If you’re on Instagram, been to a Christian bookstore lately or hung around any amount of Christian women, you’ve probably seen this whole Bible Journaling, Illustrated Faith, paint-in-your-Bible thing, right?
These artistic women use their cool one column Bibles to create art that is worship to God or part of their meditation on His Word or just make their Bible a pretty place to look! I am totally in love with it.
Only thing is—I’m not very artistic. Oh, I love a good craft. But if you’ve been around here very long, you know I’m not especially artistic. I can follow directions…kinda. I’m more of a cut-contruction-paper-and-doodle kinda girl. I’ll never have a pretty Bible like this one from my friend Melissa…
But I do love this idea because it makes you interact with your Bible. It’s the same reason I love Truth in the Tinsel, Bible journaling leads you in using your hands to meditate.
I know meditation can seem like a spooky, boring activity and I guess it can be if you’re doing it like some monk on a mountaintop. Instead, just as Jesus told parables and God splashed brilliant colors in the sunset, our hearts can sup on God’s Word with more than just black words on a white page.
Let me tell you how I’ve been using this in my life…
This summer, I was a counselor at camp. Like a real summer camp camp. In my cabin, I had nine 7th-10th grade girls. Would you like me to say that again? NINE 7th to 10th grade girls!! It was an adventure, I’ll tell you that. A wonderful, exciting, heart-filling adventure.
There is something so cool about setting yourself apart for a whole week, surrounded by nature and the opportunity to hear God—you actually DO hear him. In fact, camp is a full-body meditation in itself. I might have to write more about that another time–the way God used that white space and open space in the lives of kids and adults was amazing.
Anywhoo, I wanted the girls in my cabin to experience this Bible journaling. Not because it’s the latest craze (although, that’s what I like to do–share about new stuff!) but because I wanted them–especially at their ages–to know and recognize that reading your Bible isn’t about READINGYOURBIBLEEVERYDAY.
Instead, reading your Bible is about falling in love with Father God and getting to know Him and His love for us. It’s about tying ourself to Him so we can’t be separated from the Truth He has for us.
So, I bought all the girls journals. Super cute journals from Dayspring. (They were on sale. And I had a coupon.)
During our Bible Exploration time, we did the normal stuff laid out in my curriculum, then we spent a few minutes drawing, doodling, creating and writing about what we had just read. I brought washi tape, some cute stickers, colored pencils and markers to add to the fun.
Some of the girls wrote the verse, circled a word and were done. Others drew pictures, added embellishments and really got into it. I totally recognize that it’s a personal preference thing, too. But, the point is that we all stopped and had to output on what we had just inputted into our hearts and minds.
Now, since I’m clearly an expert on sharing Bible Journaling with middle and high schoolers, I thought I’d give some tips if you’d like to jump into this thing, too:
Don’t worry about making it look pretty.
I know that kinda seems like the point of it, but it’s not. Don’t get bogged down on trying to make it look like an Instagram-worthy pic. Instead, focus on highlighting the part that God spoke to you as you read. The Thing you want to write about isn’t just something that sounds cool–it is GOD’s WORD speaking to you!
I’m not a painter, a scrapbooker or a decorator. But I can doodle. When I doodle I can slow down my thoughts and kinda stamp those thoughts into my memory.
Use a journal instead of your Bible.
If you feel weird writing and drawing in your Bible, just grab a journal and doodle to your heart’s content in there!
Ask God to speak to you.
This is something you should do every time you spend time in His Word. There’s an old prayer I learned from a retreat:
Well, that’s part of it anyway. At least as much as I can remember it. Anywhoo, I wrote this in the front of my journal to remind myself to pray beforehand and to really listen and expect God to speak to me. He will. It’s what He does.
Remember how God made the world? He spoke it. (Genesis 1)
Remember what Jesus is called in John 1? The Word.
Remember what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of believers? Reminds us of everything Jesus said. (John 14:26)
Bible journaling or Bible doodling isn’t about painting in your Bible or drawing pretty pictures. It’s a way to amplify God’s Word in your heart. It’s a way to meditate with your hands. It’s a simple action that can help you plant God’s Word in your heart.
Plus, it’s a perfect way to study God’s Word with your kids! Right now, this is the devotional book Asa is doing now–it’s just reading and doodling. Lydia reads a passage from the Bible and then draws a picture of it in a spiral bound notebook. So simple!
So, tell me, are you a Bible doodler? Do you paint in your Bible? If you’ve got pictures of your Bible doodles on Instagram or other site, leave ’em below so we can all see!