Have you ever wondered about the “how to” of Bible journaling? Today’s post is all about how to do Bible journaling, what Bible journaling even is, and a wrap up with some unique and easy ways to get started with Bible journaling.
Grab a cup of joe and enjoy!
When you hear this popular catch phrase, how does it make you feel?
For some of you, it brings delight and makes you itch to grab your colored pencils and get to doodling in the margins of the closest Bible.
For many of you, it causes feelings of inadequacy to bubble forth because… well, because you have Instagram and understand your artistic limitations.
And there are even a few of you who look down on the practice as less spiritual than how you choose to approach Bible Study.
Today, I want to invite you to put all of those emotions and prejudices aside and think very practically about how to do Bible Journaling. And how practicing this habit may in fact help you in your study of God’s beautiful Word.
WHAT IS BIBLE JOURNALING?
I have some great news for you about this! You cannot find the phrase “Bible Journaling” in the dictionary. How about that?
There is no official definition for this habit. Do you know what that means? Bible Journaling can be ANYTHING you want it to be! #freedom
Put simply, Bible Journaling is a way to document what you are reading and learning from the Word of God. It often involves creativity and color, but not always. There are no actual rules to follow and there is no limit to the methods you can use!
Keeping this in mind, I’m going to share a few ways you can do Bible Journaling whether you are a novice or an expert and answer some common questions you may have.
DO I NEED A JOURNALING BIBLE?
You will always need a Bible for reading or study, which is the most important part of this discipline. But many people also use a Bible for their Bible Journaling (wow, that sounds weird… my kids would be pulling up a “DUH” GIF about now).
A Journaling Bible is the most common Bible used for Bible Journaling and if you want to try this, there are a TON of options for you to consider. Bibles with space in the margins (journaling Bibles), Bibles with space at the bottom of each page (notetakers Bibles), Bibles where every other page is blank (interleaved Bibles), Bibles that are already decorated and those with ready-to-color art scattered throughout.
Don’t get hung up on this! Just choose one, and go for it.
And to answer the question of whether you actually NEED a Journaling Bible, you certainly do not. You can use any Bible you have… or choose to keep your copy of the Word unmarked, using another canvas altogether.
In fact, if you only have one Bible, I do not recommend you ever cover the text.
Consider some of the other canvases mentioned below if you only have one Bible or if you are trying Bible journaling as a beginner… it’s much less intimidating that way.
And this leads to our next question.
CAN I DO BIBLE JOURNALING IF I DON’T WANT TO USE MY BIBLE?
Absolutely, yes you can do Bible Journaling without writing in your Bible! Again, remember that no definition = no rules.
Let’s explore some out of the box… or “out of the Bible” methods you can try when exploring Bible Journaling. You’ll soon see how versatile this discipline really is.
Here are some other options you use as you do Bible Journaling.
- A journal or notebook. This may seem a bit obvious. Wait? Journaling in a… journal. Scandalous. And yet, so many times we forget that we can use a good old-fashioned notebook for creativity that reaches beyond the written word. I’m sure you have a journal laying around with blank pages that are calling to you. Pick it up and try Bible Journaling in it!
- Planners. I’m a bit of a planner junkie, and I’ve found that my planner is an excellent way to gather my thoughts, prayers and art. There are so many options, but I love the ones where there is room to write each day or week. It’s great for Bible Study, sermon notes, prayer needs, worship and so much more!
- Ephemera. OK, what is this? I’m glad you asked! Ephemera can be thought of as “pretty junk”. It basically the stuff you may otherwise throw out. Invitations, postcards, pretty flyers and brochures, church bulletins, kids artwork or tickets.
Many of these items have room on the front or back that can be written directly on, but any of them can be covered with paint or paper. It’s really great fun and super useful.
- Old books. You can find a plethora of lovely old books at your local thrift store and these are awesome for Bible Journaling.
- Mixed Media or Art Journals. I particularly love these mixed media journals if I’m going to be more adventurous because the pages are designed to handle different media like paints and markers.
So, go ahead and grab something you already have in your house, even if it’s not your Bible, and get started today!
WHAT ARE SOME UNIQUE AND EASY WAYS TO DO BIBLE JOURNALING?
Whether you are a complete beginner or just want to branch out a bit more, these are a few easy options for you to consider as you create.
- Journaling. Writing things out can be so good for retention. It’s the reason kids have to write out their spelling words and the reason I filled notebooks upon notebooks in school. Many of us simply learn better that way! Writing out the Scripture and our thoughts on Scripture is not any different. Give it a try if you haven’t before!
And guess what… that’s Bible Journaling! Congratulations!
2. Coloring. This trend is big for a reason. Ever wonder why? Well, coloring totally makes you slow down a bit… and it requires very little mental energy. This combination frees up your mind and soul to worship and reflect on the truth of the gospel. Easy Peasy Bible Journaling.
3. Trace stuff. Anything. A coloring book, something you print from the internet, an image from a card or flyer.… it’s all fair game. Simply trace it using a light pad (or backlit tablet) directly into your Bible or journal and you will have pretty instant art.
4. Hand Lettering. OK, guys. I have terrible handwriting. I admit it. And it’s not just because I’m a doctor (just ask my 3rd grade teacher). But if I slow down and think of the letters as drawings instead of writing, even I can hand letter! There are tons of resources online to help with hand lettering and if all else fails, you can always go back to the tracing technique.
5. Doodling. You CAN do this. You probably already do. Stick figures and swirls… it all counts. Just doodle what comes to mind as you study and you may be surprised at how fun it is… and how much you remember for the text you are reading.
6. Collage. Remember that ephemera I mentioned before? Take bits and pieces and create a paper collage with it. Your imagination is the limit! Zero artistic skill required.
WHY SHOULD I DO THIS?
You may be thinking that this all sounds superfluous and you just don’t see a point to it. That’s totally OK! Bible Journaling is simply ONE (of many) ways to learn and focus on the Word of God. And if it’s not your gig… no worries!
However, for some of you, Bible Study has become stale or boring.
Finding a place to even start seems overwhelming.
You may be struggling to find the time or energy to pick up the Word.
We have all been there!
For you, trying some of this may be just the spark you need to dive in again, or even for the first time.
In Psalm 119:105 the Psalmist calls the Word of God a lamp for his feet and a light for his path. We NEED it.
And if learning a bit more about how to do Bible Journaling helps you hide His Word in your heart, I say to go for it!
If you’re looking for additional resources to help with Bible journaling, please check out these posts:
Bible Journaling for Beginners
Ultimate Bible Journaling Glossary
9 Easy and Simple Bible Journaling Ideas to Try
Jen Evangelista shares creative ways to study God’s Word on the Grace in Color website and loves digging deeper into the truth of the Gospel with other women.