September 4, 2008

What is "Spiritual Scrapbooking?"

Welcome to "Scrapbooking as a Spiritual Aid" from Cynthia Davis and Footprints from the Bible. This will be a weekly blog to give you time to do your own scrapbooking and interact through the blog with others who are on their own parallel journey.

You are probably asking...What does she mean by saying Spiritual Scrapbooking? How exactly do you go about scrapbooking your faith walk? Why would I want to take time to scrapbook as a spiritual aid? Do I need special supplies? Can I do this if I am not 'crafty' or never have done a scrapbook?

To address the last concerns first--you don't need special equipment. A few sheets of construction paper or cardstock and glue is all you need to get started. A ring binder can be used with clear plastic pockets or you can get a nice scrapbook--or drag out that one you've been meaning to do someday!

Further, you do not have to have a bunch of photos. Some of the most meaningful spiritual scrapbooks use clippings; quotes from magazines; special items you have saved for years (coasters or matchbook covers, anyone); ribbons, buttons, etc. The possibilities are endless. Be assured you don't have to be a master crafter to enjoy Spiritual Scrapbooking. This is YOUR book, YOUR journey, and YOUR conversation with God.

Spiritual Scrapbooking is an intensely personal journey and there is no right or wrong way to proceed. Like journaling, scrapbooking can be a spiritual aid because it makes us think 'outside the box' of our normal spiritual disciplines of prayer and study. When we read scripture we use the intellectual side of our selves. Scrapbooking makes us open up to the creative side. By allowing yourself to be creative, God can speak to you in new ways.

Lexio Divino is the method we'll be exploring over the next few weeks. That's a fancy way of saying we'll be looking at a scripture verse or series of verses, determining what it might mean to you where you are now. Then you will scrapbook your thoughts and feelings about how God is speaking to you in that verse. Nearly any verse will work as a starting point.

For our scrapbooks we’ll be looking at Jesus’ parables of the kingdom in Matthew 13:44-51 to see what they say about our treasures, lives, faith, and love of God. I hope you will join me in this adventure in finding out what treasures in your life God wants you to use to further the Kingdom. You might be surprised at what you learn. Like my grandson in the photo, you may discover that you have many choices--big pumpkin or little pumpkin or many pumpkins!

There are several other ways to use Scrapbooking as an aid to your Walk with God.

2. You can start with an event in your life that was especially meaningful--like this photo from a book signing trip to Chama. You then scrapbook where your event and life intersect with God--perhaps it is delight in the beauty of the scene or thanksgiving for time with family. This will lead you to insights that you never expected--maybe a new realization of how blessed you are. The event you chose doesn't have to be something big and grand or special like a wedding or cruise. There are certainly plenty of suggestions for scrapbooking such events.

When looking for a starting point for a spiritual scrapbook, you want to chose an event that you have some mixed feelings about. Perhaps it is a milestone birthday, a job or lifestyle change, or even a visit to your hometown. In this case, at the time, I was not sure if the book selling trip was worth the effort since I didn't sell anything, but in thinking back, being with family made it special and is an important reminder that there are more important things in life than selling books.

3. Another starting point is to scrapbook how your life compares to a favorite Biblical character to see what insights come out of the work. You can chose any person in the Bible and using your own experiences find similarities and differences between your journey and theirs.

Sometimes it is actually helpful to merge #1 and #2 as you scrapbook. The life of someone like Joseph might speak to your Faith Walk if you are in the midst of an unexpected lifestyle change. Leah could help you address your feelings about unfair treatment at work. Sarah might offer inspiration if you are faced with the thought that life is passing you by. You get the idea...

Note: You can use a favorite book (like one of mine) about a Biblical character to give you insight into the person or simply read the Bible passages.

Stop back next week with your glue and paper and we'll get started. See you then.