It’s been awhile since I’ve art journaled in my 2015 journal. Looking back at this year, two necessities stand out as key for me in this current year: be focused, and be flexible. Challenging to be both at the same time. Sometimes I’ve done well, and sometimes I’ve muddled my way through, “dropping balls” as they say, along the way. Giving grace to myself and others has become necessary in order to thrive. Being vulnerable, which is so scary for me, continues to be my biggest challenge. No wonder my prayer for that came out on a journal page:
A trusted friend said to me a couple of months ago, “Why do you think it has to look like you think it should?” I felt like someone had hit me. When I feel a strong reaction like that, I am choosing to ask myself, “Why the strong emotional reaction?” She touched on an area in my life I needed to deal with, but was hard for me to look at. And once again, Art reflects Life, this time in my 2015 journal.
I had glued a copy of one of my favorite hymns, Be Thou My Vision, onto the last blank pages of the front side of this journal. You can see it below as the far right pages with mostly blankness. I skipped it and moved on to the other side, art journaling a few pages on the other side. When I revisited the hymn page, I had no vision for what should go there and set it aside… for months.
As you see from the bird’s-eye view in the photo, the pages on the back side of my 2015 Spiritual Journey Journal are blank. The journal, started nearly a year ago, began with the Scripture of the year for 2013, a spread summarizing the word, symbol, Scripture and song for 2014 and then crossing the threshold of the door into 2015. My plan was to fill both sides of the accordion journal with the wonders of 2015 and glue the finished journal into a hardback cover of an old hymnal. As you can see, it doesn’t look how I thought it should. It is unfinished. I like finished, a sense of completion, a clean slate to move on…
After accepting, that it is the way it is, I began to get a vision for the hymn 2-page spread and saw the journal in a new way – Now it has also become my Spiritual Journey Journal for 2016. This new thinking expanded my entire view of the journal, this season of transition, 2015, and the year to come. I almost feel ahead of the game, instead of behind. Even though I don’t know why I skipped the hymn page and started on the back pages, I now see that those pages will flow nicely with my new word for 2016 (to be revealed at the beginning of the year.) The hymn page now fits in with the journal and my word of this 2015 year: AIM. The spread at the right in the photo above is the “Be Thou My Vision” pages. It includes my final verse of the year, Titus 1:2 in the Message Bible (shown at the beginning of this post), and some encouraging and relevant verses listed below the title of the hymn from Ephesians 1.
Ephesians 1:17-19 in The Message echoes my prayer for myself and others:
“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!”