The Blue Book

I want to share a beautiful book with you. I think you’ll enjoy the lovely illustrations and you might also like hearing how this book impacted my life. The book is titled “The Beautiful Tree of Life,” and I found it in a used book store in Budapest about 6 years ago. 

But first let me give you some useful ways of using vintage book illustrations:
1. Copy or scan them for making cards or gift tags.
2. Scan them for image use on your blog (those past copyright).
3. Enlarge black and white illustrations for color pages for young artists.
4. Use books opened to illustrations on mantles and tables, especially as they fit a theme.
5. Use opened books or loose illustrations (from damaged books) as table centerpieces.
6. I'd love to hear your ideas for using vintage book illustrations, and I'd love to hear which of the following illustrations from this book is your favorite.

Don't have any old books? A great place to download free use vintage illustrations is the Graphic Fairy.

I bought this book because of it’s title, 1891 copyright, vintage cover and winsome illustrations.

Since that time I’ve used the book on bookshelves and in décor arrangements throughout my home.

In fact, I've used it in three different homes--first in Budapest where we were living and doing Christian work, and two homes since returning to the States.

It’s been a “world-traveling” book, and I’ve not kept any special track of it.
But Someone has been keeping track of it.

You see, one day last week I took it off a bookshelf to use in my mantle décor.

A morning later, I woke up sad and discouraged. There are a million reasons I should be thankful, but there’s one situation in my life that grieves me terribly—something over which I have no control—and I can get discouraged at times, very discouraged.

As I was praying (a little hopelessly) about this situation, my eyes were drawn to “The Beautiful Tree of Life” sitting in a little suitcase on my hearth, and I noticed a small piece of paper sticking above one of its pages.

On closer examination, I found the paper marking a page with this text:

“God Makes No Mistakes. If God sends you tribulation you can get out of despondency simply by being patient under suffering, and you can be patient under it because you know God means the best for you, even though what he does toward you is quite painful..."

"In that comforting twelfth chapter of the Epistle of the Hebrews we are specially assured that God makes no mistakes in the chastening tribulation which he sends to us..."

Afterward it shall work out the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Thus assured we can be patient; and before a faith which will keep looking steadily toward the shining end despondency must flee.” 

Tears rolled down my cheeks when I read this “word from the Lord” specifically for me in that moment of my day…that moment of my life.

If anyone tells you that God doesn’t speak to us specifically anymore, 
please don’t believe them.

God’s wants to speak truth into our lives, 
and He will use a number of ways to do that.

  • An obscure author from the 1800’s
  • A series of events that brought an English book to a used book store in Budapest
  • My attraction to a vintage cover
  • A marker left years earlier on a particular page
  • My decision to use a book on my mantle where it caught my eye one morning when I was feeling low

If so, then we serve a God of “coincidences”—a God who wants to speak to us, assure us, rebuke us, train and instruct us.
Do you need a word from God today?
It may be right in front of you.
I'm so glad you visited Bible Love Notes, and I'd love for you to check out my home page where I write 1-minute devotions. Or check out my Marriage posts, Blog Tips and other Decor/Crafting pages all with links on my header. So glad you stopped by! I pray you were blessed!


  1. What a joy that truly must have been to get that message from Him just when you needed it! And I love old books like that as well.

    Joy and blessings to you,

  2. What an encouraging post! I love old books, also. You gave some wonderful tips in how to use them.

  3. Thanks for the kind comment, Debbie. Bless you!

  4. I have such a love for antique and rare books! This is a great and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment. God Bless you!

  5. I am needing a word from the Lord today! Please pray for me and check out my blog. Thanks for your encouraging post!

    1. Dear Jenifer, I pray that God meets you right at your point of need in the most unique and special way. He loves talking to His children. I visited your blog, actually several of your blogs. You are a blogging family...very cool. I've actually visited some of them before. God bless you.

  6. I just love how God works in the most amazing ways, and provides for us just when we need it.

    Thanks for the idea as well to scan and use the old illustrations in different ways. My brain is now thinking of new uses for my old books. :-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hope God gives you some wonderful ways to showcase your old books. Bless you!

  7. That is very cool! Thanks for sharing this amazing story!! Yes, God does speak to us, in many different ways. :)

    Thanks for linking up at Romance on a Dime!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and Amen! Bless you, Gail

  8. Thanks for the link-up, Gail! I really enjoyed this post!

    1. Thanks for hosting the link up, April. You have such a great blog.

  9. I really liked this, Gail. I was amazed at the bookmark and the encouragement it contained for you. I loved the illustrations and can see why you were drawn to the book.

    1. Thanks, Carol. God has used you at times in my life to be an encourager too!

  10. What a great idea for images. I've never thought of that. My hubby and I collect old books too. Our rule is they must be over 100 years old.
    Hope you'll be back to link up again Tuesday at

  11. This is such a great post, on so many levels. Such a blessing having God speak to us, He does in so many ways, sometimes we just don't recognize them. and your book is wonderful. I so love old books and illustrations. thanks so much for sharing them on Vintage Inspiration.

  12. Debra, thanks so much for your kind comments and thank you for featuring this post on your Vintage Inspirations. What an encouragement for me!

  13. Thank you for sharing this great project.

    Hope you will stop by today and link up another great project !!!

    Claire x

  14. Gail, that is just beautiful! I love old books and illustrations ( I'm an artist) and especially love the Lord. I love how He speaks to us when we need it and I needed this today. Thank you, I have truly been blessed by this.

    My favorites are the two illustrations of the children ( the little girl and the two reading) - so precious!
    Have a wonderful weekend. I am now following you.

  15. I absolutely believe that God speaks to us today. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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