Have you admired a friend’s pretty painted Bible pages or hand-lettered decorations on the pages of her journaling Bible, and longed to spend time in worship that way, but thought to yourself that you could never do that? Have you been invited to an Illustrated Faith Girls Night Out, but didn’t think you were creative enough for stuff like that? Or maybe after perusing all the amazing Bible Journaling Tips and Ideas on Pinterest you were inspired to journal your faith and leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren… (sigh)… if only you had more time… or talent… or maybe you use your tiny house or budget as your excuse.
Well I’m here to share with you that, even though I have limitations in all four of those areas (time, space, talent and resources), I am still able to enjoy precious time delighting in the LORD through Bible Journaling, coloring and other creative activities. If I can do it, so can you.
Even though my husband and I are now empty-nesters, I still am pretty limited in time…
Besides working on my blog and business, (and trying to launch a new coloring book by the end of September,) I have a full-time 8-5 job, and I teach a Bible Study class on Tuesday, which requires several hours of preparation each week. Plus there is all the family stuff like dates with my husband, going to visit my parents and siblings, keeping my (adorable) grandkids, attending baby showers and shopping for my new granddaughter, (Yay! I’m so excited!!!) who should arrive around the middle of September, etc.
As for space, well, there may be a few of you who have more limited space than me, but not many because… I live in an RV (otherwise known as a fifth-wheel camper trailer.) As you can see from this pic, my computer takes up most of my desk space, so the kitchen table is usually where I will go to do coloring or Bible Journaling. Or if the weather is nice, I will go outside.
In my post on Bringing Your War Room Out of the Closet, I shared with you how I like to keep my supplies in a pretty tote bag. It’s not just so I can easily take my supplies with me, it’s also because I have nowhere else to keep them. 🙂
So, as you can see, I am also limited on resources. Even if I was able to afford to buy a bunch of Bible Journaling supplies, I have very limited space to keep them.
But I don’t want you to think I am complaining here. I am very thankful for my limitations, because limitations or constraints can actually boost your creativity. Because…
“What restrictions do is take away some of the choices available to us, and with them, the paralysis of choice that stops us from getting started.” – Proof That Constraints Can Actually Make You More Creative by Belle Beth Cooper
LIMITATIONS. None of us like them, yet limitation is the fertile ground in which the seeds of creativity sprout and grow. Without the challenge of limitation, there is no need for creativity. We would never be pushed into seeing things in new ways, because there would be no incentive. When we are limited by circumstance, situation, or supply, we are forced to to work around that barrier in order to accomplish what we want. Challenges, when approached positively, cause us to exercise the muscles of our creative minds.
The key, of course is approaching your limitations positively. Don’t listen to your own self-doubt, or to the lies that you CAN’T do _______________ because of your limitations.
You may think talent is necessary to do anything artistic in nature, but I promise you, it is not. I have friends who see all the stuff I create and make comments like, “You are so talented!” But I actually have very little natural artistic talent, especially when it comes to drawing.
Dictionary.com defines “talent” as: a special natural ability or aptitude.
What people don’t know is that, often what appears to be talent, is actually just learned skills. I’m not one of those people who was drawing and painting amazing things before I could even walk or talk. No one would have predicted that I would grow up to be an artist from looking at my school-age drawings. What I was good at was making straight A’s (except for an occasional B in Math.) And I was too busy with honors courses to make time for art classes.
However, when I got to college, I decided to take some art classes because I thought I would enjoy them. And I was right. I did enjoy them, even if they did ruin my GPA. Yep, the worst grades I made were in my art classes.
But… I kept practicing, and learning however I could. I bought books and took online courses and observed other art I liked. And I still do these things. I am constantly learning and honing my skill. What I found is that yes, some artists are naturally talented, but most kinds of art involve skills… and skills can be learned… if you want to learn.
ONE MORE THING…
There is one other limitation I want to address before I get to my Eight Easy Bible Journaling Tips for you. And that is creativity.
