We are thrilled to feature beloved Bible journaler Barbie Ramirez of Contigo Arts in our Inspire Prayer Bible Ambassador Spotlight! We believe you will be incredibly blessed as she shares her beautiful heart, story, faith, art, advice, and prayers with you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Barbie, I’m from Costa Rica, and I am 43 years old. I’ve been married for 22 years, and we have two daughters: my eldest is 21, and my youngest is 15. I studied Psychology, and I am a Christian, you can say, since birth. I am a very sociable and friendly person, and I enjoy serving others. I love to help, teach, and guide others to know Jesus.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? (Besides Bible journaling in your Inspire Bible, of course!)
Well, of course Bible journaling is my favorite hobby. I also enjoy drawing and painting, and my preferred technique is watercolors. I love all arts and craft. I’m not good in the kitchen or in sports, but I give my best effort. People around me say I have the gift of prayer. I’m not sure it’s true, but what I do know for certain is that I love to pray, and I do it sincerely and constantly.
Tell us when you first encountered God and how your choice to follow him has impacted your life.
My parents led me to God at an early age. They not only instilled in me Christian values and principles but also taught me to love and respect God and his Word as well as to obey and share it with others. Even though I grew up in church, often times I felt like the lost coin of the parable, lost inside the house. I never left church or stopped going physically, but sometimes my heart was in another place. God in his mercy always sought me, and he found me, forgave me, cleansed me, and bestowed his wonderful love upon me.
I can say that every day is a struggle to fight against natural tendencies, but I feel his presence and compassion every day, in every step of the way. I have had moments of pain and loneliness, but it is in these moments where I have found a faithful and constant friend in Jesus.
Who (or what) has had the biggest influence on helping you grow in your faith?
I have always been a simple girl. I grew up in a humble home, but it was filled with love. My parents were and still are (even after death) a great influence. Their advice and counseling continue to help and guide me along the way. However, finding Bible journaling has given me a new perspective of how to have a relationship with God and his Word.
Five years ago, I would have never thought that I could be capable of drawing or painting. I discovered these talents thanks to Bible journaling, and I began to experiment with it. Today it’s my favorite thing. I need it, and it’s my way of spending time with God.
How has Bible journaling impacted your faith?
When days go by without painting my Bible, I feel empty and lost. I not only enjoy painting but also teaching others, that they can also discover the treasure that God gave me of illustrating the Bible. I’ve learned to seek God through his Word, and this has helped me in many areas of my life. It has strengthened my relationship with family, friends, and even myself, and it has enabled me to have more empathy and compassion toward others. It has changed my perspective on life and has given me a new reason to share the love of God, filling others’ worlds with color and hope.
When did you first start Bible journaling?
I began 3 years ago, but before that, when I found out it existed, I would just watch other women’s work, wishing I could be one of them.
Do you have any tips to share about how to stay close to God each day?
I believe putting God in the position of friend and confidant in your life is a way of having an encounter with him in each moment. This gives you the opportunity to have him close, speak to him of your feelings, your thoughts, what you are afraid of or causes uncertainty. You can consult every decision to know what his purpose for your life is. To reflect and meditate in his Word has helped me to know what God thinks of me, what he desires for me, what offends or hurts him. If you think on it, these are three things that you do with a friend or a person that you love.
1.Decide to let him come into your life and become a part of it.
2.Speak (pray) constantly, tell him all about everything.
3.Give yourself the opportunity to know him, so you can fall in love with him through the reading of his Word and reflect your feelings through the art in the Bible journaling or Bible diary.
We should be eager to imitate Jesus and follow his example of life, sacrifice, and service. It will give us purpose and a reason in life as we feel near to Jesus. We should look to bless others; caring for the little ones is the task that he gave us. It will give us great satisfaction and fill our hearts when someone we have blessed gives us a smile, gives us thanks or a hug. You will feel deep down that you are fulfilling the mission.
Who is your favorite person in the Bible and why?
I feel identified with many Bible characters that I definitely look forward to speak with when I get to heaven. But the one that inspires and comforts me the most and who I am eager to be with is Jesus. My heart is filled with emotion as I imagine that moment, when I can hug and kiss his feet and live eternally giving thanks and praise for his love and for saving me.
What Bible verse would you like to encourage others with today?
My favorite Bible text is Galatians 2:20, but the one that cheers me up and gives me hope is John 16:33, which says:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, Because I have overcome the world.”
We are living in difficult times. The world is free-falling toward chaos, violence, and confusion. It’s good to know that even though it seems that everything is getting worse, God has a plan, and that in the end of history, he is victorious, and we will have victory in him and because of him.
Would you like to say a prayer for the person reading this right now?
Of course, this is one of the things that I most enjoy doing.
Dear Jesus, we just want to thank you for your infinite love. Because of your providence, I can get in touch with the person that is reading this prayer in this moment. I do not know this person’s name, life, or situation, but you know them by name, even before they were born, and even from that moment, you have loved them.
They are wonderfully made, unique and unrepeatable. Your desire is that they know and understand that they are important to you; that whatever is causing anguish will be resolved soon; that even as they face difficult situations, you, Lord, are by their side; that they have never been alone, and you will never leave them alone.
I pray they will trust in you, Lord, with all their heart. May they leave all their burdens in your hands and look into the future with optimism, knowing you have great plans for them. We know that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion. If someone feels like they are a lost case, remind them that you have not finished with them yet!
In Jesus’ powerful name we pray, Amen.
May God bless you; I’m sending you my hug and best regards wherever you may be.
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