Lettering the light of Christ
Join with me today in lettering 2 Chronicles 20:15, “The battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Feel free to practice my design. You can give away what you create. But I ask that you not sell anything using my exact same layout and lettering.
If you letter this verse with me, post your work and tag me @yourcreativeadventure with #illuminatelettering.
Journaling and Reflection Questions:
1.) What is something BIG you are facing right now?
2.) How do you tend to respond to big obstacles/enemies?
3.) Everything starts with a willingness to surrender. Are you willing to say like Jehoshaphat, “I don’t know what to do but I am looking to you for help?”
Brush Lettering Resources
Download my free Brush Lettering for Beginners Guide (PDF) here: https://yourcreativeadventure.com/brushlettering/
Get your copy of my Brush Strokes Workbook here: https://yourcreativeadventure.com/workbook/
You can see the pens I recommend for beginners in this post: https://yourcreativeadventure.com/brush-lettering-pens/
For those who love to read, here’s a complete transcript of the video
God’s word and creativity in lettering
Welcome to Episode One of Illuminate Lettering – Lettering the Light of Christ. This is something new that I’m doing. I felt like God prompted me to start something where we look at His words.
Today’s scripture is from 2 Chronicles 20:15. Will talk about the scripture. We will do some lettering together. And allow it to get deep in our souls.
I’m going to use my new Karen markers. I encourage you to letter along with me. You can use a pencil, monoline lettering or your own handwriting. Write out this verse several times with me. Let’s get it deep in our hearts. Amen?
If you’re here or watching the replay. Let me know in the comments your name, and where you’re from. You’re welcome to jump in anytime. Come back and watch the video later if you need to. I’m going to spend some time with you in God’s word and creativity in lettering.
Karen markers are great for brush lettering. For today, I’m going to pick a couple of colors that I will use and set the others aside. But will do a full review on them later.
The story of Jehoshaphat
Verse 2 Chronicles 20:15 says: “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” This is the story of Jehoshaphat. It’s kind of interesting. We did a musical play in church when I was younger. It was called Fat Fat Jehoshaphat.
I was Jehoshaphat. I played that role. Because there were not many boys, I got the role of Jehoshaphat in the play. I thought about going to find the picture. But I forgot.
I was re-reading this the other day. It impacted me. I want to share it with you. I feel like God is asking me to take my lettering and art business deeper. To go deeper with you and not just share the art and the lettering. But to be able to share my heart with you and go deeper.
To those of you that don’t know. I have a full workbook all on lettering. If you want to learn, it is a great resource. It has my lettering ladder system. There’s a lot of practice sheets and so much more.
Lettering is Meditative
I encourage you to letter along with me. I put the verse in the description as well. It’s basically, “The battle is not yours, but God’s” 2 Chronicles 20:15.
One of the things I love about lettering is there’s a repetition. You repeat it as you are lettering and writing out the verse. You’re doing this over and over again. It’s a chance to meditate on God’s word.
I’m going to take my pencil here. This is my real quick sketch. I’m going to sketch this out with my pencil. You are free to do the same design for practice and give it away. But I ask that you don’t sell anything with this same design.
When I’m lettering, I like to do different variations. Print and script lettering looks good to the eye. Typically, I’ll use the script lettering for the words that I want to emphasize. But you could also do it the other way.
So, on Battle with the B, I’m going to do a flourish. Come up and around. I come down and do a little loop on my B. Then, I’m going to do some bounce lettering. It means the letters are going to end on different places on the baseline.
The baseline would be in this area. They all kind of go to different areas. At the end of the E, I can bring it out a little bit to kind of mimic that I want.
It’s OK to make mistakes
I like Stadler plastic eraser. I also used kneaded erasers. Those are very good as well. But don’t erase as cleanly as Stadler. A kneaded eraser can kind of press it around. I do love it. Because it has no shavings or anything else to clean up.
With the T, I’m going to bring a little to the end there. I like to start with a pencil. It’s non-threatening. When you’re lettering and learning it can be intimidating to jump right in with a pen. Then, if you make a mistake you feel bad. Throw it away or are like “this isn’t good.” Whereas, starting with a pencil is really helpful.
When I was reading Jehoshaphat and his story in 2 Chronicles 19 and 20, it stuck out to me. Because they had gotten news that all of these armies were coming against them.
