I have a love-hate relationship with social media. As a stay-at-home mom, some days, social media is the only interaction I have with other adults until my husband comes home. I realize that some don’t categorize it as actual interaction, but when you are home with little ones, taking a few minutes here and there to scroll on your phone can feel like a lifeline. Plus, I have met some wonderful people through social media groups and am inspired every day by the beautiful artwork and crafts that can be found on Instagram and Pinterest.
But, ever since I started this blog, I find myself getting a bit too caught up in the behind the scenes of social media. I check out the “likes” that my Instagram posts get. I look into ways to optimize the exposure that blog posts receive. Just being real here, that stuff matters to me. And I don’t think it is bad if it matters to me, but I do think it is a bad sign if it starts to be the sole reason for doing what I am doing. I don’t create Bible journal entries for Instagram. I don’t choose to scrapbook pictures of my family to gain likes online. And, I certainly don’t art journal for the comments. But, I choose to share these creative endeavors online, because God put it on my heart to put my imperfect creations out there as encouragement and inspiration for others.
I created this particular Bible journal entry on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This year for Lent, I am working through a devotional from A Pile of Ashes, written by Joy Niehaus. In the Ash Wednesday devotional, Joy provided a list of things that we should be giving up during this season of spiritual inventory, and a list of characteristics we should be cultivating. Immediately, giving up “the craving for approval and affirmation from man” jumped off the page and hit me right in the heart. I’ve been feeling a bit lost recently, and those words were like a big beacon, showing me I had been looking to the wrong places for fulfillment. So, I immediately googled some verses about seeking God first and came across Galatians 1:10
“For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
A Pile of Ashes has so many pages of printables to accompany this Lent devotional, so I began my page by cutting out a few of the printables I anticipated using. Initially, I chose some that I had printed on clear sticker paper, although I ended up grabbing for a few different pieces later.
I decided to title my page “But First God” as a reminder that He is the only being that I am ever trying to please. And, better yet, He is pleased with me exactly as I am. I don’t have to do anything to earn His love. He gives it freely! I sprayed the title piece with a bit of copper mica spray, because it wouldn’t feel like one of my Bible journal entries without a touch of sparkle!
I am so excited for the season of Lent. I pray that it is a season for me to take stock of some practices in my life to see if they are really showing God’s love. This devotional is challenging in the best possible ways! And, the printables are making the artwork easy, so I can focus more on the heart behind these entries. What are your plans for Lent? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep it creative,
-The Scrappy Wife