self care & self love

bible journaling…so far.

I took up the hobby of Bible journaling a few months ago. I have to say, it’s been an adventure. I started with a new Bible {I bought this one from my local Christian store}, some colored pencils, a few old paintbrushes and some inexpensive watercolors. I watched a few YouTube videos to learn about different supplies and techniques. I bought gesso and some nice pens. I signed up for newsletters containing free printables and I downloaded free traceables from the internet.

I wanted to learn and explore without spending a huge amount of money, so I found an inexpensive way to do so. You can, if you want to, spend a whole bunch of money on supplies and classes to learn how to draw or paint or stamp something in your Bible. I really really appreciate that there are some wonderful people out there who do this for a job – I really do. My budget is a bit tight at the moment, so I went a different route. Besides, at this point in time, I wanted to go through a different process. I wanted to give myself the freedom to try something I wasn’t 100% sure of, to mess up, to practice trial and error and grace.  And I wanted to do it with the supplies I had on hand, buying a few necessaries as I went along.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • If you are going to paint a page in your Bible, ALWAYS always gesso your page first. It will bleed through if you don’t and then you’ll have “yloh” bled through on the other side of the page you painted “holy” on. Trust me 🙂 See the hot mess a few pictures below.
  • Watercolor pencils are a bit finicky, but YouTube videos are really helpful.
  • Don’t use your pens to trace or draw over the words if you want the words to be legible. I learned this one that hard way:

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  • Some colored pencils are smoother than others. Shading and blending are difficult – you’ll get better as time goes by. Again, YouTube videos are really helpful.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the broken pieces of colored pencil pigment to “draw” on one of your pages. Turn the pigment on its side and have a go:

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  • Tracing pretty patterns on your pages is fun – there are tons of free coloring pages out there you can print and trace onto your pages. This one is one of my favorites:

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  • When blow drying a freshly painted page, keep your blow dryer on low and angle it appropriately so that the pages don’t blow together. Also, hold on to the wet page with your other hand – don’t try to do more than one thing at a time. The below example is the one where I painted “holy” on the previous page without prepping my page with gesso first and then my pages blew together when I was trying to dry the page on the left. It’s kind of a hot mess, but I like it 🙂

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  • Whatever you do in your Bible, it does not have to be a masterpiece. It does not have to measure up to someone else’s Bible journaling abilities. It just has to be you, spending time with God and learning about Him. It can be as simple as some wiggly lines and arrows and your thoughts about the Scripture you just read. It can be as simple as that.

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I have learned so much through this process and every time I put pen, paintbrush or pencil to one of the pages in my Bible, I learn something new about God and usually, about myself.

I hope this is encouraging to you, even if you’re not into Bible journaling. Or maybe, you’ve been thinking about it and haven’t felt quite up to snuff to try because you think your drawing skills are sub par. If you’re the latter, let me let you in on a little secret: God doesn’t care. He just wants to spend time with you 🙂

Prior posts about this topic are: here and here.

Do you write in your Bible or do you have a separate notebook for your notes?

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