I am no artist, I'm a bit "arty" and I can draw a bit, my lettering is pretty neat and my handwriting is fairly decent but I don't really have any great expertise or skill sets to teach and inspire. I feel what I can best offer is the odd word of encouragement, a touch of humour (hopefully) and the thoughts the Lord lays on my heart from time to time.
I love to see a blank piece of paper, pristine, unspoiled, perfect, or an un-journaled page in my Bible. The possibilities are endless, the ideas sometimes tumbling through my mind, a vision in my head of what I want it to look like. Sadly, the reality of what I actually fill the paper or page with is often far from the wonderful idea I envisaged. the blank page is no longer perfect!
Or is it? How much can a friend or loved one get from a blank piece of paper or an unwritten note or card? Better a card or letter with spelling mistakes and smudges than a perfect sheet of nothing.
If you are ever lucky enough to look through an old illuminated manuscript it is almost certain that you will find errors, spelling mistakes, smudges, a dirty finger print, even some rather questionable art work if the monk in question was feeling playful, or maybe bored! Parchment, vellum (true vellum)and ink was far too expensive to waste, not to mention wasted hours of painstaking hand copying in poor light and uncomfortable surroundings. Mistakes would be concealed as much as possible or maybe even ignored!
I'm pretty sure I have blogged about this before, but my recent mess up with my lettering stamp with Sarah at DEN has reminded me once more about the need to avoid the lure of perfectionism. Well, more actually my response to my error. I'm ashamed to admit I had a (minor) paddy, screwed up my deli paper and threw it across the table. Sarah in her wisdom reached across, calmly unscrewed it and gave it back to me, " you could cut it up into pieces and use them separately" she said. A group discussion followed while we tried to remember where to find the verses which describe King David dancing. (the internet was down so my usual go to aid of google wasn't available!) Gemma came to the rescue and found it in 2 Samuel. As Sarah advised I tore the paper into three sections and carefully stuck them on to the page, perfection! (almost) they fitted as if I'd planned it like that all along, and to be honest I love it, its one of my favourite pages!
How many of us are disappointed if our efforts fall short of the perfect image we had in our heads? How many of us throw away the imperfect attempt and feel cross, frustrated and inadequate? How many of us would gently encourage our child in that situation, doing as Sarah did, retrieving the cast off failure, unscrewing it and helping to put it right or simply hugging them and telling them it was beautiful and perfect as it was?
Our God does not expect or demand perfection from us, its impossible! All He asks is that we give our best effort; in terms of our Bible Journaling, that it comes from our desire to delve deeper into His Word and to worship Him and give Him the glory.
But, even then...
...God doesn't want us to make ourselves ill, stressed, unhappy or discouraged. Bible Journaling should bring joy, dare I say it fun, and a deepening of our faith.
I'm sorry to repeat myself but I see so many posts which express the stress of being a perfectionist, if some of our worlds greatest inventors or artists had allowed themselves to be ruled by perfectionism I wonder how many awesome works of art would have been lost, how many inventions that we take for granted might never have seen the light of day.
There's a well known quotation, "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I have another version, "Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all!" My apologies for the use of photographic images rather than journaling images, they make the point so much more clearly!