Today, I dove deeper into a devotional by Tamara Arcilla called “Enchanted – Beauty & The Beast”. Truthfully, the theme of the devotional and the gorgeous artwork attracted me to this item in the Illustrated Faith Print & Pray shop, but when I discovered the content revolved around Queen Esther, I was sold. The story of Esther inspires me, reminding me of God’s perfect timing and the way He works in every situation. I used this devotional earlier this month as well…you can check out that post here.
I read the devotional during quiet time this morning and have since reflected on the courage of Esther. Courage she exhibited not in the absence of fear, but despite the fears she had. It’s been a hectic morning around here, and for reasons that are hard to explain, my anxiety level felt pretty high by the time I sat down to journal this page. I journal while my boys have some “quiet” time in their rooms, and it is usually a chance for me to unwind (although I often have a few interruptions, because that’s mom life!).
I began the page with some simple watercolor florals, inspired by the artwork of Tamara. I don’t consider myself anywhere close to a watercolor expert, but there is something about painting with watercolors that is deeply relaxing. Watching the water move across the page, seeing color mix slowly together, and the multiple shades that can be pulled out with a simple swipe of the brush brings me peace. I did my best to mimic the painted roses in the devotional, keeping in mind that groups of 3 are more pleasing to the eye. Splatters of black watercolor completed the simple background that I was hoping for.
This is where the page took a dramatic turn, at least in my head. Before deciding which ephemera I wanted to use, I took a few moments to think on Esther and her courage, looking down at my page while I did so. And, you know what popped out to me right away? Queen Vashti! The thought occurred to me that we don’t often talk about Queen Vashti. We skip to the “for such a time as this” verse and forget all the groundwork that was laid in place for Esther to be in the exact right position at the exact right time. Queen Vashti unknowingly was an earthly trigger for Esther’s entire story.
And how did she do it? By standing up for herself. She was called by a drunken King to appear before him and a court full of guests to show off her beauty. She refused to obey the commands of her drunk husband. She had self-respect and dignity that she was not willing to sacrifice for someone else’s pleasure. She may have disobeyed the king, but her example of holding onto her dignity when faced with a difficult situation is something I feel like we can still learn from today.
The rest of the page came together very quickly using an Illustrated Faith texture stamp and some of the cut-outs from the devotional. I ended with underlining Vashti’s refusal and adding a prayer for courage to respect myself like Vashti and to stand up for others just like Esther.
A simple page today, but it sure put me in the right mindset for the rest of my day! What do you do to shake off anxiety?
Keep it creative,
The Scrappy Wife
- The Illustrating Bible
- Print & Pray devotional – “Enchanted – Beauty & The Beast”
- Koi Watercolors
- Jane Davenport aqua brush
- Illustrated Faith texture stamp