Over the past couple years I’ve become convinced that coloring, doodling, journaling, and drawing can all be helpful ways to connect with God. It’s easy for us non-artist types to shrug off these methods because we’re not that good at drawing. Or it feels too much like playing. Or ain’t nobody got time for that.
But, I think it’s often for these very reasons that we ought to just give it a try.
A couple years ago, I found myself locked into a particular way of connecting with God. Read. Pray. Music. Read. Pray. Music.
I needed something different. Something to engage a different part of my brain. So I began coloring.
I’ll admit that I gravitate towards coloring more than doodling, mostly because I’m good at it. I can color inside the lines. I’m decent at choosing colors. There’s an obvious finish line. Doodling, on the other hand, makes me a bit uncomfortable because I’m not always sure what to draw.
Scripture Doodle is a half-way house for those of us stuck in between the “I really want to try this” and “Man, I stink at drawing and have no idea what to do with a blank piece of paper.”
Books are one of the most powerful tools in the world.
Books change the world by offering a new perspective.
Books inspire people to step out and take risks.
Books allow people to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, increasing a reader’s capacity for empathy.
Books explain, they instruct, they motivate.
Books offer another way forward, and get people talking.
Most of my favorite books inspire me towards action. And they are always ones I want to talk about with someone else. (more…)
I’ve always loved to color. Being the introvert that I am, coloring had always been a safe way to introvert while being in the midst of a lot of people at school or while playing at a friend’s house. Markers, crayons, colored pencils? It didn’t matter.
Somewhere around junior high I put my crayons on the shelf. And while they came back out for a brief time when I was in college (I found a really fantastic biology coloring book!), it wasn’t until the past couple years that I’ve started to re-connect with my love for coloring.
And it’s also during this time that I’ve found how helpful it is for me in connecting with God.
I’ve been using these two coloring books in the evenings to slow down, relax, and make mental space to connect with God.
It feels strange to first talk about Scripture and spiritual formation on Day 14. If my intuition is correct, some of you were wondering why I hadn’t mentioned it first.
Well, I’m a bit stubborn and didn’t mention it until now on purpose. (more…)
Last year, I spent many hours researching weekly planners. I’m incredibly picky, and there are very few that meet my criteria. You can read more about that here.
BUT, I came across the Sacred Ordinary Days planner a few weeks ago, and it felt like it was perfect for this spiritual formation series.
I’ve recently joined a Facebook group called Journaling Bible Community, which is a community of people who create art in the margins of their Bibles. Their artwork frequently shows up in my Facebook feed, and I’m in constant awe of the way their artwork reflects the stories and messages of Scripture. Look at some of this stuff:
As I’ve written about before, I’m on the hunt for a full-size Bible for Aly.
I didn’t become a Christian until middle school/junior high, and I was all into my teen Bibles. They helped make the Bible more interesting to me because the sidenotes and extra articles helped me to see how the Scriptures were relevant to my real life.
I’m hoping to find something like that for elementary kids too.
I’ve been participating in the Journey through Scripture project this year, and over on our Facebook group, I’ve been sharing some resources as we read along (well, at least I was for awhile- whoops!). One of these is The Bible in Five by a guy named Tim Mackie. He used to be a teaching pastor at Blackhawk Church (before my time here), and he recorded these videos when our church was reading the Bible in a year together.
He’s since moved to Portland and is a pastor at Door of Hope Church as well as a professor of biblical studies at Western Seminary. I caught wind that him and another guy, Jonathan Collins, have started The Bible Project.
I get asked a LOT about our favorite Bibles for kids. While we’re not really Bible connoisseurs, we stick with what we like, and we LOVE these:
Spiritual disciplines are fantastic and frightening.
They are fantastic because they are often a really great way to help me connect with God. Whether it be through prayer, reading the Scriptures, practicing generosity, journaling, walking a labyrinth, WHATEVER, these are places and times when I’m being intentional about slowing down and focusing on what God is doing around me and inside of me. It’s a time for me to listen and/or to enter into the Kingdom of God living that I might not naturally do on my own.
Spiritual disciplines are also frightening because when I engage in them, I’m giving up control. While I can decide when and what to do, I can’t decide what God’s going to say, how He’s going to move, or even if I’m going to sense His presence at all. Especially at the beginning, it’s sometimes frightening to be vulnerable, even when it’s with our Abba.
When I became a parent, I settled it in my mind that I would help my kids practice developmentally appropriate spiritual disciplines early. By practicing and learning how to connect with God on their own, I’m hoping that these disciplines will give space for God to create markers in their faith where the kids “know that they know they have heard from God.”
A good friend of mine is the teaching pastor at Catalyst Community Church in Rowlett, Texas, and he recently invited me to help make a spiritual disciplines guide for kids. What can we do as parents to help our kids practice the disciplines?
The result of this collaborative project is this helpful sheet that we’re sharing with you. Feel free to download it, print it, share it, whatever!