One Day in Switzerland

After traipsing all over Italy for Matt’s work, we were able to relax and explore during a week of vacation. One area we had not yet been to was the mountains of northwestern  Italy. After saying fond farewells to Sergio and Ceclia, we took off for lands unknown. Sergio said that we must stop at the coastal town of Lerici on our way. What a picturesque spot!Lerici, Italy by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We only had an afternoon to spare, so we strolled along the coast and ate gelato. We had been told by Sergio that we needed to go to the top of the hill and see the castle for lovely views.Lerici, Italy by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I’ll never get enough of seeing the wonderful colors of the homes in Italy.Lerici, Italy photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

It was time to head to our next agriturismo in the Aosta Valley. We had spent more time in Lerici than anticipated and now I was concerned about making it to La Vrille agriturismo in time for check in and dinner. But we got there in plenty of time to eat a meal fit for a king. They were ready for my dietary needs and even served me a special dessert. This was the first place we stayed that looked like a Swiss chalet to me.Agriturismo La Vrille photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We were in the mountains of northwestern Italy and yet it was so gloomy that we couldn’t see them. Off to bed we went with hopes of clearer days ahead of us. I wanted to see those mountains! We had plans to go on a cable car up into those mountains. Would tomorrow be the day? But alas, we awoke to no mountains. I was beginning to think there really weren’t any mountains they were so well hidden by clouds. We decided not to do the cable car since we wouldn’t be able to see anything. We were, however, very near to the border of Switzerland. Always in pursuit of geocaches in new places, we decided to drive through the mountains and see if we could get to Switzerland. Windy road in Italy photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The roads were quite windy and steep and we couldn’t see much.Road to Great Saint Bernard Pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Beautiful scenery in the alps of Italy photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We also had to go through a 3 mile long tunnel. I used to feel panicky in tunnels, but Italy cured me of that. The Great Saint Bernard Pass, the third highest road pass in Switzerland was our destination. We finally arrived and climbed out of our car. We saw someone walking around and he came over to us. “It’s too bad you weren’t here yesterday,” Anthony Schrag said, “the mountains are spectacular!” But, we only saw clouds and fog. Still, we could cross the border into Switzerland and look for a geocache. We invited our new friend to come along with us. As we drove over the border, Anthony explained that he was walking from Scotland to Venice. Wow, was I ever impressed. He had not heard of geocaching, however, and we had fun enlightening him. Just into Switzerland, we climbed up a bit from the road, and there it was.Our first Swiss geocache photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Our first Swiss geocache!! As we celebrated the find, Anthony continued to express disappointment for us in the weather. Suddenly, the clouds lifted and the beautiful Swiss Alps came into view. What a glorious sight!Great Saint Bernard's pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Then Matt continued to climb up for a better view. I tried to follow him on the wet, slippery rocks with my sore knee. He looked down and told me to scramble up one particular rock. I said, “Honey, I’m not much of a scrambler.” Suddenly a man on the other side of the rock started laughing. He said, “That’s pretty funny…Honey, I’m not much of a scrambler. I think it’s the quote of the day.” Well, I’m glad he was amused. I finally made it up there. See how little that cross is in the next photo?

Great Saint Bernard's pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The “scramble” was totally worth it. Oh, the majesty! It was not for long and the clouds came back to cover the beauty again. Here are the buildings at the pass.Great Saint Bernard's pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Then the clouds came back. Just like that, they were gone!Great Saint Bernard's pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I was determined to have a meal in Switzerland and we did, right over the border. Potatoes and cheese.Meal in Switzerland photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We learned a little bit about how Saint Bernard opened a hospice there to help people in the harsh mountains. He must have pointed people in the right direction too.Statue of Saint Bernard photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

He trained large dogs to search for missing people. They still had St Bernard dogs at the pass.St Bernards at the Great Saint Bernard pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

And some in the souvenir shop.souvenirs at Great Saint Bernard Pass photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There was also a museum of religious artifacts. This ancient Bible reminded me of doing Bible Art.ancient Bible photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

What a glorious day in Switzerland, even though cloudy. We were excited to have stepped foot in another country and I’m always happy in the mountains. And next exciting day?  Well, you’ll just have to wait for another blog post!Matt and Janine in Switzerland www.joyfulwonder.com

You may enjoy previous posts about our trip to Italy.

Bible Art: Connecting with God through Art

Isn’t it amazing how God knows exactly what each one of us needs to grow in our relationship with Him? But, of course he does! He created us with our unique needs and desires. Me… well, he made me with an intense desire to be creative just like him. A few months ago, I began seeing people posting photos of art they had done in their Bibles. Here is a post I wrote about my beginnings in Bible Art and another post that shows some of my Bible pages.  Now, it’s time to catch you up on some I’ve done recently!

