Bible Journaling for My Mental Health

bible journaling psalm 40:1-3

If you have read any previous blog posts here, you know I struggle with mental health challenges. Since the fall of 2015 I have battled one of the worst episodes I have yet to encounter. Luck, or God’s grace, would have it that while on my journey of recovery from this dark period, I came upon Illustrated Faith and bible journaling. It came at just the right time. Funny how God works like that, huh? It’s amazing really.

I was making progress on my recovery but still really struggling when I found it. I needed new ways to connect with God because my old ways didn’t feel like they were working. During the darkest of times it felt like I couldn’t connect…like He was too far away. And then bible journaling entered my life. This spring I began to get to know this practice and more and more I find that it truly brings me peace and into a deeper relationship with Christ. I spend more time in the Word than before. I focus more on the scriptures and their meaning. I dig deeper and my art and creativity help me to hold on to the messages and truth God has for me, for us.

When I’m feeling anxious bible journaling helps bring calm and peace to my mind.

When I’m feeling depressed (not just blue, but depressed, depressed) I can turn my focus to God’s word, create a new page and my mood is lifted. (This works when I’m feeling just blue, too.) And guess what, if I’m really needing it, I can do multiple pages to distract from any dark thoughts and depression symptoms I am feeling.

I can write my prayers to God on these pages if I choose. I can spend extra time meditating on the scripture I have been led to for that page. I can just have fun with it, too. It’s a great reprieve from the day-to-day grind.

bible journaling prayer card

The bible journaling community has blessed me, too. Connecting with others who share a love of Christ and long to deepen their relationship with him through art and creativity is energizing and helps to curb feelings of loneliness. I find that interacting with this community, particularly on Instagram and through the Illustrated Faith site and their social accounts, I am energized and rejuvenated, plus I learn SO much from them all.

Now, certainly, this isn’t a cure for my mental health issues, but I have found that through bible journaling I have a renewed and deeper desire for further developing my relationship with God. I feel closer to Him and I am learning more and more about His word and teachings. It’s a wonderful experience to have my creative juices flowing again after such a difficult time. Sometimes, as I reflect, it truly feels like one of God’s miracles in my life. As if He reached down, directed me to bible journaling, and put this in my life specifically to bring me out of the pit and to draw me closer to Him.

2016-05-03 16.46.06-2

***As a side note, check my side bar for links to Illustrated Faith and DaySpring…discounts, too! DaySpring is where you can purchase most of the Illustrated Faith products. The Illustrated Faith site has a wonderful community, inspirational and instructional posts and their recently launched #printprayshop where you can purchase downloadable printables.***

6 Comments

Encourage One Another: 21 Days of Encouragement

I’m guilty of it…maybe you are, too? I find myself thinking way too much about myself.

It can be difficult to even notice as we become so used to focusing on us, our feelings, our wants, our needs, our own desires. It’s a deceptive plague of sorts. And sometimes it takes a real wake-up call to realize we are so focused on ourselves that we have forgotten to let others know how loved and appreciated they are – that they are important, that we care about them. And what about those times when our friends and loved ones really need us…are we there for them? Are we willing to put ourselves aside and encourage one another through difficult times? What about spending time encouraging others when it’s not a difficult time but just during every day living? Do you do it? I’m afraid I don’t near as often as I should.

I believe it’s human nature in a way to have the sickness of obsession with self, especially in this society we live in today. But some of us may struggle with it more than others. As a person who suffers from depression and chronic illness, I can easily find myself far too focused on how I am feeling emotionally, physically and spiritually…and far too often I focus on the negative in these areas. I think about how my body feels each day (the aches and pains). I think about sadness. I think about what I should be doing but I’m not. I think about a lot of things that are all centered around me. But do you know what cures that? If we turn our attention away from ourselves and focus on encouraging others, serving others and lifting others up…we are unable to focus on ourselves at the same time! It’s kind of magical like that and it’s how God designed us.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (5)

God not only designed us this way but He also continually instructs us to refocus our thoughts on good things and to encourage others in His word. We were made for this, but we need reminding. I, in particular, need a lot of reminding. It’s our sinful nature…to be too focused on ourselves, but as usual (Thank you, Jesus!) God has an answer. And there are others who also recognize this as an important area of our lives…important for our own mental, physical and spiritual health. Lucky for us you can find them if you look for them. But, one such influence has made themselves readily available for us all!

