She Reads Truth Bible [Review]

When I found out that B&H Publishing would be sending me the She Reads Truth Bible to review, I was ecstatic! I’ve had this Bible on my wishlist ever since it came out April this year, but I hadn’t been able to justify ordering another bible, even though I needed one to use for reading/studying purposes separate from journaling. Ever since it landed on my doorstep, I’ve been carrying it around everywhere (not hyperbole), and I’m so glad it’s finally in my hands. (You can order it from my Amazon affiliate link here).

Here is the description of the She Reads Truth Bible from the publisher: “The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of ‘Women in the Word of God every day.’ The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.” 

This Bible is done in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation, which is the same as the HCSB but they have just recently dropped the H for Holman the name of the publisher. My husband introduced me to this translation, and it has quickly become my favorite, especially since it uses both word-for-word and thought-for-thought styles of translation. Here is the description of the CSB translation from the publishers: “The She Reads Truth Bible features the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) text. Translated by more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations, the Christian Standard Bible features an optimal blend of accuracy and readability that’s faithful for serious study, and written with heart-stirring clarity that inspires readers to live and share it.”

So now that I’ve told you what this Bible is, let’s talk about the included features inside. I received the gray linen hardcover, but there are several other colors and styles including an indexed version and an imitation leather softcover. This Bible includes two ribbon bookmarks, one red and one white. A genius idea, and they are spaced in two different spots to make it easier to mark your place depending on which part of the Bible you’re in. The supplemental material in the front includes an introduction, the gospel message, information about the CSB translation, and an explanation of key features. In the back there is a one year reading plan, a concordance, the Apostle’s Creed, and a list of key verses for each book of the Bible conveniently color coded based on genre.

Each book of the Bible begins with a key verse artwork piece, a one page explanation/historical background, a map, a timeline or a chart based on the content of the book, and a reading plan for the book that also gives supplemental verses for further reading. Spread throughout the text are 189 devotionals that expound on a particular section of scripture in order to direct your heart to God. These devotionals are written by the women of She Reads Truth, so I would consider them the highlight of this Bible (besides the Word itself) for anyone who has used She Reads Truth for personal study before. 

The format of the text itself leaves room in the margins for notetaking and art worship. However the pages are extremely thin, thinner than most journaling Bibles I’ve encountered, so I could imagine it might cause a lot of shadowing and bleed through. If that is something that concerns you, I would recommend using this Bible more for reading instead. I have found that my favorite Zebrite Bible highlighters do not bleed through the thin pages (they do shadow), and I will be using them to highlight meaningful verses. I have given an example in my reading and highlighting of Proverbs to show a block of text that I highlighted and what it looks like on the back side of the page. I did try to press lightly and not go over the same spot twice to keep the shadowing to a minimum and prevent bleed through. (You can purchase the Zebrite Bible highlighters here.)

I did also feel like the cover was a bit plain for my personal taste, but I am glad to see that they chose colors and covers that would appeal to a broad range of women. Many women’s Bibles tend to be overly flowery and feminine, so the She Reads Truth Bible took other tastes into consideration when creating the aesthetics. I did purchase a quilted “Purple Fancy” cover for mine, which you can find here on Amazon if that’s your style too. This cover fits this Bible great with just a little room to spare. 

Overall I am highly pleased with this Bible, and I am very confident in my recommendation of the She Reads Truth Bible. Whether you are new to the She Reads Truth community or a veteran, this Bible would be a great addition to any woman’s library. 

To purchase your own copy of the She Reads Truth Gray Linen Hardcover on Amazon, click here. For the Poppy Linen cover, click here. And for the Navy imitation leather softcover, click here

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you. I received a copy of the She Reads Truth Bible from B&H/Lifeway publishers in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained within are my own. All other products mentioned were not provided, but rather purchased on my own. 

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New Word Nerd Devotional Kit + Freebies and More

The new Word Nerd devotional kit by Illustrated Faith from Dayspring is now available for sale. This cute kit includes 4 weeks of devotional content, 4 journaling cards, a stamp set, die cut pieces and a full roll of washi tape. To see my unboxing video of the entire kit, click here

If you’re a bookworm who loves Jesus, then this kit is for you! I’m so excited to work through this one, especially since I proudly wear my nerdy girl status! I wanted to do something a little different this month, so I made a paper bag book. I’ll be doing a tutorial and flip through video later this week as well as posting a blog post with more details. 

