I’m active in several Bible journaling groups, and the same misconceptions come up over and over so I will address them here with this post and infographic.
Download the PDF Infographic at the bottom of this post.
Misconception #1. You Have to be Able to Draw
Many of us can’t draw well, but we can doodle. Sue at Doodle101 offers free doodling tutorials! She’s inspired thousands on Pinterest to try doodling.
Stickers and washi tape make beautiful pages-- no drawing needed. I can't draw so I use digital elements to Bible journaing using my computer.
Misconception #2. It is Expensive
I consider Bible journaling an investment, not an expense. It is a tiny investment for the peace, enjoyment and strength you can gain to help you walk the walk. Any hobby can be expensive if you buy tools and supplies without researching and checking for the best prices.
Your investment can be anywhere from $5 to several hundred dollars. Some people actually spend $7 for a marker.
Misconception #3 It is Too Difficult, Overwhelming.
I have heard the “overwhelming” word dozens of times. I understand. This is something you have never done and you need to learn how.
Know what? Baking a cake when you have never baked a cake can seem overwhelming too, especially if you were looking at baking a seven-tiered wedding cake like the one you saw at a bakery!
Bible journaling is new. There are beautiful, amazing pages on Pinterest and Facebook. There are beautiful cakes in bakeries. Just take one step at a time.
If God gives you a passion, he will provide the ability. I saw one beautiful page, and the person said that four weeks earlier she couldn’t draw a stick figure, but she practiced and made beautiful pages within a few weeks.
Maybe you are overwhelmed because there are many types of Bible journaling. Just like there are different types of cakes—no one is better than the other—it is a matter of preference. Some cakes take more effort than others. Maybe the list in the next section will help you.
You know what always helps me when I feel overwhelmed? Prayer and Bible study. Works every time. Keep your eyes on the Father. He will provide for your needs.
Misconception #4 You Have to Mark Up Your Bible.
There are many types of Bible journaling. If you don’t want to write in your Bible, use a composition notebook, binder or journal.
Here is a lovely page from AProverbsWife.com’s Scripture Journal.
Illustrated Faith created a lovely 3-ring Praise Journal comparable to a Smash Book.
I use it for my digital pages I create on the commuter.
You could easily do this with any notebook. Bible journaling in a journal or notebook is the same as above but not in a Bible. (TJ MAX and Marshalls have beautiful journals for $4 to $7).
Digital Bible journaling: I began with traditional Bible journaling and then switched to digital. No mess!
I drag and drop images on to the computer screen then print out the pages and use washi tape to put in my Interleaved Bible (every other page is blank).
Now I do both (hybrid). Digital Bible journaling is like digital scrapbooking, but instead of dragging and dropping photos onto a page, you drag and drop text and other elements.
I’m working on tutorials now so if you are interested, join the mail list for announcements.I’m working on tutorials now so if you are interested, join the mail list for announcements
Misconception #5 You Have to Know About Paint
Lots of ladies who Bible journal have never picked up a paint brush. There are many mediums to choose from. Water color pencils are wonderful!
You can always learn about paint. Rebecca Jones Bible journaling videos include step-by-step directions. The public library near my house has watercolor classes. Check your area.
Misconception #6 You Have to Have Beautiful Handwriting
Misconception #7 You Have to Be Creative
You were made in the image of God, THE Creator. You are creative. You may have been too busy to try, but if you take some time and put some thought into it you will see. God gives everyone gifts and talents. Pray about it.
Misconception #8 You Have to Fit Everything in a Narrow Margin
Margins are not wide enough for my Bible studies. I enjoy creating margin strips on the computer and placing them in my Bible. I LOVE in-depth Bible studies where I place bullet lists, summaries, comments, and quotes in boxes in my planner pages. It’s the way I learn best (it’s called “chunking,” breaking a lot of information into nuggets). Here are some of my “gold nuggets”:
Misconception #9 It Take a Lot of Time
“God will, generally speaking, not compete for our attention. If we will not withdraw from things that obsess and exhaust us into solitude and silence, He will usually leave us to our own devices,” says author and professor Dr. Dallas Willard.
Misconception #10 The Art is the Most Important Part
Art is nice but it’s not the goal. Whatever method you use to Bible journal, the items below make up the critical parts of Bible journaling:
1. Pray for wisdom. He promised he will give it; we just need to ask.
2. Personalize it. What is God saying to you through the passage?
3. Ask Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
4. Keep track of your thoughts and growth. Date your pages.
5. Think about what you are leaving for future generations. (I have my grandmother’s Bible. There are very few notes inside, even though I never saw it far from her lap. What I would give if she would have included her struggles and victories.)
6. Your journal will not be like anyone else’s. We are unique, our relationships with God are all unique. Enjoy the talent he has given you, and if he prompts you, develop new talents.
7. It’s all about getting to know him better, deeper, learning to fully trust him. It’s not about the art. Spending time in his Word will fill you to overflowing with praise. You will grow in strength, mercy, wisdom and love.