I love the quiet before dawn, don’t you? There’s something special about beginning the day with God’s word (and without distractions!)
The stillness of morning prompts a spirit of worship yet with family members sleeping, the last thing I want is to break the silence and risk waking the kids with singing or verbalized prayer. Still, worship needs expression and one of the ways I express worship is through Bible journaling.
This is fairly new to me and doesn’t come naturally at all. I’m learning that Bible journaling isn’t about being creative, artistic, or perfectly pretty. It’s simply a humble (and quiet) expression of worship towards a perfect and holy God.
While my artwork will not win awards, journaling helps me in some profound ways.
- It helps focus my easily distracted mind
- It allows me time and space to understand, meditate, and clothe myself with the scripture I’ve selected
- It gives me an opportunity to be creative
- It combines mind with body movement
- It forces me to be still- that’s a big deal, lol!
- It helps me practice letting go of unnecessary standards of perfection and focus on giving thanks to God instead.
If you’d like to give Bible journaling a try, here are a few tips for getting started. May they free you from the trappings of creating a masterpiece and minimize distractions to be able to worship through artistic expression.
What supplies should I have?
Feel free to search for supplies that you already have, including crayons, pens and colored pencils. Start with what you have, and build a special stash of supplies just for you to use during your quiet time. I like keeping all my supplies in my Bible Basket.
Beginner Bible Journaling basics include:
>> A set of Gel pens
>> Crayola Twistables
>> Colored pencils
>> a journaling Bible with space to journal and create (see below).
As your skill level increases, you may want to expand to a mixed media form of journaling that includes stamps, alphabet stickers, washi tape, stencils and even acrylic paint if you dare!
What should I draw?
Look in your current Bible and make a list of key verses and phrases that have impacted your life. I chose to illustrate my life verses first since they are the foundation for my life.
You may also want to choose verses that show God’s promises, His commands to us or verses you pray for others.
Consider illustrating verses such as Galatians 5:22-23,”The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” With this passage you can substitute a symbol for each of the fruit of the spirit and add a bold splash of color with this illustration.
The options for what to draw are endless, just be careful not to lose your purpose and the why behind your work.
How should I draw?
Once you’ve chosen a passage, this Bible journaling Guide is an absolute gem! These gals show exactly how to trace, draw, and illustrate your verse; how to draw patterns and borders; how to use stencils and stamps; how to use paint; how to do lettering… and a ton more! I call this the non-artists guide to Bible journaling but of course it’s perfect for the artistic ones among us too :)
Many who dive into the world of Bible journaling suggest practicing on paper first before committing to a design in the Bible. Then, trace your design in pencil in the margin or white-space in your Bible before adding color. Personally, I skip this step because my drawings tend to be simple and I don’t care to spend time practicing first :)
Where should I draw?
There are many fabulous journaling Bibles on the market today, but one I like is The Beautiful Word Bible. I purchased this one for my daughter, who loves to draw but needs some ideas. (She can’t get those from me, ha!) With over 500 illustrated verses, this Bible helps Scripture come alive, sparks imagination, and allows ample space for creating your own designs.
Another personal favorite is the ESV Journaling Bible, which offers a 2- inch margin to help you create an artistic version of your favorite verses and prayers. This is the one I use because of it’s ample space for note-taking (see below).
Both Bibles are perfect for the novice and expert alike. If you don’t have a journaling Bible yet, just grab a spare notebook or journal, and you can begin an artistic worship experience today.
What if I make a mistake?
The fear of making a mistake is a concern for many who dream of dabbling in this art form, but there’s no need to panic! Simply use your mistakes as an opportunity to design something else instead.
In fact, the Bible journaling mistakes are a beautiful example of how God uses our mistakes for His glory. As our Creator, He’s an expert at turning our missteps into something beautiful!
As you embark on this new form of worship, don’t fall into the perfectionist trap. Embrace your talents, no matter how great or small, and use them to offer a humble act of worship to the One who sacrificed all.