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If you've been around the blog or followed me on Instagram this year, you know I've fallen in love with watercolors. It started as stress relief and has turned into such a life-giving addition to my drawing (which I still love, of course). Watercoloring seems to bring out another side of my creative brain. It allows me to work more intuitively and freely.

Today I'm combining my drawings and watercolors and hoping to share my love of watercolors with you!

I created a simple watercolor template and recorded a tutorial for you to follow along and paint with me. The template is made from the Romans 15:13 verse art I shared with you earlier this month as a screensaver. (If you don't see the video below, follow this link.)


Here's what you can pull together to be ready to go:

Supplies:

  • jar of water (we reuse yogurt containers)
  • watercolor or gouache paints. I use this set** in the video, but sometimes also use something like this ** with the kids (ours came from Michael's). And don't worry--kids' watercolor trays will work just fine too--you'll just have to mix more colors yourself!).
  • your favorite brushes (I like one rounded brushes with tips like these**). The one I use in the video is a Master's Touch Round 14 from Hobby Lobby.
  • tray for mixing colors. You can repurpose something from your house like an ice cube tray or buy one like this.** Watercolors can be rehydrated, so I love that the paint is never wasted!
  • printed template that you can download HERE (watercolor paper this** will hold the paint best, but I'm just using white cardstock in the video. It bled, but held up okay to the water)
  • paper towel for blotting



If you like this art, I've just added prints of the original painting and a printable set with Bible verse cards, blank watercolor templates in different sizes, and greeting cards to the shop. I can think of all kinds of ways you could use these--for birthdays, congratulations, thank you's, and notes of encouragement. I think the full-size or mini watercolor templates would make a great activity to do with a bunch of girlfriends or for a women's retreat activity. You can find the whole set here







Did you like the video and template? Let me know if you'd like to see more--and more of what. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram if you try it out. I'd be thrilled to see! Don't want to watercolor? Try this same template with colored pencils, markers, crayons, or acrylic paint!

Again, you can get your free template here or click on the image below!


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

**These links are Amazon Associate Affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage of purchases made using this link.



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Watercolor with me! Video Tutorial + Printable Watercolor Template


I told you I'd be back (two blog posts in one week--what?)! 

Summer break is just around the corner for us. I'm freaking out a little bit about having everyone at home again, but believing that God has good things for us this summer, and that I will not go crazy and lose my hair . . . or my mind . . . or both.

Sigh. The anxiety is real, friends.

I want to have some loose rhythms for us this summer. Daily rest times with some books on CD, play time with neighbors, trips to the library and pool. One thing I'm brainstorming is doing some Bible memory work with the kids. 

I want to keep it light and fun, but we haven't done any memory/Bible work since they've been in school, so I'm hoping the summer will be a good opportunity to introduce more truth to their hearts.

I realize only God can truly soften their little hearts, but I want to at least give them the opportunity to hear. After all: 
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" Romans 10:14
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Romans 10:17
I created a super simple printable Bible memory work chart you can use this summer with your children (or all through the year).



Here's a sample schedule you could follow for each day of the week:
  • MONDAY: Read and repeat x2. Talk about any unfamiliar words. Color a coloring page and post somewhere where you'll see it often (car, fridge, dining room).
  • TUESDAY: Look up the verse in the Bible. Read. Repeat x2. What's one thing this verse is telling us about Jesus?
  • WEDNESDAY: Read. Repeat x2. Write or draw out the verse. A few years ago, I posted a fun little guide to doing Bible illustrations/doodles here.
  • THURSDAY: Read. Repeat x2. Talk about how this verse might apply to your lives.
  • FRIDAY: See if you can say the verse from memory. Celebrate with a special outing, reward, or treat. If one week is too fast, try memorizing your verse in two.
  • the NEXT MONDAY: Loop back to the previous week's verse. Repeat and then start on a new verse. Continue repeating the older verses each week.

Other ideas for using the the chart:
  • If they're old enough, let your child be part of selecting what they want to memorize. If you need fun illustrations, ahem (🙋), you can use free printables from this blog or choose a pre-made set from the shop. Many sets in the shop include full-color cards and coloring pages. 
  • Create a bookmark or notecard with the verse and give it away to a family member, neighbor, or friend.
  • Post your memory verse, or your child saying your memory verse, to social media (and tag me so I can see!).
For younger kids, I recommend this Big Truths for Little Hearts set. For older kids, the Good News Story Set (also in Spanish!), Identity, and Character would be great. This black and white set would be fun to watercolor on top of. 

