Today’s Art Journal entry was inspired by Tracy Weinzaple Mixed Monday event. The April challenge over on the Facebook Page is to create using a song as inspiration. My song is This Is How We Overcome. We have had a very tragic event touch our lives this year and we are grieving the loss of one we loved and opened our home to for a time a couple of years ago. It’s been a difficult time to say the least, but with the Holy Spirits help and the comfort of God I am able to move forward and dance!
I love the Sermon On The Mount (The Beatitudes) and was listening to them on Bible Gateway one morning on my ride to the office and decided to do some searching for teachings on this sermon by Jesus. I came across some Podcast by Joyce Meyer and have been able to listen to two of them (I think there 4 or 5 total). I love the way God uses people to speak to our hearts and give us exactly what we need as we need it.
My page is covered with some tissue paper from 7 Gypsies that has destinations all over the world printed on it in different fonts. It adds a great base for my background and some texture. As I was looking for the media I would use on this weeks art journal entry, I was reminded that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all the world to hear. It’s part of the Great Commission we believers are given. The Gospel is to be shared all over the earth by those of us who love, know, and worship Him. I went searching in my studio closet and found some old tools that are great for adding texture. Our study time sometimes needs a dusting off and perhaps we need to look in our closets or resources that are available to us that we may not have used before. That said, I use the Word to measure everything that comes from the Preachers and speakers I hear or listen to. It’s a great measuring rod.
I heated up the little heart shaped stamp pad that easily attaches to the stylus and then stamped it on this flat stamp and held it firmly for a minute or two. Using some black Stazon ink I was able to add another layer and some visual texture. I love that when I am working in my Art Journal I don’t have to stress over each element being ‘perfect’. It’s a place I can work and try different techniques (old and new) and not stress over it. My prayer time with Jesus is that way. I can just pour my heart out about anything and everything. He knows me better than I know myself, and I am greatly comforted by that.
I used some purchased stencils and a few home made stencils. I love the way my home made dancer turned out. I laid my hand made stencil down and taped the edges and then used a MS Dauber and some gesso to fill the space. After some drying time and adding my title I was ready to use more of the stencils on my dancer and the page. The stars that are blue are made with some modeling paste that has a glossy finish and I added some turquoise paint to it for color. I also used some bubble wrap with acrylic paints.
As I was making this dancer stencil, I thought of King David who danced before the Lord. Talk about a man who had many ups and downs in life. Tragic events and consequences galore! God says that he was a man after His own heart. God knew what choices David would make (good and awful) and loves him anyway. That is the God we love and serve. He loves us despite our sinful nature. How blessed (happy) are we who love Him! King David was a man that learned to ‘begin again’ after a tragic event. He was not going to give up because he made up his mind that it was not ever an option.
When bad things happen we get a choice of attitude. We can begin again or we can allow our circumstances to make us bitter. We have to choose to be an ‘overcomer’ of our current circumstances. When we are in the process of mourning (death, loss of job, dissolved marriage, family struggle, strife at work, betrayal) we cannot see what God is doing. I think this is because we are focused on mourning. We can rest assured that God is working in the midst of our grieving and is right there with us. Calling out to God was all that I could do in this last loss of a loved one. I was going through the motions of living daily life, but inside I felt empty and numb. I was in disbelief, the WHY mode, the anger, and then sheer grief of the loss and his suffering.
For me and I think others, this mourning process can be a time of spiritual growth. The only ONE who could possibly help me was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. King David understood this. All you have to do is spend time reading or listening to Psalms. The only comfort that helped me was the comfort of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When we are willing to go through the grieving process with Him, there is a testimony in the making. Anytime there is a testimony, it means there was a test. We learn obedience to God in the midst of our mourning. Hebrews 5
I used a small clear butterfly stamp from a Fancy Pants to remind me of the cycle of life and the hope of Heaven. We have to hold firm to the truth of God’s Word. Joseph had a dream about his life and unfortunately for him shared it with his family. As a result of that he was sold into slavery and suffered much. In the midst of his tragedies (yes more than just one!) he remained faithful to God he believed in a knew intimately. It would have seemed easier at times to give up, but he knew God was faithful and even if it cost him his life his mind was made up that he was going to be obedient to God. God understood that Joseph had what it took to survive the tragedies that would come upon him and all of that part of the world. He needed one who would be steadfast, faithful, and obedient even unto death. God promoted him and eventually reunited him with his family. God not only restored Joseph, but promoted and blessed him many times over.
As I think about David and Joseph and the obstacles that they had to overcome I know the ONLY way that they could be an overcomer was by the power of God himself. It takes a person who humbles himself before the Lord. On the back of my art journal entry this week I added the 2nd verse of the chorus to my inspiration song as well as some characteristics of one who is meek (gentle) minded. While none of us are perfect, we know that God’s help and our faithful obedience we to can be an overcomer and do great things for the Kingdom of God here on earth as it will be in Heaven.
What I’ve learned in this journey is that I do not know the answers to all of my WHY questions, but I do know the ONE who can turn my mourning into dancing.