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Only a few months ago Bible journaling was no where near my radar. My husband had surprised me with a lovely gift—an ESV journaling Bible—and my plan was simply to scribble sermon notes in its lined margins.
The stunning sketches of the Bible journaling world seemed far beyond my ability. Besides, why color? Why decorate? Why draw? Isn’t that a waste of Bible study time? Not much of an artist, I didn’t think much about it.
A new season of life crushed those old doubts: stay-at-home motherhood. What once seemed like only another crafting craze became a blessing in disguise!
Why I Started Journaling
It all began with the Illustrated Faith Planner I snagged in a DaySpring sale. My thoughts on Scripture couldn’t fit in the Bible margins, so I decided to combine homemaking planning with quiet time notes in the planner’s daily slots.
On mornings where the baby woke up from the nap way earlier than expected, or my husband and I went on a spontaneous shopping run… (you get the picture) and I couldn’t record my full commentary, I experimented writing key verses in the empty space with varying typography.
It was such an unexpected joy, it made me curious. What does Bible journaling really look like? How do I even get started? For someone who isn’t a natural with design, I wasn’t sure.
Then two discoveries happened: first, I realized my Bible art didn’t have to be Pinterest worthy, but only a way for me to grow in knowledge of the Word.
Creatively journaling Scripture is a win-win-win. It enables one to rest, refresh, and remember God’s Word in a tangible and hands-on form. Once or twice a week a busy woman can sit down, break out her crafting supplies, forget about the world, and meditate on a particular verse or passage, expressing her worship of God with a visible and heart-filled creation.
Secondly, I came across DaySpring’s Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling Collection, which was where my original planner came from! This collection has sweet kits that help the journaling newbie gain confidence in the craft and provides materials that can also inspire the seasoned journaler.
Recently I received their Starter Kit, complete with washi tape, paints, cute stickers, a fine point pen, and other crafting goodies to fill Bible pages. Although I’ve seen beautiful drawings in Bibles, these kits enable one to take more of a fun scrapbook approach, which I particularly appreciate.
This starter kit has decorative paper pieces that correspond with certain verses, suggesting places to start entries. For beginners like me, it also comes with a devotional booklet and practical instructions that offer encouraging tips for depicting your faith through art.
Still not sure about journaling? Here’s 5 reasons to take up the craft:
1. It’s another amazing way to abide in the Gospel.
My word for 2017 is abide, and a crucial aspect of abiding in Christ is inclining your heart toward His Scriptures. (Want to learn more? Check out my FREE eBook, Abiding in the Vine.) In addition to critically studying the Bible, journaling is time set aside with your Savior, treasuring His Words and allowing the mercy of the cross to sink in as you illustrate its meaning.
2. It’s a manageable hobby that refocuses your mind on what matters.
It’s easy to become lost in the demanding routines of homemaking or any pursuit, and in turn become burnt-out. Hobbies, from jogging and photography to Bible journaling, are activities that allow us to pause and reflect on God’s goodness and exercise the gifts God has given us.
Bible journaling is an ideal hobby for the busy Christian woman because it involves flexible monetary and time investment but reaps much spiritual blessing.
3. Bringing out your inner artist sparks motivation for understanding the Bible.
For those who aren’t the next Martha Stewart, Bible journaling still has the potential to be delightful. The key is not being caught up in the art being perfect, but recognizing that its purpose is to bring you to God and deepen your joy in Him. As you develop your own journaling style, your eagerness to study the Scriptures increases. In the end it is about knowing Him, not grading one’s artistic skills.
4. It aids with Bible memorization and familiarity.
One of my favorite aspects of Bible journaling is writing out verses with elegant scripts and unique displays. With Pinterest, Instagram, or your own ideas as inspiration, one can copy out verses beautifully with the added bonus of etching it your memory! The Scripture art keeps you returning to the verse to read it again and again.
5. It visually documents prayers and praises that will remind you of God’s faithfulness.
This reason is perhaps one of the most compelling. The purpose of any kind of journal isn’t necessarily to be an art exhibit, it is a memoir. Combine a memoir with God’s one-of-a-kind, life-transforming Word, and a blessed keepsake is born.
It is a record of God’s steadfast love, a love that has carried you across every season and bestowed countless lessons preparing you for His eternal glory. It is a record that could be passed down generations, despite its imperfections, because the Savior it praises is perfect.