If you buy the kit before 9/29, you get to pick a free gift at checkout! Plus use code IFSHIPSFREE for free domestic shipping. That’s an almost $40 value for only $20, so hurry and get your kit and freebie here

A bunch of new releases also landed on the Dayspring website today, including a new style of my favorite Organization bag. You can see a video of my Organization bag and all the supplies I can stuff in mine here. There’s also a new starter kit that contains the original Created to Create devotional and pieces, great for beginning Bible journalers! You can find all these goodies and more by shopping through my affiliate link here

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links, but there is no additional cost to you. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own. 

How I’m Journaling: Gratitude Documented

Illustrated Faith and Dayspring have released three new collections this month: Faith > Fear, Gratitude Documented, and Advent. You can buy the items individually, or pick up the journaling kit that has an assortment of commonly used items for Bible journaling. Dayspring was kind enough to send me the Gratitude Documented journaling kit, and it is so cute! To see my unboxing video of the kit, the coordinating stamp set and other goodies, click here. (Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links, but there is no additional cost to you.)

Instead of posting a “review” type post, I thought it would be fun to show you the two different ways I plan to use my Gratitude Documented supplies. This kit is seriously packed with so much stuff that I’ll definitely be able to use it over the next three months leading up to Thanksgiving. What better way to spend some reflection time while journaling during some of the busiest months of the year than to focus on prayers of thanksgiving? 

Even though this kit doesn’t have any devotional content, every single die cut piece has a verse on the back to prompt journaling. That means 39 pieces equals 39 verses of possible journaling. Not only that but the stamps (sold separately) can be used over and over again, which is the main reason why I had to buy the stamps to go with my new kit. It’s always tempting to hoard favorite pieces, waiting for just the right “page” or right “verse” or right “moment” to use it, at least it is for me. I would encourage you to use it up, just like I’m trying to do! Don’t be afraid to create because you might “mess up” your pretty pieces. Mistakes happen, messes happen, and some of my favorite or most memorable entries were happy accidents that I go back to over and over again. After all, once you use your favorite pieces, it’s not like they’re gone forever; they’re right there on the page for you to enjoy and remember what God taught you in that moment. 

So the first way that I will be using this kit is in my Bible. For my first page using the kit, I decided to jump in and use one of my favorite pieces: the “blessed” tree stump. I don’t know why, but I just thought it was the cutest. Luckily there’s also a stamp in the stamp set that has a similar stump without the words, and there is a sticker piece, so there will be other opportunities to use this design. 

This Bible is getting quite full and it took me awhile to find a die cut that had a verse I hadn’t journaled that page already. I eventually settled on the leaf that had Colossians 2:6-7 on it, which reads, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” That word “rooted” helped tie in my cute little tree stump with the words “blessed.” I find that when I am the most rooted in Christ is when I can appreciate my blessings the most, because He has truly blessed me beyond what I deserve, and it’s so easy to forget that. 

This particular page also happened to have some shadowing from messy paint on the other side, so it was a great opportunity to use a tip-in from the kit to mask that in the margin. I also got a chance to use my new Illustrated Faith acrylic paints, and I really liked how the pink paint came out the color as displayed on the tube: very bright and vibrant!

The second way that I’ll be using the Gratitude Documented kit and stamps is in my Faith planner. I just recently found an Illustrated Faith 2017-2018 planner on clearance at Hobby Lobby and couldn’t resist. I’ve been needing a more organized way to keep track of all my tasks that seem to be adding up as the holidays approach, and I’ve always loved keeping a physical planner instead of just using my phone calendar. Since I don’t really need all the weekly layout space for planning and lists, I’ve been using that section each week to write out verses from a weekly scripture challenge I’m using based on the topic of contentment. I felt like contentment and gratitude go together very well, so it was great timing to be using these verses with this kit. 

