What is Bible Art Journaling?
Simply, this is an artistic expression of the prophetic message God has put on my heart. I use my Bible to journal the words, prayers and conversations I have with God and the scripture He has placed on my heart.
As with any journaling, it is a written expression. This is great for those that are visual learners or even writers. It is just one more way for us to connect with God! I love to collect journals and always thought when I received a new one in the mail that this was the ticket! This was going to revamp my entire journaling experience, but then as a busy mom I could never keep my journal, pen, highlighter and bible together in the same place! And then some days I was so busy and tired that I just felt like I couldn’t connect with God because I couldn’t “do it right”.
Now one thing to know about me is I am an all or nothing person, I like to say I live in a black and white world with all shades of Grace- but I have spent years of my life forgetting to extend grace to myself. My home church really encourages everyone to read your bible cover to cover, every year! It is broken down in just about 15 minutes a day and you can read the entire bible in a year. Now I am going to be honest, I don’t always get in 15 minutes a day. I normally read huge chunks at a time often entire books in one sitting, but rarely every single day. While I am reading I would underline things and keep reading, like it was a novel. This was all fine and well until some things happened in my life that sent me off the rails about 2 years ago. God really impressed upon my heart that I needed to “Be still and know that He is God”. I don’t do still very well. I have never been a successful meditator. I can’t even watch tv unless my hands are busy or I will fall asleep. Now God is telling me to slow down and really let His word transform my life.
Then enters Bible Art Journaling. I still read my bible through each year in my study Bible, it happens to have lines in the margins like most “journaling” Bibles are marketed with. I write notes, and thoughts as they come to me while I am reading. Questions for me to ponder later, or prayers are also found in my margins. My kids all love to journal with me and my 3 girls all have journaling bibles with simple line drawings in the margins along with some pages with just journaling lines. This is a great way to get your feet wet in this whole concept of Bible Art Journaling if you are ready to start adding some “paint”. I am a happy mama because it gets my kids in the Word and that is a huge parenting win in my book.
I am a perfectionist, so for me harnessing the creative side takes some work. In all honesty, I don’t even love every single entry I have done. So many of them I wish had turned out differently, but it truly is not about the finished entry, it is about the process and what God works on the inside. Once I embraced this, journaling became so much easier! Some of my entries are simple a little bit of color, some stickers and some journaling. Others are a LOT of paint and very little words. Some of my bibles have 2 inch margins, sometimes I keep them in the lines and other times I don’t and will cover text. Keep in mind, these are Bibles that I have designated for art. I use to work for a Christian Bookstore and help people find the right bible for them for a living, so I still have a good collection of study bibles at home as well as I use online and app bible resources all the time. I love words, love to find the meaning of words and often will read about 3 or 4 translations of a passage of scripture when I am studying it in depth. I also have an interleaved edition which has blank pages between each page of scripture, allowing you to write either lots of notes like Dwight L Moody-the inventor of the interleaved concept or have a full page illustration and not cover any text.
I believe that our God is an artist. He skillfully created the universe with just a word. He formed us like a sculptor unearthing a masterpiece that was hidden in the marble and then breathed his breath into us. We are created in His image and I just can’t imagine that he would want us to deny the artistic gifts he has given us because they aren’t spiritual. As with any spiritual gift they can be used and abused, but can’t they also be used for good and for the betterment of the kingdom of God? If adding a little bit of color to your bible page makes the scripture reside deeper in your very soul and gives you a visual reminder, I think that makes Jesus very happy. We are blessed to live in a country where we can buy Bibles freely, easily and fairly inexpensively. I know it can be intimidating to think this is God’s perfect and Holy Word and we are going to doodle on the page, but isn’t it better to use something rather then have it sit on the shelf in pristine condition? Charles Spurgeon said “A bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” This is God’s love letter to us and anything that gets us inside, reading it, owning those promises and speaking words of faith over our loved ones, I think our heavenly Father considers that a parenting win too. That is using our gifts to further the kingdom.