I have been stalking bible journalers for a couple months now and am fascinated with the concept. I recently got hooked on mixed media, hand lettering, doodling and water coloring. I love everything about it and have loaded up my Instagram with some amazing artists so inspiring that I was itching to give this new form of bible study and worship a whirl.
Journaling bibles are a new concept to me. I used to be terrified to mark in my bible let alone write, draw or paint in it! But man, what a beautiful form of worship. I know there are people out there that may not agree or understand it but ask any creative Christ follower and I bet they’ll get it. We get stuck on those set ideas of what worship is and what our relationship with Christ is supposed to look like. We’re comfortable with music and prayer but to deviate from this may seem self indulgent or disrespectful. But, God created us each to be unique from one another. I do not believe that God created me with the voice of cat in heat and intended to limit my worship to song. No, he created in me a different form of talent. One I know he rejoices in when I use it to worship, fellowship or just be with him. I love that saying…A bible that is falling apart is usually the sign of a person who is not.
I bought myself my very first journaling bible for my 34th birthday. This beautiful bible showed up last week and I have had my nose in it all weekend long! Talk about being inspired to surround yourself with the Word. We’re currently doing The Bible in a Year as a church and of course, we’re starting with Genesis. I’ve
pushed read through Genesis no less than 20 times. I struggle to understand the lessons that God has laid out for us in these chapters. But this weekend I was able to slow my reading waaaaayyyyy down. Because I wanted to illustrate Gods word, I really had to make sure I understood it. It forced me to really dig deep and get to know the one who wrote it. I am thrilled to be starting my Bible Journaling Journey and can not wait to see what God has in store for our time together.
Now, these are merely the supplies I have collected over my history of scrapbooking, adult coloring books, hand lettering, watercoloring etc with a couple of new additions (I just picked up a few Gelatos this weekend). Yes, I am a professional dabbler! It’s a problem. However, it comes in handy when I want to try my hand at something like bible journaling. I’ll blog later about the individual supplies and why or how I may use them but for now, I would recommend at least a decent set of colored pencils and a micron pen or two. I have a micron pen in size .05 and .01. The Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils are a great “affordable” option and I’ve been using them in my adult color books. I also forgot to add a mechanical pencil and white eraser to my supply list both these items are also great to have for basic supplies. Below is a picture I did using just micron pens. The writing itself was inspired by one of the many incredibly talented women on Instagram whom I can not recall the name of at the moment. (If you are her, or recognize the inspiration please let me know so I can rightly credit the inspiration!) I regularly hop on Instagram to find inspiration or to practice lettering.
Here is a sample of my “adult coloring” (Seriously? Please tell me I’m not the only thinks that sounds dirty?) that was done with the Twistable Colored Pencils.
You can really approach bible journaling anyway you like. I’m a prefectionist and so I tend to draw, write or paint things out on a seperate piece of paper first or at least sketch lightly on the bible in pencil. Even still, there is quite the learning curve between ARTing all over regular/specialty paper and bible paper. It’s much thinner though my journaling bible pages are thicker paper than my regular bible. But hey, if your the personality thats to just want to do it, then by all means dive right in and let the Holy Spirit inspire you. If you mess it, who cares? This is for you and God and we all know God can make beautiful things out our mistakes! And if that’s not enough empower you just channel your inner Bob Ross.
I found a lovely group of bible journalers on FB and a few of the members suggested I start with a Permission Page. This is great for any of my fellow Perfectionists who are intimidated by making that first mark. What are Permission Pages you ask? Well, they are actually what the name suggests. Take a look at mine below.
THIS BIBLE IS FOR: Write down what your journaling bible is for. A few examples: PRAISE, WORSHIP, GETTING MESSY, BEING INSPIRED, GETTING TO KNOW GOD.
THIS BIBLE IS NOT FOR: Journaling bibles are for growing your relationship with God and HE should be our focus. Write in the section things that may hinder that. Some examples: PERFECTION, SHOWING OFF, INTIMIDATION, FEAR.
AND MAY…: This is the section were you put in writing the mistakes that WILL happen. My 3rd journal entry was awful. It was messy, the colors where off, it got smeared…it was just a hot mess. That really gets under my skin. That something ugly will forever be in that bible. However, I learned a lot from that particular study and while it may not be beautiful as far as art goes, my heart is a little more beautiful for that time spent with God. Have you ever heard the saying “A bad workout is better than no workout?” It’s true!
The number one piece of advice, of course, is to offer up the time you spend in your journaling bible to God. Use this as a tool to draw near to him and be inspired in your relationship, scriptual study and your art. The best way to woo a creative is to speak creative. Let God woo you!