Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gift from Jesus

When we only had two kids, a two-year old and baby, my husband got the idea to pray and ask God for Bible verses for each child.  It might have been inspired by a Focus on the Family broadcast or just an idea from God.  I bought a couple of small scrapbooks to make the verse look "pretty".  It is the only form of scrapbooking I have ever done.  There have been only two years that he missed in the twelve years since that first Christmas.  And we have added two other kids to our house since then.  When we started, we wrapped them and put them under the Christmas tree and the kids opened them before any other gifts.  But somehow, God's word couldn't compete against toys.  Eventually, I realized that there is another holiday near Christmas called Epiphany or Three Kings Day on which some churches commemorate the day that the wise men gave baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  It is the twelfth day after Christmas, January 6th.  And it gives my husband an extra week to get verses.  Score!  My first attempts to be creative were quite pitiful before I got Hallmark Card Studio and was able to create "masterpieces".  This year, however, Hallmark kept crashing when I wanted to use the art studio function, so I decided quickly to create the display with just paper, scissors, a glue stick and different markers/pens.  Below are the results of my work:

To make the castle, I drew out what I wanted on the backside of the paper so pencil lines wouldn't show.  I had to "wing it" with the writing because pencil lines would not show up at all against the brown.  The markers I used are above the book

This was a LONG verse, so Sharpies couldn't be used.  Good thing I had felt tip pens, too!  I used the cookie cutter above the book and I outlined on the yellow paper and put it against some red paper with the idea of cutting out the yellow and red simultaneously and then cutting out a heart shape out of the yellow so that the red would show through.  Eventually, I decided to have the red paper peeping out on one side.  I drew writing lines in pencil before writing the verse.

Again, I created the shield by drawing it on the backside of the paper.  I made the cross by cutting a strip of red paper that was 1/4" thick and cutting it down to size.  Originally, I was going to have the entire verse on the shield, but there was so much room that I decided to have some of the verse surround the shield.  

I used a bigger cookie cutout of a man for this because the book is bigger.  I cut out a red heart from the same paper I used to make the cross on the shield and the paper man for the other verse.  I wrote everything out in pencil first to correctly place the heart and didn't use guidelines for the writing, which is why it might look a little messy.

As you can see, I am not VERY gifted artistically, but I try to make it look interesting and get a theme based on the verse.  I really love the gold, silver and bronze Sharpie markers, which I picked up when we were doing an illumination project as part of our Middle Ages studies.  

The Good:  Our children will work on memorizing the scripture and I will encourage them to ask God why He gave them that particular verse.  This will go with them when they become adults so that they have a tangible way of seeing how God has been working in their lives and how well He knows them.
The Bad:  Bad artwork, oh wait, I should put that in the "ugly" section.  The kids would tell you that memorizing scripture is a pain and this makes it bad, but seriously, I can't think of anything bad about this other than the many little mistakes I made that you probably wouldn't notice but I would because I know what I wanted it to look like.  
The Ugly:  My mood when Hallmark Card Studio refused to let me do ANYTHING.  It soon passed as God quickly gave me other ideas and blessed the work of my hands so that I didn't make any mistakes copying the verse.  (Mistakes are what make my work uniquely mine, but I am glad the mistakes were very tiny this year as opposed to the years where I got the date wrong or put a verse on the wrong page).

I published this too late for anyone to implement it for this Christmas, but it could also be done for first days of school, birthday present or as an Easter present.  

1 comment:

  1. I love this! What a wonderful memory you're making each year, and what a great tradition for them to continue when they're parents. I can imagine them showing their own kids the artwork you made them "way back when" they were kids. :) Happy Kings' Day!