Bible Journaling

How and where to start

The big “fear” and so called “taboo” with BibleJournaling is that many of us grew up thinking that you should treat the Bible with great respect and not crease the pages or write in it.  The thing is – and this is my opinion – it is “just a book” in it’s physical form and you will do well to know that there is no extreme punishment and “lightning” striking you to death if you draw or color or doodle or paint on the pages of this beautiful book. The life of this book is in studying it as the very Word of God. 

My grandmother (#legacy) taught me to read English by underlining the words I didn’t understand and writing the dictionary definition I had to search for on the top, and it increased my vocabulary.  Even with this, many people felt that writing in a novel or book was a sin.  I learnt though, and I remembered these words!  I saw the word, used my hand to underline, physically searched a dictionary and wrote the definition in my handwriting, and read the meaning out loud.  Using your senses help you remember as you learn.  In the 4 months that I have been doing BibleJournaling I have learnt and remembered more of the Word than I have in the 20 odd years that I have been a Christian.  Here are my few layman’s tips on how and where to start:

  • Don’t compare.  No 2 people will have the same preference on how to journal, so there is no step-1-2-3 to follow.  You need to decide if you want to use pictures or trace or write and embellish the page with stickers or use bulky material tabs or all the beautiful fun things we see all over social media.
  • Do follow.  There are so many beautiful creators out there, because we were made in the image of our Creator #Created2Create.  Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and their YouTube Channels and Pinterest.  Search for hashtags to see the beautiful variety.  Have it play in the background as you prepare to journal for yourself, then find your own method.  Some don’t mind covering the words because they have Bibles they study from, others only use margins. Some don’t prepare the page and deal with bleed through after, others prepare the page and only use non-bleed products. Some have draft sketches of the layouts before they work in the Bible and others wing it as they go.  All of this need to be an inner decision and can evolve.  Decide what the “rules” for your book is, and make sure that you are okay with making mistakes and trying again, and adjusting the plan.  https://youtu.be/nUrUxwdIOH0 shows such a beautiful method to create some “permission” pages.
  • Don’t spend.  When you start, the temptation to go out and buy every possible product available will be great.  It has been my experience that it puts pressure for your first page to be an absolute masterpiece worthy of artistic awards, and as some of us tend to then have performance anxiety, we hoard it just as we used to do with our Scrapbooking supplies for fear of messing it up – can I have a witness?  Use your kids’ waterpaint and crayons to start on your first page.  Most Bibles come with a few empty pages in the back or the front and as the pages in a Bible is of a different texture and thickness than most other books and paper, use these blank pages as a tester.  I have used it to stamp, paint, color, foil, emboss and so on to see if it bleeds through and how the medium reacts on these delicate Bible pages.
  • Do study.  The idea of BibleJournaling is abused when it becomes anything other than studying the Word of God.  I remember my verses because my mind pictures my thoughts and feelings and images I used with the verse to make it real.  Find a study plan on YouVersion or work thru a Devotional kit to determine the pages to do.  Do a BibleJournaling class, not just to learn technique, but to fellowship and study the Word.  Journal the lyrics from a song you love next to the scripture it relates to.  From experience, do not use your favorite verse for your first entry.
  • Date your entry.  Maybe it’s just age catching up with me, but I don’t remember exactly what I did on which date, and especially where God gives a beautiful promise in His Word relevant to you at that time, put the date down to remember.  This way it promotes thankfulness when you go back and see how faithful He has been to fulfill His promises.  I keep a type of library card in the front of my Journal Bible to write the verse or page I did on which day, that way it’s easy to flip to it when you need to recall.  (Not my own idea – I have found that it works very well!)Index Cards
  • Do what you can with what you have where you are.  I have found myself using the little tag on a teabag to put to memory the verse that I got when drinking a cup of tea while studying the #dailyverse on YouVersion.  Black pen, glue, teabag tag, a highlighter and my revelation around the Word.  Don’t wait for when you have all you think you need in supplies or theology.  I use my Journal Bible in church when I take sermon notes using a black pen, and then put some color and paint and stamps and whatever to it when I get home.  I have taken just a devotional kit with on a weekend away and used what was in there to make pages.  Go and dig out all those scrapbook supplies you bought years ago, the papers and stickers, the 1000-piece kit you bought from a telemark show.
  • Do share.  I have heard it said that people don’t want to share their journaling pages because it is personal and we are not here to seek our own gain – I want to encourage you to share.  God hardly ever blesses you to have only you be blessed.  I have shared my faith and journey with Jesus more with others in the past 4 months since I started journaling than at any time before that.  I have been able to encourage and share on thankfulness and how it opens the gates more than I possibly could using words alone.  I remember, I incorporate it in my daily life, and then I solidify it by sharing it with others.

