My favorite part of my recent introduction to Instagram is discovering an incredible community of people who create art in their Bibles. I had never even heard of this before, but I knew immediately I wanted to start this beautiful form of worship.
I ordered matching ESV journaling Bibles for me and my daughter and searched through my art supplies for colored pencils, pens, and some scrapbooking goodies I could tie in. Honestly, my perfectionism almost kept me from ever trying this. I was a nervous wreck making the first mark in my beautiful new Bible.
If you have these same concerns, try looking at Bible journaling as this:
It is an invitation to look at the blank spaces of your biblical text and see in the margin around its border an opportunity for a life-giving, chaos-breaking, transforming, creative conversation between you and the eternal God.
~Lisa Nichols Hickman, Writing in the Margins
My first attempt was awful. The letters were funky and didn’t fit in the margins properly. I was so excited to jump in, I forced myself to post it on Instagram anyway, although I’ll pass on sharing it again here.
My daughter, on the other hand, has awesome handwriting. Her first entry was amazing:
Mine are improving with time. What I love the most is how I’m starting to memorize verses. I wasn’t raised in church, so I never learned the basic verses many people learn as children. As I slowly trace the words or spell them out with letter stickers or stamps, they so easily commit to my memory.
My daughter continues to only need Crayola Twistables for hers. She can create beautiful margins with just her handwriting. Here are some more from her Bible:
I forgot to cover the side of my Bible when I sprayed some reddish pink paint on my latest entry. This was pretty crushing at first, as if I needed to order a new one immediately. Then the beautiful song, Nothing But The Blood, got stuck in my head while I stared at the non-erasable, red-stained spots where they shouldn’t have been.
Now I see the paint splattered side as a gift. Unfortunately it doesn’t really show up in the picture.
Here are some basic supplies to get started with:
- Writing in the Margins by Lisa Nichols Hickman – This book has helped me tremendously understand the importance of Bible journaling. She considers the margins as a space “separating word and world” where we can connect our stories to God’s story.
- The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe – I recently bought this and am looking forward to starting the exercises. It has great reviews on Amazon!
- Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils
- Heidi Swapp Color Shine
- Peel and Stick Bible Tabs
- Visit Dayspring for the perfect journaling Bible, washi tape, various fun supplies, and even cute tote bags to organize it all!
I’ve started a new board on Pinterest too if you are interested in learning more about this breathtaking form of worship with me.
Have you tried this creative type of Bible journaling yet? Let me know if you have any questions!
What a fun way to memorize scripture! I’m more of a visual learner so this would be really good for me, and I think my daughter would enjoy doing this too. Thanks for sharing!
I have such a hard time memorizing stuff, Karla. This has helped tremendously. Definitely try it out, and doing it with your daughter is a huge bonus :).
Great ideas, thanks Candace. I have a little 8 year old artist in my house who will be all over this!
Thanks, Allie! I so wish I would have started this with my daughter when she was that young. What a wonderful activity to sit and do together. My little girl is 21 now and living on her own. We do this in separate spaces but it still somehow links us together :).
I’m one of those who would probably use a separate art journal. I looked up KJV Journaling Bible on Amazon and only saw ones with lines, although I guess that wouldn’t stop someone from creating art there…. I mean I didn’t even like highlighting in college textbooks! *lol*
Oh, I shared it to G= as well https://plus.google.com/u/0/104344878711959600668/posts/V5qh227BgPg
I was the same way about college textbooks, LuAnn! I’m still like that with books. I’ve finally started feeling comfortable dog earring pages. That book, Writing in the Margins, has helped me tremendously with not just writing in the Bible, but other books as well.
My journaling Bible has lines too. You may not be able to see them in the pictures. I really like the lines to keep things straight. Thanks so much for sharing to G+, my friend!
Oh wow, Candace!
What a creative way to invite us all into a more vibrant relationship with God. I love how His Word becomes alive and personal …
And since creativity and beauty started with Him in the first place, this makes sense!
I love this comment, Linda! It really does make “His Word become alive and personal.” As I get more comfortable with this, I want to start adding much more personal notes and prayers in my margins :).
