Print and Pray Hybrid Bible Journaling by Cristin Howell using digital printables | Heavenly Thoughts

In January, I picked a verse for the year – a scripture that I felt like I should focus on in 2018. Usually, I pick a word for the year, like “simplify” or “seek,” but this year I decided to pick a verse for the year instead. It popped into my head instantly the Sunday morning the pastor challenged us all to do this. Colossians 3:2 (NLT): “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”

Print and Pray Hybrid Bible Journaling by Cristin Howell using digital printables | Heavenly Thoughts

I spent a lot of my 30s simplifying my life. I started a massive decluttering effort to ruthlessly purge my belongings. I was on a quest to be a minimalist! I intensely focused on everything there was to get rid of. I read all the decluttering books, some of them a few times. Unitaskers were banned! A garlic press?  Out! I could use the flat side of a knife for that! And so on it went.

I learned a lot from those years, such as how to choose what’s important, I learned my unique style and what I really loved. I made decisions faster. I learned a lot of good things. But the endless emptying became a little empty in itself. Less is the opposite of more, and I wanted more. More grace, more love, more JESUS.

Print and Pray Hybrid Bible Journaling by Cristin Howell using digital printables | Heavenly Thoughts

Sometimes it’s not about what we get rid of but what we add so much of that it can’t help but squeeze other things out. Perfect love drives out fear. More faith, less worry. More grace, less shame. More living water, less thirst. More Jesus, less self. More of these things of eternal importance. This year, I’m focusing on the filling. Instead of being obsessed with the emptying, I’m looking for the more, the other side of empty. Paul wrote to the Romans in 15:13 (NIV), “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Yes, to all of this! He fills my life with good things.

I used the inside cover of my bible to document this heavenly focus in a fun way. I love the new printable set, Pin it Up,  by Elaine Davis in the Illustrated Faith Print and Pray Shop. I “pinned” my focus phrase onto the bulletin board along with some fun ephemera. And what is a bulletin board without some push pins? I used my Nuvo Crystal Drops to squeeze out beads of color onto plastic (like the plastic backing for clear stamps) and let them dry.

Print and Pray Hybrid Bible Journaling by Cristin Howell using digital printables | Heavenly Thoughts

While they were drying (overnight), I used some dimensional foam adhesive to pop out certain parts of the elements. I say certain parts, because I glued down half of the rainbow (where the “pin” is) and used a foam dot under the other side to give the impression that it is pinned to the board in one spot and hanging away from the board on the other. I did this in a random manner throughout to look like a regular bulletin board. Since it is the front cover of my bible, I’m not as worried about the lumpiness like I would the inside of the bible.  This first inside page is also heavier in weight and can handle more “stuff” going on top.

Friends, thank you for joining me here today as I shared my journey.  <3, Cristin

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2 Comments
  1. Amy Edwards Doggett 5 days ago

    Cristin, I LOVED this blog post! I totally agree that adding so much in that it squeezes “other stuff” out is a great way to go! And now I must get some Nuvo drops!! Totally adorable!! Love, kittywitty :D

    • Author
      Cristin Howell 4 days ago

      Thank you, Amy!! :) That means so much to me. Thank you for reading and I agree, you definitely need some Nuvo drops!!

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