All that I'm not, body parts, and fanning the flame + 1 Corinthians 12:14-16, 19 Bible verse printable

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bible verse coloring page "the body of Christ" 1 Corinthians 12:14-16, 18

I don't always feel like I fit in as an artist. I don't watercolor, do calligraphy, paint, or make anything classy, sophisticated or fancy. I draw cute illustrations and write about the Word, but sometimes that feels very small.

Maybe that sounds silly, but I'm guessing you feel the same way about some area of your life. The lane you're in feels narrow and somewhat cramped. You look across to friends speeding by in their own lanes, doing their things, and you think that it's time to try harder or that you're somehow just not enough.

It's been a journey for me the last few years defining what I do well as an artist and learning to put my blinders on and accept this lane that I believe God has me in.

I think this has some application for us who follow Jesus and belong to His body, the Church. Here are a few ways I see myself, and others, struggle with "finding our lane":

We think that because we are not this or that, therefore we don't belong. We focus on the many things that we're not. The things that we do feel empowered to do seem so small in this big broken world that we live in, or in comparison with someone else's abilities.

Or, at the other extreme, because of the gifts we're given, we feel like it's all up to us. This leads to puffing up because, in the diversity of the body of Christ, others are really different than us, and then it leads to despair because we know our deficiencies. 

Other times I think we hold back on our giftings for fear of being "too much." Too forward. Too confident. Too talkative. Unfeminine. 

Maybe you're not even sure what your giftings from God are or how you fit in with the Church at all. Maybe you're so new in your faith that you haven't had enough experience to see what God is empowering you to do to build up the Church. 

If you struggle in any of these areas, I want to lay down a few simple truths from the Word that I hope encourage you.

1. You are a body part, not a single-celled organism. You cannot function alone.
"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (Rom 12:4-8 ESV)
 2. God arranges the body as He sees fit, in His sovereignty. Our job is to remain connected to Jesus, the Head, doing what we're designed to do.
"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." (1Co 12:14-18 ESV)
Bible verse coloring page "the body of Christ" 1 Corinthians 12:14-16, 18
What are the implications of these truths for the struggles I mentioned?

If you belong to Christ, you belong to His body. You may feel different from the body of Christ God has placed you in. You may look different. You may think differently and talk differently. You may have a different background and set of experiences. 

Maybe you're single and everyone else is married with kids. Maybe you're married with kids and everyone else is single. Maybe everyone else grew up in Church and you grew up knowing nothing at all about Jesus. Maybe your personality and interests make you feel like the odd-one out.

But let's not believe the lie that we don't belong.

By the way, if you see things differently, just maybe you bring something to the body that is missing. 

Notice that everything is disorganized and chaotic in your small group? Maybe God wants to use your administrative gifts to bring some order. 

Notice that the lessons for the kids need to be more meaty? Maybe God has called you to teach or help develop better materials. 

Overhear a conversation about the how terrible abortion is and (while you agree) all you can think of is the past God redeemed you from and grief for women who make that choice? Maybe God has gifted you with mercy for the broken. 

Hear a friend talk about her deep anxiety over a work situation, and your heart wells up with encouraging words and a desire to help? Maybe God has gifted you with encouragement.

Hear of a friend who is sick and you immediately think of the things she might need (childcare, food, etc)? Maybe God has gifted you to know how to help others.

We need each other. Alone, no, we are not "enough." It's okay that our work is limited. We need to learn to think of ourselves with "sober judgment." 
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." (Rom 12:3 ESV) 
You were designed with certain deficiencies, not because God doesn't like you, but so we could depend on each other. That means than if you're not part of a church body, you can't function in the way God has designed. 

Don't like the church? Yes, she's broken and sometimes ugly, so broken that Jesus had to die to redeem and cleanse her. Because the body is made up of redeemed, yet still sinful people, it ain't gonna be peaches and cream this side of complete redemption, folks. We look more like a construction zone than a finished project. But in my experience, this crazy labaratory for the Gospel (I wrote about that HERE) has taught me more about God's shocking grace than anything I've ever experienced. 

Let's always keep in mind that Christ died for the body, to make her His own. He did not reject Her, so neither should we! 

