Greetings Illustrated Faith family!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:22-26 ESV
I love how each time you read scripture, He tucks a new vision or truth inside. Scripture is truly multifaceted, alive and active, ready to speak a new truth into every moment. So I was not surprised when I read this passage a few days ago and God blessed me with a fresh message – a “focus others” message and then He put a picture in my heart to journal. A picture of a garden. A garden we need to let grow. A garden for all to see and enjoy!
When we bloom in the fruit of the Spirit individually, we make a glorious garden as the body of Christ. Our colors and fragrances compliment each other. We wind around each other supporting and growing together to His glory.
When we lean into Jesus and extend the fruit of the spirit toward each other, God blesses us with collective beauty that we could not achieve of our own accord.
We stand out against hate, discontent, stress, impatience, mean spiritedness, ugliness, unfaithfulness, rudeness, gluttony, self-focus, pride, and comparison.
Our fragrance is strong and appealing and we blend together in a unique and beautiful way.
I especially love that our Master Gardener selects the blooms and branches that are completely different.
Some tall and graceful, some small and powerful.
Some creative and some intellectual.
Some quiet and some verbally gifted.
Some blessed with faith and some chosen to sort out theology.
Some who can sing and some who can listen.
Some who can move quickly and some who move with caution.
Some who can heal and some who can pray.
Some with humor and some who know when it is best to be serious.
We have different skin, different backgrounds, different strengths and weaknesses. We have all been given different gifts, and we are all His. How beautiful is His garden!
We are His flowers, chosen for the garden soil of our lives. We are intentionally planted close to those who He has selected for us to bloom with.
ut in order to bloom, we have to embrace our differences and lean into His Spirit. We must draw on His fruit, extending kindness, grace, and goodness to those around us even when they are so very different…even when they push our buttons and brush up against our tender places. When we do this, we become more beautiful and so do those He has planted next to us.
Oh what a breathtaking call to be part of His garden, I want to grow and bloom and I want to encourage others planted around me to do the same. But I can’t do that in the flesh. I need to lean into Him and into the fruit of His Spirit. When we do that, oh my what a beautiful garden we create!
Here’s a peek into the makings of this page.
- I started with a light pencil sketch of the flowers I wanted to include.
- Then I added layers of watercolor.
- I kept layering until I was satisfied with the depth and saturation of the flowers. I wanted the vibrancy of the blooms to pop off the pages.
- Then I added back some white highlights with my Signo gel pen. This probably one of my favorite things to do!
- I staged the Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith lettering on a clear sheet of packaging and laid it on top of my design to make sure I liked it.
- Sketching out the hand lettering on the top is always a bit nerve racking for me. I have to remind myself of the purpose of the page and that perfection is not the goal!
- Now, the finishing touches. I cut apart a strip from the Whatever is Lovely sticker sheet for my tab, added Bella Blvd’s tiny text in black, and a lovely green Bella Blvd enamel dot. I think the tab looks a bit like a garden gate!
Praying that we all find joy where He has planted us and that we purpose together to let His garden grow!
ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Genesis Kit | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd You Rule Bible Mat | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Whatever is Lovely Stickers | Bella Blvd Tiny Text – Black | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Typed Oh My Heavens | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Big and Bold Black Eyed Pea | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Pen | Bella Blvd Enamel Dots – Guacamole | Dina Wakely Clear Gesso | Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen| Sennelier Watercolors | Angora Watercolors 36 pan set |Princeton Select Brushes