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Journaling His Story

Visual Faith Coach Katie Helmreich is our featured artist this month, and we are delighted to have her share her heart and thoughts about the intersection of her life and God’s Word - and how Bible journaling has brought the two together…… Welcome to the blog, Katie!

Stories are incredible. A good narrative knits together snippets of characters’ lives to reveal purpose, understanding, relationships, and love. Shared stories are the highlight of conversations with family and friends! They define us. Little anecdotes reveal who we are and how we’re connected. But what is the main plot in our lives of challenge, triumph, and growth?

Storytime is my favorite part of parenting. We love to share stories of dragons, magic, and pirates! To also share God’s Story and our part in it is truly amazing. 1 Timothy 6:18-19

Storytime is my favorite part of parenting. We love to share stories of dragons, magic, and pirates! To also share God’s Story and our part in it is truly amazing. 1 Timothy 6:18-19

When we become a child of God, HIS story becomes our story. He tells us about Himself, about ourselves, and all His children in Scripture. What better place to record these day to day anecdotes that are part of HIS story then in the margins of Scripture?

Canning apricots with a toddler and 2nd grader has its highs and lows. Abundant and delicious fruit, nimble little fingers, and grace that covered short tempers. God truly did bless us! Psalms 128:2

Canning apricots with a toddler and 2nd grader has its highs and lows. Abundant and delicious fruit, nimble little fingers, and grace that covered short tempers. God truly did bless us! Psalms 128:2

Although I am a lifelong artist, I’m fairly new to Visual Faith. In a short amount of time, it has inspired a change in the way I frame, tell, and remember my story. I record our normal life across the pages of my Bible. The daily challenges, triumphs, and growth--His story IS our story. There’s always a place where His Word speaks meaning into an ordinary day.

It’s so easy to feel inadequate as a wife and mom… But God gives strength, hope, and purpose to this simple life, and He has chosen me to raise these little people! 1 Thess 1:1-5 and 4:9-11

It’s so easy to feel inadequate as a wife and mom… But God gives strength, hope, and purpose to this simple life, and He has chosen me to raise these little people! 1 Thess 1:1-5 and 4:9-11

Our family recently experienced a particularly intense season. Mostly just the highs and lows of life with three kids, a long list of house projects, and a newly instated volunteer fireman. Depression and anxiety made it harder than usual for me to hold on to perspective, harder to remember my place in God’s story. My weary soul has found refuge lingering in Scripture and responding with art. On these pages God has reminded me of His faithfulness, His abundance, His love, His grace, and His purpose for me and my family time and time again!

Mother’s Day, to God be the glory in ALL things, even doing the dishes while listening to stories about Pokemon and Lego. Romans 16:25-27 and How Clear Is Thy Vocation Lord LSB #853

Mother’s Day, to God be the glory in ALL things, even doing the dishes while listening to stories about Pokemon and Lego. Romans 16:25-27 and How Clear Is Thy Vocation Lord LSB #853

When I sit down to record a story, occasionally a hymn or Bible verse comes immediately to mind. More often, I spend time digging through a concordance for words that speak to the event or a characteristic of God that was evident in the day. The challenge of thumbing through Scripture searching for just the right spot is always a blessing!

Last summer we tossed stones in to the mighty Missouri River, in awe of God’s vast power! This is a God we can depend on in even the most turbulent times. Job 40:9 & 23

Last summer we tossed stones in to the mighty Missouri River, in awe of God’s vast power! This is a God we can depend on in even the most turbulent times. Job 40:9 & 23

Other times, the process is reversed, I encounter a passage that inspires me and then recall memories of the past weeks searching for a story that illustrates the passage. I often snap a photo to reference or look up a similar photo online as I sketch the scene on scrap paper. Then I gesso my page, trace my sketch, and add watercolor! I use pen or colored pencil to complete the illustration, and write a bit about our story, usually as a prayer.

Family Reunion camping with TWENTY grandkids! Proverbs 20:7

Family Reunion camping with TWENTY grandkids! Proverbs 20:7

I’ve fallen in love with watercolor for its quick and beautifully loose color. It encourages me to let go of perfection and embrace the impression of the story instead. The point is to record God’s faithfulness and love, so I don’t let myself get hung up on drawing hands or faces correctly. It’s been transformative to process both good and challenging times this way. Taking time to tell His story in my life often leads me to a better understanding of my circumstances. It helps me to hold on to the reality of His goodness and love when life threatens to overwhelm me.

What a blessing it is to share joy and love with distant Grandparents via video chat! Philemon vs 7

What a blessing it is to share joy and love with distant Grandparents via video chat! Philemon vs 7

One day, perhaps, reading about our story and God’s faithfulness will bless my kids, but in the midst of this chaos of a young family, it is a real and present  blessing to me to page through and remember. My Visual Faith time is prayer, art, family and story, but it’s also been a powerful tool in a time of Spiritual battle, and I thank God for this time with Him! 

Even in darkness, parenting challenges, and packed schedules, we remain secure! He is with us and we find rest. Job 11:18-19

Even in darkness, parenting challenges, and packed schedules, we remain secure! He is with us and we find rest. Job 11:18-19

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Katie Helmreich.jpeg


Katie lives in Bay City, Michigan and has been in love with Jesus, art, and a good story for a long as she can remember. It was only recently that she began to put all three together! She finds great peace and joy in using art to record His Story in her everyday life with her husband and three kids. Writing and painting her story changes a disaster into an adventure, and deepens laughter into a meaningful treasure. Recording how He is at work in all things gives these memories an even greater purpose! She cherishes nap time when she can dive into scripture and respond with her paints. Katie is a firm believer in the truth that everyone is creative. She’s passionate about teaching and encouraging others to create art that tells His Story in their lives! Follow her on Instagram @dutchcreekstudio.