The body will be very diverse. Think of a thumb versus a spleen (what does a spleen even do?). So different, yet imagine functioning without either (just googled "what does a spleen do?" and you don't want to be without one). Your sister in Christ may function in the body in a completely different way than you. Be her cheerleader. Encourage her. Value her, even if you don't completely understand her importance.

God is in charge of the body. Everyone He brings to your Body brings something you need. And beyond our local church bodies, God sees the entire body of Christ spread out across your city, your state, your country, and the world. He is orchestrating it all. 
"But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." 1 Corinthians 12:19 (ESV)
Use your giftings boldly in the Spirit because you are trusting God to work.
"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began," (2Ti 1:5-9 ESV)
Paul reminds Timothy that the Spirit he was given is not characterized by fear, but by power, love, and self-control. What do you think Paul meant when he told Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God"? Later he tells Timothy not to be ashamed of the message of the Gospel. 

Maybe Paul is encouraging Timothy (and us) to not be crippled by fear, but be empowered by the Spirit for the work prepared for us to to, all "not because of our works, but because of His own purpose and grace." 

In what ways has fear cripples the work of God through His Spirit in your life?

Have you unknowingly bought into any of Satan's lies about your place in the body of Christ? 

Is your local (and beyond!) body of Christ benefiting from your presence, your gifts, and even your needs (ie. the opportunity to serve you)?

The maturity and stability of the body of Christ is at stake here, which is sobering to me.
"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christuntil we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes." (Eph 4:11-14 ESV)
I made today's printable Bible verse coloring page from 1 Corinthians 12 to speak some truth to our hearts. You can download your page HERE or by clicking on the image below!*

Bible verse coloring page printable
PRAYING the Word
Jesus, I need your Spirit to help me function in your body as you've designed. Help me to fan into flame the gifts you've given me. Help me live by your Spirit, not my flesh. Forgive me for believing any lies about my place in the body.

QUESTIONS to ask about the verses:

1. If we are to view believers in Christ as a body, what does that mean for how we see each other?
2. In what ways do you struggle with how God designed you to function in the body? 
3. Are you functioning well in the body of Christ? What is holding you back?

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Bring your nothing + printable Isaiah 61 Bible verse coloring page

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"The spirit of the LORD God is upon me"
flower image courtesy of Charmingly Saavy
 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion--to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified." Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)
Sometimes my blog posts inspire an illustration, and sometimes it all starts with a Bible verse that just begs to be illustrated. This post is the latter. Our pastor read this Scripture last Sunday and I knew I wanted to illustrate it and mediate on it further.

This is the Scripture that Jesus reads in the temple early in His three ministry years, and then declares, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21).

All that God promises is fulfilled in Jesus! I don't want to miss the glory in this. Do we get what Jesus is offering us?


Do we get what He asks us to bring?
Our nothing. Our poverty. Our humility. Our broken hearts. Our chains. Our ashes. Our mourning. Our faint spirits.

He doesn't reject any of these! He asks that we come with the empty hands of faith, ready to receive all He gives.
"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 (ESV)
I don't know if the promises in these verses will see their full fulfillment in this sin-broken world and in our still-fleshly, yet made-new hearts.  

Right now death is mixed with resurrection. Joy with sorrow and suffering.  
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies." 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 (ESV)  
I love the picture of real life painted in these verses. Afflicted, but not demolished. Scratching our heads at our circumstances, but not despairing. Groaning, but groaning with hope.
"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?" Romans 8:23-24 (ESV)
I don't know what you need Jesus to do for you today, but I do know that great hope is found in Him, and only in Him! 

If you're suffering today, please ask someone who loves Jesus to pray for you. For our friends who are suffering, let's pray these verses for them.

You can get the printable Isaiah 61 Bible verse coloring page HERE or by clicking on the image below!*
Isaiah 61 Bible verse coloring page printable
PRAYING the Word
Jesus, I need you to ___________ (for me or for someone else). I trust you to do this and make us trees of righteousness (clothed in Your righteousness alone!) so that You may be glorified through us.

QUESTIONS to ask about the verses:
1. In what ways are you suffering today and need Jesus to help and heal you?
2. Is there anything that you feel is too hard for him?
3. In what ways have you seen God already do the things He promises in this verse?

p.s. My title today is snatched from this song by Shane and Shane:

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

four things that are growing my marriage + printable “Why Mommy loves being married to Daddy” book

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

On my seventh anniversary, and first year blogging, I wrote about how I threatened my dear husband with mozzarella (yes, that's still embarrassing and no, I still don't remember how to spell mozzarella) and how God was graciously at work in my "rock tumbler" marriage.

