By Lyn Alderson
Among my greatest passions in life are journaling, studying the Bible, and drawing. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover that I can combine all three in a new creative pursuit- Bible journaling.
I’ve been a Christian since I was 26, but I had never heard of journaling bibles until a couple of months ago, when I found an article online.
Journaling bibles are attractive hardback bibles laid out with wide margins so that you can create unique illustrations, doodles and notes next to your favourite scriptures.
Some of the bibles on offer include beautiful line drawings which you can colour in or develop into a piece of artwork if you’re not a confident artist- although I have to say this very emphatically- Bible journaling is not primarily about producing brilliant artwork.
It’s much more about engaging with the Word of God in a personal way and in your own individual style. So if you’re a writer, like me, you’ll probably focus most of all on your written notes, although I do enjoy creating illustrations and have done some art journaling previously.
My artwork is definitely beginner’s art, but it helps me to meditate on my chosen passage of scripture for an hour or two while I create a unique page.
Bible journaling has added a whole new dimension to my spiritual life. I no longer skip over the scriptures, but spend quality time with them. I am excited that I’m processing the powerful spiritual principles I find in God’s Word at a deeper level, using my visual sense as well as my rational mind. I like reading the words out loud too, so that my auditory channels are involved in the learning process. The spoken Word of God is the most powerful creative force in the Universe.
I’ve decided to be bold about my Bible journaling. I’m drawing with Micron pens, Gelatos and coloured pencils and not worrying about being perfect. I’m giving my offerings to God as worship and I know he’s pleased with that, regardless of my skill level. I don’t need to listen to my Inner Critic or compare myself to anyone.
I love a comment I read by designer and bible journaler Stephanie Ackerman: “Whether you journal, document and illustrate your faith in the margins of a Bible, on the pages in your planner or on a post-it note, the most important thing is that you are doing it. You are in the Word and when art and faith collide, great things happen”.
I’ll add an ‘amen’ to that.
Lyn Alderson is a professional journalist, ghostwriter and blogger, based in the English Midlands.
She has 25 years’ experience of writing news and features for UK newspapers and magazines and now helps people to write their memoirs. To find out more about Lyn and her work visit http://lacopywriting.co.uk
If you want to find out more about the health benefits of keeping a journal, check out Lyn's e-book The Write Therapy: How Keeping a Journal Can Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive available from the Amazon Kindle Store