In 19:3, it says, “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” He was honest, terrified and fearful. I wonder, what in your life right now evicts those same kinds of emotions.
His response was to come to the Lord for guidance. Asked everyone to come together in unity. Begin praying, fasting, and seek the Lord’s help. There is power in unity, prayer, and fasting. God responds to our cries for help. Amen?
Now, I’m going to do Yours. I made the Y a little bit of a bigger thing. Then with the S, I’m coming out and around. There’s a little more space between the Y and the O.
That’s one nice thing with a pencil. You can erase it and start again. I might erase the beginning of that flourish too. If I can see where that is in relation to that “yours.” So, “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” I think I might bring this “is not” up a little higher.
Sometimes, I’ll just sit down and letter it. I don’t worry about placement or anything like that. Other times I’ll use my pencil and try to get the composition the way I want. I’m having fun and enjoying the process.
Then, here, on this one, I did without barely thinking. I did it. I kind of liked the composition.
Now, the G, I have this flourish coming up that’s kind of similar to the B in some ways. When I’m talking and trying to letter at the same time, it’s a little harder. Hopefully, you can see that.
Trust in the Lord
In this story, Jehoshaphat called the entire country of Judah to pray and seek the Lord’s help. It says: “He stood before the community of Judah, in front of everyone, and he prayed.” This is a powerful prayer. It stuck out to me.
At the end of his prayer, he says: “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help” 2 Chronicles 19:12.
He’s admitting their powerlessness against these vast armies. There were several of them coming together when he says, “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” Humbling himself before the Lord, admitting his powerlessness, saying, “God, we’re looking to You for help.”
I wonder. What is your first reaction when something comes into your life? Whether it’s big like what Heather was describing with her husband or something small. It’s kind of an inconvenience in life. Do you know what I mean?
What is your first reaction? What if we reacted this way and said, “Lord, I’m looking to You.”?
I feel like that’s the response that God has been putting on my heart. “Shelley, I want you to say no matter what the circumstances are or coming against you. No matter what is happening, that you are going to trust in Me.”
That’s what I want. But I don’t always do that. There’s a lot of times that I don’t.
Do not be afraid
Alright, I decided to put 2 Chronicles 20:15 on different lines in this example. But you can do it in a lot of different ways. I think I’m going to make the top of this G a little bigger now that I’m looking at it.
Who else loves pencils? It has so much flexibility. That’s why I recommend it.
At the beginning of your lettering journey, you don’t have to worry about all the fancy pens. Get out a pencil and start writing. Start lettering and do the thing.
I’m going to go ahead and redo this one more time. If you want, you can always have straight lines. Or things that you are using to help keep you on track.
I don’t always use them. I’m not a perfectionist. But I do have a light pad. This is the one that I have. It’s the Huion. I can put different lines on it. Put my paper on top. It helps me to stay in a straight line. You can also draw lines on here if you want. But for this, I wanted to kind of freehand it.
In the story of Jehoshaphat, after that prayer, he says: “As all the men of Judah stood before the LORD with their little ones, wives, and children.” I thought that was significant. Because it was the entire family. It says, “The Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel.”
This is what Jahaziel said, “This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
That’s exactly when this particular quote comes in. He goes on, “Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness…But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions. Then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”
I thought that was significant. There’s a lot of different stories in the Bible. Some of them were people who had to go out and fight like David.
David fought a lot of battles in his lifetime. I feel like the theme of his life was Warrior. Then, there are other times when the Lord is like, “No, you don’t have to do anything. Let Me do the work.” Amen?
Practice makes perfect
I’m going to go ahead now. I will letter over the top of my pencil.
I have not used these brush marker pros very often. My favorite pens are the Zebra Super fine Brush Tip or the Tombow Funasuky Hard. Both of these markers I could letter over and it erases easily.
I’m not sure about these brush marker pros. But I’m going to try them for fun. I thought it would be fun to try them today. I got them in the mail yesterday from Poland. How fun is that?
You can see the tip. It’s like a medium to large tip. It has liquid in it. It’s definitely a heavier type of marker. But juicy and it has the tip that can allow you to do the thicks and thins.
Just a reminder, the thicks are the downstrokes. When you’re coming down, you’re going to do the thick strokes. The thins are the upstrokes.
