So you love the way Bible journaling looks overall. You would love to try your hand at this type of journaling. However, you either are not comfortable marking in your Bible, you prefer to keep your notes and art in a separate “journal,” or for whatever reason, you do not want to work in a journaling Bible. Or maybe it’s as simple as finances, and you can’t spend money on an extra Bible specifically to journal in.
Can you still Bible journal? YES. YOU. CAN.
WHAT YOU DON’T NEED: EVERYTHING AND THE KITCHEN SINK
You absolutely do not need a journaling Bible. To be honest, you don’t even need a physical Bible.
These days, many people often prefer the convenience of a handheld digital Bible, using their cell phone, tablet, or laptop. I personally prefer a physical Bible, where I can flip the pages back and forth. Truth is, I’m a lover of all things paper.
However, even I use online Bibles when I’m out and about, or if I don’t have the space to spread out with an actual Bible. On my phone, I love the YouVersion Bible app. You can learn more about it at https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/. Another great Bible resource is https://www.biblegateway.com/. Both digital Bibles have multiple translations, studies, commentaries, and more.
WHAT TO JOURNAL
The greatest thing about any kind of journaling is it’s completely flexible. There are no hard and fast rules. You are in complete control of what is and isn’t allowed. You decide if you want to use only black ink or stickers. And you decide if you want to write out long detailed notes or simply illustrate Bible verses. It is entirely up to you.
Below you will find a list of journaling ideas. In one of my own notebooks, I use a mix of everything listed here.
- Creative notetaking
- Song lyrics
- Word studies
- Character studies
- Scripture writing
- Letters to God
- Sermon Notes
- Verse mapping
- Or whatever else you choose.
SETTING UP YOUR NOTEBOOK
The very first thing I do when setting up my notebook is to skip the first page or two. Since my personal notebook contains a mixture of things, I like to add a table of contents at the front when I am finished. This way, after I have filled it, I can include where certain studies and prayers are located.
With the first couple of pages blank, I number each page starting with the very next page after the table of contents. As I add to the notebook, I can list titles and page numbers in the front.
With each of the items on the list above, there are a myriad of ways to get creative. You can journal in a notebook using all the same methods you would use in a journaling Bible.
One really simple way to spice up your journaling is to add color. You can see in my notebook, I used Papermate pens to change the color of the titles, headers, and even some important notes or quotes. This alone will brighten your pages.
Stickers? Printables? Die-cuts? Photographs? Pictures from magazines? There is no limit to the visual aspects you can attach to the pages of your notebook. Grab a glue stick or double-sided adhesive and you’re good to go.
Are you more daring than stickers and printables? If so, consider markers, colored pencils, watercolors or acrylics. You could even do some heavy mixed-media collaging, though you might need to prep your page with gesso or matte gel medium first (making it a bit sturdier).
Finally, you may want to consider attaching informative articles, charts, or maps directly to your page, using a glue stick or washi tape.
I know when you run an internet or Pinterest search for Bible journaling, there is an endless sea of beautiful, practically perfect photographs of Bible page masterpieces. As gorgeous as those pages are, you still need to remind yourself that while it is called creative worship, worship is the most important component.
You do not need anything more than a notebook and pen to worship the Lord creatively. I always suggest to anyone new to Bible journaling, not to go out and purchase all the things. It’s true, there is a never-ending supply of art and craft supplies out there. But ask any creative who has been Bible journaling for a while, and they will tell you there are only a few art mediums they use over and over again.
I can’t tell you how many things “I had to have” when I first started out. The majority of those items I gave away or are sitting in my art studio unused.
You are meant to enjoy God’s Word and His worship. Once you realize this, you’ll discover that a notebook and a pen is all it takes to get you there.
[Please NOTE: Many of the printables used in the photographs above can be purchased at the His Palette Print Shop.]