On the occasion of my eighth anniversary, I wrote about subtle ways I am learning to bless my husband  (and yes, I am still learning those very same things). 

And now, just after my ninth anniversary, I'm pondering the ways God has grown us in the last year. Here are a few:

1. The small decisions.
We've grown in the little things maybe more than anything else.

In a kind response instead of anger.
In a respectful listening to one's opinion rather than taking immediate offense.
In a patient manner of seeing a conversation through rather than frustration that communication is hard.
In a simple laying out of my feelings rather than an accusal-laced pitching.
(Do you get the idea that communication is a challenge for us?)

These little decisions slowly form the character of our relationship. (So hint: if you want your marriage to change, think small first).

2. Living in the light.
Especially a blessing to me this year has been the sharing of my life, and especially my marriage, with the sweet sisters in Christ God has given me. 

There are things that can crush your spirit in marrige:
I am alone and we're doing this all wrong.
What if it wasn't God's plan for us to be together?
It would be easier to be alone.
We're going to turn out just like them . . . 

To keep these thoughts from taking root and bearing fruit, we need the ministry of our family in Christ, the ministry of sisters and brothers who love both of us and care for our marriage.

The ministry of "Yes, that's normal. I've been there."
The ministry of having faith for me that God is working and we will survive.
The ministry of rehearsing the truth out loud (some that I already know but need to hear again).
The ministry of seeing me as I am and yet still being my friend.
The ministry of praying me through hard seasons.

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." (James 5:16 ESV)

I love how Paul didn't see the church body as an institution where we keep everything formal and business-like. Sometimes our church clothes trick us into doing that, but we have to learn to "share our own selves" with each other.

"So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us." (1Thessalonians 2:8 ESV)

It takes courage to share what's going on (I wrote more about the challenge of "being real" here). Yes, you might get rejected and someone might look down on you (someone's rejection says more about their understanding of God's grace than about you), OR . . . you might be accepted. You might even set someone else free to confess the very same thing. You might find glorious freedom in God's grace and forgiveness! 

3. Remembering your first husband.
If you're married, I hope your earthly husband meets some of your needs (physical, sexual, financial, emotional, relational), but I'm pretty sure he doesn't meet all of them all the time.

I read "The Five Love Languages" before we were married and knew exactly how I needed to be loved. But the reality is, my husband is not always fluent in those languages. He is amazing and meets many of my needs so well, but God did not design him or purpose for him to meet every one. 

A wise friend reminded me recently that Jesus is my first husband. And in the end, when we're focused on how amazing
 He is, everything else dims in comparison. 

"For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called." (Isaiah 54:5 ESV)

When the "God of the whole earth" is mine, my husbands failures stop being magnified by my overwhelming needs. I can love him out of the abundance of Christ (and in Him I am full).

4. Being marriage-focused over kid-focused.
The other night at dinner, as my kids displayed various antics (we basically live in a musical) and a shocking inability to sit in a chair, I commented to my husband, "I feel like we live in a circus."

He replied, "Yup, all that's missing is . . . "

"Obedient children?" interrupted my squirming child. 

No comment.

It's so easy to get caught up in the co-ringleading of our (self-created) circus that we forget that we're not just partners, but friends and lovers.

I picked up the book "Trophy Child: Saving Parents from Performance, Preparing Children for Something Greater Than Themselves" by Ted Cunningham and went straight to the last chapter on marriage (I've since started reading from the beginning like a normal person, and it's great!). He shared something that I've been repeating to anyone who will listen since I read it:

"There are four spiritual journeys in the home. Your own personal journey as a parent is your first priority. You must be connected to the Source of life in order to give to the other spiritual journeys in the home. The second spiritual journey is that of your spouse. Your goal is to serve your spouse without plugging into him or her as the source of life and without taking responsibility for his or her journey. Your spouse is 100 percent responsible for his or her own spiritual journey. Together you tend to the third spiritual journey in your home, your marriage journey, by enjoying a lifetime together. Then your own spiritual journey and your marriage journey paint a picture of the gospel of Jesus for your children and their spiritual journey.

