Bible Journaling

On shelves and baskets in our home are journals and notebooks of all sizes. I have poured out my heart to the Lord on those pages. I have written down silly thoughts, shared my sorrows, and recorded both struggles and victories. I have chronicled the days, interceded for loved ones, taken notes from God’s Word, and filled pages with pieces of ME.

Current basket on the shelf in the living room.

Prayer journals, Union U devotional, the Psalms in verse, and more.

In my search for an intentional, meaningful, GROWING 2015, I have been drawn to the idea of journaling my Bible or journaling through my Bible study. Several days a week the younger two children and I sit down with our Thankful Journals and write down 10 things for which we are thankful. Our voices lifted to the ONE through whom all blessings flow, we go around and share our praises.

Bible, journal and pens.  Potential for new learning.

Bible, journal and pens. Potential for new learning.

I am NOT artistic or creative or crafty. When I put a pencil to paper, ready to illustrate an image or thought, the picture slips away before it reaches the page. At best it resembles something a preschooler would scribble. Embellishments, swirls, elaborate or simple fonts, they elude me. The distance between the picture in my head and the paper beneath my fingers is so vast it’s almost comical.

Yesterday I was writing out a memory verse. “I’ll illustrate it to help remember the phrases,” I thought. But the ear I drew (for ‘heard’) and feet (for ‘walking’) looked more like pieces of a bizarre puzzle than parts of a body. I realized, once again, that drawing would NOT be a helpful tool for me in this endeavor.

A collection of prayers, thoughts, and daily remembrances.

A shelf of journals – random collection of prayers, thoughts, and daily remembrances.

And yet, I find myself drawn to a fresh stack of marking pens (ones that won’t bleed through the sheer pages of my Bible) and a package of colored pencils. I search Pinterest for Bible Journaling ideas. I smile at this amazing woman’s journal and study the posts of another blogger’s foray into artistic Bible journaling. I even discovered an incredible FB group for Bible Journaling.

Through it all, I realize Jesus cares about my FAITH. He cares about my OBEDIENCE. He doesn’t care if I can draw or give life to the pictures in my head. He wants me to dive into His Word. To study it, love it, memorize it, enjoy it, be convicted by it, treasure it, LIVE IT!

A heart that seeks HIM - in b&w and color.

A heart that seeks HIM – in b&w and color.

And so here we are, in a fresh year; with the chance to begin again. To try new things. To return to old, faithful treasured habits. To revive an apathetic and lazy heart. In the newness of 2015, I have decided to SOAK up the Word of God. Using my ESV study Bible, an enormous blank journal, mugs full of marking pencils and pens, and following my ESV read through the Bible plan, I will:

Study SCRIPTURE - OBSERVE the Word – APPLY truth – and KNEEL in prayer.

My journal will have color and life, it will be pretty and joyful, it will be fresh and REAL. It will be messy and full of brokenness, transparency and truth. It will be a humble offering to the ONE who creates beauty in all things.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14

Project 365 – Day 6

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3 thoughts on “Bible Journaling”

  1. Your passion for studying and soaking up the Word is encouraging to me, beloved. I think you’re right, Jesus doesn’t care if your ‘ear’ looks like a puzzle piece. I’ll bet you could schedule a few hundred years of drawing classes in Heaven, if you need them.

  2. I love this post. I have “soaped” through the Bible the last few years and have found it to be a time of great personal growth – more than any Bible study I think. A few nights ago I read Courtney’s adaptation of the acronym and love it. SOAK makes more sense that SOAP. LOL I find it funny how many journals I have now as I was NOT a journaler AT ALL until a few years back. Now I, like you, find it an invaluable tool to really interact with Scripture. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    A few weeks back I ran across a lot of really artistic, fancy journals others had SOAP…..and one even in a Bible…..and I was jealous….and then I realized God knows I can’t draw and it’s not about the prettiness but about meeting Him… I think I’ll sign up for the same art classes Tim suggests you take….let’s see if we can start a co-op. LOL

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