I think it's been about two years since the day I discovered Bible Journaling. I remember it completely... I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a picture of a bible that had PAINT and STICKERS and FLOWERS on it! I couldn't believe what I was seeing?! I had never, ever, ever considered that you could do that IN. YOUR. BIBLE! (Shocked emoji inserted here)
But it instantly touched my heart in such a way that I got "goosies" (ya know... goosebumps) I just knew it was something I wanted to find out more about and start doing! So I researched a little bit more on Pinterest and found Shanna Noel's Blog. I was SO excited to see what she was doing. I mean it was taking two of my FAVORITE things and combining them!
So I went and bought a journaling bible (an Black ESV from Crossway) and I also joined the Facebook group that Shanna started called "Journaling Bible Community" when it was I think around 200 people in the group. It has now grown to thousands and thousands... You should join if you are at all interested in this.
It took me a bit to get started and actually PAINT in my bible... I know you may be thinking the same thing? Am I doing something BAD to my bible? Am I going to mess up my bible if I make a mistake and cover a word? I've had all those feelings and quite frankly, I'm over all of that. lol I say that to you because I believe 100% that this IS a type of DEVOTION to His Word. That what we are doing by spending time in our bibles, by focusing on scripture and thinking on His Word is right where he wants us. He wants us to be IN His Word, to daily meditate on His Word and to LIVE in His word. If living to you means being CREATIVE.... then BE CREATIVE in your bible! We were CREATED by a CREATOR and I know He loves when we use our gifts and abilities for Him. Are we going to make mistakes, maybe cover up words or smudge some paint... Yes. Is this the only bible we have? Probably not. I use this bible specifically for my time of worshiping the Lord with my artwork. Sometimes I can't see every word of scripture... but I know that if I want to see a bible verse I may have covered up partially I can go to my other bible that I take to church with me and read it in that one. So this is a bible for my expression and notes and journaling.
There's a great book out by Lisa Nichols Hickman that's called "Writing in the Margins" and I highly recommend it. It talks about how the margins in our bibles are FOR us to draw closer to His word and how over history there have been so many well known bible scholars who have worn bibles with notes and sketches in them. I love this saying: "A bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." I don't know you said that but If you think about that, it makes so much sense. When we live our lives daily in the Word of God our lives are controlled by His love, His joy and His peace. How can you go wrong there?
So here's what my very first journaling page looks like:
I thought for a while on what I wanted my first page to be about. What did this new journey I was embarking on look like to me? Well, I knew that it was going to be something exciting, I knew it was something I was going to talk about and blog about and I knew it was going to shed a light on something new, yet old... drawing closer to the Lord through His bible. I wanted this journey to not only be for me, but for it be to a "light to the world" for them to see Jesus through it. That was my prayer then and still is. I pray that this creative form of worship and devotion ignites something in YOU to go to your bible and take another look at it. It's the only book that when you read it, the Author is there WITH YOU. He want's to have a RELATIONSHIP with YOU. It's not a "religion" it's not just a "good book" It's the Word of God speaking to each one of you... because He has a heart for YOU and wants to show you how much He LOVES YOU.
I've done many, many pages in this bible and now have even bought two other journaling bibles that I use. One is a small travel size bible that I LOVE to take on trips. It's only the New Testament but for traveling and journaling in it, it works. Here's a page I did in the travel size bible while I was in Bora Bora this last September:
Each right sided page is blank and I love that! I think there are now full sized bibles that do this. There is also a brand new bible coming out that has drawings already in the bible for you to color in! For those who feel intimidated by this, that would be a perfect start for you.
For those who are interested in this and would like to know how to start, I thought I would share some of my tips and supplies that I like to use. There is SO much out there and I've searched far and wide through a lot of it. I suggest doing the same and getting an idea for what people are using and then try everything out. See what works best for you. I've made some mistakes and have "bleed through" in my bible... but that's part of the process. You will find out what you like to use and want you don't like. I love to use watercolor and I like to use letter stickers in different colors. I use lots of pens and paints and I've even used spray ink! But here is a run down of some of the products that I've used and what works for me. The picture below is just some of the simple supplies I use when I want to use stickers and washi tape. I don't get super detailed on every page. If you want to be more creative and use the inks and paints, then the list below will help you with that.