Prioritize these journeys. If you start by tending to your child's journey first, you will create a kid-centered home that erodes every other journey in the house. 

Your children have a front-row seat to your marriage. The two greatest gifts we can give our children are a mom and dad who enjoy life together, and the hope of a great marriage of their own."

Doesn't that just sum it up so well?

This anniversary, in an attempt to celebrate our marriage in front of our kids, I made a little book explaining why I love being married to their dad (an idea from the above book). When I saw their little faces light up each time we read it, I realized how much they delight in our love as husband and wife.

one thing I love about my husband (from the book I made and the girls colored)

The last page reads: "I wanted you to know these things about your Daddy so that one day, God can help you marry someone you will love being married to just as much as I love being married to your dad."
If you and your husband want to create something similar, I created a printable "Why I love being married to mommy/daddy" book for you to download!*

You can get your "Why Mommy loves being married to Daddy" book
You can get your "Why Daddy loves being married to Mommy" book HERE

I suggest printing at least the cover on cardstock on 8.5 x 11" paper. Then, fold in half and insert folded pages (cardstock or regular paper) to make the book's pages. Then staple at the binding, and you've got your book! If you're not confident in drawing (even stick people?), then just make a simple list!

P.S. Check out my favorite marriage posts from the past:
That time before my seventh anniversary when I threatened my dear husband with mozzarella 
Books that shape me: Marriage
Subtle ways to bless your husband 

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Living full in an empty world + Colossians 2:9-10a Bible verse coloring page

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

fullness in Christ
Do you ever find yourself scrambling to fill a need you can't even clearly identify? 

Social media feed!
Something to distract me!
Love me, love me (husband, friends)!
Just one more cute shirt!

For me these searches quickly turn into discontentment and irritation. Well, that didn't work . . . on to the next thing.

And it's exhausting.
"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isa 55:2 ESV)
One of our pastors said something recently that captures this tension I feel. He said, "It's not that following Jesus is burdensome, but this world is a hard place to delight in Jesus above all else."

Jesus is incomprehensibly good, but we battle the one-two-three punch of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

And only the Spirit is up for that fight, friends.

I'm reading a book called How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp and the authors explain it this way:
 "The Bible describes us as defectors and enemies of God who want to fill ourselves with things in creation rather than the Creator . . . Scripture's approach calls us to forsake the things we have sought to fill our emptiness. Before we can be filled with God's grace, we must engage in intelligent, honest repentance. We have to forsake and demolish the god-replacements that have supplanted the true God in our lives. Repentance is a form of emptying the heart." 
Have I tried to set up created things in the huge vacuum of God in my life, like a teacup of water spilled out on a cracked and dusty desert? Most certainly. And I (and my relationships) suffer for it daily.
Measly teacupfuls evaporate almost on impact. What we need is a deluge from heaven.
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." (Col 2:8-15 ESV)
Colossians 2:9-10a
Glorious, right? Full in Christ. Sinful flesh circumcised. Raised with Him through faith. My debts forgiven.

I believe these things . . . but sometimes I just don't.
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24b
I believe that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me through His Spirit (Galatians 2:20), but often I'd rather be known for my own personality and confidence (and spend lots of time analyzing these things).

I believe Jesus is my bread of life (John 6:35), but I want to be filled by my own comfort (and might react badly if you mess with it).

I believe Jesus is my constant Counselor and teacher (John 14:26), but I'd rather just have an easy marriage and compliant children, and not rely on Him to teach me how to live by the Spirit.

I believe Jesus died on the cross, but I resist the fact that my sins sent Him there, and in Him I am freely forgiven along with every other sinner who falls on His grace.

I believe Jesus fills me up, but sometimes I'd just prefer my husband to be perfectly in tune with all my needs and desires (here I get an eye-roll from him, ha).

I know in my head what Jesus offers. But sometimes I just don't want those things. I want lesser things. My appetites are unsophisticated, earthly.

quick and easy cup-o-noodles over homemade pasta in carefully brewed broth
oily canned tuna fish over prime steak on the grill
dry powered donuts from a bag over hand-made ones fresh off the fryer

The lesser, easier stuff, just doesn't satisfy long-term.

