Bible Journaling

Spiritual Practice: Bible Journaling (Part Two) More Pages and Ideas…

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I’ve been having fun doodling and noodling and journaling in my Bible. Some of the pages are more personal than others, but I have no problem sharing some of my stuff, mainly because I feel a responsibility to do so. After all, I get tons of inspiration from Pinterest.

If you’re brand new to Bible Journaling, check out THIS post where I talk a little about some basics. All you really need is a Bible (either a fancy journaling one) or any old Bible and then some art supplies. Yay!

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#1  Psalm 139 — For now, I kept this minimalist border around Psalm 139. It’s such an important Psalm, I have a feeling I might want to come back to it and do more over the page. I got the doodle idea from a page of doodle ideas I can’t find anymore. Just a simple pen and colored pencil. NOTE: if you want to watercolor over pen in your journaling bible, make sure you use pigment pens that do not bleed, or that you test them first! I’ve had some runny disasters.


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#2 — Job 17:15 Where then is my hope? Who can see my hope? Ok, so this one brings up a point you might want to consider when Bible journaling, which is “Is this going to be a Bible I need to refer back to and look other things up and re-read?” In other words… How do you feel about blacking out words so that you can’t come back and read them again? For me, this journaling Bible is a bible I use exclusively for art and meditation. The meditative value in working on a page like this is enough for me to feel like it’s ok to not be able to read Job 17 again out of this Bible. I’m sure I will read Job 17 again at some point in life, but not out of this Bible, because the words are now illegible under there. I feel confident, though, that every time I flip through and see this, I will remember an important lesson God taught me through the creation of that page. Does that make sense? If you look around for Bible Journaling inspiration you will see that some people choose to keep their work in the margins or make sure not to obscure the text in any way. I don’t have that as a goal…. This was made with oil pastel that was sprayed with a spray fixative (yes, that’s a real word) to keep it from smudging. A note on the fixative in a minute.


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3. Exodus 15:11 Who is like you majestic in holiness… awesome in glorious deeds.  I was inspired by THIS page in the creation of this one. Ok, so back to the spray fixative. Here’s the thing. It works, but it really muted the colors on this. I’m happy with this page and no longer sad about the fact that the spray made it different, but at first I was super bummed out. Be warned. If you use oil pastels, spraying them so they have a non-smudge and smooth finish has to be weighed against the fact that it mutes the colors a little bit. Great verse, though, right?


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4. Ephesians 1 – Did a sermon series on Ephesians this summer. This was me reading through Ephesians 1 the first time… Fun thing about using watercolors is that they bleed to the back of the page (this may not be fun for some people) but I love taking those bleed throughs and turning them in to other things. I’ll show you that next time!


Happy Journaling!

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Spiritual Practice: Bible Art Journaling, Getting Started

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I’m on vacation for a little while, visiting family in Chicago (and letting the boys get spoiled rotten by grandma and grandpa!) It’s a great time to work on some spiritual practices that have become important to me in recent weeks and months, and also to write about them. These are spiritual practices that don’t show up in the book (sequel anyone? 🙂 but they’re easily adapted for children. For this one, Bible Art Journaling, I’m just going to tell you a little bit about what I do, some of the supplies I use, and link you up to a couple of Pinterest boards. I’m sure you can take it from there.

God will cover you with feathers and under God's wings you will find refuge. A favorite verse...

God will cover you with feathers and under God’s wings you will find refuge. A favorite verse…

So, art journaling… I got interested in this idea as a spiritual practice when I read this book: Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God in the Pages of your Bible. It’s a simple book, but it got my creativity going. For a long time, I wanted to do it, I had been admiring pages I’d seen on Pinterest, and thinking “I should really get a new Bible devoted just for this.” A few weeks ago I felt the art sort of bubbling up inside and a real need to connect with God through the pages of the Bible in a new way, so I took the plunge and bought a journaling Bible. I’ve loved it. Every single page has brought God’s word to life in new ways.

An example of just a small little picture that drove home how I felt God speaking to me that day. That lion looks friendly, but he felt fierce.

An example of just a small little picture that drove home how I felt God speaking to me that day. That lion looks friendly, but he felt fierce.

Here’s how I do it (although this, like all arts, is very much a “how the Spirit moves” type of thing)

OPTION 1 (free form)  –

  1. I pick a scripture to read (either something I know is resonating with what’s happening in life, something someone suggested I read or, sometimes, if I’m at a loss, I just start flipping through to see where the Spirit leads).
  2. I meditate on it awhile and think about which part sticks out the most
  3. I create an image (either a tiny one in the margin, or a full page that takes over

OPTION 2 (copy cat) – There are dozens of examples of Bible journal pages on Pinterest (I’ll link to the board I’ve collected at the end of this post). A couple of times I’ve just used one of those pages as an inspiration and created my own version of it.

I’ve just gotten started with this. I think I’ve made about 10 pages so far. As I go, I’m hoping to have the whole Bible full of art and new insight.  A few thoughts and “tips”

1. Getting started is scary. It’s the Bible,  and so it feels a bit like “uh oh, what if I mess it up?” You can’t. You won’t. It’s a journal. It’s a record of how God is speaking to you. Think about what a gift you are creating for your future self or for someone you might like to pass it on to one day.

thinking about all the ways the Israelites saw signs and wonders, but still did not believe...

thinking about all the ways the Israelites saw signs and wonders, but still did not believe…

2. I’m going to link to some of the (very few) supplies I have used so far, but a tip about using watercolors: The paper (at least on the Bible that I use — again linked later –) is thicker than traditional Bible paper, but the watercolor does seep through to the other side. It’s not a big deal, and it actually creates character on the reverse side. I like to put a paper towel on either side of the page when it’s drying to keep it from seeping through an additional page.

3. Approach it with an open mind… just like with other spiritual practices, sometimes the page doesn’t turn out exactly how I think it will, and I’m disappointed. In these cases I’ve either come back to it later or tried to take it as a lesson… there are other times to try something new.

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Supplies:

  • Obviously, first you need a Bible dedicated to this practice. Any Bible will do, but specific “journaling” Bible is helpful because the margins are bigger and the pages are a bit thicker (although maybe not thick enough, as I mentioned . THIS is the one that I have and love. It’s brown, hardcover and the margins are wide and lined (for if I want to do writing) as you can see from some of the pictures, I sometimes write, sometimes paint. The lines are easily ignored. Here’s a different one that’s in the ESV (English Standard Version) and here’s a KJV one.
  • Next, some simple art supplies. I really don’t think that spending a jillion dollars (especially to start) is the way to go. I use:

That’s it! + some water and paper towels, obviously. I’m sure that others have used a lot of fancier tools, and I might get in to

The person who delights in the law of God is like a tree planted by streams of water...

The person who delights in the law of God is like a tree planted by streams of water…

that in a future post, but for starting, I say, start simple. I’ve had great success with just these few supplies and some silence for creativity.

One of the books that I am thinking will really be fun to check out is THIS one that has creative lettering techniques. Haven’t gotten around to getting it yet, however. HERE’s my Pinterest board for inspiration.

Good Luck, have fun, and write your experiences in the comments!

 

Ready for more? Check out Part TWO.