You and your daughter are both so creative, Candace. These are beautiful. I never thought of this. I would be afraid of messing it up. But I love how God used the red paint as a reminder of “Nothing But the Blood.”
Thank you so much, Trudy! I never had thought of this either. I was so excited to discover it on Instagram. I love how God has embedded that song in my head! I still catch myself singing it throughout the day. Don’t be afraid of messing up. That makes me think you really need to try this :)! It has helped my perfectionism a great deal.
Your posts always inspire me. I have one “main” Bible that I write in regularly — highlighting scriptures that speak to me at a certain time and dating the notations. I have been mulling over it for 2-3 years that I want to pass on my personal Bible to my daughters — but I have two! This is a beautiful way for me to hand down a Bible for each of them that will be special and meaningful. I can’t wait to get started! I will be ordering from Amazon and will place my order through the link you provided. Thank you for sharing your heart and your ideas — what a blessing you are!
Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement and support, Staci! You are appreciated :). I love the idea of handing your Bible down to your daughters. That book, Writing in the Margins, talks about a man that died of cancer who left his well worn and written in Bible to his family. He had written notes about them and dates, etc. throughout it. It really inspired me to want to get way more personal with my journaling. I want it to be a beautiful loving keepsake for my people. Now that I’ve broken through my fear of writing in one, I’m hoping to start adding more personal details, moments, and prayers for my kids and even my hubby.
Let me know if you have any questions about my supplies, etc. I think it’s not only a gift for your daughters for later, but also as they watch you in your Bible. I wish I would have done this more when my daughter was younger. She didn’t see me with a Bible very often back then. You are a wonderful influence on your girls!
Candace, I didn’t mention how old my daughters are — 21 and 24, and, at this time, they both live in another State. And, even though they may not witness me doing this firsthand, I know that God will use these Bibles for His purpose in their lives, and that is more than I could ask for. So, I am praying the same for you — that although your daughter is older, she too will be blessed beyond measure because of your faithfulness to God in expressing your love for Him in this way. I hope you will post from time to time about this topic. And, I look forward to reading your next post — with whatever God lays on your heart!
God will absolutely use our Bibles in our daughter’s lives, Staci. I love that thought. Thank you! I’m so impressed you raised 2 teen girls! It’s so wonderful when they hit 20 and start loving us again :). I have a son about to turn 13. I’m hoping his teen years will be a bit easier.
Absolutely beautiful. I see your daughter displaying yet another one of her creative gifts. She is so blessed by the Lord. I used to be a doodler but I’ve gotten away from it and miss it dearly. Thanks for the inspiration. I may need to go swim my children’s colored pencils and create.
Thank you, Tyra! She is certainly blessed. Doodling is so relaxing. You should definitely take it back up. You have such a beautiful, creative, and inspiring way with words, my friend. I have no doubt you would be wonderful at this!
Hi Candace–I don’t have a bible that allows for this. I have, however, started journaling and drawing as I go through the bible in a regular notebook. I’m amazed at what comes out as I draw. It really is an aid in meditation on the word. Thanks for inspiring me to bring some color into it!
I think a notebook to journal in would be wonderful too, Amy. I wasn’t really do any journaling at all. Writing things down after reading and studying definitely brings a whole new element to our Bible time. It’s really helped me. Definitely try out some color :)!
I got a journaling Bible for Christmas, I’ve got to do a better job of using it. I am a little afraid to mess it up!
It was quite unnerving for me to put the first mark in mine, Alyssa! I completely understand. Once you start though, it gets much easier.
I have put stickers in my scriptures and also in the kids, but I have never thought of doing art! Maybe it is time to get the Twistables out and have the older kids get to work!
Twistables are awesome, Jen! That’s all my daughter uses and I absolutely love hers. Definitely give it a try. I would love to see your kids art :). Post them on Instagram!
I’m not that artsy to journal in my Bible that much, but I do highlight, write notes, draw things in the margins… I have Legos, lightsabers, and speech bubbles all over my Bible. I figure, whatever helps you own it! It’s the message that is Holy, not the paper!
