An Interview with Kristen Wolbach

I’m so excited Kristen Wolbach agreed to answer some questions for me. She is the designer of the brand new Illustrated Faith Kit called “Rise Up.” For several reasons this kit has really hit home for me. First, I was so tickled to find out that Kristen is literally in the process of moving, packing boxes and making a physical move, to the Pacific Northwest and that delightfully “Rise Up” has continued to encourage her through this huge transition. The design itself reminds me of my beautiful home on the Washington state peninsula. I am so encouraged by the beauty around me daily, but the “Rise Up” kit inspired me to really take the time to stop and abide, enjoy, and be enveloped by the love God shows us through his creation.

Photo courtesy of designer Kristen Wolbach – Rise Up Illustrated Faith Kit by Dayspring

Anyway enough about me, I posted a review for the kit yesterday that you can view here. It provides an unboxing video to show you the kit itself, and I share a bit of a glimpse of my journey through the devotional. You can also use this (affiliate) link to grab Rise Up for yourself. What I really wanted to share today was a bit more about Kristen, the designer behind this awesome kit. So here goes…

Photo courtesy of designer Kristen Wolbach – Rise Up Illustrated Faith Kit by Dayspring

Q: When did your sketchy artistic style begin to develop?

A: As far as my style, I have no idea where it actually came from. I will say it has evolved so much in the past few years. I used to want my stuff to look really clean and polished, but it always winds up looking messy and wild. I guess my style reflects my personality in that sense! God’s funny like that. I think I know how I want something to look, but the end result always surprises me.

I love this! I too believe that Bible Journaling and so much of what we create is a reflection of the Lord and how he made us. You can learn a lot about me by looking and my journaling Bible.

Q: What inspired this project?

A: When Shanna approached me last fall about contributing to a kit I must confess, I kind of already had a nudge about what direction I wanted to go. Mountains, and water have always been inspiring to me. I feel most connected to the Lord when I’m in the midst of His creation. With that, Rise Up felt natural. This sense of power and beauty that we possess in this world that tells us to be quite and mild. I just imagined that idea of the sun rising on a cool morning. That feeling of possibility and peace.

The mountains, trees, sun, and all the little design elements in this kit point to His amazing creation. I am so impressed with how the theme for this devotional is tied together both in design and in content; and Kristen’s answer to this question reveals why.

Q: What was the most challenging part of designing for a project like this?

A: It sounds so silly, but the most challenging part of designing this kit was the concern that it wouldn’t be well received. Most kits are flowery and feminine, and mine was starting to look quite different from past kits. So the comparison game started to creep in and I doubted whether anyone would even care. But I realize where that voice comes from, and I’m really excited to see how our community has received it!

Oh Kristen, you are not alone in this! How much of our lives do we have some kind of fear that stops us from doing what God has called us to, or that causes us to delay obedience, or doubt our calling. Thank you for your candid answer. We are in this together.

Q: Do you have a favorite day in the devotional?

Days 7 & 14 are probably the most personal to me. Mostly because I believe they are reminders we all need daily. I struggled, and still do at times, about whether or not I look or act right. If I’m ‘Christian’ enough. The Christian machine has a way of spitting you out if you aren’t careful. But at this point I’m learning to become more comfortable with who God made me to be, rather than feeling I should look like something or someone else. By the grace of God I am who I am.

Q: What’s one thing you’ve learned while working through the kit now versus when you originally wrote it?

A: Working through it now is so unbelievably bizarre. I sincerely poured my heart out. My personality is all over those pages, and yet God was writing that for me ‘for such a time as this.’ When I wrote this, I had no idea that God was calling me and my family to move 1800 miles away, from the flat plains of Texas to the beautiful PNW. He was asking ME to Rise Up before I understood why. And here I am, amongst a house of packing boxes, and in 72 hours we will be leaving my comfort zone behind.

Kristen, this is incredible! God is so good, He is enough and supplies all our needs. Your response here just reminds me that he is trustworthy, loving, and intentional with us. HE knew you would need this devotional now, just like he knew I did.

Q: How did you get started with Bible journaling? What is one of your favorite supplies?

A: I started bible journaling about 2 1/2 years ago after seeing a friend sharing hers on social media. For about the first 6 months I only used a pentel pen, and crayola twistables. That first time I used watercolor I thought I was getting really wild and crazy! I’ve literally dabbled in every medium possible at this point, until I found my niche. Now I only really use alphas, NeoColor ii, and micron pens. Other than that, I try to keep it pretty simple as far as supplies go.

Let me tell you, hearing Kristen’s responses to these questions was so inspiring and reassuring. I am currently re-reading Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen (you can read my review here) and I have been struck again with some big questions like, “What am I afraid of?” and “What will I let get in the way of doing what God has set before me?” Knowing that other women of faith like  Kristen, even when they love and are following the Lord with their lives, still struggle with self-doubt, the comparison game, or even knowing what God is calling them to helps me know I am not alone and that others have similar struggles and victories. It makes me determined to pray for those around me and to pursue what God has for me.

I hope you found Kristen’s words encouraging and that you’ll check out the awesome Rise Up Kit she so beautifully designed and poured her heart into. Kristen, welcome to the neighborhood, we hope you will find the Pacific Northwest to be as awe inspiring as your devotional was for so many of us, that you will soon feel at home, comfortable, and find yourself connected in community and service. Blessings to you!

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