soft Sky SU ink to fill in the space above the wings. My hand-lettering is my biggest challenge right now. I just don't know the technique YET, but I'll be learning. I'm gathering those resources now.
I used the right side to give a very brief account of God's protection...
I was happy with my very first try at Bible art-journaling. The thing I love about it is it will blend all my past passions, stamping, card-making, scrapbooking, mixed media art...there's a little bit of all of it in the mix of art-journaling. I've been busy with more pages and I'll share them soon. I've joined several FB groups that have tons of inspiration and camaraderie, and I'm really feeling a rush of creativity again. It's in my blood, and I can't wait to do more.
I'm hoping this post will nudge a few of my guest from earlier days and we can reconnect again. Many of you have been continuing to craft and creating beautiful things. I need to do some browsing to reconnect with tons of you. I've missed YOU too!
Thanks for peeking in...it feels good to be back.