Look both ways before proceeding (Spiritual Journey First Thursday)

05 Jul

January 2018 seems like just yesterday in some ways—and like a long time ago in others. As I look back and ahead, here in the middle of the year, I see several trends.


My one-little-word for 2018 is FOCUS. I began to put that word into action early in the year by cutting out some activities and routines. One of them, you Poetry Fridayers may have noticed, was to withdraw from posting a weekly poem and linking up with Poetry Fridays. Indeed, my poetry-writing has taken a back seat to other things this year.

Graphic art interest

The interest in doodling, drawing, and lettering that was ignited when I discovered Bible art journaling last spring, has continued to grow. Joining Instagram earlier this year (@vi_nez), has challenged me to grow even more as I’ve discovered amazing artists whose work I admire. It seems to me that at some level, drawing uses similar mental, emotional and intellectual brain pathways as writing (especially writing poetry) and so my urge to create has been absorbed in this new-to-me art form.


In June I took part in a flower-drawing challenge (we were given the names of 15 flowers to draw; lettering/words were at our discretion if at all). I chose a Christian quality as a title for each of my flowers. Here are four that I did.

Finish what I start

One writing project that I continue to work on is a novel—a sequel to the Bible fiction I published in 2012. That book (Destiny’s Hands) fictionalizes the story of the Bible character Bezalel. He was singled out for the job of making the Tabernacle and crafting all its worship accessories (along with many helpers—see Exodus 31:1-11). In Destiny’s Hands, I follow Bezalel from the Egyptian craft guild, where he works for Pharaoh, to the time he receives his assignment from Moses.

In the sequel (my working title is Under the Cloud), I follow his sister (a purely fictional character) through the rest of the exodus, taking her and her family to the border of the Promised Land.

I’ve worked on this project for several years and still don’t feel I’ve researched enough. But a while ago I decided enough of that, better get writing. I am about two thirds of the way through (53,000 words Monday) what I’ve planned. I’ve been beavering away at that project for most of this winter, doing 90 minutes a day four days a week.

During the summer months I’m going to shelve that project but am determined to take it down again when we get back from our travels. My goal, at this point, is to simply finish a first draft. It may never get published, but I will finish writing it.


Our summer vacationing starts next week with trips planned to see our children and grandchildren and hopefully take a meander through Canada’s maritime provinces after the summer rush. We’ll see.


Early in the year I was part of an artist mentoring group. In that group we were encouraged to create a vision board. Here is a photo of mine. It addresses various aspects of life and I think it might be time to update it.

I’m loving the creative shot-in-the-arm I’ve received from taking up art journaling, drawing, and lettering. It’s a lot of fun to learn new things! At this point I have no ambitions for this new venture but to learn it. My writing I hold loosely too. I put all these things under the umbrella of a Bible verse I chose for the year:

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. … One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV


spiritualjourneyfirst-thursday-copyThis post is part of Spiritual Journey Thursday, a link-up with other bloggers who write about their lives and work from a spiritual perspective. Doraine Bennett is hosting our link-up this month. Visit her at her blog Dori Reads.


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13 responses to “Look both ways before proceeding (Spiritual Journey First Thursday)

  1. Tabatha

    July 5, 2018 at 9:14 am

    How lovely your flower-lettering art is!
    Congrats on reaching 53,000 words. Finishing a first draft is a terrific goal. I like that you keep creating and learning!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      July 5, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Thanks so much, Tabatha! I think making stuff, of one kind or another, is in my DNA. But the idea that my love affair with words could cool kind of caught me by surprise. The nice thing is that no matter what you create with, you also bring with you the past and its richness of experience and ingenuity. So life becomes more, not less.


  2. Karen

    July 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Violet: Thank you for sharing your lovely flowers prints! They are delightful!
    When I took the National Writing Project, we were taught that everything we did would end up in our written drafts. For example, a love of cooking would show up even as we wrote our stories or essays. I think the same is true for you. Your love of writing shows up in your art!
    Congratulations on your book project. I am impressed and send my encouragement to get it done. One of the best feelings is when we can appreciate our work.
    Thanks for this little pause in the middle of the year. I need it! ;0)


    • Violet Nesdoly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you, Karen! Your comments about the “cross-pollination” within the arts is so interesting! I’ve had the same glimmerings. It’s a similar inspiration that comes out in a different form. And thank you for your encouragement to finish. I will do my best and surely announce it to the world when I’m actually done!!


  3. Irene Latham

    July 5, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Violet, your flower-word art is beautiful! And I so admire your commitment to your goals… it’s inspiring. Your spirit shines through this post, Violet… I love your vision board, too. xo


    • Violet Nesdoly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      Aw, thanks, Irene! Your encouragement is much appreciated.


  4. Ramona

    July 5, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Your flowers are exquisite! I love the vision board and think this is something I might like to tackle. Any guidance you could give me for how to begin? You seem to be spot on with that OLW focus. And thanks for sharing the verses from Philippians.


  5. cvarsalona

    July 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Violet, you certainly have moved in a creative and artistic direction with your art acitivities that are beautiful. I am pleased with the ending quote by Matt T’s text: “Open your mind and heart to receive all the wonderful new things God has for you and don’t get caught up on how they will manifest. Simply trust they will as God releases them into your life at the right time.” I am definitely open to receiving what is in store for me. There are many times that I don’t really do this so I thank you for a post that helps me clear my mind to let go.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      July 6, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you, Carol! What you say in response to my little post is a blessing back to me. I do admit there are times I wonder, am I doing the right thing… letting my interest and enjoyment sweep me away? I think that often we only understand the direction we’ve taken in hindsight. Thanks for your encouragement!



  6. dorireads

    July 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I love how your doodling project has taken on a life of its own and drawn you along a new path. The flower drawings are lovely. Enjoy your vacation and time with family. I’m sure you’ll be taking your art projects with you. Who knows what you’ll come home with?! It will be fun to see where this path leads you. The fact that there is joy is a sure sign of God’s pleasure, too.


  7. haitiruth

    July 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I’m finally reading these posts now that I’m home from my trip. This is so inspiring! I’ve loved seeing your flowers. So much creating – good for you! Ruth,



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