I'm going to encourage my oldest daughter (nine) to pick some verses from the Comfort and Hope set (which also comes in pre-printed cards). 

If you'd like anything from the shop, from now until June 20, you can use the code below (or just click on the image), for 15% off.


I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging this summer, but I do plan to revive my #marydeandrawssummer drawings for the second summer. We had so much fun creating these images last year and still look back at the book of them we made. If you'd like to follow along, I'll be posting on my Facebook page and Instagram.

 
  

So, help me out here! What do you do to stay sane in the summer? What kind of rythyms/routines have you tried or plan to try? Or, are you just as anxious as me?

You can download your printable Bible memory chart in COLOR here, and BLACK AND WHITE here or by clicking on the images below.*

 


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



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Summer Bible Memory + Printable Bible Memory Plan Chart

Happy June everyone!

I can't believe my kiddos will be out of school for the summer after Friday! To celebrate the new month, I'm sharing a little burst of color and truth for your phone. A friend gave me this verse recently as encouragement and it paired well with this painting I had done, so I put them together for you!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." (Romans 15:13 ESV)

I know hope can be hard to find sometimes. I know that joy and peace can seem pressed down deep in your heart. But I've also seen God work miracles of joy and peace beyond my understanding, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as I continue to believe Him.

You can save the image below to your phone! Also, look for a simple summer Bible memory plan coming to the blog later this week (hopefully).




*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Romans 15:13 Phone Screensaver


Today's the day! I'm so excited to share with you my my coloring book! It's called Coloring the Word: Comfort and Hope, and I hope that it's the first of many. 



God has been so faithful to comfort me through Scripture, and I'm so excited to share a little of that comfort with you through my art.

This is a book for those who are fearful, confused, tired, anxious, and feeling weighed down and alone. I find that when you combine art and Scripture, you're better able to rehearse the truths in the dark times because the images are linked to truth. And remembering truth is light in the darkness.



I hope this book can be a little tool you can use yourself or pass on to a friend who may need encouragement.

  

Today I'm sharing with you one of the pages from the new book. I love this proverb because it reminds me to tend to my soul, to pay attention to the "thoughts and intentions" of my heart (see verse below), because out of my heart flows my life. I find the heart is where the biggest battles are fought.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb 4:12 ESV)
The book has 30 pages of winsome, fun, and meaningful black and white Scripture illustrations that speak comfort and hope. All Scriptures are in the ESV version (you can learn about this translation here).

For a look at the whole coloring book, you can check out this video HERE.

  

You can buy the book HERE. If you order one, I'd greatly appreciate you leaving a review so that I can be found in results when people search on Amazon!

I'd love to see your colored pages, so feel free send me an email at mary@marydeandraws.com or tag me on Facebook or Instagram. I'd also love to hear any suggestions or feedback!

If you prefer a digital version, I've added that to the shop HERE. I plan to add printed color card sets of this same art to the shop soon, so stay tuned!

To download your free Proverbs 4:23 Bible verse page, click here or on the image below.



*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!

A free page from my new coloring book!


It's a beautiful day here in Virginia. I've been enjoying working outside in the garden, mulching the flower beds, getting my fingers dirty because my gardening gloves are frayed in five of the ten fingers. That winter heaviness is being replaced by new growth.


Today I'm thinking about how what we believe about a person and how they feel about us affects how we interpret what they say and do. If we're confident in someone's affection and our connection to them, we trust their intentions. We believe their actions toward us are intended for good and not evil. We see everything they do or say in the light of what we believe about them.

Suspicion and distrust, then, can wreak havoc on relationships, even when they aren't based on the truth.

I'm wondering how this plays out in our relationship with God and the connection we feel with him? What are we believing about his character and about how he feels about us, and how has that affected our relationship?

I see the Psalmist wrestling with these feelings over and over. There is the very-real reality he can see--fears from within, opposition from without. "Where are you God?" he asks. 

And then he preaches truth to his heart, like here in Psalm 56:
"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life." (Psalm 56:8-13 ESV)
Yes, friend, God is for us in the most important ways. No, the little and big pains and afflictions of our daily lives are not taken away or resolved. But when we step back and see the big picture of His love spelled out in the life and death of Jesus for us, then we have hope that endures.
"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"" (Luke 11:9-13 ESV)
God is the good Father who gives good gifts. If we see him as the Father who will drop a scorpion in our lap when we ask for an egg, we miss these good gifts because we don't trust him enough to ask.

