So I have this idea where we all come together, when we can. And we all open our Bibles, where we can. And we share, what we can. Maybe this Bible Journaling with The Littlest Way is for the more introvert at heart…or just born out of the distance of time and place that separates us? Either way, welcome to Bible Journaling with The Littlest Way. The disclaimer should be made, I am a total and complete beginner to Bible journaling. I am not overly artistic, I prefer word painting to mixed media and weaving sentences to sketching. Some days my Bible journaling may look more like a collection of verses strung together rather than an artistic interpretation of the verse read…that’s ok with me. That’s ok with God. This post may contain affiliate links to products I love and recommend.
Bible Journaling with The Littlest Way
Update: I’ve written a book explaining the “Why” and “How” of my Bible Journaling. Bible Journaling Tips, Inspiration, and Permission will hopefully remove any and most obstacles you may have to Bible Journaling–“What if I mess up? I don’t know where to start? Am I defacing my Bible?”
See that picture of a light bulb up there? That is my artistic interpretation of our first day’s Bible reading. (The FREE One Year Bible Reading Plan printable is found here–Bible Journaling in the New Year.) That light bulb took me a couple of attempts–I know, it’s basically a circular shape sitting on a rectangular shape…and it took me a couple of tries and lots of erasing in between those tries. But guess what happened each time I had to erase or I sat there trying to figure out how in the world I was going to draw a light bulb…I repeated the verse to myself trying to get the picture in my head and translate it through my fingertips…
“God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”
†1 John 1:5
And if I thought the drawing was hard…the highlighting was even harder!
What color do I highlight “…the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” I could use pink, because it was for love of me that Jesus shed His blood for me. Or, should I use yellow because the verse specifically applies to Jesus and God? I mean to tell you, this took me some time to figure out. (Please, if you are looking for a Bible journaling site/person that has it all together, clearly you are in the wrong place. On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to learn with, because of or in spite of…Welcome!)
Here’s what I decided for myself when it came to those tricky scripture verses–which now that I pay closer attention, it seems lots of them can and will be for me–I highlighted with the future in mind. I asked myself, “Six months to a year from now when I am flipping through my Bible trying to find words of _____, what would this be useful for?” Clear as mud? For this verse in particular, I thought, “Would I want to identify this verse about Christ shedding His blood to cleanse me from my sin in yellow–telling me about Jesus…or in pink–telling me what Jesus did for love of me?” I choose pink…YOU MAY CHOOSE YELLOW…that is ok; there is no right or wrong here. But guess what? As I thought and considered and pondered what color to highlight those eleven words…I kept repeating them to myself. I rolled them around in my head. I considered Christ’s love and Christ’s actions.
Are you starting to see just a little bit, in an extremely informal way how Bible journaling and lectio divina are going to pair nicely?
In lectio divina, you typically read the verse more than once–lectio. Next, the passage, the verse is meditated upon–meditatio. During this time, the verse is pondered from different angles. This pondering is not to produce some formal interpretation but to allow the Holy Spirit to work within and to encourage a communion with God, with the Word. Following this pondering is prayer–oratio. St Teresa of Avila is quotes as saying, “Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” According to the Catechism, “Prayer is defined as “the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or requesting of goods from God.”” And finally, contemplation–contemplatio–rest in the presence of God.
In the above example where I read today’s assigned Bible reading, if a passage stood out to me as one I knew I wanted to highlight for easier reference in the future, I stopped and reread it. Sometimes I had to read it a couple of times because I was trying to discern in my heart, how I wanted this passage marked–lectio. This process of discernment was considering the verse from different sides. I had to discern if this verse was speaking to me as an example of Jesus or more specifically as an example of Jesus’ love for me–meditatio. While in this process of pondering and considering, I was raising my heart and mind to God; my consideration could be likened to a conversation with God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit–oratio. Finally, resting in the presence of God in the form of His Word–contemplatio. Ah, that would have been nice, but as you can see from the picture above, I had company. Leo was wallowing all over and around me this morning. I’m not sure I could have rested in the presence of God if I tried. And that’s ok.
Here’s an important point about Bible journaling and lectio divina…mine will look differently than yours. If examined closely trying to follow the letter of the lectio divina law, mine may not even fully qualify as true lectio divina…I was sitting in bed (although I’ve not read any rules that say you can’t sit in bed), with a toddler all over me…that’s my lectio divina for today. Some days it will look a little “holier” if that’s a term I want to use. I might use my prie-dieu some days, I might sit in a quiet chair or the front porch while my children run around the yard. Any one of those places will be perfectly fine for my quiet time with God. I am a wife and mother and my time with God will reflect that vocation…and that’s ok with me and God.
You can get your own Journaling Bible here at Amazon…Journaling Bible
I use these pens–Perfect Bible Journaling Pens. They don’t bleed through even the thinnest pages, come in a variety of colors and are thin enough to write legibly between lines, in the margin, etc.
My favorite Bible marking kit. Again, no bleed through and they have a chisel tip on one end and a fine tip on the other.
More posts on how I’m using my journaling Bible: