Criss-cross applesauce, pen in hand, I watched the election results come in as I made the first marks in my first journaling Bible.

bible journaling... pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances

bible journaling - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I flipped back and forth every few minutes, muting the television and praying, then listening and watching it all unfold.

I put the pen down to check Twitter, spent all of eight seconds scrolling, and picked the pen back up because my gosh, it was all just so much. (It still is.)

More praying, less scrolling. More journaling, less panicking.

rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks...

Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.

How? We the people are fractured.

But then I get to those final two words, draw the lines and ink the page with “Jesus Christ,” and the media coverage is drowned out with Truth. That’s how. That’s our way through. We rejoice and pray and give thanks  for Christ, because of Christ.

I don’t have the answers. The more I learn, the less I know. But I do believe that ultimately, He is the answer.

Last week I started working through the November Illustrated Faith kit (more on that below). It’s been challenging me — in a good way — to look at several different parts of my story through the lens of gratitude. The one-word prompts are reminding me of all the places God has walked beside me, of all the chapters in my life story He has led me through.

The God I trust, the One I call friend, is a redeemer. He reconciles and restores and heals and makes a way where there seems to be no way. He sets the lonely in families, He is the light in the dark, and one day all will truly be made new.

He has always been faithful. On November 7th, on November 8th, on November 9th.

Yesterday, today, forever.

November Illustrated Faith journal

On every page of the story.

He who has the final word is Himself the Word. And so I finished journaling, put the cap on the pen, turned the television off and climbed into bed.

I don’t have the answers, but I do have a Friend. I’m pretty confident He’ll prove to be much more than enough for every page ahead.


A little bit more about the journaling Bible and the kit mentioned above:

My honest first-reaction to the Beautiful Word Coloring Bible? I gasped right out loud. And then I squealed. Then I picked it up and legit said, “shoot this thing is heavy.”

Almost every other page has an illustration to color, but there’s plenty of whitespace to add your notes or drawings to the margins. (I love having ideas to get me started, though.) I was worried the pages would be too thin, but I put a piece of computer paper underneath the page and my Sharpie marker didn’t bleed through. If you’re like me and have thought about Bible journaling but don’t know where or how to start, I truly would suggest this Bible and any of the .

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

journaling Bible page: james 5:16

I’ve shared about three of the DaySpring & Illustrated Faith kits before, but I think the November kit is my favorite so far. The washi tape is all the heart-eyes-emojis and the Scripture cards are beautiful, but the journal is the best part. Normally each kit has a journal with several short devotionals written around the theme of the kit. For November, though, the journal is almost completely blank.

No lie, at first this kind of freaked me out. What do I write? How do I do this? But as I began to reflect on the words listed inside, thinking about each word through the lens of gratitude, I was reminded of God’s kindness in so many aspects of my life.

november Illustrated Faith kit      November Illustrated Faith kit

Instead of rushing through the kit or adding tons of color, I’ve decided to take it slow and remind myself of Truth as I go. The color can come later, but for now the blank space is helping me breathe easier and not get distracted.

It also inspired me to turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 last night. For that, I’m grateful.

P.s. The hardcover NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is a little cheaper on Amazon than it is on DaySpring, but if you order other items for yourself or a loved one, there are multiple DaySpring codes and offers that will definitely save money in the long run.

The code SHINEHISLIGHT takes $20 off any $60+ order and also gives you free shipping.

The code IFSHIPSFREE will give you free shipping on any Illustrated Faith purchase (no $60 minimum).

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