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Traveling with Thankfulness | Gratitude Documented by Illustrated Faith

This November there's no rest for the weary. Wedding season kicked off last Wednesday when I boarded a plane for Las Vegas to celebrate one of my college best friend's marrying the love of her life! We decorated and danced the day away on Saturday, and now they're happily married!  But the party doesn't stop there.

A few weeks later I'll have Thanksgiving, my sister's Bachelorette party, a jaunt up to Kansas to visit a friend, and then a theatre convention with my students to close the month out. 

I love traveling, and I love traveling with my journaling Bible. But recent events have left me with quite a bit of back pain, so packing my actual Bible was not on my packing list for the month. There are great online resources that I enjoy using as an alternative, AND there are some great new products from Illustrated Faith that are both lightweight and gorgeous! 

I grabbed my favorites, packed them in my purse for the journey, and today I'm sharing you what made the cut!

Most importantly, this month is Gratitude Documented! Last year I loved filling out my "Wow, God!" journal and the different topics, each page a blank slate for creative reflection as we list the things we're thankful for this month. The 2016 Gratitude Documented Devotional Kit did not disappoint! Designed by the sweet Jess Robyn, her unique handwriting and precious illustrations were the perfect fit for a fall-inspired gratitude journal. 

Every kit comes with a specially designed stamp set, but what I love almost as much as the stamp sets are the stamp BACKERS! It looks white when you first open the kit, but when you unpackaged the stamp there is a trifold made of cardstock that is brimming with goodies! Particularly this time there are tabs and flags and Jess's sweet bio page. One side is even a coloring page similar to the cover of your devotional journal! 

Pictured above are the core pieces of the kit: The Gratitude Documented Journal, stamp set, gray ink pad, and washi tape, plus a precision pen (sold separately but I NEVER leave the house without one!).  What I love about this stamp set is that the stamps can be used for SO many different pages, verses, devotionals, you name it in months to come! The gray ink is also a fun addition to my collection. I think it could be great to use as a stencil or to pre-stamp whatever the image is in a lighter color so you know exactly where to stamp over it in black or trace it in pen. 

I love the title of this kit, too. Cultivate a thankful heart. The word cultivate has come up so often lately, in various areas of my life, and I love the image it paints: hands in the dirt, tilling the ground, planting with care, the promise of something beautiful blooming in the future. Taking the time to plant thankfulness in our hearts can change everything! It WILL change everything! I absolutely believe it!

Plus, that little acorn with the heart in it is just adorable. That is going to go EVERYWHERE in my journal!

You may have noticed that my Gratitude Documented journal has a cover this time. I slipped it right into the Pray, Color, Repeat Traveler's Journal by Illustrated Faith! It's made of a super soft leather with a thick black elastic to hold everything together, and each journal cover comes with a lined journal of its own. I have mine tucked behind my gratitude booklet to keep day-to-day notes close, but thankfulness first ;)

There's a second traveler's journal available through Illustrated Faith, and it's a bright canvas with fun illustrations. However I loved the tan color of the leather option, and it seems very fitting for the fall season.

I waned to give you one final glimpse and tip for the Gratitude Document journal, particular about decorating the cover! I used my Faber Castell markers to trace the designs printed on the front flap. The cover is slightly shiny so in some places the ink did not want to stick and bubbled a little, but I just let it dry an extra long time before touching the design. You can see the difference in the smooth swipes of the marker at the top of the journal versus at the bottom. I actually kinda like the look!

There are plenty of other ways to decorate, including using the spiffy Illustrated Faith acrylic paints, and I love that they gave us the option of customizing it this time!

Since I'm traveling with this journal and not with my Bible, I tried to keep my supplies simple, just using what came in the kit, paired with the Faber-Castell pens I used on the cover to try to maintain a color scheme. I grabbed my favorite black ink, acrylic stamp block, and the glue roller that I use every day in case there was anything extra I wanted to add into the devotional as I go. 

You can find my trips across the country and back, down the aisle and back, too, at @lovebaileyjean! Be sure to follow along, and be sure to share YOUR gratitude documented journey using #gratitudedocumented :)

Don't forget to use the code FAMILY at DaySpring for 25% off your purchase and IFSHIPSFREE for free shipping! It's a steal of a deal I definitely plan to use before the month is up!

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