All I know is that developing a taste for "rich food" is something only Jesus can do in us. The current of our thoughts carry us in a particular direction. And while deeply ingrained, they are not immovable. The greater current of God's Spirit can shift them over time as we empty ourselves and ask Him to fill us.
"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Col 3:2-4 ESV)
"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." (Rom 8:6 ESV)
God is working these things out in me these days. Do I believe what I believe in the simplest of moments? Because that's where real change happens.

When you feel strung out and discontent: 
"I am full in Christ. There is nothing He hasn't given me today."

When you are weary and discouraged:
"I am full in Christ. There is nothing He hasn't given me today."

When you feel like you're at the end of everyone's list of priorities:
"I am full in Christ. There is nothing He hasn't given me today."

When you look in the mirror and wish for something better.
"I am full in Christ. There is nothing He hasn't given me today."

I think I'm only beginning to taste fullness in Christ, friends. And it's oh. so. good. And free! 

There's nothing keeping you from coming to Him for fullness today. Jesus has already set the table for you. You only have to come.
"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isaiah 55:1-2 ESV)
To keep these truths on your heart, I'm sharing this printable Bible verse coloring page from Colossians 2:9-10a! You can download your page HERE or by clicking on the image below!* (This image is also in full color in my "Mission: Motherhood" Scripture card set HERE!)
bible verse coloring page

PRAYING the Word

Jesus, thank you for choosing to fill us with yourself. Teach us to delight in YOU above all else today.

QUESTIONS to ask about the verses:
1. What does this verse tell you about the person of Jesus?
2. How does it feel to be "full" in Christ?
3. What things do you try to fill yourself with? How do they make you feel?

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE! You'll also receive occasional news from my Etsy shop.

when imperfect motherhood leads us back to grace + printable "stand in grace" Romans 5:1-2 coloring page (Spanish + English)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

At one point this week, one of my children screamed from the bedroom, "I hate this place so much!" 

To be honest (which I always try to be here), I wasn't loving "this place" so much either.

Summer has been trying at times here for us (well, mostly me). We're off our regular routine of friends, community, and school. I'm dealing with some allergy issues. My husband is in the middle of some demanding projects at work. And let me just point out, it's my first time raising these particular human beings (and combination of human beings), and goodness, it can be hard. 

(In all of these things I realize I'm so blessed--husband's job, amazing community, my children. But blessings are not always easy.)

There are many joyous and beautiful (and Instagrammable) moments of motherhood, but there are also plenty of "I hate this place" moments.

Sometimes I want
to tap out
a new career path
a stunt double?

Mothethood rubs raw every area selfishness. It pushes me past all comfort (and boy, do I like my comfort!). It reveals all my messiness right along with theirs.

And then of course I feel like I'm failing them. But would "perfect mommy" convince them of their need for grace and the surety of God's provision of it through Jesus? 

Well first of all, there is no perfect mommy, so that's really a silly question. There's really only either honest, Jesus-needing mommy, or hypocritical, Pharisaical, lying to herself mommy (who says and thinks things like "I can't believe you would do something like that!" and forgets that she did something similar five minutes ago. Oh, just preaching to myself here).
"Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:20-21 ESV)
I don't understand all of this particular part of Romans, but I do get that God's grace is always greater than our sin. If you keep reading in Romans 6, Paul answers the next question that pops in our minds after reading the last verses of Chapter 5: does this mean we're "promoting" laziness about sin so we can experience more grace? Paul replies, "Certainly not!" How can you resurrect a dead person that no longer lives? How can we, made alive by the Spirit, return to slavery to sin? And how can we, who love our Savior, delight in heaping more sins upon Him?

Grace is not a license to sin, but it's the only effective place from which to obey and flourish and grow--out of gratitude for a great debt paid--not obligation. It's where Jesus graciously starts all of us who come to Him in faith.

Jerry Bridges explains this idea really well in one of the first books I read that introduced me to the idea of God's daily grace. He writes, 
"Nothing cuts the nerve of the desire to pursue holiness as much as a sense of guilt. On the contrary, nothing so motivates us to deal with sin in our lives as does the understanding and application of the two truth that our sins are forgiven and the dominion of sin is broken because of our union with Christ.” ― Jerry BridgesThe Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
I'm challenged as I write this that "good motherhood" and discipline-making means helping my children continually step into the starting place of grace--so that I too can join them there. 

