So with a leap of faith I finally spread my wings and jumped in to create my first page shown below. It was not perfect and yes, if I could do it differently now I would. But guess what? The more time I spent intentionally focusing and meditating on scripture while creating I felt the presence of God right there with me. I learned that it wasn’t ultimately about what the art looked like. Yep, I seriously did just write that! As a professional artist, of course I’m concerned with the physical result of my work. But as I got more deeply into Bible Journaling, I learned that growth and healing occurs not in the perfection of the art, but rather in presence with God. As a busy mom, wife and business owner it has really helped me to slow down, to be still, and rest in His Word, staying long enough to actually hear from Him and not just something to be checked off my to do list.
I recently heard Christian author and speaker Jess Connolly share, “The Word of God doesn’t need beautiful imagery. The Word of God deserves beautiful imagery.” It’s changing our mindset from, we “have to” do this to we “get to” do this. How awesome and beautiful is that! God has given me a gift and if I can use that gift to help others draw closer to Him then that is my calling and my mission in this life. If the art is what someone sees that draws them ultimately into the Word and the presence of God like I’ve personally experienced then I’m okay with that. In fact I’m all for it! Because when one spends time meditating on the living and active Word of God one can’t help but to be changed, renewed or even healed as God Himself is revealed. The Lord has given us each gifts to be used for His glory and for His Kingdom and I am thrilled, humbled and honored to share my love and passion for Jesus with the world through art.
All this has lead to creating my Bible Journaling Trusting in God booklet as a tool and resource for others to encounter God through creative practice and worship. I have found that God provides opportunities for us to honor Him and in faith and obedience we can choose to step into those opportunities or not. This journey all started with a conversation with my sweet friend, author and speaker Rachel Wojo. Last year Rachel and I collaborated on a Bible Journaling Workbook focused on the topic of Joy. You can read more about that and find the downloadable workbook on Rachel’s Blog HERE. When I received a call from Rachel this Spring asking if it was okay to pass my name along to a small publishing company who was looking for artists to work on Bible Journaling Booklets I was like, “Sure!” I mean, why not. I had been praying for God to lead me in how I could share the message of hope through my art with others. Maybe this would be the opportunity? But honestly, I wasn’t sure anything would actually come of it for a while, because things like that take time, right?
The next day started a journey that would be new, challenging and fast. Whew! Before I knew it I had signed a contract and was working around the clock creating and designing images that would be used by hundreds, maybe thousands of others to create with in their own journals, on canvases and in their Bibles. Because of the extremely tight deadline there really was no time for me to rethink as I usually do and question my imperfection. I believe this would have never happened any other way. I’m sure I would have talked myself out of it. God knows how to stretch and grow us. What a crazy, awesome, wonderful experience this has been! I totally understand now why some equate it to giving birth to a child.
So here we are, less then 1 week away from my Bible Journaling Trusting in God Booklet being released… birthed into the world. I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use it, how the Lord will use those who use it and how the Lord will use me. And if I’m honest, I’m a bit anxious as any new mom would be. Hoping it’s received well and that it will truly help others encounter God. Remembering I did as the Lord called me to do and I’m expectant for blessings as others open up their Bibles and spend time with the Lord, maybe for the very first time. I hope you pray along with me on this journey and if lead, will help me to share it with the world. You can hop over to Amazon to check it out or place your order. There you will also be able to see some of the inside pages.
I’ve also been posting updates and sneak peeks on my Touch the Edge Studios Facebook Page and my Instagram. And just started a separate Instagram account for just the book at biblejournalingbook. I’d love for you to come over and follow my accounts.
Also, to those who have already ordered my book I am truly humbled and thankful for your order and support and if you are so lead, I would be ever so grateful for you to add a review on Amazon for me. And, as you use the templates, traceables and elements found in the book on your own Bible journaling and creative projects please share them using the hashtags #biblejournalingtrustingingod and #biblejournalingbook. You may just get your post featured on one of my accounts!
I am working on putting together some Bible journaling events and book signings and will update you all as soon as I get things nailed down. I love you all!
Anita C Haines
Create With Anita • Touch The Edge Studios
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