Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Calm and Quiet Soul

Hi there!

I'm excited and privileged to be joining the Creative Worship team as a guest designer, and to be playing with some fab new stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy!

My process for choosing verses to illustrate involves me putting little sticky note tabs next to scriptures that grab my attention during my daily Bible reading or ones that God drops into my heart through a variety of other ways (a sermon, a book I'm reading, looking at other people's Bible journaling!). Then when I get time I flip through those tabs until I find one that I believe God wants me to meditate on in that moment.

This week the verse that really jumped out at me was Psalm 131:2 -
"But I have calmed and quieted my soul
like a weaned child with its mother
like a weaned child is my soul within me."

I'm in a time right now where my soul needs to be calmed and quieted so it was timely for me to meditate, illustrate and study this verse. When I looked into the whole Psalm I was so blessed to learn how we are to calm and quiet our soul... Really, it all comes down to humility before God and dependence upon Him.

In the first verse of this psalm we see the psalmist praying to the Lord and stating his position of humility. We can see humility of heart ("my heart is not lifted up"), in attitudes towards others ("my eyes are not raised too high") and in what he thinks about, in that this psalmist knows his limits ("I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me"). This posture of humility leads to being able to calm and quiet his soul before God. I loved reading Spurgeon's Treasury of the Psalms on this verse, where he says "Quieting yourself is not easy. It would be easier to calm the ocean, rule the wind, or tame a tiger... only grace can quiet us under affliction, irritation and disappointment." Oh how true! This state of quiet and calm is not an easy one to be in, and it is only by the grace of God that we are able to dwell here. But friends, it is possible and it is encouraged!

I love the picture of a weaned child in this Psalm. As I reflected on and researched this, I discovered that weaning speaks of maturity - moving from milk to meat. When we are weaned we no longer demand our wants and immediate desires, but rather find our comfort and solace in the safe arms of our Father - we want to BE with Him, not just to get things from Him... That is the place of quiet and calm. Spurgeon spoke of being weaned from several things over the course of our Christian walk: from worldly things, from self-righteousness, from sin and self. As we allow God to wean us from these things then we move on to maturity, to heavenly things, to a life lived in Christ. What an amazing reality at the end of the uncomfortable weaning process!

On this page a played around with paints and stamps to create a look inspired by the fabulous artist Megan Wells. I applied acrylic paint in several colours using a paintbrush, then once dried I stamped the flowers from the new Fantastic Flowers stamp set over the top, painting around them with some white paint. I went back over the stamped images with a marker then added the sentiment with a mixture of alpha stickers combined with the new Mini Grunge Type Alpha and Message of Hope. Here's a pic of my main supplies...

And here are the stamp sets I used:

I pray that you are able to calm and quiet your soul before the Lord in this next season as you meditate on Him in His Word...

x Amy x

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