You want to get started with Bible Journaling. You’ve seen beautiful pictures of other people’s Bibles and you are intrigued. You want to grow in faith and grow a closer relationship to Jesus. The trouble is…you aren’t very creative and those pictures on Pinterest look awfully intimidating.
Don’t lose heart. It’s possible to do easy Bible Journaling, whether you are creative or not so creative.
Does this sound familiar? If so, read on for tips for not so creative people among us. We can Bible Journal too, but we need to take a bit different approach than someone who is naturally creative.
As you read on, do some honest self-assessment about some of these suggestions. Maybe you have some creativity but not the time. If so, go with the easier option. Or maybe your life circumstances have changed to where you have a bit more time so you can stretch yourself a little.
Bible Journaling: Tips for Not So Creative People
Do you want the free printable download of these guidelines? Click here to get it, plus more Bible Journaling printables, too.
1.Gather a Few Supplies
1. Choose a Bible
If you can possible afford it, I recommend you purchase a Journaling Bible.
If you are:
- Not comfortable with much free hand lettering
- Don’t plan to take many notes in your Bible
- Mostly want to meditate and color in your Bible
Then I recommend one of these Bibles (click the link to see pictures of the inside). These Bibles have many pre-done pictures and phrases ready for you to color in the margins and on pages. There is some space for note-taking and free drawing, but not as much as in other journaling Bibles. Think of these as a cross between a journaling bible and pre-done adult coloring pages, in a very tasteful way. These are beautiful Bibles that you will treasure.
Note that the pages are thin you while some markers work for these Bibles, mostly you will be more happy with the results if you use colored pencils because markers will show through on the opposite side.
If you want a Journaling Bible where you can create more of your own work, I recommend one of these Bibles:
ESV Single Column Journalin...Shop on AmazonESV Journaling Bible (Black...Shop on Amazon
NIV, Journal the Word Bible...Shop on Amazon
2. Choose a Notebook
If you prefer not to write in your Bible or you cannot afford a Journaling Bible, you can do all your Bible Journaling in a notebook.
You can use a $1 (or less) school notebook from the local store. There is no reason why you need a fancy notebook and don’t get hung up on thinking you need one. Remember Bible Journaling is about strengthening your walk with Jesus, not about spending a ton of money on fancy supplies, so keep the main thing the main thing.
If you find you need a strong guide for your daily time, here are a couple notebooks I really like because they guide the process step by step (click for photos of sample pages):
Wholehearted: A Coloring Bo...Shop on Amazon
Still, remember any plain notebook will work. You can also use a 3-ring binder and print daily journaling pages.
3. Choose a Bible reading plan
One of the things I’ve found in my life is that I need accountability for many things. This is true of my weight loss efforts, my fitness endeavors, and most other activities that require a consistent pattern and are not easy.
People often ask me how I lost 100 pounds. I’m not some miracle person. I force myself to be accountable whether I like it or not. (Often I don’t and am rather grouchy about it, but am thankful later.)
The same is true of most things worth doing, including spending time in God’s Word. We all know we want to do it, but we don’t take the steps to be accountable so we don’t do it.
A daily Bible reading plan helps you be consistent. Even better if you do it with another person or a group of people.
Here are some resources:
You Version (TONS of great devotions and Bible Reading Plans)
First Five (Devotions to read during the first 5 minutes of your day – for women.)
Still Standing (30 days of devotions if you are Still Standing through a tough life situation)
4. Gather a FEW Creative Supplies
This is where many people get hung up but this is also where Bible Journaling gets fun, so find the balance that is right for you. You don’t need a lot of fancy supplies to get started.
The key here is to focus on a few supplies for easy Bible journaling that is fun and inspiring but also doesn’t overwhelm you.
Crayola colored pencils work great for Bible Journaling as well as coloring in a simple notebook.
Prisma colored pencils are more expensive but are the highly preferred pencils of many people who Bible Journal. They are an investment but will last for years.
Bible Journaling Pen is not required but will be helpful for any type of lettering you want to do.
2. Keep Everything in One Location
Okay, once you have your basic supplies at hand (Bible, Journal, Reading Plan, Colored Pencils, Pen), put all of you supplies in one location. I like using a pretty basket and I just grabbed one from my basement because I’m a bit of a basket hoarder. I didn’t realize how bad it was until we moved and I had to use 5 (okay maybe closer to 10) boxes just for all my baskets.
A rubbermaid-type box with a handle is also a great idea if you plan to join other friends for some of your Bible Journaling times.
3. Set Aside a Regular Time
Create a dedicated time when you will work on Bible Journaling. Will it be early in the morning before everyone’s awake? In the quiet evenings before you go to bed? During kids’ nap time or when you get home from work and need to unwind? Choose a time that will be dedicated to you and God’s Word only.
4. Find Bible Journaling Friends
There are many online groups dedicated to online journaling. Click here for some of my suggestions. There are also more in-person groups starting. Finding friends who are dedicated to your same craft is wonderfully motivating and inspiring.
5. Cheating Isn’t Cheating
When it comes to Bible Journaling, it’s totally okay to copy, trace, imitate, and steal other people’s ideas.
It’s not cheating to borrow or use other people’s ideas from the Internet and books. People put ideas out there to be shared, so use away. The goal is to have reflective time in God’s Word — don’t stress out about the mechanics of how you get there.
5. Beware of BJ Envy
My one word of caution with Bible Journaling groups and ideas is that it’s super-easy for us non-creative folks to end up with BJ (Bible Journaling) Envy. We see these gorgeous pages and Journaling Bibles and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. A couple things can happen:
- You get overwhelmed and never even try.
- You compare yourself to theirs and feel like you don’t messure up.
- You somehow judge your SPIRITUAL life based on the artistic quality of your Bible pages.
Please remember all of these things are false ideas planted by the enemy and not what the heart of Bible journaling is all about.
If looking at other people’s Bible Journaling work is inspiring for you, go for it! If it creates too much BV Envy or overwhelm, shut it off for awhile and focus on your own.
Get these helpful tips and other Bible Journaling printables here: