From the very beginning of Illustrated Faith God has laid it on my heart that if “Just One” person is touched by this then it is all worth it. All the sweat, all the praying, all the long nights, all the frustrations, all the joys, all the triumphs, all the confusion, all the conversation, all the blog posts, all the newsletters, all the chats, all the praying, all the emails, all the organizing, all the searching, all the praying, it would all be worth it if just one person found a way to have that same LIGHT BULB moment that leads to an unquenchable thirst for a living, breathing, relationship with God.
He has also reminded me that if “just that one person” is ME that it is EQUALLY worth it!
That is how much he loves us friends. It really is unimaginable. But we try, and I see so many of you trying! I see so many of you that have that same message of “Just One ” as you purchase devotional kits for your friends! We want to join in with you over the next couple of days when you buy a kit, you will receive a devotional kit to give to that “one” person in your life that you know would benefit from this! That one person in your life that when you see a beautiful illustration of God’s amazing love your heart just SINGS that persons name – “My friend Amanda would LOVE this, my sister Jane NEEDS this, my cousin Jason would ROCK this!” Whatever it is, here is your chance to partner with us to bring this devotional kit to them!
HOW: I know you may be getting excited thinking of all the people you want to give kits to now LOL! But I urge you to really focus on that person God has laid on your heart and buy with intention! Here is how it’s going to work, head on over to our store and pick up a kit for yourself , and one kit for your friend (if you already have all the kits, give them both to a friend). At check out enter code: JUSTONE –coupon code expires July 14th and it will take the price of the 2nd kit off your total! Please keep in mind these will ship both to you, then it’s up to you to bring them to your friend. sister, family member, neighbor and share the story of “just one” and how God whispered their name on your heart!
Thank you for joining me in something God laid on my heart-
hi there! I went to order this today (July 14th) and it’s telling me it’s already expired. :(
I wanted to thank you and tell you that llustrated Faith has done so much for my family. For my entire life and up until my (now 10) daughter was 7, we lived in a little house on the family farm where I grew up in Southern Oklahoma, less than a few minutes walk to my parents house. It was more like one big house with an outdoor hallway than two separate houses. My (maternal) grandmother also lived with my parents as her age progressed. For almost an entire decade, four generations of strong, faithful women lived on that farm. There wasn’t much we couldn’t accomplish on that farm by ourselves, let alone the outside world. The closeness and love is something I wish for every daughter to experience.
In Oct 2011, my daddy (the only man on the farm, lol) was diagnosed with lung cancer. It took him from us quickly and he passed in May 2013 after a fierce battle. It was hard, very hard. That man was our pillar of strength. A staunch Marine to the core who spent 3 yrs in the heart of Vietnam, he was a man’s man in every way. Except for when it came to his family and God. He was a father & mentor to every kid in our little country community for almost twenty years. His faith and devotion to the Lord was something to behold. To see a man like him that was so open and honest in his faith, that had such a comfortable relations hip with God was inspiring. He brought so many into our Father’s care, especially later in life. So, when he passed, it was especially hard in my mother and I.
We never lost our faith and love for God, but there was an anger and distance that was never there before. We both struggled with it. We had lost so much when we lost Daddy. (and yes, at 32, he is still Daddy.) Life was changing faster than either of is could cope with. In August 2011, two major things happened.
I had been secretly struggling with opiate addiction (pain pills) for almoat six years, after numerous surgeries and an abusive marriage. Only those closest to me knew, which was a feat considering I worked full time in the medical field. I finally reached the point that I knew that it was slowly killing me and my family needed me. I entered myself into a rehab program called Suboxone. In Aug of this year (2015) will be four years sober without a single slip.
Also that same month, my fiance (a man that I have known my entire life and met at age four when our mothers were teaching Sunday School together) took a job in Iowa. He is a Lineman and his job requires extensive travel. Up until this point, while Daddy was sick, I would stay in Oklahoma and he would come back home when his job allowed. But we knew things where changing and that my mother and I would not be able to care for the land and animals by ourselves much longer. My mom has Type 1 Brititle Diabetes and that combined with my grandmother’s declining health meant that moving to a larger city, closer to their health care was the best decision for them.
