“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
February is upon us… bring on the red roses, stuffed teddy bears, and conversation hearts candies! Though, I recently heard a news story stating that the candies would not be made this year because the original company that made them went out of business last year. Initially, there was quite an uproar about it. People just can’t do without those chalky, sweet hearts with simple sentiments! The reporter quickly added that the company that took over plans to stock the shelves with them next year. Phew!
Without a doubt, there will be plenty of imitations and copycats this year to get us through. We get so worked up about the commercial part of love. We toil and fret over the perfect gift for our beloved and react all sorts of ways about the gifts bestowed to us by our partners – as if the gift itself is the sole measure of our love and understanding of one another. But, just like the conversations hearts, though there is great value in our earthly love and relationships, they are NOTHING in comparison to the real, true, lasting and all-encompassing love of our God. Imitators have no place.
As commanded in Deuteronomy 6, we are to love the Lord our God with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul, and ALL our might or strength. This is not conditional love. This is not love that takes or break or gives up when it’s too hard. This is not love that holds a grudge. This is not love that questions or doubts. This is a love to live by and to die by. Christ already did that for us, to reconcile our sin once for all. THAT IS LOVE.
The greatest part? As much as we strive to love and serve God… it’s just the faintest whisper of the love he has in return for us. THAT love is beyond human description. It’s love that can’t possibly be summarized on a conversation heart. It’s sacrificial, powerful love.
I was obviously inspired by conversation hearts for my entry this month. Once I saw the fun pinks, blues and yellows of the February Faith Art box, I immediately thought of them.
I started by going through my stash and finding some simple scrap paper (no large or bold patterns) in colors that would match the kit. I then took a heart punch (mine is from Stampin Up and is discontinued) and punched out a bunch of different hearts.
In order to make sure I had enough space for the hearts, I used some of the thin washi tape from Illustrated Faith to block out and highlight my verses. Next, I buffed in some Distress Oxide inks into the page to create more depth and a background for the hearts, being careful to alternate the colors so they were opposite of the heart that would be on top of them. I used the shades Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Faded Jeans (my favorite!).
Next, I grabbed a very small alpha stamp set and a few of the word stamps from this month’s kits and some previous kits and stamped out various love-related sentiments. I used Stampin Up ink in the shade Poppy Parade, which is a great match for the orangey red of conversation hearts text. Some of them got a little wonky with alignment but I actually loved that because if you’ve seen the original candy, they aren’t exactly precise.
I secured the hearts down with some Tombow Mono tape. I then decided to punch a heart from the devotional card and use it for my title. I secured that down and then used the wordfetti to spell out Love the Lord Your God. I outlined it with a Sharpie Fine Pen in a pink shade to make it pop a bit.
I felt like the page was lacking a bit of something so I grabbed my white Gelly Roll pen and drew in some detail to each heart with outlining, stitching and other marking techniques. I love the extra contrast with that white tracing! My bible is getting REALLY chunky so I opted for no tag on this page. I’m not quite ready to retire it so I’m going to try and limit my big dimensional pieces.
Friends, my prayer for you is that you don’t seek love any other place this season than at the feet of God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine and desires your heart. He desires your love – ALL of it from ALL of your heart, soul and might. He’s the only valentine you could ever need. Love, and be loved.