Friday, November 2, 2012

Emotions, Bible Study, and Art Journaling

I have been making an attempt to work on three areas in my art journaling:  1.) Getting more of "me" on my pages - my emotions, my issues, what I'm working through and dealing with, etc.; 2.) Putting my times of Bible study in my art and expressing what God is showing me through His Word; 3.) Practicing and improving my own hand lettering.
 
Last week I worked on a page spread that combined all three of these areas. The spread focuses on a topic I deal with and try to work through quite often: dealing with negative thinking. The week before I had spent some time reading some articles online about changing perspective and dealing with emotions. It's only been in the past decade or so that I have struggled with this issue, so when I get bogged down by negative thinking it feels so abnormal to me and causes a battle within me.
 
Some quotes from the articles I read:
"Your perception of experiences makes them positive or negative."
"How you choose to think about things alters how you perceive them."
"What you focus on is what you get. What you set your mind to will affect your experiences in life." These were all from Bridget Webber, a counselor who writes articles for Kjoni.com.
 
As I was reading different articles, I began to think about the verse in Philippians that calls us to think about things that are positive. That led to a wonderful morning of studying Philippians 4:4-9. Reading books and articles and blogs are all helpful but when God leads me to His Word I find true wisdom and the path to healing. God calls His people to have a mind set on heavenly things and a perspective that focuses on the ways of Christ.  In this passage in Philippians Paul gives us four imperatives:
1. Rejoice in the Lord always. (verse 4)
2. Let your gentleness be known {evident}. (verse 5)
3. Do not be anxious {worried} about anything. (verse 6)
4. Rather, in everything make your request known to God.(verse 6)
What I see then is 1.) have an attitude of gratitude and look to God and His loving kindness in all things. 2.) Focus on serving, loving, and being in relationship with others as Christ calls us to (there are over 38 "one another"verses in the Bible). 3.) Don't worry, look to God, gain His perspective on life and circumstances. 4.) Give what you worry about to God. How? The verse goes on to say that we do this through prayer, petition, and with thanksgiving. And the result will be the peace of God guarding your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (vs 7)
Then the passage goes on to call us to think about things that are positive ~ true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy things. Focus on them and practice them and the God of peace will be with you. (vs 8 & 9).
And my page spread trying to express some of this:

 


 

4 comments:

  1. This post is very relevant for me. I would like to better incorporate art journaling and the study of God. It's so easy for the practice to become all about me, when, in reality, I am nothing without Him!

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    1. Agreed, Anna! I'm glad this post connected with you. I've enjoyed seeing your art journal pages on the TAJ group page. I really encourage you to explore more of your walk with God in your art also. It doesn't mean you have to share it with others necessarily, but it is one more way of worshipping God and exploring your faith and yourself. Hope to hear more from you in the future. Thanks for leaving a comment!

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  2.      i mary i thought of ur post when i got this e mail today
       The Holy Alphabet

    A lthough things are not perfect
    B ecause of trial or pain
    C ontinue in thanksgiving
    D o not begin to blame
    E ven when the times are hard
    F ierce winds are bound to blow
      G od is forever able
        H old on to what you know
          I magine life without His love
            J oy would cease to be
              K eep thanking Him for all the things
                L ove imparts to thee
                 M ove out of "Camp Complaining"
                  N o weapon that is known
                 O n earth can yield the power
                   P raise can do alone
                    Q uit looking at the future
                     R edeem the time at hand
                     S tart every day with worship
                      T o "thank" is a command
                      U ntil we see Him coming
                      V ictorious in the sky
                      W e'll run the race with gratitude
                      X alting God most high
                      Y es, there'll be good times and yes some
                              will be bad, but...
                      Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

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    1. That's great. Thanks for sharing it Amy!

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