Created to Create

How many of you doodle while listening, whether it is while the pastor is preaching, talking with a friend on the phone or sitting in a business meeting? I know I do! I’m getting to be quite a pro at making 3D boxes or heart shapes or even a dead tree every once in a while. My husband, Mark, draws goofy looking faces and geometric shapes all around his note taking and we seldom go out to eat that there is not something doodled on a napkin or two!
How about scrapbooking? Who all has tried their hand at that? Had a diary? With lock and key of course! Written out your prayers? Or, tried your hand at an online blog? What about Pinterest night at the library or your church? Crafted with a friend? Bought and colored in a coloring book? Some, if not most people have tried one or more of each of these!
I believe that’s because we were created to create! After all, we are made in the CREATOR’s image, aren’t we?
Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
We were created by the Creator, in His image so that makes us creators! We are all ARTISTS!
If we were to ask a young child if they think they are an artist, I’m pretty sure every single one of them would answer with a resounding, YES! Then they would sit down and proceed to draw…scribbles, circles, stick figures, etc. to prove to us that they indeed are artists and then show us the masterpiece to prove it!

PicMonkey Collage Created to Create
The picture on the left was drawn by our son, Bryan, at age 3.
The picture on the right was drawn by our granddaughter, Hannah, at age 2.
Both drawings are masterpieces!

Somewhere along in life, we decided or were told that perhaps we should try something else, that we weren’t artists! For me it happened in the 3rd grade ART class when my teacher told me my people looked horrible! From then on, I felt I wasn’t an artist. My guess is, that teacher, Mrs Crowder, had never seen a Picasso! They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think ART is in the eye of the ARTIST!

But this blog is not just about ART or pushing a product, it is about worshiping God and Lingering Longer in His Word! It’s about Bible journaling and how do I do it?
Bible journaling has become a tremendously popular new way to connect with Scripture in a creative way by combining faith and art! How to do it is up to you…write, draw, paint your thoughts and reflections in your Bible or journal. The possibilities are quite literally endless. There are stickers, washi tape, printed paper or card stock or stamps and ink that you can use or if you are bold, you can use paint, or markers or colored pencils or pens. You can even use a meaningful picture that you literally trace into your Bible or journal, there are lots of those on Pinterest or even coloring books! You can try your hand at lettering ( there are Youtube videos to watch) and write out your prayers or thoughts in beautiful script. Some people paint or color over the words. Some people can’t! You can tape pages into your Bible or even use clear pages. There isn’t a right or wrong way! And remember, you don’t need a lot of supplies to get started; a Bible or journal, some colored pencils, a prayerful heart and a listening ear…
Whatever method you prefer, the Heart should remain the same; connecting with God’s Word in a fresh new way!
While watching a video from DaySpring about a new product we would be selling, Illustrated Faith, I heard the phrase LINGER LONGER and it EXPLODED in my spirit! Linger Longer. If journaling or drawing or coloring or taping pictures into my Bible causes me to meditate upon HIS Word, how can that be wrong?! When I am creating a page in my Bible, I think about that Scripture and what God is saying to me, a LOT!

Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

 7 Steps to Illustrating Your Faith

1. Spend time with GOD!
Read a devotion
Listen to worship music
2. Pray about it!
Ask God to guide you
3. Write it down!
What is GOD telling YOU?
4. Draw it!
Bring that big idea into the margins of your Bible
5. Date it!
It’s so important to date your entries since you are going to go back to these verses over and over.
6. Tab it!
Use tabs to see what themes you’re on
Make great conversation starters, too!
Just connect with GOD in the way that’s most natural to you!

 Shanna Noel is the founder of Illustrated Faith. A wife and mother of two, Shanna is a lifelong scrapbooker who started using her passion and a journaling Bible to begin illustrating and documenting her faith… right in her Bible! Her first Instagram post ignited a wildfire that just keeps growing, helping women and men connect with God’s Word in amazing new ways. Shanna’s blog regularly features ideas from the Illustrated Faith team for Bible and art journaling. Look for Illustrated Faith-branded products – including lovely faith-filled supplies from Bella Blvd – on’s Illustrated Faith page!




This picture of our granddaughter

Hannah and her daddy

Says more than my words can convey


Trust that her daddy will hold her

Trust that her daddy will NEVER hurt her

Trust that her daddy will keep her safe

She has Learned this trust and

Her daddy has Earned this trust

How much more ought we to trust

Our Heavenly Father

We can trust Him to hold us

We can trust Him to NEVER hurt us

We can trust Him to keep us safe

We can Learn this trust

HE has Earned this trust


Hannah & her Daddy

Change Me? I’m Okay

I’m okay

That’s what all the books tell me

Jesus loves me just the way I am


I want to be all that I can be…


Do I really want to CHANGE?


