Why Bible Journal?
It seems like the latest craze and why join the bandwagon? does it serve myself or will it actually draw me closer to God? I think its good to ask why and explore this before you start...
Bible journalling is being in Gods word creatively. This can be through any bible, a notebook or a purpose built journal bible. It is responding to Gods word. It does not have to be fancy or expensive. This is your journey of exploring Gods word.
I have always underlined my bible and made mini notes in it - before bible journalling existed. I have made notes on my phone or a notepad during sermons to help me concentrate and get the most from what I was being taught about God. I have always enjoyed being creative and always doodle when I listen, so bible journalling came naturally. If you follow me on instagram you will have seen my art work. If you follow me on pinterest, there are a lot of pins on bible journal and art to inspire.
I have a purpose built bible journal but I also use a notebook. The bible journal I will either colour in the printed picture or I will draw/paint a picture of what I feel God wants me to meditate on. In my journal I explore both through painting/drawing, as well as writing. I will pull words out of scripture and focus on the meanings, I will write my own prayers/songs based on what I have just studied or look at how this scripture links with other scriptures. There is a lot of freedom to just explore. This is my quiet time.
Personally, I need to take notes and write/draw/doodle as I study. My mind wanders and this helps me to keep focused. I imagine some of you can just be focused in Gods word without these prompts and for some this might be a distraction as you focus on making art rather than your time with God. It doesn't matter what type of person you are, what matters is spending quality time with God. This is done in my quiet personal time with God, as well as in a small group, but the glory is focused on him, rather than what I created. This is how I know it is serving Him and not myself.
I am made in Gods image and made to be creative. Being creative does not mean every piece of work I do in my bible journal will be stunning, it won't, it means I connect with God through being creative. I do get a bit annoyed when my creative designs do not turn out well, as I would like everything to be perfect. They are not perfect and neither am I. I am learning, I am growing and my bible journalling will reflect this and that's okay.
I am my fathers daughter, my creations will never rival his (thankfully) but will reflect who He is, not through being fabulous but simply by being. They bring Him glory because He is a creative God, all creation and creativity come through Him. The bible talks about the great craftsmen He created, it is a reflection of His glory. I am not saying I am a great craftsman or that you need to be, but I want to encourage you that creativity comes from God. We all have different strengths and talents that reflect our father God, gifts we have inherited, some of us will enjoy and love creating art and for others this will look quite different from a perception of 'art'. All is good. Creativity isn't always just about art. We are all made in our fathers image and we glorify God in this way, wherever your creativity may lie.
So whether bible journalling is for you or not, please feel encouraged you are made in Gods image - you are creative. Discover your creativity, explore it, grow in it and may it reflect the glory of creation!