Hi, I’m Jenny and I’m addicted to pretty journals, pens, highlighters and Pins featuring colorful scripture journals. I want to journal Bible quotes, (also known as Bible Journaling) but I can’t. It’s not that I don’t try–believe me I do. It’s not that I don’t have, the right tools–believe me I do. Ahem, I visit office supply stores and the school supply aisle like some women seek out good chocolate or great shoes. I think it’s my perfectionist tendencies. Yep, I think my inner perfect–who my husband wishes would show herself useful around the house–that keeps me from journaling inspiring Bible quotes.
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UPDATE: I’ve written a book, Bible Journaling Tips, Inspiration and Permission,” telling the “Why” showing the “How” and answering any and almost all obstacles that may be standing in the way of you and your Bible.
Bible Journaling & Me
Have you ever searched “Journal Bible Quotes” or “Scripture Journaling” on Pinterest? I love looking at scripture journals. The scriptures state “the Word of God is living and active” and seeing how people use a journal as a part of their devotional time inspires me. I want that intimate, artistic experience with the Word of God. I want that beautiful, physical expression from our devotional time together. Instead, I try…worry too much about what it looks like…end up frustrated…and don’t even know or remember the intimacies God and I shared. The practice of journaling Bible quotes becomes so much more about “me” than about “Him” or “us.”
Here’s how it usually goes…In my Bible reading, I will pause to reflect on a verse that has captured my attention. I’ll consider it, ponder it for a minute and then get out my highlighter to highlight the verse and that’s when it begins…
“But what color? Is it an obvious one I use, like pink for me as a woman, or green for my words or blue for my thoughts? Oh man, it’s one of those verses I already highlighted yellow when I first purchased my Bible because in an effort to calm my inner Bible-highlighting-perfectionist-nerd, I decided to highlight everything I liked in yellow. Now if I use a blue highlighter over it then that verse will turn green and it’s clearly not a verse about my words,” I argue with myself. “And what if the verse can actually be highlighted with more than one color? And symbols: boxes, circles, underlines…what if I mark a certain passage and then realize I should have marked it another way? What happens if the highlighter or pens leak through to the other side? I probably need a new Bible because I’ve already messed this year old one up trying out figure out my system.”
Moving on to my devotional journal…”Do I just start at page one and then page two and then…or do I number the pages and keep them in some type of order? Do I color code these pages as well? The verse is short, do I center it in the middle of the page so I can artistically
scribble doodle around it? What about washi tape and stickers? What do I write, the verse and my impressions? Do I write a prayer using the verse? What if God didn’t speak to me about this verse…or I wasn’t listening? This verse says, “A voice from heaven…” how in the world do I draw God’s voice? Do I make lines in the upper corner of the page? Oh great, that looks like sunshine rays not God’s voice! Now I need to rip this page out!”
And then me at the store, “Oh look at the pretty journals. I bet this will be ‘The One.’ The journal that will make everything click. I will set down tomorrow and begin to journal Bible quotes with the best of them! This will be one of my spiritual legacies to my children. After my death, they will fight over my collection of scripture journals. They will read them and then realize all those times the floor needed to be mopped, I was journaling inspiring Bible quotes and gaining great spiritual insights from the Lord–I have the artistic rendition to prove my intimate conversations with God.”
It’s a wonder–as my grandma would say–It’s a wonder based on all that inner dialogue above God doesn’t just open the Thunderheads and let it rain for 40 or so days huh? I mean really–Is any of that nonsense from God? Of course not! It’s all from me…and/or someone else who would love nothing better than to discourage me from reading my Bible or at least distract me enough while I’m reading it that I gain nothing–nada.
So the solution? Just sit down and read and keep the journaling to a simple formula. I do think Bible journaling can be an effective means to understand the Word of God better or more deeply. But maybe for people like me, a simple, straight forward method is the best way. There is the S.O.A.P method that I have used, and it has worked really well; I actually had my children do it as part of their morning school–Hm, we may pick this practice back up…anyway. (Edited to add, I was inspired to use my own acronym, POWER–read more about it here. I even spent 30 Days using this POWERful new method!)
Do you journal Bible quotes? What is your method?
Guess what! I took the plunge into Bible Journaling! I’ve made mistakes…and surprised myself with something even I can appreciate. I’ve gotten frustrated…and persevered and the result was ample time in the Word. I totally encourage you to just do it! Maybe intentionally make a mistake first thing just to get it out of the way even.
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