He hasn't given us ease or simple cures; He has give us Himself, the Holy Spirit as a deposit for a glorious future.

This is the kind of truth that sprouts hope in our hearts, even in suffering.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18 ESV) 
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." (2Corinthians 4:16-17 ESV)

Today's printable Bible verse screensaver is from Psalm 56:9b. You can download it be clicking on the image below and saving to your phone!

You are loved!

*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

This I know Screensaver


Sometimes anxiety can be a lonely experience. "What are you worried about?" my husband will often ask.

"I don't know. It's just everything all at once," I usually say.  Anyone else with me?

It can be lonely to not even be able to express an internal struggle.

I was worshipping with my church family on Sunday and struggling with some anxiety, finding it a hard to sing out and focus. I think God said to me, "I know. I see it."

I am so blessed to have the sweetest friends and family in my life. They listen and pray for me. They reply to my SOS texts. They share my burdens. Just their listening alone is a sweet gift and invariably lightens my load immediately.

I hope you have such sisters in Christ. But even in those lonely moments when you feel alone, God says, "I know. I see it."

One theme for me this year is "faith over fear," so today I'm sharing with you a sweet little screensaver made from my watercolor over the hymn, "Blessed Assurance" by Fanny Crosby and a corresponding coloring page (look for the original painting + prints in the shop soon!).

I hope you can use them to walk in "blessed assurance," continually calling upon your God who sees you with compassion (Psalm 103:13), and choose faith in His steadfast love over fear.

"But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me." (Psa 55:16-18 ESV) 

You can download your screensaver by right-clicking the image below and saving and your coloring page by clicking HERE or on the image below!*




*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Faith over fear screensaver + coloring page


Sometimes it's hard to get on this blog and say encouraging things, whether from a place of my own personal trials or the ones I share with those I love.

And yet, the good news is still good. 


I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."

It's hard for me to reconcile the goodness of God and pain. My tendency is to push God away and seek other comforts.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow'r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper's spots
And melt the heart of stone. 

We are reading through Exodus for Lent with our community group (with the She Reads Truth plan). Yesterday I read about how the Israelites "turned aside quickly out of the way that [God] commanded them" and made a golden calf in their impatience for Moses to return from his meet-up with God on the mountain. Maybe they longed for a quick-fix God they could touch and feel and understand completely, rather than a God they could both fear and love, who operated on his own timetable (Exodus 32:8).

That is so often me, quick to turn aside from a faithful and patient following.

God is jealous for his glory and for my heart. Over and over, the Bible tells me that He loves me and long to comfort me, longs to save, longs to quiet me with his love.

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

So, back to pain. Running from pain only keeps me from running from His love. Running for other comforts keeps my unquieted by his love. 

"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love" (Jonah 2:8).

And running from our sin, hiding in the shadows, keeps us running from His grace and unfailing mercy.

For nothing good have I
Where-by Thy grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white

In the blood of Calv'ry's Lamb

As I read through Exodus, I'm again impressed at the details God put into the establishment and creation of the temple in Exodus, and the way it intricately foreshadows and sets up all He planned to do and complete in Christ.

And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
"Jesus died my soul to save,"
My lips shall still repeat. 

The patient God who set all that up and orchestrated, down to the very day, our salvation, is the God who knows you and your days. All his promises are "yes" in Jesus. What good would he then withhold from you?

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

The coloring page I'm sharing today is made up of the intersection of the words of "Jesus Paid it all" (the hymn in italics above) by Elvina Hall and the Scriptures in 1 Peter 3:18 and 2 Corinthians 1:20 intersect. It works a little differently in Spanish (my friend Abby helped me figure it out), but the meaning is the same. 

You can download your coloring pages by clicking the images below:




PRAYING the Word
God, forgive me from running from the comfort and grace I could find in you. Thank you that your love is never failing. Mine fails; yours doesn't. Make me a patient, enduring worshipper of only You. Keep me running for, not from, your comfort and your grace.

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. How about you? What do you do with your pain? Where do you go for comfort?
2. What does it mean to you that "all the promises of God find their Yes in [Jesus]" (2 Corinthians 1:20)?


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, you're awesome (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. Thank you!!



If you like this, you can get these posts in your inbox by signing up HERE

Pain, Good news, and an Easter Bible Verse Coloring Page in English + Spanish