Jitney's Journeys : Seven "I Am" Statements of Jesus

TRUTH.
There was a heavy overflow of Truth coming at me as I worked on this piece. 
For every new canvas, I was reminded of who Jesus was and is. 
I loved every second of working on it.

The best part of the piece was how the idea came to light...


My friend Judy came over to pick up a few custom Christmas presents I put together for her in December. She shared an idea with me about creating an art piece based on the seven "I Am" Statements of Jesus they would want to display in their home. We discussed a few ways we could make that happen and she said, "Well, just be thinking about it. It will be a while before I'm ready to place an order for it."

Fast forward about a month...
I received an email from Judy's husband, Jeff, saying that he wanted to request an art piece from me for Judy's birthday, and that "I think a good one that would be meaningful to Judy would be the seven "I am" statements of Jesus from the gospel of John." He literally went on talking about the exact ideas that Judy and I bounced off each other for this same multi-canvas idea. 

Keep in mind that Jeff and Judy had never talked about this idea with one another. It was an idea that the Lord placed on both of their hearts. And I was able to see their love and oneness reflected for each other in such a way that their thoughts and ideas of bringing the Gospel to life were right on par with another. What a testament to God's hand in their marriage!

One friend came by the studio, looked at the pieces, shook her head and said, "I'm sorry, Whitney. But this piece did not come from you. This piece is completely God-inspired and I'm not sure you can take any credit for it..."

And you know what? 
I am SUPER okay with that. 
In fact, that is probably the best compliment I have ever and could ever receive. 


So, here's the breakdown of the design.

Seven 6" x 6" canvases stating the statements.
One 12" x 6" canvas stating "I AM".
The 6 x 6 canvases have stripes on three sides and the fourth side (on either the right or left side of the canvas) has the corresponding verse to the statement. The verse is facing the outside. 

The front of the canvas has a base covering of hymns and topped with the statement. 


These are a few of the designs I liked the best...


I couldn't think of a better way to finish this post than to leave it to Judy. This is a poem she wrote, inspired by the "I AM" statements...


I AM 
by Judy Webb

The Word Made Flesh
Alive, In touch
The Word Made Flesh
Among us,Now in Us
The Messiah, Salvation
Rescue from sin
Messiah, Salvation
Our peace deep within
The Light of the World
Exposing the darkness
Light of the World
Revealing God
Bread of Life,
Satisfaction,Fulfillment
Bread of Life
Delicious and sweet
Bread of Life to meet every need
The Gate
To the kingdom of God
The Gate
Beauty adorned
Heavenly desire is born
The Good Shepherd
Strength and provision
The Good Shepherd
Nurture with vision
The Resurrection and Life
An empty grave
Death is defeated
The Resurrection and the Life
Eternity conceived
For those who believe
The Way
Unique, Only
Narrow and few
The Way
Fellowship with God
For those who would choose
The Truth
Nothing False
Complete and whole
The Truth
Word of God
Light to the soul
The Life
Abundant
Joy, freedom, and grace
The Life
Shout out, Worship,
Run with me in this race
I AM
I AM
I AM

you can find more of Judy's writings and poetry here.

Dwell

"Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly...

What a bold and beautiful statement Paul has made here!

I've had the blessing of joining with a group of wonderful ladies on Thursday mornings to walk through the book of Colossians led by Karen Burke, a sweet friend and also the wife of Dave Burke (i.e. the leaders of our small group).

God has been doing some ravaging work in my life as I read through His word in our "homework" for the week. When we started the study, Karen asked us to list semester goals from a spiritual aspect. I wrote down, "to dwell in Christ and His word."

And as I study the homework, Paul says right there in Colossians 3:16, "Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly."

- - Hello, Whitney! - -

I love when God affirms that our hearts are lining up with His desires. I'd like to say this happens on a super consistent basis but it doesn't happen often enough.

The continuing of this verse encourages a deep level of intimacy within the believers' community... teach one another, admonish one another in all wisdom; sing together; be thankful together in your hearts to God. We need community. We need one another. It's the desire that God has created within us. When we first dwell in Christ, His love is an outpour - an overflow - into our communities. We are called to let the words of Christ dwell in us richly as a life-giving command for ourselves but also as a life-giving command for others. His words dwell in us and in return, pour out from our lips as truth to another as a form of accountability, love, wisdom and worship.

This is dwelling.

This is community.

This is worship.

So, today, I challenge you to "let the words of Christ dwell in you richly."



Side note: I'd love for you to join in on the study with us! You can listen to the lessons, go through the homework, etc., on the 4 One Purpose website. Click here for the link to the lessons. Browse through the site and be in awe of all that God is doing within and through the ministry all over the world.