I give a "Bible Journaling Supply List" at all my classes so this is pretty much off of that list:
Pimento based inks like Stayz On work best and don't bleed
India Inks from Faber-Castell
Chalk Inks from Prima or Ranger
Water color is my favorite and any cheap water color tray works.
Water color pencils are great too! You can color with them and draw and then come back with a water pen and blend. love that! <3
Pens & Markers:
Prisma Color Premier Markers
Project Life Journaling Pens
Faber-Castell PITT pens are great
Stabilo Fine Liners and Markers
Crayons & Pencils:
Crayola Twistables actually are great!
Faber-Castell Gelatos are one of my FAVS
Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye (very vibrant... use sparingly)
These are some of the many products you can use. Here are some TIPS for working in your bible with these products:
I like to PREP my bible pages first before I paint or color in them. This isn't a necessary step if using some of these products above but I just prefer to do it. You can use a Gesso or Matte Medium. These both strengthen the page and give some "tooth" to the page so the inks adhere and stay. I don't like the feel of Gesso on my pages though because it has a "grit" to it. So I have pretty much stayed with applying a very light layer of Matte Medium to my pages. I use a tiny amount of it and spread it on the page with an old credit card to get a very thin layer.
If I am spraying ink (as in my very first bible page) I spray the ink from a good distance away and have a few paper towels on hand to blot the ink right after I spray so it doesn't soak in too much or be too dark.
When using watercolor, I like to use a blender pen instead of water and paintbrush. This is because you can have more control over the amount of water you are using when you use the water pen. I always have a paper towel when doing this as well because I like to blot my pen on the towel so I can control how much water goes onto the thin bible pages.
Just like the page above says... I want you to find who YOU are meant to be. Who God CREATED You to be. There is a purpose and a plan for each person and starting in His Word is where you will find that purpose. This journey of drawing closer to His Word and studying His word and then being CREATIVE in it has changed me. I had dreams I was following, but it wasn't until I gave the Lord the REIGNS of those dreams that I saw how AMAZING HIS dreams are. WAY more then I could have dreamt up!
There is a song that always makes me cry... well actually two. But the one I'm thinking about is "How Great Thou Art" and it's an old hymn that I sang as a kid. But now as an adult I understand the depth of the song. It was written in the 1880's and popularized in America through the Billy Graham Crusades. The words are so powerful and let you see what WONDER God has created! It's mind blowing that the GOD of the whole entire universe cares about each and every one of us. He cares enough to listen to each of our prayers however many times a day we come to Him, He shows up when we are reading His Word and speaks to us and just loves us SO much. It's incredible. That's what inspired the page at the top of this blog post. How GREAT is the Lord and worthy to be PRAISED! <3
Carrie Underwood sang this song at a awards show a while back. Take a listen and tell me you didn't cry... hahaha
I hope that blessed you today! If you're interested in more about bible journaling, feel free to send me an email. I'm going to be teaching more about this art form at my Creative Retreats this year in Italy and would love to teach locally as well.
AND... if you want to join me in Italy this year, Shanna Noel is going to be one of the teachers!! To say I am excited about this is an understatement!! To have the person who INSPIRED me to start on this journey TEACH with Junelle Jacobsen and myself in my favorite place is beyond exciting! It is going to be an AMAZING week together in Italy using our CREATIVE GIFTS and sharing in our FAITH with everyone! So I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us! There are a few spots left and just like last year I have prayed that whoever is being called to come will be able to! If the Lord is putting it on YOUR heart to join us, then I will find a way to make that happen, even if the spots get filled up (like last year). So send me a message under the "contacts" page and let me know if you are thinking about it...
And if you want, you can also find me on Instagram at "akissonthechic" and for my retreats it's "creativeretreats" My Facebook Page is "Akissonthechic's Creative Retreats & Classes" and I just joined Periscope too!! You can find me there doing video's very soon as "akissonthechic"
Have a GREAT day!
Hugs to all,
P.S. The other song that makes me cry is Oceans by Hillsong United... but I'll leave that for another day :)