One of my pet peeves is hearing people say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”
The reason it bothers me is because it is a lie from the pit of hell. You were created in the image of God. He is creative, so therefore you are creative. And unlike time, talent, space and resources, the only thing that can limit your creativity is you.
“Creativity is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special. It is an openness to doing old things new ways…The creative spirit is part of our heritage as children of the One who created all things. And nurturing our creativity is part of our responsibility as stewards of God’s good gifts.” – Emilie Barnes, The Spirit of Loveline
Your creativity may show up more in the areas that you are passionate about, or you may need to inflict some limitations on yourself to boost your creativity, but there’s no doubt about it… YOU are creative!
Here are my Eight Easy Bible Journaling Tips to get you started.
Bible Journaling Tip #1: Start with a coloring book or a coloring Bible
If you feel very intimidated by all the different supplies available and all the different techniques you could try, which has caused you to feel paralyzed, with no idea where to start, why not boost your creativity by limiting yourself to coloring pre-made designs.
You can still achieve a variety of different effects, depending on what you use to color with. (Here’s a list of my 5 Favorite Coloring Supplies.)
Coloring Bibles are fairly new to the market. They include black and white line art illustrations on many of the pages, ready for you to add your own color and creativity.
Here’s a few that are available in versions of the Bible.
I have yet to find one in an ESV version, so if you know of one, please let me know.
Update: I recently purchased the Inspire Praise Bible and am loving it! It is so beautiful that I can’t wait to open it up every day. It has a nice mixture of illustrations and blank margins, plus some beautiful full-color vellum pages.
Coloring books for adults are very popular right now because coloring is a fun way to relax your mind. But when you color pages that are filled with Scripture, well…
—>>>That’s why I
am in the process of creating have created a Scripture coloring book to provide you with a beautiful yet easy way to connect with Jesus (who IS The Word of God) in a fun, relaxed and creative way. Want a sneak peek?
UPDATE: My new Scripture Coloring Book is now available! Click here for ordering info.
Here’s a few of the most popular Christian coloring books on Amazon.com:
Easy Bible Journaling Tip #2: Use Bible journaling templates
If you’ve already purchased a journaling Bible, but are trying to decide where to start, using a Bible journaling template to trace a design onto your page might be a good option for you. Most Bible pages are very thin, so it is very easy to trace onto them. You can trace using a pencil and then go over it with a black pen, or if you are pressed for time, just trace with a pen. Here’s a couple of pens I recommend that will not smear or bleed through to the other side of your page:
After your design is inked in, then you can add color using colored pencils, gel pens or watercolors. (If you use watercolors, use just a tiny bit of water, so your page will not buckle too much.)
A great place to find Bible journaling templates is on Etsy. Just do a search for “Bible journaling templates”. (Click the image above to view the Bible Journaling Templates I have for sale in my Etsy shop.)
It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!
- Choose a pretty brush script font.
- Using a computer program (like Microsoft Word, Publisher, Google Docs or Photoshop,) type the verse or words you want to put on your Bible page.
- Choose 1-3 words that you wish to emphasize. Change those words to a simple block letter font (like Arial Black or Impact) and use ALL CAPS. (Example on left is available as a free printable in my Free Printables Library. Sign up below.)
Then print your design out and use it as a template to trace onto your Bible page.
Fontsquirrel.com is a great place to find FREE fonts. However, one of my favorite resources for pretty script fonts and hand-lettering fonts is CreativeMarket.com. I go there often because they offer a different set of free products every week. Some of my favorite pretty fonts are: Steelheart, Hello Beautiful, Garden Grown, Tuesday Script, Florabella Script.
Easy Bible Journaling Tip #4: Hand-letter your words
There is just something about your own handwriting that is so personal. (And so meaningful to future generations.) Don’t be afraid to just write in the margins of your Bible the same way you would write anything. Then you can use tip #5 and tip #6 to dress it up a little if you wish.
If you wish to hand-write in your Bible, and want it to look different than your regular handwriting, but you don’t know how… just pretend you are back in kindergarten…
- Use print (rather than cursive)
- Make your letters big and bold.