Yes! “Whatever helps you own it.” I love that, Maria. I’m glad to finally be past my obsession with clean paper :). It’s really quite freeing!
Oh my gosh this is SO COOL!!! I have never seen this amazing idea before!! So are these special bibles with the sides open to draw on? I need to look into this… what a beautiful way to artistically take in His Truth! I can see why you have been able to memorize scripture more easily through your art. I’m not artistic at all, but I know so many of my teens would get into this big time.
Scrolling back up to take another look! SO awesome. Thank you for sharing it!!
This was all so new to me too, Chris! How have we missed it all this time ;)? They are called journaling Bibles. There is a link above in the supply list where you can check them out. Let me know if you have any questions, my friend! I think it’s a perfect project for teens.
Oh my goodness what a wonderful idea! I think you did a great job!
Thanks so much, Sarah! I’m hoping to start doing a little more with watercolors now. I’ve seen some beautiful examples with them.
This is just so impressive! A wonderful idea to make reading the Bible more fun and creative.
Thanks, Lux! It really does add an incredibly fun element to our time in the Bible :).
CANDACE, This is an awesome idea, and I cannot wait to start this form of Journaling. Thanks for a great idea. God bless your blog and you!
You are going to love it! I’m so glad to hear you are going to start this. Let me know if you have any questions :). I’m very new at it too, but may be able to help! Blessing to you as well!
This is so beautiful, Candace! I love how creative you are 🙂
Thank you so much, Lily! It’s definitely a passion for me. I love having this blog that really forces me to try new creative pursuits.
That is so awesome. What a great idea. I am visiting today from Motivation Monday
I’m so glad to have you here, Suzie! Thanks for your sweet comment :).
Love this! This is something I never thought to do.
I would have never thought of this either, Akaleistar! I’m so thankful for Instagram :). This is a perfect way to add some of ourselves to our Bibles.
Haha, this looks like my Bible from my teen years! I was a HUGE Bible doodler! I pulled out some of my old Bibles and youth group notes to show my husband a few years ago and it was a great walk down memory lane! – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
You were way ahead of the crowd, Gingi ;)! I wish I had done more things like this in my teen years. I was too busy getting into trouble and making bad choices. I can’t imagine how different those years would have been if I spent more time with a Bible. What a wonderful keepsake yours must be!
This is gorgeous! I’ve never seen anything like this before. Thanks for sharing.
I can’t believe what a huge community there is of Bible journalers, Celi. I had never seen anything like it before either. I’m so glad to be able to share it!
Candace, I followed you here via your commentluv and I am so happy that you had the link, this is just beautiful. I have never seen this before. What a joyous way to learn more about the word, to learn the verses, and to worship. Thank you so much for sharing this!
I think the ease of learning the verses is one of my favorite aspects, Nikki! Thanks so much for following my link here :). It’s great to connect! I so agree with your post on the importance of community in our comment sections. It’s such a perfect way to make new friends!
Oh my goodness. Why hadn’t I thought of this??? In college, when I was in engineering, I used pink, purple and blue ink to take notes with because black was just too boring! These days, my creative part has taken over. I’m a writer and photographer.
I already have the journaling bible and I had bought the huge Prisma box of coloring pencils at Christmas. I can start immediately! I had gotten the book, Praying in Color a while ago. I like the idea of doing the coloring in my bible.
Anyway, I’m excited! I can’t wait to read more on the website you talked about.
Dropping by from Create-With-Joy.
Thanks for sharing!
You have all the supplies, so no excuses, Mary ;)! I want to read Praying in Color too. It is definitely on my list. You will love Illustrated Faith. She has tons of great resources. So glad to have you here!
Oh how fun that you and your daughter are doing this together! Both of your journaling is so edifying and I appreciate you sharing them.
Thanks, Jenny! It’s really a wonderful activity to do with our kids. My daughter is very artistic so it has been fun to watch her Bible blossom in this way.
Barb @ A Life in Balance
Thank you for contributing to Motivation Monday!
Thanks for the party, Barb :)!
This is a lovely idea. Had no idea such a thing even existed!
It’s new to me too, Nicole! I don’t know how I missed it all of this time :).