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The artwork within the pages of a journalling Bible is impressive to behold, but it may leave some non-artistic people feeling left out. While Bible journaling entries fill Instagram, some of us are overwhelmed by the idea of trying to create such intricate designs in our own journaling Bibles. While some people don’t feel naturally creative, we prefer to look at creativity in a different light. We were all created to create—and He gave us each our own, unique abilities. You don’t have to be an established artist to start Bible journaling, nor do you need a case full of Bible journaling supplies. Don’t worry about what others are doing on social media—this is your time to connect with your Father. Getting started can sometimes be the biggest hurdle, so ease into it with some Bible journaling methods for the less-artistic.
It may help to practice each entry on a piece of scrap paper or in a separate journal before you even put anything in your journaling Bible. Give your idea a try, play with it, and see what you think. Then, test it out in your journaling Bible. Even the most advanced Bible journalers start their designs in pencil. Write lightly so you can erase your creation if you want to try again. This trial run helps ensure your design fits in the available space and gives you the chance to make changes before it is permanent. After you’re happy with your design, outline it with a journaling pen.
Bible journaling doesn’t have to be visual. Sit in His Word for a moment, say a prayer, and listen for His response. Then, try writing. Use a journaling Bible, praise book, or your favorite planner. Put your thoughts down—in words. If you express yourself best through the written word, that is your path to grow closer to Him. Write a letter to the Lord, record your thoughts on how a specific Scripture applies to your current situation, or make notes on how to apply a verse to your life in every day.
This is an opportunity to praise Him as well—thank Him, offer words of worship, let Him know how He has added to your day. Date your entries as you move through the Bible to keep a record of your journey. You don’t need brushes and pigment to paint a picture; sometimes all you need is a pen and heartfelt words.
If you want to fill your pages with artwork—but need to build some confidence in your drawing skills—tracing may help. The thin pages of the Bible work well for tracing. Choose an image you’d like to use—coloring books are a great place to start. Trim around the image and stick the cutout—picture-side-up—to the back of your page with washi tape. Use pencil to lightly trace the picture on your Bible journal page. Then, ink your lines with a journaling pen. Bible journaling stencils are another helpful tool to get started. Color the picture with markers or colored pencils if you wish, or let the simplicity of the black and white design take center stage.
Bible journaling cards are a wonderful resource. They offer inspiration for your Bible journaling sessions, and also feature beautiful images to add to your pages. There are a few ways to use Bible journaling cards, greeting cards, or prompts:
Bible journaling cards and prompts are wonderful sources of inspiration. Choose a prompt that speaks to you, then write your thoughts in the margins of your journaling Bible—or directly on the card. When you’ve finished your entry, use washi tape to adhere the prompt within your journaling Bible to reference later. Prayer journal ideas may come from these prompts as well.
Pockets provide space to tuck handwritten notes, prayers, or special mementos. To create a pocket, choose a card and trim it to the size you want. Add washi tape along three edges and stick it to a page in your journaling Bible with one edge loose. This works best with heavier paper such as cards or greeting cards—lightweight paper may rip. If you have paper with a design you love, try lining the back of the page with washi tape before cutting it to give it some strength. Then, follow the rest of the steps above to create a pocket.
Prompts and journaling cards offer inspiration for personal goal setting. Select a prompt, turn to the Scripture in the Bible, and spend some time thinking about how to apply the verse in your life. Then, write down some objectives in your journal or daily planner. Set goals for the day, week, or month—whatever is most helpful for you. Adhere the prompt to the page so you can go back and reflect upon your intentions—and your progress—in the future.
Did you make a mistake? Use it! Everyone makes mistakes, and He accepts us all no matter what. Embrace your mistakes, sloppy lines, and uncentered words. Let them be an example of our imperfections. We know we’re all flawed, and so does He. Trying to make your journaling Bible perfect is like trying to hide part of yourself from God. Bible journaling isn’t meant to prove anything. It’s a tool to build your relationship with the Lord. If you’re focusing on perfection, you’re not putting everything you have into your worship. If you’re not happy with how your entry turned out, cover it with stickers, a Bible journal card, strips of washi tape, or a tip in and begin again.
Growing closer to God through Bible journaling shouldn’t be stressful. Using your personal creativity is the best way to praise Him. Be nice to yourself as you dip your toes in the water with these Bible journaling ideas and tips. Even if you’re not-so-creative, you’re only a prayer away from your first Bible journal entry.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB