I wish I could say I decided to give Bible journaling a try, but it really wasn’t my choice. It kind of just happened. I was Christmas shopping with my mother at a bookstore when I spotted a beautiful Bible on the shelf. Maybe it was the beautiful satiny cover that caught my eye, or maybe it was the big sale price sticker on the box. Whatever the reason, I was intrigued.
I stood there in the store with my hand slightly stoking the silky smooth cover. In my head I was debating on whether I needed yet another Bible. Especially a Bible designed for journaling, with illustrations in the margin meant to be colored. My mother walked over to me. She asked if she could buy it for me for a Christmas gift so I told her sure.
Now to most people this wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but to me it really was a big deal. You see, up to this point I was a Bible journaling skeptic. Yes, I had seen pictures of Bible journaling entries on Pinterest. They were beautiful expressions of God’s word and as much as I respected the work, I wasn’t ready to take the plunge.
In my mind I couldn’t help but remember a video I had seen years before of people in a foreign country receiving a Bible for the very first time. Tears were streaming down their faces as they kissed the Bibles given to them. They were so appreciative of finally holding God’s Holy Word in their hands. Coloring in my Bible seemed extravagant to me when there were people in the world praying for the opportunity to even hold one.
But everything changed the day I told my mother she could buy me a journaling Bible. At the time I wasn’t sure of why I said yes, but I now know the Holy Spirit was at work. I began feeling strongly in my heart that God was at work. He was about to do a new thing in me and I couldn’t wait to see what it was. All my hesitancy was thrown out the window that day in the bookstore, and I knew there was a purpose. Bible journaling was about to rock my world!
I spent the next month researching all I could about Bible journaling. I gathered supplies and started building up my stash of colored pencils, paints, inks, etc. I wanted to be ready when the New Year rolled around so I could start working on my new hobby! I had chosen the word SAVOR as my word of the year and I instinctively knew that coloring in my Bible was going to help me savor God’s word.
New Year’s finally rolled around and I was both anxious and nervous when I opened the beautiful copy of the Inspire Bible my mother had bought me. My plan was to read the Bible all the way through from cover to cover, so I started in Genesis. I read page after page, stopping to color in the verses in the margins every now and then. Every night after dinner I headed upstairs to read the Bible and color. I colored page after page as I read and eventually became more adventurous and started drawing and painting in my Bible, too.
As Bible journaling became a habit for me I began to realize the benefits it had brought into my life.
Over time I realized how much calmer I had become since starting this new hobby. Coloring had helped me get my mind off of life’s problems. I wasn’t stressed about things like I had been in the past. Since my mind wasn’t preoccupied with worry, I had become a better wife to my husband. I had more patience and was even sleeping better at night.
Bible journaling brought out creative talents I had hidden away. While I’ve always been a crafty person dabbling in everything from crochet to sewing, I had put many of my artistic skills on the back burner. I realized I had been limiting myself by not using all of my talents so I started getting more creative. I discovered new tools like watercolors and pastels and started incorporating them into my Bible journaling. A need for creative expression that I didn’t realize I had was being met and I felt so much more fulfilled. This was fun!
Yes, Bible journaling had become a way that I could combine my creativity with reading God’s Word and it was truly working for me. Not only was coloring in my Bible relaxing and fun, but I found myself praying and meditating on the scriptures as I colored. I was no longer in a rush, but found myself lingering in the Word. As I had predicted, I began to savor the Word of God and treasure my moments with Him.
I hadn’t missed even one day of Bible reading since I started journaling. I looked forward to reading God’s Word like never before as I connected to the scriptures in a new way. I started sneaking in Bible reading time before church, during my afternoon break, and other times of day that I normally didn’t read. This renewed hunger for God’s Word came at a time when I really needed it and I was so grateful for it.
So, that’s what happened when I decided to try Bible journaling. I truly am so thankful I heeded the nudge of the Holy Spirit to give it a try. It has changed my life in so many ways. Before I often felt like I was just going through the motions when it came to Bible reading, but not anymore. I am more passionate about His word and look forward to reading it every day.
Tell me, have you given Bible journaling a try? I’d love to know about your experience! Also, stay tuned because I plan on sharing with you in the coming weeks about how to get started if you want to give it a try, as well as tips and techniques I’ve learned so far in my journey.