Guilt does not motivate them to grow; grace does.

Yes, discipline, teach, train (see 2 Timothy 4:2 below), but somehow we need to learn to do it without condemning. Like Jesus does it (see Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11).

(printable card from the "Mission: Motherhood" set in the shop)
On the days that bring us to shouting, tears, and weakness, we need to know that grace can still abound. What clearer "preaching" of the Gospel is there in the home, I wonder?

Child of mine, let's start here together. It's a good thing Jesus loves sinners like us, isn't it?  

And this place--I love. 

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from Romans 5:1-2! You can download your page (in English or Spanish) by clicking on the images below!*

PRAYING the Word
Thank you that we get to stand in your grace right now! Thank you that you did all the work to make us holy and at peace with you. Help us remember and rejoice in this today!

QUESTIONS to ask about the verses:
1. Where does our peace with God come from? What about our access to God?
2. Do you feel God's grace for you today? Can you do anything step out of God's grace? (Hint: Did you do anything to get it?)
3. Are you rejoicing in hope today? If not, what do you need to be reminded of?

More on grace here:


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

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Bible doodling: a simple introduction + free printable basic lettering guide

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Basic Bible doodling with Marydean Draws
Hey friends! I hope you enjoyed last week's post on ways we can work towards racial unity, starting in our homes (and hopefully then in our nation)! I know this is still on my heart.

Today, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite ways to study the Bible, and it's so simple that anyone can do it and all you need is a pencil, some paper, and your Bible.

While there are a ton of resources and nifty supplies out there for Bible journaling right now (and I love seeing women engage in the Word in creative ways), for my personal studying, I work best with a pencil and any scrap of paper nearby!

So why Bible doodling?
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16 ESV)
I find this is one of many ways I can think more deeply on God’s Word. It’s a way to let God’s words “dwell in me richly” and thus radically change my life and thinking.

When I write out God’s Words and think of them in a visual way, I find I think on them longer and recall them better. It's as if I've created a "hook" in my brain (I think music works in a similar way).

I think Bible doodling is especially effective with kids. I use it when teaching Sunday school all the time.

So what can you draw? Here are some possibilities:

1. Parts of a passage.  Start by reading your focal passage over and over. My current Bible study method is to choose a book and read through it a bunch of times--sometimes super slow and sometimes in larger chunks. You'll see that I'm reading through Colossians.

As you read, underline key words and ideas. Pay attention to where you see ideas or words repeated. Who or what is the subject? Think about what the words mean and how they fit in with what the passage or book as a whole is communicating.

Then try sketching from the passage.  Use ALL CAPS, underlining, different lettering styles, images, and line breaks to communicate the meaning.

Here's an example from my reading in Colossians 3:

2. Write and illustrate a single concept or excerpt from a verse. TIP: Draw in a frame so you can separate your drawings on a page.

Here, I drew the concept of the Word dwelling in you richly (I have no idea where the anthropomorphic hearts came from--just an oddity of my brain, I guess):

3. Summarize and illustrate a passage in your own words. Ask yourself, “How would I sum up this passage in the simplest way?” Or write out a prayer based on what you’ve read.

TIP: If you don’t know how to draw something (like a throne, say) try googling an image. I do this all the time! I don't always know how to draw something, but I do know how to see it.

Don't forget the heart of it.

This is not really about making pretty art, using fancy materials, or perfecting your lettering (although have fun with it and enjoy being creative)! And it's not even about growing in knowledge alone. This is a way you can grow in love for the God who loves you and wants to speak to you through His Word. Then you can grow as His follower and help others follow Him too!

Want a little extra help with your lettering? I'm sharing my favorite ways to "dress up" letters in a free printable today! You can download your printable lettering guide HERE or by clicking the image below.*
A simple introduction to Bible doodling with Marydean Draws
AND . . . I recorded two lettering videos. The first is me playing with some capital letters (using a heavy Tombow graphite pencil--my fav. I told you I'm not fancy, right?):

And in this one I letter a (mind-blowing) concept from Colossians 1:22-23 with some messy fake calligraphy (using a fine tip Le Pen--a gift from my mother-in-law and fun to use. So maybe I'm a little fancy . . . ):

Well friends, welcome to basic Bible doodling! I hope this inspires you (like it has for me) to dig into the Word and draw some truth!

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

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