If you’re just starting out give yourself time. It takes time to feel comfortable. And it takes practice. Even a few minutes of practice a day can make a huge difference.
I am kind of tracing over this. What I could do if this doesn’t erase underneath? I use my lightbox and do it that way.
This is a kind of test. I wanted to letter this with you. If you are lettering this with me, I encourage you to post it. Use the hashtag Illuminate Lettering (#IlluminateLettering).
Again, thick down and thin up. You can do it differently than your original pencil design.
I was a little shaky on this flourish. I think it would have been better if I picked up my pen when I was up here. Took some time, and came around.
That’s part of lettering. Even if you’ve been lettering for years as I have, you still get those shaky moments. You just need to do it again.
The thing I love about lettering is it’s very meditative. It’s relaxing. Then as you’re doing this with the color, letters, and all, you’re getting God’s word deep into your heart.
If there’s anything you want to remember or learn, letter it. And do it more than once. Letter it many times. That will be fun.
Lettering is fun
I noticed that these markers are bleeding a little bit sometimes. Like when I first used the teal. It bled a little. I’m using the HP Premium LaserJet Paper. It’s smoother. These types of tips will fray if you use them on a regular watercolor or copy paper.
I am going to giveaway at the end of the month these markers – the big pack of 60 with all the different colors. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram at Your Creative Adventure. That is where the giveaway will be.
As I said, I’m not sure if this is going to erase fully. Well, looks like it is erasing fairly well. It doesn’t seem to be doing too bad erasing from underneath. But it takes a little of the color away. I think instead of trying to erase everything I will do it on another paper.
Let me show you how that works with the light pad. The only thing I don’t like about light pad is you have to plug it in. I have lights on right now and needs to turn it off.
Do any of you use a light or tracing pad for your work? These are helpful. The other thing is you can accidentally press it. I don’t know if you can see. But it shows behind the plain paper.
Now, I’m going to use the marker that I often used. I’ll letter this again. The more you letter it, the deeper it gets into your heart. And the more practice you get.
Don’t feel bad if you feel like you made a mistake. Or you have to letter something again. It’s all good. Because it’s practice. It is a reminder of the verse.
One of the things that really drew me to lettering is that it’s fun. It’s relaxing. It’s a form of self-care that I’ve never had before.
There’s no perfection in Lettering
As you’re tracing you can change things up a little. And if you notice things are a little bit wonky. I personally don’t worry about perfection.
If I wanted perfection, I would use a font. I do try to get it nice. But doesn’t need to be perfect. What makes the hand lettering and handmade are the imperfections.
This is a small tip pen. It gets a smaller effect. You can’t see as well the variations in the thicks and thins.
But one of the things I love about this pen is it’s very easy to control. It has a firm tip. You can even use it on watercolor paper. Because this tip doesn’t fray as much as the other one.
When I digitize, I’m going to create a product with this design. Then will do it on my iPad. I’ll take the final design I created. Take a picture of it. And will letter over it on my iPad. For me, I always know that I have another opportunity.
In the iPad, you can do a lot of moving around and editing. That’s really helpful. But I still love the paper and pen. Unless I’m creating a product or coming out with a bunch. Like 10 products for my winter collection.
I have something I want to tell you badly. But I will be revealing everything to you soon. That’s exciting, right?
A lot of times when I use this pen, I don’t work this big either. But let me go ahead and flip the lights back on. So you can see these are two different ways.
This is more of a medium to a large tip. And this is a small tip. One of the things that you can notice in my design is I have the print and script.
With my flourishes, you can see the “Battle” here and then the “God’s” is kind of the same parallel design. The Y and the G are kind of parallel too and Both of the Ss. There are movements and flow to my flourishes. That’s a lot of fun.
One of the things that happened to Jehoshaphat is you’re not going to have to fight, God is going to do this for you. You watch and see what He is going to do for you.
Let me read the next part. Jehoshaphat says, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm.” Then it says, “After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for His holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the LORD; His faithful love endures forever!’
Then I wrote a comment in my Bible: We don’t do praise, thanksgiving, and gratitude to God for what He’s going to give us. He’s not a vending machine. It’s not a transactional thing. He does respond to our praise and thanksgiving. But that’s not the motive of our heart to do. It’s because He is so good. He deserves our praise.