Each Sunday I’ve been trying to sit down and write out my weekly verses and then decorate the leftover white space. I like writing out all four verses at once and then decorating the spread in one sitting, so then I can flip back to it throughout the week and read over the verses. With two young children, it’s often hard to commit to a daily task of this kind during the busy week, because sometimes I just don’t get enough free time. But I always have a little bit more time on the weekend to write them out when my husband is off from work, and then I can always find a few minutes each day during the weekdays to reread my verses. I’ve only been doing this for two weeks now, but I’ve found that it helps me to have a better mindset to face the week. 

Illustrating in my planner also gives me an opportunity to use some of the bigger pieces that I may not want to use in my Bible. I knew that I probably wouldn’t use this “I am thankful for…” die cut in my Bible, but it filled up the bottom blank section of my planner page perfectly. I also plan to use some of the tip-ins with my planner as well, because I think some of the writing prompts will fit in better where I can have more space for writing than the margin of my Bible. 

So those are two of the ways I’ll be using my Gratitude Documented kit and stamps over the next few months. I definitely think these new collection kits are a great starter for newer Bible journalers, or for busy moms like me that just need some simple pieces to get you into the word throughout the week. If you are interested in picking up this new Gratitude Documented kit, click my affiliate link here to shop. For the stamp set, click here

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links, but there is no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the Gratitude Documented kit in exchange for my honest review. All other products mentioned were purchased on my own. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own. 

Created to Create 2 Kit + Watercolors [Review]

I hope you had a relaxing Labor Day weekend! It’s time to jump back into the week with a new blog post. Today I’ll be reviewing the Created to Create 2 devotional kit and Illustrated Faith Watercolor set from Dayspring. You can see a full unboxing video here on my YouTube Channel, and purchase your own kit here (affiliate link).

When I heard that the kit for September would be a sequel to the original Created to Create kit, I knew it would be a good one! After I received my kit, I was pleasantly surprised to see the fun colors and inspiring content; it made me want to jump into my Bible right away. The September kit definitely spoke to my personal style more than the previous kit. I was also happy to see that the content was similar but not an exact repeat, especially for those like myself that already had the original Created to Create. 

Some of my favorite pieces in this month’s devotional kit would have to be the cute little scissors stamp, the die cut banner pieces, the giant word die cuts, and all the colorful stickers. I also love that this kit is an opportunity for me to explore this topic again and do different journaling entries. I worked through the original Created to Create kit when I was still figuring out my journaling style, and some of those entries didn’t turn out how I was hoping. So being able to journal through the sequel gives me an opportunity to try some different things this time. 

I will admit that my one criticism for the new Created to Create 2 kit is that the stamps and some of the die cuts are a bit heavy on the paint brush theme, and I wish there had been a bit more variety as to those pieces. I would have loved to see a watercolor set stamp or paint swipe stamp included. However I do have the original stamp set to supplement this kit, but for those who don’t have access to the original stamp set might be slightly disappointed. I still highly recommend this kit because there’s so much good stuff, the colors are super fun, and it’s such a great way to explore God our creator and how he has infused us with creativity. 

In addition to the Created to Create 2 kit, Dayspring also sent me the Illustrated Faith watercolor set to share with you and try out for myself. I have had my eye on this set ever since it came out, so I was thrilled to find out I would finally get a chance to have a set of my own. I love the portable size and the fact that it comes with a travel brush. This would be a great set to take on the go. 

These watercolors are artist quality, which means they are not chalky, they are smooth on the page when dry, and they don’t bleed through! All are common concerns from Bible journalers, so this would be a great set to add to your stash. The colors are vibrant, and of course match well with other Illustrated Faith pieces. Today, Tuesday September 5th is the last day to get this set for only $10, so go grab a set of your own here. I will be doing a process video with this watercolor set, so make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube Channel here.

Leave a comment below with how you plan to use the Created to Create 2 kit! Check back later this week for another post. Shop the last day of the End of Summer sale here and get great Illustrated Faith products at up to 70% off. 

Please note that post contains affiliate links. Dayspring provided me with the kit and watercolors in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions are my own. 

