mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

Happy Wednesday friends! Today I’m getting back into my normal routine and so excited my husband is back home from his business trip last week. Do you ever have all these plans you want to do and nothing goes as planned? I had all these plans to get a ton done while he was gone. Well, once again God humbly reminded me yesterday, “your plans are not my plans”. This was the week God wanted to show me that I don’t talk to Him, like EVER. Prayer seems so awkward to me, I don’t know why. I feel guilty asking for help. It seems odd, I know… why do I feel so awkward laying it all out to God. God just kept putting prayer in front of me all week. I felt convicted to put “pray” on my to-do list in my daily planner. Week 2 of the Persevere devotional was 1 Thessalonians 5:17:

“Pray without ceasing.”

Ok God, I hear you… but how? I’m such a hot mess right now, I don’t even know where to begin. I let out a big huge sigh, and then mumbled, “Lord, please help me!” That’s it, and I felt this overwhelming answer and peace…

“That’s all I ask of you… to ask ME for help instead of trying to do it all yourself.”

Life has been a hot mess, and I felt like things were piling up trying to get ready for the new homeschool year, falling behind on projects, having to be a single mom for a week when you’re husband normally works from home and you’re used to him always being available to help when needed… my problem, I tried to be Wonder Woman. Funny thing is, even Wonder Woman had helpers. Why did I think I had to do it all alone and why was it so hard for me to ask God for help?

Then it hit me… while studying Job this week. I read the First 5 app devotional every morning which is studying the Job’s life… and talk about putting my hot mess into perspective. Yesterday’s biggest lesson for me in Job 7 was, “It’s OK to cry out to God!”. I love what Krista Williams said:

“When we put our pain into words and learn to genuinely express our hearts to God, He points us step by step down the path towards discovering truth. Truth about God and His character. Truth about ourselves. Truth about His unfailing Word and His grand plan.”

So, I came downstairs had my breakfast and again let out a big sigh and prayed, “Lord, please help me!” I started adding paint to my Bible. I couldn’t stop and it was getting ugly and messy and I was almost in tears… but then I felt God saying,

“It’s ok to pray ugly prayers!”

I replied, “Turn this hot mess around!”

This prayer wasn’t just about myself but about my Bible entry too. I felt like this hot mess of a background totally represented my life at the moment… but all of sudden I was at peace, because I knew this was the start of something beautiful… a life that wasn’t afraid to pray anymore. I no longer feel awkward talking to my Savior, knowing He just wants me to be real with Him and to talk to him constantly… to keep an open dialog with Him.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

I want to say that everything just started to fall into place and everything I did to finish this entry was awesome… but even still it didn’t go as I envisioned or planned, and not everything worked out. It was a reminder to me again… “my plans are not HIS plans!” It took awhile to get there but now I see the beautiful mess behind this page and I’m reminded of the importance of prayer to turn the ugly into that beautiful relationship He wants me to have with Him.

So, since it didn’t go as planned, I’m just going to walk you through my process for this page rather than a tutorial.

After scrapping on a bunch of paint on my Bible page (shown above), I grabbed some papers to create some flowers and letters for my title. I also grabbed some coordinating ink pads. I wanted to layer stamps on top of each other to give a “mixed media” look to them.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

I then started layering stamps on top of each other… followed by stamping “PRAY” again so that I could see the cut lines and to soften it up a bit.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

Then I cut them out.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

Next, I stamped the foliage randomly all over the top of the painted background in both of green inks… some I even layered the lighter green on top of the darker green which was fun and gave it almost a shadowed look.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

Lastly, I just started adding everything on to my page… I cut out the jar of flowers from the devotional card and some stickers to finish it all up.

mixed media Bible journaling entry by Heather Greenwood | 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | It's OK to pray ugly prayers

It’s not at all what I envisioned this page to look like… I couldn’t figure out where to put the flowers and I felt God saying to me, “Heather, you don’t have to use everything”… just like He’s saying to me, “Heather, you don’t have to do everything yourself… I’m not asking you to do everything… especially by yourself”

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additional supplies:

Memento Luxe Mixed Media Stamp Inks in Teal Zeal and Pistachio

2 Comments
  1. Amy Doggett 2 years ago

    Heather, This is beautiful–both your story and your page! No one would know you struggled with how the page looked. It looks perfect to me! :)
    ~ Amy (kittywittycreates)

  2. Jacqueline Giesbrecht 2 years ago

    Thank-you for sharing with such honesty. Good reminder/push to be more honest with God.

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