In verse 22, “At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.” The thing I find great about this is, “the very moment they began to sing and give praise,” How amazing right?
It says they walked out to the lookout. All they could see was their enemy was dead. It says, “Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.” God completely took care of their enemies. “There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all!”
They called that “The Valley of the Blessing.” It got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the LORD there. They were overjoyed that the LORD had given them victory over their enemies. They have victory over them without having to fight or do anything. But they had so much plunder it took them three days just to collect it.
Just think about this:
What if the Lord wants to do something even above and beyond what you can think or imagine in your life?
What is the enemy you’re up against?
What is the battle you’re facing right now?
If you feel free to share, comment down below. Otherwise, you may think about it to yourself.
What is your battle?
Who are the enemies you’re facing right now?
Who is that for you?
What if God wants to do something amazing that doesn’t even require our efforts?
Surrender to the Lord
I’m a doer. An activator. I take action kind of person. But sometimes the Lord is like, “Shelley, I don’t need you to figure this out. I don’t need you to do this right now. Let Me take care of it.” He can do a better job. Although sometimes he wants us to be in there.
In many other battles in the Old Testament, He required that they would fight. To have victory. Not just victory. But so much victory that there is more blessing and plunder. It took them three days.
So, what is that blessing that could be waiting for you on the other side of the battle?
This is different for every person. I’m not saying that everyone’s story is going to turn out this way. But, what would happen if we put our trust in the Lord?
How do you tend to respond to the big obstacles and enemies?
My mom is a Christian counselor. She used to say, “Every major turning point, every big thing, starts with surrender.” It starts with the willingness to surrender.
Like Jehoshaphat, he begged the Lord for guidance. He surrendered. He humbled himself before the Lord.
Are you willing to say “I don’t know what to do, but I am looking to You for help.” as Jehoshaphat said. If you are, type “I am willing” in the comments.
What might be for you today? I want to close this and pray for you.
This might be something you want to go back and re-read: 2 Chronicles 20. You can do some journaling and lettering with it. If you haven’t been lettering along with me, I encourage you to take some time this week and letter this verse.
I encourage you to come up with your own layout and that sort of thing. I’m probably going to work on this once more. As I said, you’re welcome to use this one. You can use it for your personal practice. Give it away if you want.
Let me pray for you. If you have specific prayer requests feel free to post them in the comments.
God, I just thank You for every person who is listening to this now and to the recording. I don’t know what battles they are facing. Neither know their enemies. But You know. Lord, we just come to You right now and ask that You fight these battles for us.
Lord, that we can say confidently, “The battle is not ours, but it’s God’s.” We can say we don’t know what to do. But we’re looking to You for help. We’re coming to You for help. We’re not trying to fix or figure it out. Neither trying to be self-sufficient and do things in our own strength. Because we realize that’s futile.
Lord, we’re coming to You for help. We’re asking for You to move us in powerful ways to overcome the obstacles, enemies, things that are in our way right now. In Jesus’ name.
Lord, that You would take the enemies and confuse them. That they would start fighting amongst themselves like in this passage. Lord, that You would take care of it however You want to do that.
Lord, we know that it’s going to look different in every situation. But we surrender to You right now. We give ourselves to You. And thank You that You are powerful. We thank You that You are all knowing, trustworthy, and You care. You are with us and walking through whatever we’re going through.
Lord, we thank You that in Christ we are victorious. We praise You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I encourage you to keep meditating on this verse. Share in the comments what is God speaking to you from this passage. Let’s encourage and share with each other.
If you guys enjoyed this. Would like me to do more of these Illuminate Lettering sessions, let me know in the comments.
I feel like the Lord is wanting me to integrate more of my faith, encouragement, coaching, and the stuff that I do. Because I do so many things. But haven’t integrated everything into one.
I thought this might be one way to do that. I didn’t really know how this would go. But I decided to hop on today. Do and try it. Get feedbacks from you.
As I’m reading, I’m using this New Living Translation one-year Bible. I’m behind on the dates but the Lord is like, “You’re not behind. You’re right where you need to be.”
The things that I’m reading are right what I need at that moment. Or what someone else needed at the time I read. This is what I’m doing. I’m writing on it. Learning as I go. I can take some key things and verses from it.
We can talk about it, do lettering and pray together. Thank you for being here. I will see you soon.