- Make each line straight up and down and the round letters very round.
- Space your letters out a little more than you normally would.
- Now, choose 1-3 words to emphasize and write those words either in cursive or in ALL CAPS.
- On letters that have a straight line going up and down, you can add an extra line to make a rectangle box on each letter, which you can then color in, like in the example below.
Slow down and take your time. Practice first on a blank piece of paper if you wish. Then you can put your practice sheet under your Bible page and trace it. Now let’s have some fun with Tip #5 and Tip #6.
Flowers and leaves can pretty up any page. If you don’t know what else to do, just add a couple of doodle flowers or a vine (squiggly line with lots of leaves.) Or add some arrows. They can be skinny or fat, long, short or even a curved arrow.
If you need help getting started, simply search “how to draw doodle flowers” on Pinterest, or “how to draw arrows.” Or check out Sue Carrols’s Doodle 101 series (step by step drawing of specific Scriptures.)
Or, if you want an even easier, quicker way…
Trace flowers, leaves, butterflies and other elements from coloring pages or other printables you own. Then proceed to add color, as in Tip#2.
This will give you more options than a coloring Bible or coloring book, but is much quicker than drawing out a complete design from scratch.
Hint: You can also use the Scripture art and Bible journaling printables from my FREE Printables Library for this too! Fill in the form below to get access to my entire library now!
GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY LIBRARY OF FREE PRINTABLES FOR COLORING AND BIBLE JOURNALING
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Easy Bible Journaling Tip #6: Add dots, swirls and curly q’s
It’s amazing what a few dots and swirls can do to liven up a design. Look at other designs to get ideas, then just have fun adding cute embellishments anywhere you feel like there is too much white space. I save pages I like to my Bible Art Journaling Pinterest board, so I can reference them easily.
(Click the image below to follow my Bible Art Journaling Pinterest board.)
Easy Bible Journaling Tip #7: Do your Bible journaling digitally
Digital Bible journaling is like digital scrapbooking, but instead of dragging and dropping photos onto a page (using a computer program like Photoshop Elements,) you drag and drop text, clipart, backgrounds, and other elements.
This method is great for women who are comfortable using a computer, but who have limited time, space, or hand lettering and illustrating skills… or for women who just prefer to use a computer.
I love creating Scripture graphics using apps on my iPhone and then posting them on social media to encourage others, or setting them as my wallpaper/lockscreen on my phone. I like using my iPhone because it is quick and easy. And because I can do it anywhere I am because all I need is my iPhone… and my iPhone is almost always with me wherever I am.
You can also do a mixture of digital and physical Bible journaling. You could:
- design a Bible verse page on the computer, then print it out on vellum and stick it in your Bible using washi tape
- design a margin strip on your computer, print it on sticker paper, then stick it on a page in your journaling Bible
- using your computer or iPhone, create a design, then print it and trace it onto a page in your Bible or prayer journal
- the possibilities are endless!
For more info and ideas on Bible journaling digitally, check out Robin Sampson’s website: BibleJournalingDigitally.com
Easy Bible Journaling Tip #8: Remember your WHY
It can be easy to let the art become an idol, but I urge you to always keep in mind the reason why you want to do Bible journaling. You may have different reasons than I do, but I am guessing they are similar.
The reason I love Bible journaling so much is that, whether I am hand-lettering a Bible verse in my journaling Bible or creating a Scripture graphic on my iPhone or coloring in a Bible coloring book, the process of Bible journaling helps me to:
- hide God’s Word in my heart
- renew my mind to the truths of Scripture
- slow down long enough to connect with Jesus in an intimate way
- increase my passion and love for The Word of God
- connect my creativity and my faith
- quiet my mind and heart so I can hear Jesus better
- see God’s Word with new eyes and a fresh perspective
- use my gifts to worship and glorify God
- DELIGHT in the LORD and in His Word
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42 ESV
Which tip is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below which Easy Bible Journaling Tip you are going to use first.
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