I have a Pinterest board just for ideas on making journals, and I discovered Valerie Sjodin's website and was completely entranced! In my master's program for counseling, I was able to take a class with a Dr. Todd, who specialized in art therapy, and while the course itself was not about that, we had a weekly assignment that involved keeping an art journal. I cannot say I enjoyed that part of the class; I am a word person, not an artist. It's not just about lack of talent; I don't enjoy it. Still, knowing that I would probably be obligated to do something like this if I took the class with Dr. Todd was actually part of my motivation for choosing her class. I believe strongly in the value of journaling, and in a culture that far values visual art over the written word, I knew for the sake of future clients in counseling it would be good to have a personal experience with art journaling.
Back to Valerie's work. Valerie's incorporation of scripture and Biblical wisdom in her art journaling really excited me, and inspired me, at least at some level, to want to be more creative with my stamping, and maybe try to somehow include it with journaling. I thought about it off and on for months, but my record when it comes to actually maintaining a journal is fairly non-existent! More importantly, I am a word person, not an artist, nor do I even desire to be artistic. (I’ll be frank … not only was I the last kid in elementary school to manage to color inside the lines, I was once kicked out of an art class for incompetence!) I am happy creating wallpaper covered journals for others to use, and using stamps and dies for any artistic leanings!
While exploring her site again one evening, I realized she had a facebook group in which members chose a word for a year to art journal with, then added a second word in every two weeks, based on the letters of the alphabet, to interact with that word of the year. A challenge is always helpful to me when I need motivation to create, and perhaps this was it. Because “joy” is such an important theme to me, one would think that I would choose that for my word. That was, in fact, my plan when I first heard of this idea. It occurred to me, however, that I wanted this to really be a something to enhance my walk with God in a very intentional way. That is, I wanted Him to show me what word that He knew I needed to focus on. I thought of several possibilities, and I worried how I would “know” I had the right word … I can get really stuck in this concern of being sure. But the next morning after making this decision, I woke up and the word “trust” – not a word I had even thought of the night before - came to me as the right word to use. No doubt whatsoever; I knew the Holy Spirit was in it. No more excuses!
I trust God 100%, no room for doubt. At least, not in my head! But many of my attitudes about situations, as well as my prayer life, demonstrate a different level of confidence! As I thought about this surprising word, I realized that some of the joy that I am failing to reach is a direct result of not fully trusting God. I immediately requested to join the group, and looked up the current letter and word suggestions for this time period. Imagine my reaction when I saw the list of “joy” “journaling” and “journal”! Lol, guess I don’t need to look for confirmation that this is what I am meant to do! I am amazed at His grace!
So, here are my attempts. Since I generally like lots of clean, open space in my cardmaking, and running items into each other, collage type work is very challenging and awkward for me. It takes the word “stretching” to a whole new level! But I thought I should attempt it. I will not completely humiliate myself to tell you how long these two pages took me to complete (and I had to abandon the thought of two more using “journaling” as the theme); it’s enough I am actually sharing them for all to see! But hopefully someday someone who is equally art-challenged will be encouraged to give this a try! It has been a great week or so of looking at trust through the lens of joy, and I’m glad I did it! I will perhaps, however, give myself permission to do more word stuff than art stuff for letter K!