Greetings beloved Illustrated Faith Tribe –
It seems like the season for finishing in so many of our lives, especially if you are a mom or a student. Finishing classes, graduating from school, finishing jobs, finishing homeschooling your kids, finishing sports, finishing athletic seasons.
And you know what…I look around and I see weariness, weariness in myself and in others. Question is do we have enough? Do we have enough to finish strong? Do we trust God with this last bit of the race? When circumstances seem impossible, do we press through to the finish?
My girl recently completed her first year of college. I am so over the moon proud of her. It wasn’t an easy year on so many levels. In fact, I advised her to just drop one class because the parameters around finishing successfully, along with all of her other responsibilities, seemed impossible.
She didn’t drop the class. She hung in there. She did her best and trusted the end results to God. When she came home for a short break before going back to summer school, she said, “You know what mom? I learned something about myself. I am a finisher.” I could have cried. Oh how my kids teach and encourage me every day!
You see when my daughter would run cross country or track races in High School injured, she knew she wouldn’t do well from a competitive perspective. It discouraged her. I would tell her the goal is to just finish, be brave, God’s got you, give Him honor on that course, that’s all He asks. She would do it and I would silently pray, “God why, why is this so hard. All the kid wants to do is run and You are making it so hard.” My mommy heart broke into a million pieces. But you know what, when she sat at my kitchen table and said, “I am a finisher,” I thanked God for those hard times and not just in running, in relationships, in school work, in illness. ALL those times made her strong and gave her faith to finish no matter the results because she has faith that God is always working on a bigger picture — ALWAYS. He is continually working on the big race and preparing His people to run and make a difference.
Hard things prepare us.
They make us stronger.
They fill us with faith that He is faithful.
Hard things give us the history to speak into the lives of others from a place of knowing.
They shape us to become more like Christ.
They develop character that can’t be shaken.
Hard things bring gifts that otherwise cannot be given.
And when we have God in our lives, we don’t have to walk hard stuff alone. We can draw on Him, lean in with all we’ve got and He will help us finish the race one step at a time.
As with most entries in my journaling Bible, this entry reflects my journey and the journey of those I love. I doodled this little turtle in my planner one day and decided she needed a permanent place in my Bible so here she is!
Let’s get journaling…
I slipped my Illustrated Faith Bible journaling mat behind my page and prepped my page with clear gesso. Next I penciled in the turtle.
I washi taped my page to the mat so it wouldn’t
move. Next, I outlined the turtle with my Illustrated Faith .65 pen and thought about colors. I pulled the Bella Blvd She Blooms collection out and decided to draw inspiration from the colors in the papers.
Watercolors are next! Remember layers of watercolor are the key to rich saturated color.
I used a blue Prismacolor pencil for some areas because I wanted some of the colors to be more childlike and soft. I added some details to my dear turtle’s skirt with a white gel pen — because she’s a girl of course and frills just suit her!
Now, here’s where I went a bit overboard. I painted flowers inspired by the She Blooms paper on the top left corner of my entry. Sometimes I get lost in creating and have a hard time stopping. If you feel like maybe you should stop, take a break, walk away. Eat a bit of chocolate, run around the block (because you ate chocolate) then come back and look at the page with fresh perspective and then decide. Ha! Now I just need to take my own advice!!!!
Anyway, once I had painted the flowers I was unhappy. Been there a million times. Push through…finish the race! I went back to my inspiration stash and started adding more!!!! Go figure.
As with so many pages, the end result holds so many truths and it’s putting truth into my heart and mind I am after — translation, good race.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6
I am saying a prayer for you right now that our Lord will give you encouragement to take just the next step today. I pray that He will envelope you in His grace and empower you with His strength to finish the race. I pray that everyday you lean into Him and that He gives you moments when you can know without a doubt He is with you.
Let’s finish the race.
ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith You Rule Bible Mat | Dina Wakely Media Clear Gesso | Bella Blvd Illustrated She Blooms She Paints Clear Cut | Bella Blvd Illustrated She Blooms #1173 She Blooms (inspiration) | Bella Blvd Illustrated She Blooms Treasures and Text Sticker Sheet | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Wordfetti Black | Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Pens | Prisma Color Premier Non-Photo Blue PC 919| Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen| Sennelier Watercolors | Angora Watercolors | Daniel Smith Tube Watercolors