basics of bible journaling

The Basics of Bible Journaling

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The Beginners Guide to Bible Journaling

Do you feel like you should be reading your Bible, but lack the desire to do so? I have found a creative way to dive into God’s word that leaves you wanting more- Bible journaling.

I am a mother to three precious children here on Earth and my time is limited. I’ve felt the need to read and learn more about the Bible for myself but lacked true motivation; always feeling busy and worn-out. I have seen beautiful illustrations people made in their Bibles or Journals using scripture as inspiration. My thought was, “oh, how lovely. I don’t have a lot of time to create such things these days; there are more productive things to do.”

I found myself still feeling unfulfilled and a longing for something more in my life though. So, I decided to give Bible Journaling a try and I’m so glad I did!

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What is Bible Journaling?

Bible Journaling is a form of meditating on God’s word by taking a word or scripture and elaborating it in a creative way in your Bible or journal.

You don’t have to be a creative person. There are plenty of templates you can use to make a word or scripture stand out in the margins. Some people create big elaborate spreads across the pages of their Bibles that cover the words and that may keep others from journaling this way. You don’t have to do that. There are several Bibles made with wide margins for Bible journaling. If you don’t want to mark up your Bible, that’s okay too. You can find a special journal that is separate from your Bible and still get creative that way.

How to get started with Bible Journaling

It doesn’t take much to get started with Bible Journaling, but if you are completely new to this idea then you may be wondering, “How do I even get started doing this?” Below are a few things you need to get started Bible Journaling. It doesn’t take much, and you may have most- if not everything- you need to start journaling.

A Bible

As I’ve mentioned above, there are several Bibles made with extra-wide margins that are perfect for Bible Journaling. I love this one and you may too.

A journal (optional)

If you don’t want to mark up your Bible, pick out a beautiful journal that makes you smile and inspires creativity.

A pencil with a good eraser

This is for tracing or sketching designs into your Bible or journal.

Color pencils (optional)

I wouldn’t use cheap pencils made for kids, but if that’s all you have don’t let it stop you. You will find that fancier pencils are easier and the outcome is much prettier.

Fine-tip markers (optional)

There is a wide range of markers you can use. Inexpensive or top-dollar it doesn’t matter. There are some that blend better than others so this all depends on your style and what you want to achieve. Be careful with markers though, they have a tendency to bleed through the pages so you may want to put a separate piece of paper under the Bible page you are working on.

Watercolors (optional)

I prefer liquid watercolors like Dr. Ph. Martin’s. The colors are more vibrant and not so much watered-down like most dry colors. If using watercolors, be sure to get a couple of paintbrushes, water, and a paper towel. Just like the markers, you may want to put a separate piece of paper under the Bible page you are working on.

Tips for a Successful Bible Journaling Experience

Set Aside Time

It may be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or a whole hour. We all take breaks throughout our days. Why not spend it exercising soul-care and meditating on God’s word through Bible journaling? I like being by myself during this time. I usually wait till its nap/quiet time, after all my kids have gone to bed, or even early in the morning before everyone wakes up.

Set The Mood

Think about lighting. Do you prefer the lights on, work by lamplight, or lots of natural light from the sun? You may prefer different kinds depending on the time of day it is.

You may want some soft instrumental music or worship music playing. I usually find study or meditation music on youtube. My most recent favorite is Ellie Holcomb’s new CD, Sing- Creation Songs. It’s for kids, but I’m a fan of all her music so I’ve been known to listen by myself.

Plan Ahead

Because you are drawing in something so special as your Bible (or special journal) it’s best to figure out what you want to do before you dive in. I draw my design on a separate paper or find a template I like and then trace the image into my bible. As a result, I get the layout and proportions just the way I like it.

Be Kind to Yourself

Seriously. I’ve painted for about 17 years now and I still have to remind myself to not be too critical of my work. One of my favorite artists, Sarah Cray of Let’s Make Art, has her students say a vow to be kind to yourself at the beginning of her tutorials and live videos. She is great at reminding everyone to let go of the imperfections that most won’t notice anyway.

I hope this post inspires you to get creative in spending some time with The Lord. Bible journaling has sparked an interest for me to dive into God’s word again and I pray it does for you too.

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