So what are you waiting for?

First Entry
Song lyrics

All of the above, are most definitely personal experience and opinion.

 

Bible Journaling

The Illustrating Bible – what a game changer

Well hello, this is Rochelle, and welcome to this blog post.

So, getting into the whole Instagram and YouTube thing – it’s been great – But WHOA – challenge!  Balancing all the ideas with time and all that and you know, life outside of art and blogging – God only knows.

However, let me tell you, this new Illustrating Bible is just such a game changer and I just love working in this fresh new spiral bound option with larger margins.

So today, let me share with you a quick few entries – each has a 5 minute or so video on YouTube – go check it out.

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Let me know what you think – and if there is something more you wanna see or know.

Needless to say, I love my FaberCastell Gelatos, and I know if you try them you would too!

Until next time, which hopefully won’t be another long delay.

Bye-bye

Bible Journaling

My favorite passage and first double layout

2010 was a year of very traumatic endings and gorgeous new beginnings. Like many other Christians I never got married with the idea of it ending somewhere in the back of my mind, so when my marriage of nearly 10 years ended early in 2010 I felt my world end. What I went thru emotionally during the divorce I would never wish on my worst enemy, and having 2 little girls I felt like I never had the luxury of a complete meltdown. When my pastor gave me a song to listen to with the words “your latter will be greater”, I couldn’t even begin to see how. 

I fell into depression as my faith failed, and I lost about 17kg. On the weekends when my girls went to their father, the loneliness felt like it would drive me to my end. It felt like a wilderness with no way out, a dry and desolate desert.

At a place in the middle of that year, I reached an Abraham-Isaac moment, and I went to the mountain to “sacrifice” my idea of a perfect life. I decided that even if God wanted me to lay this desire of mine down, I would still worship. In that moment God restored my heart and brought comfort like I had never felt before. 

I had 3 beautiful months of seeking God for my life, in which time the Blood that Jesus shed when His heart burst completely healed my heart, and I was able to find the joy of the Lord which became my strength. In my mind this was the latter that was better than the former. 

But God had even better in store for me. In September of 2010 I met a man who loves Jesus and we quickly realised God’s plan for our lives.  Isaiah 43 was a passage we received when praying and especially verse 18 and 19. We both knew that this would be a suddenly work in our lives, and in the softest and sweetest whirlwind romance we got engaged in November and married in December. A new thing. A road in the wilderness and a river in the desert. A faithful God! 

I took my time with this double layout because it is dear to me. I used a Pentel Aquabrush and my Derwent Inktense pencils and remembered that beautiful time and the past 7 beautiful years and how God’s hand had intricately woven this masterpiece that is marriage together. He is Lord. He is in control. He is sovereign. He sees the end from the beginning. He doesn’t get hopeless in the middle. 

Stencil with Derwent Inktense pencils. Background color wash with Faber Castell Gelatos. Alphastamps with StazOn ink. Gel highlighters.

