Bible journaling: you’d think we would all know what that was, but it can be difficult to clearly identify when it can mean something different to everyone! One person might tell you that Bible journaling means journaling in a notebook about what they read in the Bible. Another might refer to it as writing out scripture in a notebook. Some identify Bible journaling as writing in the margins of their Bible’s, and for others, it is a means of artistic expression. I wanted to briefly share my journey with Bible journaling (as someone who had NO artistic skill) and what it looks like for me and the value I have found in it along the way.
Bible Journaling Inspiration: Where it all began
I don’t even remember when I first heard about Bible journaling. I think for a while the term just kind of circulated and I assumed it was what I was doing, writing in my margins, or journaling scriptures that meant something to me. Little did I know a whole world would open up to me once I got my first journaling Bible. The beginning was a bit rough. I learned after a 1.9 second search on Pinterest that I was ill-equipped, both in supplies and skill level. I was not an artistic person and the idea of painting or using a marker in my Bible was nearly an appalling aspect.
I made some mistakes. One time I used a bright pink and a bright blue acrylic paint across the words, thinking I’d get a highlight effect and ended up completely covering the words in my Bible (I ended up shelving that entire Bible and can hardly bear to pull it out). I learned to start with pencil or do it on a separate notebook and then copy it once I had my vision down. I learned that it is not about “doing it fast” but more of an expression of some innermost part of me that I didn’t even know I had.
3 Things Bible journaling has become to me
1. An act of worship. I take the time to meditate on the page I am reading and ask God to show me a verse He has for me. Once I have a verse or passage, I meditate on it until I have a vision of how I can express that and then I spend a LOT of time making that vision a reality.
2. An act of expression. I want to express my love for God in every way I possibly can. I want to worship Him with everything, even if it isn’t my “best” or my “strongest” or my “gifting”. I am not as talented as some of the people out there, but holding back because of that is nothing short of pride. Instead, I have learned to lay that down and express myself to my creator, who knows I am offering Him the best I have, even as He gives me more tools and experience to grow and get better.
3. A practise. This isn’t something that just flows you guys. I have to set aside time to make this happen, I have to pull out all my stuff, it’s a big deal. There is a lot of prayer and thought and I have to be in the right frame of mind to create, and with everything else I have going on, that isn’t always convenient (or EVER for that matter). It is a discipline, something I DO out of determination, and once I get started, with my tea or coffee in my hand and some worship music on in the background, I am SO blessed. God blesses me each time, He teaches me new things, His Holy Spirit reveals new words and new insight, my creativity and artistic skill grows. I NEVER walk away feeling like I wasted my time.
The details: where I find my inspiration and my supplies
The main thing I get asked about Bible journaling is where to find inspiration and supplies. I started out on this journey with Illustrated Faith. They have an entire line of supplies for Bible journaling, from washi tape to black markers to correction tape (super handy) to stickers and Bible tabs to watercolors… they have it all! They even have some really affordable, pretty, journaling Bible’s if you need one of those! I started out with their devotional kits and fell in love. I loved how it gave me a place outside my Bible to connect and be inspired and try new things, and then I could transfer those ideas and thoughts over to my Bible. They gave me the inspiration and resources I needed and the pretty little kits are impossible not to want to open up and do.
This month’s kit is Goals with Grace. The title just pulls you in doesn’t it? It’s all about setting realistic goals (’tis the season) that are focused and even derived from the One who can help us focus on what really matters. But just as importantly, it’s about discovering the grace that our Father pours out on us when we make mistakes or fail in some area of our lives. This kit is practical, it will pull you out of your comfort zone and ask you to dive deep into not what you want, but what God has in store for you!
The kits now come in cute little zip bags (that you can re-use over and over again). Inside is washi tape, clear stamps, tip-ins (bookmarks), stickers, cut outs, and a magnetic bookmark (this is new and I am LOVING it way more than their paper clips in the older kits). There are 14 daily devotionals in the book, which is perfect. It gives you grace for weekends and off days and isn’t something that is unattainable. There are blank spaces to illustrate what that means to you (though you don’t have to do that) which is why this was such a perfect introduction to Bible journaling for me.
They have a new kit each month (and next months might very possibly be the most beautiful one I have seen yet) so there is always fresh inspiration to keep you going and motivate you to spend that time in the Word. This is one of my favorite things about Illustrated Faith. I want to put God first, I want to make time for Him and meditate on His words, but I don’t always do that. I am always looking for ways to discipline myself but also motivate myself to want to dive a little deeper. The kits aren’t an automatic subscription, but rather just available for individual purchase so you can pick and choose which ones you love and aren’t obligated down the road!
More Bible journaling inspriation
My main go-to for inspiration is Pinterest, in fact, I have a whole board dedicated to just that that I pin to regularly.
If you are on Instagram, there are a TON of posts that will give you ideas if you search hashtags like: #biblejournaling #bibleart #illustratedfaith. And if you post your own Bible journaling pages, I would LOVE To see them! Tag me @hiphomeschooling and I’ll come over and gush!