So, that month, for the first time in my entire life, I left home for good. I had never really been out of Oklahoma and I was packing up my daughter and moving us 900 miles from the only home we knew and everyone we knew. My mom put the family farm up for sale and a few months later, she and my grandmother moved to the city.
It was hard, another struggle in the midst of the worst year of our lives. It got easier over time, and my husband is a champ about making the ten hour drive every couple of months to take us to Oklahoma.
Emotional wounds started to heal and my mother and I slowly began to close the gap in our relationship with God. Things were finally starting to get better and life seemed “normal” again. My husband and I added a little boy to our family, named after Daddy of course. Life was good.
Then it all changed again. My grandmother suddenly passed on July 4, 2013. We were already on our way to Oklahoma for the holiday, but I didn’t make it in time and my mother had to sat goodbye alone. Then, around Easter of this year, I was diagnosed with Lupus. We have never spiraled into the level of disconnect that we experiences after losing Daddy, but it has still been a struggle. Recently, my mom decided that she is ready to make the move to be here with us. Because of her own health issues and her doctors being in Oklahoma, it is not something that can happen quickly, it will be a long process, but we are working on it.
Through it all, we are finding our way back into His embrace. He never left us, even through our anger. We’ve always been a “creative” family, loving any type of activity that allowed us to make beautiful things. I remember even as a child in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, Mom was always searching for activities and projects to share with the kids to express their love and joy as His children.
So, a few months ago, the discovery of bible journaling was a light bulb going off. We’ve always done it, I suppose, in some manner, in different medias, but not ever directly in the book. Mom and I have missed participating in the Women’s Bible Study groups at church together these past few years, and this is the solution.
It has been amazing these past few months. The miles disappear on the evenings when our three generations (grandmother, mom, daughter) tune everything else out and use Skype to just create and feel His love together. We know that all four generations of daughters are once again together, just like old times, even if GG (my grandma) is there only in spirit.
This project has brought so much back into our lives that we had lost. I can’t wait until my Mom is able to make the move here and we are able to be together everyday. But until then, this time together and the few times a year she makes the journey in person, makes the miles between us disappear and heals the wounds in our hearts. We know that we have GG and Daddy waiting for us in Heaven and that they are watching over us until then.
I know that “bible journaling” was not just magically created by one person (well, aside from God, lol) but it is now being brought mainstream into a world that desperately needs it. It is touching lives and changing things. I want to thank those involved in the “Illustrated Faith” project for that. We need people like y’all, that aren’t afraid of judgement and have the means to bring about change. We are losing our children to the world as it is now and we have to fight. We have to find ways to engage new generations and create in them the love and desire to bring God into their hearts. We are fighting a battle. God blessed you with these gifts for a reason and you are running with it. I pray for it to continue to grow in the hearts and minds of the coming generations.
I’m not able to participate in the “Just One” promotion before it ends,(based solely on the fact that it’s over two days before pay day, hah. :P) but I still want to say thank you for your generosity and how great I think it is. :) My mom is on a fixed income because of her health, so it’s my turn to repay all that her and my Daddy has done for me in life, especially the six years that I was a full time student and working full time as a single momma. I’ve been blessed these past few years to be able to do nice things for her and spoil her on occasion. Of course, she grumbles about it, but we just tell her to suck it up and enjoy, lol. And what all that means is that anytime I purchase art supplies or Illustrated Faith kits, they are often done in duplicate so that I can share it with her. The joy and closeness we get from our weekly sessions means more than all the money in the world, and everyone needs that in their life. God’s army can never have too many soldiers, especially in our world today. The value of every heart opened to him is immeasurable!! So, thank you for doing this!
I’m sorry for such a long comment, but I wanted to share my testimony and show my gratitude for all of you. What you are doing is a great thing and means so much to me and my family. Thank you and may God continue to bless you.
P.S. I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors, as a writer with a B.S. in English, I know how much the little things irk me, lol :D. But, unfortunately, I’m writing on my phone while playing nurse to a sick husband and two sick kiddos. I’ve got each quarantined in their bedrooms while I try to keep up, lol. I’ve stopped and started no less than a dozen times and it’s only taken me about an hour to wrote this little bit. But, I was determined to get it out, that’s how much it matters to me. ♡