Worry is something that I have struggled with throughout my life. Really, who doesn’t at one time or another? I suppose it comes down to the fact that we all want to be in control and we just aren’t. God is. And it’s hard to just leave it at that. Jesus knew we would struggle with trust and spoke about it in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25-34 has always been a wonderful passage for me to think upon. Here it is:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We don’t need to worry! In fact, that is something that people without Jesus do. If I didn’t have Jesus, I would REALLY need to worry. But, I DO have Jesus. He loves me and will give me everything I need. Since these verse speak so loudly to me, I felt I needed to illustrate them. Flowers, birds….yes, this would be a fun page!Bible Art by Janine Broscious

I got inspiration from one of my favorite books, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden. This is a treasure that I found in a used book sale. In this book, Edith Holden kept a nature journal of beautiful watercolor illustrations which I have always admired. I was a bit intimidated by trying this painting, but I have found that you just have to jump in. First, I covered the Bible page with clear gesso from ArtBasics. I traced her painting, then used graphite paper to put the outline of the birds onto my Bible page. After that, I looked at her painting, but just did my own thing with the watercolor paints. I kept the flowers and leaves simple and without detail so they wouldn’t detract from the birds.Bible Art by Janine Broscious

Edith’s birds were gray. But I was having trouble getting the colors right. In fact, I was just having trouble keeping the birds and the tree branch from looking like one huge grayish brown blob on my page. Perseverance is often the key with art. I just kept plugging away until all of the sudden, sweet birds emerged. I still have a long way to go to learn about watercolor painting, but it is a thrill when something comes together. I did have to use brown ink to bring out details. It’s a challenge to do these pages and yet still read through them.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Now, when I flip through my Bible, I can see these birds as a reminder of God’s provision. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He makes them beautiful and gives them purpose. He will take care of me… and you too!Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

My page was inspired by Edith Holden’s work, and yet is so different. Just like all of us. We are made in God’s image and yet with different needs…that He will meet.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here is a gallery of other pages I have done lately. I hope they will inspire you to dig into God’s love letter to you, the Bible.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

This is a reminder that God made me and he only makes things that are good.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

Our faith is tested by trials.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

In our darkest times, we need to remember who God is and what he has done.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we come to Jesus and acknowledge that we need him to cleanse us, he will! Here I show the same page side by side to illustrate the effect of metallic ink.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we approach life as a child, we will have complete trust in God, our father.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Bible Art Journaling

Isn’t it wonderful to stumble upon something that resonates with you? Recently, online I had seen that some people were drawing and painting right in their Bibles. This really drew me in. I love art. I love to create. I know that God made me that way because He is my Creator. I’ve endeavored to use my art to glorify Him and this was such an intriguing idea to me. To use art while meditating on verses from the Bible sounded just right.

However, I was apprehensive to doodle in my Bible. What if I made a mistake? What if it turned out ugly? Was it dishonoring to God’s word? My ever wise hubby finally cleared this quandary for me by saying, “Hon, monks have been drawing in Bibles for centuries.” Of course! I love looking at illuminated Bibles. So, I finally just jumped in and did it. I bought a wide margin Bible for journaling first. And then I joined an online group for Bible Art Journaling. Rebekah R Jones picks a verse each week to journal and video tapes herself doing it. She is graciously sharing her journey and expertise with us for free! How amazing is that?! Here are some verses that I have done with her group so far.Be BraveLaughBe Bold as a LionMake a Joyful Noise

I am enjoying it so much, that I decided to do a verse from my devotions. I started out with drawing in marker.As for me and my house

Then added some color with acrylic ink and watercolor crayons. Oh, I used gel pens too.We will serve the Lord

How about you? Wouldn’t you love to join in with us? I hope I see you on the Bible Art Journaling facebook page. God bless you as you meditate on His love letter to you.

 

Completed Things

Last time I shared about a UFO. So, today I thought I would share that I completed the little doll afghan for my granddaughter! Before getting it into the mail, I had to take a photo of it. This cradle was the perfect setting. It was made by my great-grandfather, Charles E. Updyke (1878-1955). He passed away before I was born, so I’m not sure who he made this doll cradle for, but I’ve had it for a long time and it is one of my treasures. Another one is the doll in the photo. My folks brought that back from a vacation for me. I was just a baby and had stayed with my grandma. All three things are handmade and involved grandparents in one way or another. Doesn’t that doll look comfy? I sure hope my granddaughter likes the afghan. It’s really soft!DSC_9775 4

While on the subject of completed things, I made this bracelet this week for a customer that loves pearls!DSC_9773 4

And then my sister-in-law contacted me and wanted some earrings that are both an encouragement and would include her love of birds.DSC_9784 2

These are my favorite verses to go with these earrings:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6&7

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24

What are you completing this week?