Since I last posted, my husband got me a new journaling Bible as an early birthday present so that I could finally have a wide-margin Bible in which to do my art and journaling. I got the ESV double-column black hardcover journaling Bible from Amazon. I was also able to pick up some Pentel Aquash water brushes and a date stamp, and I also received a new watercolor set (36 color Artist Loft from Michaels), some alphabet stamps, and other goodies in a Valentine’s Day happy mail swap in which I participated.
When I got my new Bible, I decided that I wanted to journal through it by doing one entry per book of the Bible each day. For Part 1, I will post my pages in Genesis through Ruth and briefly explain my process per page.
Genesis: I wanted to do a galaxy page in my new Bible for the beginning of Genesis. As I was using my new waterbrushes to add the color to the page, these song lyrics were going through my head: “God of wonders beyond our galaxy, You are holy, holy. The universe declares Your majesty, You are holy, holy. Lord of heaven and earth.” I decided to use some of these lyrics and write them on the page.
Exodus: I love to paint flowers, so I knew the next page I did needed to have flowers. I traced the flowers first in pencil, added watercolor, then once dry traced over my lines in black gel pen. I’ve decided that I like doing double lines because it helps make any wonkiness look intentional (and sometimes it is). This page helped me decide that my style is simple, whimsical, and imperfect with lots of color. I also like to highlight my verse or passage on each page so that I can remember exactly what I was meditating on while illustrating.
Leviticus: As I was doing the watercolor on this page, I really did not like how it was coming out. I thought that this might be a page I end up hiding because it doesn’t turn out. However, I just trusted the creative process and slowly waited for the paint to dry. I added the outlines, a simple stamping of the word “holy” and some washi tape. When it was finished, it turned out to be one of my favorite pages! Because I wasn’t quick to try and “fix” it by adding lots of extra things and just kept it simple, I feel that my patience salvaged the page.
Numbers: When I realized that this popular blessing was in the book of Numbers, I knew I had to do a sunflower page; “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” I wanted to rewrite part of the verse into the margin, but I loved the simplicity of the sunflower so much that I decided to leave it alone. Again, keep it simple. I later wrote out the verse in my prayer journal.
Deuteronomy: This page is really special because it contains my daughter’s tiny hand, and I will be able to flip back to this page as she grows and remember when she was this size. This passage in Deuteronomy talks about not forgetting what the Lord has taught you and passing it down to your children; my prayer is that my daughter will know and love Jesus one day, and I hope that as she sees me Bible journaling, she will be able to learn to love His word from me. For this page I used watered down pink and white acrylic paints to create an ombré effect. I traced and watercolored my daughter’s hand then added it in with washi tape so I would be able to lift it up and read the words underneath.
Joshua: This page and saying was inspired by several other Bible journalers. “If you trust God with the results, you have to trust God with the process.” The fall of Jericho seems “normal” to anyone who has grown up listening to the story, but if you stop to think about the process God used to help the Israelites defeat Jericho, it’s really quite strange. Sometimes God works in ways we don’t understand, and in the midst of the process, I often feel like God doesn’t know what He is doing. But God does know, and I have to trust Him in the process just as much as when I see the end result.
Judges: This was the first page I did with my new watercolors and I had so much fun trying out some new colors that I haven’t used before. I also used my new alpha stamps to stamp out the word “Melody.” I did some simple lettering, added a few alpha stickers at the bottom, piano washi tape, and finished with a few music notes.
Ruth: When it came time to do my journaling for Valentine’s Day, I happened to be at the book of Ruth for my next page to illustrate. This was an appropriate passage to do for Valentine’s Day, since three and a half years ago I “pulled a Ruth” by sending a Facebook message to a “friend” after feeling prompted by God, which led to my happily ever after with my best friend and now husband! When I was single, I studied this passage a lot, as it tends to be the thing to do, but the main thing I learned from my various studies is that the point of this story is not about a woman finding a husband under what seems to be impossible circumstances; it’s about our Great Redeemer saving us in an impossible way so that we can be joined to Him forever! What better way to celebrate a day about love than to reflect on the great love that God lavishes on us by redeeming us in our sin and saving us for a life of purpose for Him.
As I journal through this Bible, I have made the decision to try to keep the text as visible as possible. I know some people use their journaling Bible differently and don’t mind covering up the words, and that is perfectly okay too. It’s a personal decision because Bible journaling is about YOUR personal journey. I want to be able to take my Bible everywhere with me and still be functional as far as reading the text from it, and that is why I have chosen to keep it visible. Maybe someday I will have another journaling Bible that I just use for art journaling and don’t worry about covering the words so much. But whether I cover the text or not, the most important aspect of this form of art worship is that I am writing God’s word on my heart. God wants me to know Him and to know His word, and I am getting to know Him more intimately when I illustrate my faith.