Illustrated Faith Turns 3 + My Story [Giveaway]

Illustrated Faith turns 3 today! To celebrate this milestone, Dayspring is hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner to receive ALL 19 of the devotional kits that Illustrated Faith and Dayspring have done together. So yes, that means even the retired kits like the original Created to Create. For your chance to win, enter the giveaway here between now and September 5th.
img_2661-2I am so grateful for discovering this wonderful community of Bible Journaling! I started officially Bible Journaling on January 1, 2016 after a very difficult and painful church experience that had left me broken and distant. But God sought me and brought me back into his word so that he could heal my heart. Expressing my worship and prayers creatively through illustrating in my Bible has brought such a renewal to my crushed spirit and healed me in many ways. The community of creatives illustrating in their Bibles gave me a chance to interact with other Christians again without worry of being hurt again.

I’ve also never shared so much of my faith before publicly, and I love that my illustrated Bible pages have given me that opportunity! I’ve had the opportunity to lead a Bible journaling night with my friends, and this month I’ll be starting a monthly gathering at my home to share Bible journaling with friends on an ongoing basis. I’ve also just recently become a Dayspring affiliate and part of the Illustrated Faith launch team, which means I get to share products that I already use and love!

I can’t wait to see where Illustrated Faith will take me in the years ahead, but I know one thing: God is faithful and he never leaves me.  He has created me to be passionate about creativity! I’d love to hear your story of how you got started Bible journaling, so feel free to share in a comment below! If you want to get started Bible journaling for the first time, feel free to ask me questions in a comment. Here are some tips from Illustrated Faith for getting started:

Don’t forget you also have until September 5th to shop the big Illustrated Faith sale here. And grab the New Created to Create 2 kit here.

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links. This just means I receive a small commission when you shop through the links at no additional cost to you. 

Created to Create 2 Is Here!

The sequel to one of Illustrated Faith’s most popular kit, Created to Create, is now here! This fun kit just released today, and it is so cute! Created to Create 2 will help you unleash your God-given creativity as you illustrate in your Bible with all the cute embellishments. You can grab one of your own here and use code IFSHIPSFREE for free domestic shipping. 

Don’t forget to shop the big Illustrated Faith sale, and pick up some extra goodies to go along with your kit at a discounted price! Watercolor and acrylic paint sets are only $10 each (originally $30)! Items as low as $1, so don’t forget to add a few extras to your shopping cart here

I will have an unboxing video of the new Created to Create 2 kit later this week, so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here

Please note post contains affiliate links. This just means I receive a small commission off purchases made through the links at no additional cost to you. Pictures courtesy of Dayspring.

Woodland Fox Baby Blanket Pattern 

New crochet pattern now available on Ravelry and in my shop: the Woodland Fox Baby Blanket! A great addition to any woodland or rustic themed nursery, and makes a great baby shower gift. 

I’ve had the idea for this blanket in my head for awhile but struggled to figure out how to make it work. Finally late one night as I was going to bed, it finally came to me. So I got to work, and the Fox blanket was born. 

Pattern includes written instructions and a color chart for the fox face. This would be a great introductions to crochet colorwork. Basic knowledge of how to change colors needed for this blanket pattern. 

To purchase, visit my shop here. Also available to download on Ravelry here. Make sure to link your projects on Ravelry! I also offer ready made or custom order Fox blankets in my shop!

The Message Canvas Bible [Review]

I had the privilege of winning a copy of The Message Canvas Bible, so I’m going to post my review here. This is my first time with a softcover journaling Bible, and I like the flexibility of the cover. However, I know as I fill it up, it will be harder and harder to keep it closed, and I may consider getting a stretchy band to help with that. 

This is the description from the publisher: “Center your heart and mind on the story of God with The Canvas Bible as you color nearly 300 hand-drawn illustrations, including 150 hand-lettered Bible verses. 

Using The Message’s creative language and vivid metaphors, your imagination will be bursting with ideas for crafting, coloring, and drawing. Meditate on the very words of Scripture, and hear God’s voice speaking to your heart.
Make this Bible one of a kind by adding your own beauty and style. Fill the extra space with your own illustrations and prayers. Immerse yourself in the words of Scripture. Decorate this Bible as a gift for someone you love. Slow down as you color and enjoy a more relaxed pace. Let the story of God paint the canvas of your imagination!”
I really like the style of illustrations in this Bible. It reminds me of an adult coloring book the most out of all the illustrated Bibles I’ve seen. I feel like it would be appealing to both men and women, despite the cover being on the more feminine side (the hardcover watercolor cover version would be a more gender neutral option). The illustrations are more geometric with lots of lines and inner repeating patterns that would make for many hours of meditative coloring while reading scripture. 

