Bible Journaling for Beginners

BY MEREDITH DONKIN

If you’ve been hanging out on Pinterest at all in the last year or so, you couldn’t help but notice how bible journaling has become a “thing”.  I love Pinterest as much as the next girl and her mason jar collection, but I have to admit I was getting a tiny bit overwhelmed by the sheer artistry and beauty these women had created.  Great, I thought, just another creative thing to suck at.

However, the thought of highlighting passages, writing down key phrases from sermons in church and connecting in a colourful way to the Word intrigued me.  As much as I love the Word, I often find it difficult to focus and stay on task.  Sometimes I’m just plain tired, or a bit distracted or anxious that I should be doing some urgent task of housekeepery to prevent our home’s natural bent toward entropy.

So, in an effort to be more “in the moment” when reading the bible, I thought I’d try it purely for my own benefit, rather than having an Instagram-worthy project to share.

Here’s how I started:

  1.  I bought a journaling bible like this:

NIV Journalling Bible Mint Polka Dot

2.  Some twist crayons like these:

3.  Dug out some old kikki-k stickers.  {Craft shops or scrapbooking stores would probably have a nice selection if kikki-k hasn’t got any appropriate stock at the moment}

4.  Organised a little “journaling” bag.  A big pencil case that can hold my bible, crayons, pens and stickers.  I can grab this at a moment’s notice when I want to just go sit in a cafe, or I know I’m going to be stuck waiting in the car for one of the kiddos.

5.  Next, I picked some verses that I was working through via a devotion and just highlighted all the phrases that spoke joyful truths.  At the time I started, I was feeling a bit piled on by the daily grind.  I needed to remember God’s promises that spoke loud truths through the laundry pile.

{my version of bible journaling above….fancy nancy pencil case with pom-poms is not a requirement, but it IS a strong recommendation because, pom-poms.}

So Proverbs it was.

Studying the bible this way was a revelation.  It felt as if another part of my brain was engaged and the knowledge and wisdom in these pages was being absorbed at maximum capacity.  If you’re not a slightly ADD personality or a kinesthetic learner, God bless you.  For me, this has been a turning point in my bible study and have since become quite the bible journaling evangelist.  You’ve been warned.  This is not that last that we will chat about this.

Taking this bible into church and journaling my sermon notes next to the relevant bible passages has also helped me retain the knowledge and wisdom that is shared from the pulpit.  How many times to do you hear an absolute zinger in a sermon, jot it down and never find that reference again?  Or maybe it’s just me….

I’m going to be quite bossy at this point.  Because I know how us Pinterest-loving, ever-striving women can be.  So step away from your washi tape for a second and breathe……

This is what bible journaling is NOT:

  • an exercise purely for the benefit of instagram { if it makes your heart happy, of course, instagram away, but not if you’re going to feel performance anxiety}
  • another chore on your to do list
  • another way to compare yourself to someone else’s artistic gifts & capabilities

Bible journaling IS:

  • an opportunity to connect deeply, personally with the Word in a way that suits your personality.
  • a creative outlet that can bring you into a new way of delighting in your Father’s truths.
  • private, personal, uniquely you.  A place you make your own amongst the busy-ness of your day.  If you want to do nothing but write in black pen – that’s awesome!  If you want to buy the 96 crayola set, watercolours, scrapbooking stickers etc, do it!  This is about expressing your true creative self.  A precious time of creativity between you and your Creator.

You can see from my bible above, I’ve just highlighted passages, written key words and stuck some stickers on.  That’s it.  However, these might get your creative juices flowing….

If you want more information about getting started on bible journaling, check out Esther & Friends Pinterest page for inspiration.

Also, the instagram feed of #illustratedfaith and #jouranalingbible are a feast for the senses.

illustrated

I really hope you give it a go.  It could open up a whole new way of worship and study for you.

Live Brave, sister,

Meredith xo

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9 thoughts on “Bible Journaling for Beginners

  1. Live brave – love that sign off. You know I find covetessness in a great sign off. I want to buy the illuminated scriptures, at the moment there are the gospels, I think. I’m going to try and find the link about the artist for you. Brings special joy to my creative heart. I think my boys might quite like this too….

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  2. I have been trying to get hold of some Salty Biscuit tabs for a while now. They release them every Monday night. Might have to make some of my own! Let’s do that together. Love this piece, Meredith. x

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  3. Thank you so much for this post.. it may be too far gone for you to see this “thank you,” but I have really been struggling with performance and what others might “think” of my art and it had paralyzed me from starting and then last night, I closed myself away in my studio and just started.. and my stuff doesn’t look like so many of the beautiful pages I’ve seen, but you’re RIGHT.. it’s my style, my worship and praise.. my loving Him.. so thank you, thank you! We have to remember who we’re doing this for.. followers or to be His follower..

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  4. I just ran into this, amazing how it is been going on for atleast a year. I love it. It is too bad they make the journaling bible so expensive. 😦

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    1. It has certainly turned into an industry in the last little while hasn’t it? Amazing! Happily my ineptitude means that I don’t even consider the more expensive ways of journalling. I just grab whatever crayons or pencils are lying around and doodle to my heart’s content:) I did a photo on instagram a while back which atests to this! xo

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