Last fall I found myself in a bit of a quiet time rut. My routine felt stale. Boring even–and the last thing the Bible should ever be is boring. I knew I needed something different, but I wasn’t sure what. Then a friend mentioned Bible journaling.
My first thought was “Mmm. . . . nope.” My artistic skills are limited to the doodles I sketch in the margins of my sermon notes. Seeing all the frame-worthy artwork other people generate on Instagram and Facebook was intimidating. I knew there was no way I could create something that gorgeous. Still, something drew me to the concept. I finally decided to give it a try.
As you can see, I’m no artist. But I have found the process meaningful. I read the passage and look for the main point or a key thought to focus on. Once I’ve settled on the thought I want to highlight, I decide how I want to illustrate it. Sometimes a picture comes to mind and I attempt to draw that.
At other times I pick a verse or phrase and take a stab at calligraphy.
Sometimes I just write a key verse in the margin, take some notes, or write out a prayer or my thoughts on the passage.
As you can see, I’m no artist. Still, it’s surprised me how much I enjoy Bible journaling. Attempting to illustrate a verse leads me into worship. Is it museum quality? No. But I’ve given myself the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. It’s just me and God doing business together, and spending time reflecting on Scripture this way refreshes my heart.
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I’m using the ESV Journaling Bible. I like the wide margins, and the Bible is a convenient size to carry. Most of my drawings are in colored pencil, and I picked up an inexpensive set of calligraphy pens to use. Again, art is not my native language, so basic supplies work well for me. I’ve seen other people use watercolors, pastels, and scrapbooking supplies in their Bibles.
Here are some places to look for inspiration:
Q: Have you tried Bible journaling? Share your favorite tools and resources in the comments!
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