This is also my first introduction to The Message translation, which is a modern paraphrase of the Bible. I wouldn’t use this translation for a deep Bible study, which is not its intended purpose anyway. It’s intended to be read like a story to make it easier to understand in today’s language. 

One thing to note about The Message is that it only has numbered chapters and the verses are left unnumbered. This is to allow for easier reading, but makes it harder to find a specific verse in a traditional sense of looking up chapter:verse. 

Each book of the Bible has an illustration at the beginning. I like the variety of lettering and styles used to illustrate each start of the books of the Bible. There is also a variety of plain illustrations as well as lettered illustrations that highlight a verse on the page.

The softcover is slightly larger than my Inspire and Illustrator’s Bibles. I have come to prefer single column journaling Bibles, as it makes the text easier to read as well as offers more room for journaling wherever there is poetry (like Psalms). I also really like that the preprinted illustrations are black outlines. My Illustrator’s Bible has gray outlines, and it makes it difficult to see the illustration once it has been colored. 

I spent some time coloring the Old and New Testament pages, and I was happy to find them not too small to color with a colored pencil. I know in my Inspire Bible that some of the illustrations have parts that are too small to color easily, so I found the Canvas Bible slightly easier to color. I’m excited to spend many more hours reading such a unique translation and coloring the many beautiful pages. 

To purchase The Message Canvas Bible softcover on Amazon, click here

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts. 

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. All pictures contained within this review are my own. I received a free copy from the publisher as part of a contest, and this review was not required as part of my winning. All opinions expressed within are my own. 

Inspire Bible Journaling

It’s been awhile since I’ve journaled in my Inspire Bible, and I recently started using it again. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I won my copy in the contest right before it was released! I also can’t believe that I’ve been Bible journaling for almost a year and a half now. I haven’t yet “finished” a Bible since I seem to journal in multiple Bibles at once, but I’m hoping this year to retire one or two as I continue my creative art worship.

I had been doing my journaling in my Illustrators Bible for the last 6 months, and it has started getting very full. My time is often limited with two babies now, so I switched back to my Inspire Bible. I like the illustrations better in the Inspire and wanted to do more coloring rather than my own art all the time. 

I’ve also started coloring with my oldest daughter. I gave her a composition notebook to “journal” in as I read Bible verse to her. She may be young (almost 3) but her journal is the first coloring book she reaches for when it’s time to color. I think she likes the blank pages that she can color however she wants. 

For now I write on the back of her pages to document what we talked about and did together. Someday she will be able to look back and read about our special time together learning about God and his word. I hope that by starting her young that I am creating a little journaling buddy for many years to come. 

It’s our special activity to do together since adding baby sister to the family. My days are often very long and very full juggling the needs of two young children. However it’s become a priority for me to set aside some time for myself every day to journal or crochet. These activities help me to cope on days when it’s hard and to keep some identity of myself separate from my children. I love them more than I can ever describe, and taking just a little bit of time for myself helps me to be a better mom for them. 

Bible journaling also helps me focus on my word for the year “grace.” To give grace to myself during this time of transition and adjustment. To give grace to others when my fuse is short and my frustration is high. And to remember that when I fail at all of this, God has given me the ultimate gift of grace through his son Jesus, and He is the one who saves me and sustains me. 

Handmade Blankets

Have you seen all the new crocheted blankets now available in my shop?

Blankets are one of my favorite things to make, especially baby blankets. As I start preparing for the arrival of our second baby, I decided I wanted to go back to making what I truly love: blankets. 

I want to enjoy this time while my babies are little, and making other things was stressing me out too much. In an effort to be a happier and better mom for my kids, I decided to transition my shop to crochet blankets only. I am excited about this new phase of my life, and as always I’m thankful for the support I’ve received as I make these changes. 

I have several ready to ship baby blankets available. Mermaid tail blankets are available for preorder in the colors shown or you can custom order and pick your colors. As always, I’m happy to make a custom blanket, so click on one of the custom order options to get started!

Visit kountingsheepshop.etsy.com to see all the new blankets available for purchase! Every baby needs a handmade blanket, so wrap your baby in an one of a kind crochet creation from Kounting Sheep Shop.