A glimpse into my head

(Update: the calendar isn't for sale anymore.)

If you're friends with me on Facebook, or follow my fan page, you probably know I designed a Christian calendar for 2014. Were you wondering how and why this calendar came about? So glad you asked.

My sister is the CEO of Selah, a non-profit that helps women (and the men in their lives) take a moment to assess their unexpected pregnancy. Last year I created a calendar specifically for this organization and helped buy some so that they could give to their donors and sell to raise funds.

The 2013 calendar was well received, and Selah sold out. This year, I wanted to try to sell some on my own, as well as donate calendars to Selah for their fund raising needs.

As those that have purchased the 2014 calendar know, this image/verse combination is what got me started on the idea.

After putting together a few images with verses that all had to do with being "in Christ", a friend suggested I make a calendar. I took her up on her challenge.

Finding 12 images and 12 verses was not easy. As a Christian artist, I wanted more than just a pretty picture with a random verse. I've seen too many of those types of calendars (I'm sure you have, too.) In my mind, the only reason you would combine a verse and a picture is if they were somehow connected. I wanted the pictures to help support the verses, not distract from the message I picked. This was the hardest part of the entire process because I chose pictures out of what I already had taken (with the exception of one), and finding a picture to represent a theological idea was downright hard.

My husband, a seminary graduate, translated the verses from Greek. To be honest, my main reason was to not have to ask a publishing company for permission to use their version of the Bible. But after the fact, I'm so glad I did. His translations gave me further insight into what each verse says about who we are in Christ. The one that speaks more to this is this image:

Most translations say forgive as God forgave you (or a variation of that.) The thing is, in Greek, the words that are translated as "forgive" and "forgave" are words for "grace". English doesn't use grace as a verb, so I can understand why translators would choose the word forgive. Forgiveness is one of the aspects of grace. When someone has our favor we will be quick to forgive their offenses towards us.

In Christ, God pours out His grace. We are in union with Christ when we have accepted Christ's sacrifice for our sins. That means that when God the Father looks on us He sees Christ and His righteousness. God the Father and God the Son enjoy a perfect relationship, and we reap the benefits of that only by grace--unmerited favor.

Let that truth sink in, and then read this again:
Toward each other be benevolent, favorably disposed, gracing one another in the same manner that even God Himself graced you in Christ.

In the same manner.
"I got them yesterday, and they are beautiful! I love that you included a description of the photo/verse for each month, and the format is perfect. I majored in Greek/Hebrew, and I really like your husband's translations. I am going to be extra careful shipping them to family for Christmas, because the front and back are a little lightweight. But I don't think that will be a problem at all once they get to their destinations. Thanks again - you made my Christmas shopping much easier. And I'm looking forward to the constant reminders of who I am in Christ throughout the next year!"

"...got your calendar in the mail. Beautiful! Thank you! I'm going to frame the picture on the card, too. Love it." 

"Just got my calendars. It was like opening a box of chocolates. Enjoyed the pix & verses."

"Those are great translations! He (Chris Lovelace) really nailed it." (by someone with a doctorate in ancient languages)   

"I am going to hang one in my classroom and L is going to put one up at work. We were hoping to do exactly what one of your post talked about - be a witness through the incredible art. Thank you!" 

"I LOVE the calendars!!! They are beautiful and I especially love the note you wrote with each picture describing it and telling where you took it! The verses are wonderful and absolutely appropriate!! Thank you for your time and effort that went into these!" 

"Dear Mrs. Lovelace,
I received my shipment of calendars yesterday and quickly opened the box with heightened expectations. I was thrilled when I looked through the calendar. The pictures were beautiful and of a very professional quality. The scripture verses were so appropriate to both the picture and the month. I appreciated the personal touch in each month to see where the photo was taken and your feelings on the verse. I am currently deciding how many more I need to order, because I know a lot of my friends and church family will love the calendar." 

(Even Ann Voskamp loved it!)
"Your pictures are exquisite and the text for each photo takes my breath away.
Jesus shines through your art, Elizabeth. I am deeply moved by your testimony and radiance. Jesus just shining through everywhere."  

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