Why Bible Journal

There are so many reasons why many of us have joined in this tradition. We take our thoughts, lessons, joys, prayers, and we spill them on to the pages of our Bibles and notebooks and tags (and more) in inks, paints, and paper pieces. We press our hearts into these pages with stencils and stamps and adhesive, but also with a deep desire to surrender all that is ours to our mighty, risen King.

On these pages, that may just look like arts and crafts projects, are layers of watercolors that blend in with tears of dreams deferred and bursts of ink sprays and splatters that celebrate victories only won in His strength.

But why take notes and worship this way? After all, we could just write these things down on regular notebook paper or share these moments with a friend. Well, of course, many of us do those things too. Worshiping God creatively is simply one additional invitation into His presence. For those of us who have gotten used to doing all the things, Bible journaling doesn’t mix well with multi-tasking. It’s an intentional move away from distractions into what we were made in His image to do, create and communicate with Him. Sometimes it is literally watching paint dry. If that isn’t be still and know, I’m not sure what is.

Thursday, the tiny robots in Instagram reminded me that I’d posted this page three years ago. At that time, my husband and I were reeling from a series of professional wounds. What had felt like a steady ground to raise our family on was crumbling beneath our feet.

With my voice I cry out to the Lord ; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord . I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. I cry to you, O Lord ; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:1‭-‬2‭, ‬5 ESV

But God.

We cried out, and He answered. Within days we had new jobs. When we had two weeks to relocate our lives 1000 miles, He provided friends to hug us, feed us, paint walls for us, and put our home on the market. He prepared a place for us to live and a school for our son to attend. He gave us strength for long days with to-do lists that stretched for miles. He was our portion in a valley of rapid change.

And now, as we sit in what is still a valley, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. I am sustained once again by verses that were the still waters I needed to sit by at the beginning of our journey into this season. I needed this page and others that I reviewed this week as emotions from uncertainty began to rise again.

And I am reminded that this is why I continue to Bible journal, even if it takes much longer with a baby on board. It is a record of what I’ve learned of His character. It is my life’s journal beside His living Words. It is the colorful expression of prayers and feelings entrusted to the comfort and help of the Holy Spirit.

I am grateful to God for all of the creative friends who introduced me to this piece of my spiritual life. I pray that in your season, whatever it may be, that you are answering His invitation to spend time with Him in all the ways He is calling you to do so.

5 thoughts on “Why Bible Journal

  1. Yes! God is so good, and I am so thankful He showed up for you and your husband in that time. And, I am so thankful for this creative/spiritual outlet as well!

  2. Hi! I have been art journaling for 6 months and am watching and learning about Bible art journaling right now. I am joining the team of “Bible” art journaling! 🙂 Sounds delightful! What Bible do you use? Some videos show full blank pages and yours has large margins. Not sure what to google on to possibly buy a bible like this. Or just put scriptures in a blank journal and devote it to art. Thanks!

    1. Dr. Mon

      Hi! Yay! Welcome to the team! I pray you are blessed by the time in your Bible. There are three main types of Bibles. If you search for journaling Bibles, you will find those with wider margins like this one. I think the ESV journaling Bible by Crossway is a great starter because the Bible is still a typical size that you could take to church or on the go. I’m on my third one of these so they are my favorite. The Bibles with blank pages are known as interleaved. Those are wonderful if you are not comfortable creating over the words or just want more space for notes and art. They have a blank page between every page so they are thicker and heavier books. The last major type is the Dayspring illustrating Bible. It is wide format book (think old school phone book size) and has the biggest margins out there. It’s spiral bound to lay flat and has thicker pages to hold medium. They are great legacy Bibles but not always practical. There are many other options and lots of journalers do just use notebooks. I recommend finding one in a version you like and just jumping in!

  3. This is so helpful! I am grateful for the time you spent creating your answer! Thank you.

    Personally, I read my NIV Life Application Study Bible Large print. It is already 4 inches thick and that is with thin pages! I started a blank spiral journal last night with thick pages and found my Dollar Tree poster sticker “Let Go and Let God” for the front cover. I love to mix media so the thick pages will hold this. And I can write scriptures or cut them out of devotionals and journal with them. The thing God impressed upon me the most when I started journaling was to not have preconceived notions, just let Him guide, just use my emotions, devotion and passion.

    As soon as I send this, I am checking out your blog to see if you have any pics of your journal bible. I have a blog called “Godstoriesformarla” and have a bit of past images of artwork.

    Thank you again and always nice to meet a sister in Christ!

    Marla

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