Jitney's Journeys : Joys of the Job {Working with Scripture}

My favorite part of the creative side of Jitney's Journeys is having the opportunity to envision really cool pieces with inspiration from my friends. Judy asked me if I could make a couple of Christmas gifts for her in December. One being a heart piece for Emma, personalized with "Emma... God's words for you"and Jeremiah 29:11-13; and the other being a diamond piece for Kim, personalized with "Kim, you are worth far more than diamonds" and Proverbs 31. With Judy's enthusiasm and inspiration, it didn't take much more for me to design these pieces...

It's such an encouragement to design custom work with scripture. I haven't even had the pleasure of meeting Kim and Emma but they have been poured over in prayer in the hours worked on those pieces. The words of God have dwelt deep in my spirit and settled gently into my heart. It is my prayer that God's words will penetrate their hearts in the same way. Working with scripture is a constant reminder of God's love for us, His mercy and His longing to know us.

I need that reminder.

Constantly.


Jeremiah 29:11-13






Proverbs 31








An Adoption Story : Journey to Ethiopia with the Long Family

Meet our friends, Andy and Bethany Long. They have two awesome kids, Carter and Piper, and are currently awaiting the arrival of a new addition from Ethiopia. As they were introducing themselves to some new friends in our small group last week, Bethany said they had three kids but one just happens to still be in Ethiopia. 

I love that. 

Their anticipation and excitement for the child they haven't even met yet encourages faith and hope in everyone who hears their story. 

Get ready to have your world rocked by Jesus and the amazing things He is doing across the nations. 

{photograph by Ginny Webb @ Sleepy Fox Photography}

{photograph by Ginny Webb @ Sleepy Fox Photography}


This is their story:

Our story starts the same as any other family's really. We wanted a baby. We had two children and we wanted another child. We had been trying to get pregnant for about three months before we stopped and reassessed the situation. Something didn't feel right. We weren't excited. We were nervous and unsure. This was not the way we had felt with our first two children. So we decided to take some time to think and pray. As we did, the question came up: What about adoption? 

I had a lot of reasons why we should not adopt: I was not a super mom. Only wise godly parents can adopt and I was not in that camp. I was scared. There were too many things that could go wrong. Even with all my objections, my husband and I could not let the question go. We kept talking and thinking and praying. Over the course of the next 6 months or so, God began to take away all of my excuses. 

He began to show me that I didn't need to be a super mom. In fact, there was no way that I could be. I am a sinner. I will fail my children. My hope for parenting any of my children has to be Jesus because He will never fail them. I did not need to be scared because I am not in control. I am also not alone in this task of parenting. Jesus has given me His Spirit. And so slowly everything I had been pointing to and saying, “See, there is no way we could do this,” slipped away. On April 11th, 2011, it dawned on me, that after my fears had been stripped away, all that was left was a little boy who didn't have a mommy - a little boy who needed to be loved. In that moment, I knew that I wanted to love him. It was that simple. There was no turning back then. 

I did not say yes to adoption because I became the mom I thought that I should be or had because I had no uncertainties, but because I saw that Jesus would be enough. My fears didn't need to control me. 

Jesus was bigger than all the “what if's”. 

So, six months of paperwork and 22 months of waiting... here we are. We have had ups and downs in the process. It has taken much longer than we had hoped. But during that time I have seen Jesus provide money through people who love us. I have had to trust that God is good even when it feels like He has forgotten us and our son. I have had to believe that He is working even when I can't see anything happening. Even though it has been hard, it has been a rich time. Hopefully in the next couple of months we will get our referral; which is an email that says “we have matched you with a child”. It will have a file with some facts and a couple of pictures. It may not seem like much but I have dreamed of that moment for 28 months. It will be the moment I see my son for the first time. All the paperwork, all the waiting, will be worth it. I am not going to pretend that adoption will be easy. I have read too many books to be that naive. But I am convinced that this is what I want to do. I want to walk alongside this boy. I want to weep with him over the brokenness of this life. I want to love him. I want to be his mommy. 

And that is the story of our third child. It is different than I imagined it would be. It is a bigger plan than I dared to dream on my own. God is weaving our family together. I know it will be beautiful, not because we are amazing- we are just normal people. No, it will be beautiful because Jesus is doing it.

-Bethany


{photograph by Ginny Webb @ Sleepy Fox Photography}

Jitney's Journeys has created a set of chatter tiles to express the story of their hearts with the scripture of their choosing that has carried them through the adoption process. Half of the proceeds from each chatter tile purchase will be donated to the Long Family as they continue to follow Christ in obedience and come closer to bringing their child home.


We recommend buying a set directly from us (via email) or from Andy or Bethany. However, you can also purchase a set from our Etsy shop here which we had to bump up in price because of fees and shipping costs. However, if you live in Huntsville or are friends / family of the Long's, you can enter coupon code JOURNEYTOETHIOPIA and receive free shipping [in other words, you can pick it up from them or The Todd Nest (the in-home Jitney's Journeys "boutique")].