Bible Journaling

What I learnt in my second and third entry

Hey y’all (I have ALWAYS wanted to say that – here in South Africa we don’t really “y’all”)

I want to share with you some of the practical lessons I learnt from my second and third entries.  I want to equate the process to that of any other art form – the more you practice and play, the better and easier and less scary it gets.  From the get-go I would like to tell you that my dream with my journaling Bible is that I would like to leave one for each of my girls one day when I am gone.  I imagine that as kids who have absolutely everything available to them in electronic format, to receive a gift with mom’s handwritten notes in will be valuable beyond any monetary inheritance.

That said, my first lesson is to leave space to journal, to write your revelation of the verse and to journal a prayer or blessing or thanksgiving as a seed to teach those who who come after us.

My second lesson learnt is that of patience. Like letting the ink and the paint dry. Use a hairdryer at a distance if you absolutely cannot watch the paint dry. Read about ink that is permanent like Stazon. Invest in a permanent non-bleed black fine pen like Micron or the Illustrated Faith pen. You’ll note my ink smudges as I learnt this lesaon in patience.

My third lesson is to start out with the less costly products to test and play around with. I used a matt podge to prepare the pages before I used inks and paints on it, because 1. Clear gesso is expensive and 2. Clear gesso is not as readily available here in South Africa. Four months in, I will absolutely spend the money on the proper product like Dina Wakley or Art Basics clear gesso just because of how my paints and inks react on it, it makes my pages feel just as light and soft as it felt before application while preventing bleed through and water damage. 

My second and third entries were just playing with watercolors and stickers and some stencils I had on hand. I bought some very inexpensive accrylic paints, which in hindsight, was a bit opague. I only learnt the card swiping method of applying accrylic paints a bit later on. (I will be writing a post on the lingo soon if I lost you at “preparing the page” or “card swiping method”). Until then check out Taryn Snyman’s (Journal2Faith across social media platforms) posts to familiarize yourself with some of the lingo used. 

Stickers and watercolors with alphastamps.
Faber Castell Gelatos applied with water. Black accrylic paint sponged thru a stencil and alphastickers.

I don’t necessarily like adding bulk to my Bible using thick cardstock paper to make tabs (personal preference), so I use the inexpensive accountants’ tabs which are pretty readily available at most stationery and office supply stores. Some write a key word on their tabs, I like just putting the book and chapter I worked on. I’m loving how this aids in memorizing the verses.

Illustrated Faith

#IF_Persevere week 1

Testing this Windows Live Writer as I learn all kinds of new things this week about blogging and recording and using the platforms God has opened up for me.  I’m so excited and just as nervous about all this change and new stuff, but I know the Dream God has given me has been conceived and looking forward to every minute of the journey.

Click here to watch my first Youtube video

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I have been spending some time in this kit #IF_Persevere this week and realising how I can only find rest in the presence of God.  If I stress and fret about my situation or the happenings of my day instead of taking it to God and finding rest, I increase in anxiety instead of growing in the unforced rhythms of grace which He is ready to teach me.  Make time for prayer and time in His presence today!

Bible Journaling Class

BibleJournaling with the girls

Today we set out to join a local Bible Journaling class, and by “we” I am referring to me and three young ladies I call my daughters.  Today I saw that they were no longer the little girls of before, but rather young ladies, who in their own way have had beautiful encounters with God.  Yes, I know, EVERY mother is proud of her kids, and yes, I know, I sound like every other bragger out there, but I realised, when spending time with these beauties today that all the tears of joy – and sometimes pain – have been worth it, as the other beautiful ladies in the group commented on their upbringing, saying that they speak what is in their hearts – which is Jesus.  I, by NO MEANS take credit for any of that, because truth be told, I don’t even always think I am a semi-adequate tool in shaping them, but God in all His Grace has shown me that in my weakness HE IS STRONG.

My first post on a blog is one of extreme gratefulness – coming from a gal who had to be reminded to be thankful for breath just a few short years ago (a long story for another post)  My heart overflows!  I am so thankful FOR EVERY SINGLE MINUTE (even the really hard ones) of being graced to be a mother.

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