Not really

I’m pretty comfortable

Feeling mighty righteous and holy

Looking pretty good to all those looking AT me

But the One who looks INTO me


He knows the peel looks good on the outside

But the fruit inside is, well,




Matthew 5:6 NLT

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.


I want to be hungry!

Not for physical food

But righteousness!

No more dry fruit

No more looking good on the outside but shriveled on the inside

Fill me up, Lord

Let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes

I will put on my new nature

Created to be like God–

Truly righteous and holy

Bucket List (Just the Beginning)


I may be a day late and a dollar short

But I’m jumping on the band wagon

Bucket List

Maybe it’s because we are empty nesters

Or I don’t have a full time job

Or I realize I have less of life in front than in behind

(in more ways than one)

But I have decided there are things I want to do before Jesus calls me home

Some are frivolous

Some are serious

Some may spark something in you, dear reader

Something besides laughter or fear!

I want to record a CD

I want to travel around ministering to women

I want to run a 5K

I want to open a coffee and cookie shop

I want a sunroom or screened in porch

I’d like to take a train trip

I want to go to Hawaii

I want to go to the Grand Canyon

I want to have beautiful teeth

I want all my grandchildren to think I am awesome

I want to be known as a prayer warrior

I want to have the type of body that could pull off wearing a bikini
(I wouldn’t wear one, I just want the body)

I want to paint a beautiful watercolor

I want to learn to love to cook

I want to take a conceal/carry class

 I want to own a red pickup truck

I want to be generous with my love, time, money and resources

I want everyone to see Jesus in me

His Name Is Pastor


Not once in 25 years

Did I ever entertain the idea

That one day

I would have to say

Good bye, Pastor

We were all gonna go together

Hand in hand

To meet Jesus in the air

That was the deal

His name is Bill Lay

Given by his mother, Miss Georgia

But we called him


Given by his church family, Cornerstone

We have many pastors

But only one Pastor

The word pastor means

to shepherd or literally

to feed

The name Pastor means

One who worships God

And loves people!

And LOVE he did!

Each of us have stories we could tell

Of words fitly spoken in our time of need

Of wisdom given freely

Of hugs so heartfelt

Of a servant’s heart so big

Who taught us to hold on

And encouraged us to let go

Who dreamed dreams bigger than any of us could fathom

And worked right along side of us to make them come true

How he never expected more out of us than he expected out of himself

He beamed with pride when we caught the vision too

He fathered us all

And was Pastor Papa to our children

His door was always open

A listening ear always available

A true giver of grace and mercy

True leadership

True friendship

Pastor loved pasta

And soup

And peanuts

And peanut butter and crackers

And Excel spreadsheets

And reports

And order

And football

And us

And we love him!

He retired once

But said he flunked it and came back

I shared this poem with him at the retirement party

I have never called you Dad
And likely never will
But every time I say your name
The meaning is the same
It means I love you very much
And how proud I am to be
The daughter of the man
Who means so much to me


We will continue on with the work of the ministry

For you have taught us well

There is work to be done

And people to love

And we too

Will spend our lives

Mending broken people

His hat says it all


I Think I’m Your Sister’s Child

A scared young girl finds herself “in the family way”

A family coping with the shame the only way they knew

A baby boy and a few years later, another

Given a chance by their loving Mother

Making the hardest decision of her life

Not once, but twice


A young man longing to know about the blood that ran through his veins

A young man who was chosen by the heart of his mama but not birthed from her womb

A young man who was loved before he was born by a woman who wanted more for him than she felt she could give

A young man with the wings to fly from his heart mama and only the name of his birth mama

Searching for years with no success

Trying one more time

And finding his birth mama had passed away

But he saw another name


Taking a leap of faith and searching Facebook

He saw my name once again

He sent a  message and received no reply

One week

Two weeks

His hope waning

Maybe he had the wrong person or maybe no one wanted this connection he so desperately desired

Pain and fear starting to settle in

But then…

Divine Connections

The prompting of the Holy Spirit that had me look in the “other” folder

And a message that hit me like a ton of bricks!


All these years I’ve believed there was never going to be a reunion

I had nothing to go on to begin a search of my own

Only a hope that one day I would be found

By someone whose name I didn’t know

With a face I had never seen

And a laugh I had never heard

A nephew I had never hugged

But have always held in my heart

I finally was found and so was he!


A reunion of brothers

Can it be called that when neither knew of the other?

They are both very intelligent and have so many of the same mannerisms

A crazy sense of humor

Sarcasm and wit

I sat and watched this connection take place

And cried

Tears of joy

But a few tears of sadness

Sad for lost years

Sad because my sister and brother, mother and daddy weren’t here to witness this day

A day when differences and distance were set aside

And the only thing that mattered was the sameness

From ordinary to extraordinary

Our lives entwined

Never to be the same again

One day soon

Younger sister will join the mix

Oh what a day that will be!🙂