I’m a huge fan of DaySpring, as you may already know (from previous posts as well as affiliate links on my site), and they have launched a 21 Days of Encouragement campaign to help us all redirect ourselves…redirect our thoughts and actions towards others. I embraced this idea as soon as I heard about it because I know this is an area of my life that needs a lot of work. I’ve been in a season of accepting the blessing of help and encouragement from others and I deeply desire to give back. Here I am presented with a great opportunity to do so, and so are you.

Check out the DaySpring  21 Days of Encouragement page for ideas, inspiration and to find out their reason behind the launch of this campaign. I think you will find yourself wanting to join in the fun and ready to fill your heart and mind up with less of you and with more love and encouragement for others. I’m all in. I need this. I’m ready and I’m grateful for this campaign to get my mind focused on what is good.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Please note: I am receiving no compensation for this post. This post and my excitement about this campaign are all my own. However, I may receive assistance from DaySpring in sharing this post on social media channels to raise awareness of the campaign.


2 Comments

I’m a Winner! Dayspring Friendship Gifts Giveaway

Fotolia_78149150_XS.jpg

It’s not too often that I actually call myself a winner. Perhaps it’s a practice I should take up! But, today, I can say I really and truly am a winner!

Since I started my journey into bible journaling recently I have fallen more and more in love with the products and gifts offered at DaySpring, not to mention their Illustrated Faith line and site, which is absolutely the bee’s knees, in my opinion. (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that!) I love following DaySpring on Instagram and receiving email notifications about their upcoming promotions and new products. Everything is so uplifting and focused on what I want to be focused on…living an abundant life as a follower of Jesus.

While I have been doing all of this following and sometimes buying (more than I should actually admit) I entered a giveaway along the way. I’ve been entering quite a few giveaways in general recently since this mommy is on a budget and well, who doesn’t love getting things for FREE? I never really expect to win because SO many people are entering and what are the chances? But I take my chances when something stands out to me and lo and behold, I won something!!! I didn’t just win anything though. I won a beautiful collection of gifts. All the gifts are so wonderful and happy and completely lifted my spirits. I’ve been pretty sick recently and that has taken a bit of a toll on my overall mood. These gifts are so great that I wanted to show you here because you can get them too on DaySpring.com plus they are all great gifts for girlfriends or the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday.

Before I go any further, I’d like to let you know that DaySpring is not paying me for this post in any way. I received these gifts as a winner of a contest and I’m so thrilled that I wanted to share them with you!

Have a look at all the goodies and make sure to read to the bottom of the page because I have a surprise for you!

DaySpring Gifts 1
How adorable is this little sign? And I totally need the reminder!
IMG_5713.JPG
Isn’t this journal beautiful and inspring? I just want to write in it right now. The desk calendar is full of inspiration, too!
IMG_5704
The timing of receiving this cup couldn’t have been any better. I bought an insulated tumbler from DaySpring last week and I broke it (by dropping it) the first day I went to use it. Now I have a replacement!
IMG_5709
Okay, who doesn’t want to wear this? It’s a little piece of perfection to wear around your neck!
IMG_5701
Oh my goodness! This bag is perfect for bible journaling supplies or cosmetics. Bonus, it’s an adorable print with such an inspirational piece of gracing it.

I hope you didn’t suffer too much viewing these not so perfect images, but I am certain you could tell what a wonderful collection of gifts I received. Thank you, DaySpring!!!

Now, for my surprise! I’m all about passing on kindness. I love making the day of a friend or loved one with a little gift or surprise. If  you’re reading this, I’m considering you a friend and I want to share a friendship gift with you! Since I currently have several journals on hand all empty and waiting in a drawer for me, I’d like to pass on the beautiful journal above because “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created!” I love the design and this mantra.

If you’re interested in receiving this gift please leave a comment below sharing why you would like this lovely journal along with your Instagram or Twitter username (watch for my follow and please follow back so I can contact you via private message on the platform of your choice). You’ll get an extra entry if you decide to follow the blog. And, that’s it! I’ll pick a winner at random by end of day Friday April 15th and send you the journal on my dollar. US residents only, please.

0 comment

1 2 3