There is a new wave of scrapbooking hitting the internet—Bible journaling. The practice takes the traditional practice of making notes in the margin of a Bible and takes it to the next level. Instead of just jotting down notes from sermons or personal anecdotes related to scripture, bible journaling allows you to respond to scripture in a more full-concept, artistic way.
Graduate school is a stressful time, and a great time to retreat to familiar passages that provide you with comfort and inspiration. Taking some time to mediate and respond personally to these passages can be a great tool for stress relief. Even if you follow the teaching of another religious text, or have a favorite novel that you would like to use as the basis for your literary journal, you may find some of these Bible journaling tips helpful!
One of the first things you will need to do is to decide if you want to use your everyday Bible or if you want to purchase one especially for journaling. There are specialty Bibles printed especially for the purpose of journaling that have a two-inch white margin along the side so that you have substantial room to work. If you choose to use your current Bible, that is fine, but you should use colored pencils, as you will be able to write over the text with those and still be able to read what is printed underneath.
Next, you will need to find a passage that speaks to you. You can flip to a familiar passage, use an online search tool, or even wait until your next Sunday sermon to select one. As you read the passage, think about what connections you can make to the text. It may remind you of a song, a story, a picture, a family member, another verse, or just about anything else. You will now use your colored pencils, paints, stickers, washi tape, and other supplies to journal about that connection. Draw a quick picture of the family member the verse reminds you of. Jot a quick version of the story. Add in a personal quote. Decorate the page or just the area around the verse or verses.
You can even begin a Bible journaling group and share supplies or even one Bible. Each week, the teacher of the lesson can be responsible for decorating the Bible and sharing the lesson. The possibilities of working this into your spiritual practice is endless.
If you are unsure about writing in your Bible, you can also purchase sheer paper that can overlay on the pages of the Bible or you can use washi tape to tape pieces of paper to the edges of the pages of your Bible and use those for journaling.
The objective of a Bible journal is not to methodically work the entire time. Instead, it is to organically interact with the scriptures as you run across them in your spiritual practice and to respond to them in an authentic way. Your Bible journal will be a book that you treasure and one that your children will treasure into the future.