Heart Matters Blog

Journey along with the Heart Matters Gals

The Art Class

I’ve been journaling my way through the book of Jeremiah lately. As I sat soaking in chapter 18, the following story-form devotional took shape in my mind. If you should decide to spend some time with it, know that it will require imagination and creativity on your part. Don’t let the details trip you up; simply move through the story seeing yourself as the main character.


Before you get started, take a minute or two to sit quietly at Jesus’ feet. Be sure to have a journal and pencil to jot down anything that the Holy Spirit may stir in you throughout this meditation. Ask Him to whisper His heart and His desires for you as you journey together to...the Art Class.





In a wealthy home some vessels are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive vessels are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a vessel for honorable use...ready for the Master to use for every good work.

2nd Timothy 2:20-21


A friend of yours has been taking classes down at the local Arts Center in town. This morning when you met at a nearby coffee shop she brought along a few of the watercolor canvases that she had just completed to show you.


One painting in particular touched something raw inside of you...as if whispering right off the canvas to your inmost being. It wasn’t the one with a vase of bright purple irises or the stark woodland landscape with sparse autumn-colored leaves whispering to the ground to form yellow and red circular patterns beneath each tree...as beautiful as those were. Oddly, the one that spoke to you was a rather muted canvas of muddied brown and gray tones. It was a painting of a potter’s wheel with a pair of rough, stained hands shaping a lump of clay.


Take a moment now and imagine yourself looking at this painting. 


What is it about that painting that draws you in? "Perhaps it’s the colors," you think to yourself. "I’ve been feeling a bit drab and gray lately." Or maybe it's the feeling that has been haunting you of late. A feeling that your life isn't quite what it ought to be. Whatever it is, it stirred something in you, there’s no doubt about it.


You’ve often thought about taking an art class over the years. “Maybe that’s what I need,” you tell yourself. As you continue to look at this painting, the nudging you feel tugs words out of your mouth before you can give thought to them. “You wouldn’t happen to have a brochure with you that I might take a peek at, would you?”


Back home you pull the brochure out of your coat pocket, pour yourself something warm to drink and settle into your favorite chair. Flipping through the pages, you decide the best place to start is at the beginning. But, looking at the course offerings almost overwhelms you. How in the world are you supposed to choose? As you read down the list... Acrylics, Calligraphy, Clay, Drawing, Fiber, Oil, Pastel, Photography, Sculpture, and Watercolor you find yourself praying. “Jesus, I know this probably seems crazy, but, I feel this odd nudging inside of me that I’m supposed to pursue an art class. I can’t explain it, but, it feels like it’s coming from You. If that’s the case, God, please help me sense which way to go.”


There are so many other pursuits that seem more spiritual...so many great causes to give yourself to...would God really nudge you to do something like this? 

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Along a Gravel Road

This little quiet time experience came to me while I was up at the Prayer Cabin one hot summer weekend. I pray that it will refresh you when you are weary...


Before you get started, take a moment or two to quiet your spirit before the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to breathe creativity into you that He may speak deep into your heart.


Now, read each of the following lines carefully; picture yourself in the scene.


• The morning greets you with clean, crisp air and crystal blue skies. After awakening to what has seemed an endless onslaught of gloomy days, you feel the need to take advantage of this glorious one, so you slip on your shoes and sneak out the back door to take a walk...alone.


Picture yourself heading outside...


• It is not long, however, before your mind becomes preoccupied with the events of the last few days. In fact, life has been so busy lately it is hard to even recount all that has transpired. As you begin to make your way down your block, your thoughts take a different turn. You begin to create a checklist in your mind of the things yet to do.


What thoughts or feelings does this bring forward?

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In The Vineyard


One way that God speaks to my heart is through story. From the time I was a young girl, I didn't just read stories, I entered them. I walked the English Moors with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and was one of the Pickwick Club members in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.


Recently, as I sat reading John 15, the following story-form devotional began to take shape in my head... so I've put it down on paper for you. It will require some imagination and creativity on your part, but, I pray that it will be a blessing nonetheless. So, carve out some time to spend with your Savior in...


The Vineyard



It has been a long while since you’ve been able to leave this busy world of yours behind and do something that breathes life back into your soul. In fact, it feels odd to get behind the wheel of your car and steer it away from commitments and appointments. You have to pinch yourself as you make your way through the hubbub and out along little winding country roads; you can hardly believe that it’s real.


It all happened so suddenly. But, as you think back over the steps leading up to this moment, you realize that this little getaway is more than a gift from a good friend, it is a divine appointment. You had thought that you were doing a good job hiding the emotional wrestling match you’ve been engaged in from others. Apparently you've fooled no one but yourself. Sensing the quiet storm that has been surging just below the surface of your life, your friend offered you an opportunity to get away and spend a little alone time with God.


What have you been wrestling with of late? Job pressures? Life changes on the horizon? The loss of someone precious to you? Your health? A struggling child? A broken heart?

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Julie has been inspiring children, youth, and women as a speaker, teacher, silent retreat leader, author and mentor for over 30 years. She was the Director of Women's Bible Studies at Eagle Brook Church, is a certified Spiritual Director and the owner of Heart Matters Publishing Company. She is an alumnus of Bethel University and Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. As an author she has written Bible Study Curriculum and Devotionals, including her latest collaboration, Whispers of God's Grace. Julie draws on her wide range of life experiences, humor and love of God's Word and His creation for her writing. When she is not writing, you will find her absorbed in a good book, puttering in her garden or dreaming of France. Julie and her husband, Rey, live in White Bear Lake, MN and are the parents of two grown sons, Erik and Kyle.




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