Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What Bible Journaling Is...and What It Isn't {+ A Look at the Illustrated Faith October Grace & Gratitude Kit} #giveaway

**Product received for consideration as part of Dayspring's Bible Journaling Launch Team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

For the past three years, I have written a LOT about the topic of Bible journaling. It's something that I have been passionate about for a long time, and that I truly love to share with others in hopes that perhaps they'll find that same passion too.

Still, I think sometimes when we talk about it, there tends to be a focus on the LOOK of Bible journaling. What do the pages look like? What techniques were used? Where did the inspiration for color schemes come from? Don't get me wrong, this is all fun to read and share, and I love learning about new ways to expand artistic skills, but if that's all that we focus on, the true meaning can get lost in translation. So, today I really want to take a step back and share a little bit more about the WHAT and the WHY rather than the HOW. I really want you to have a better understand about why I fell in love with Bible journaling, and what I get out of it...and what it can be for you too.

What Bible Journaling IS... and what it ISN'T.

  • Bible journaling is creating art to glorify God.
  • Bible journaling is interpreting your reflections on verses/themes/etc into artwork or typical journaling as a form of worship. 
  • Bible journaling is personal and unique to each person.
  • Bible journaling is a way to encourage people to spend more time in the Word.
  • Bible journaling is a great way to document your growth in faith to look back upon.
  • Bible journaling is a great keepsake to pass along to your children. 
  • Bible journaling is a fantastic way to keep your mind on things that are good.
  • Bible journailing is all about GOD and your relationship with him.
  • Bible journaling isn't creating art to get more likes on social media. There is nothing wrong with sharing, so long as it's with the goal to glorify God, not ourselves.
  • Bible journaling isn't perfection or a competition. From the master artist to the 'can't draw a stick figure', anyone can enjoy and benefit from journaling. 
  • Bible journaling isn't any one style or form of journaling. We can doodle, we can write, we can splatter on some paint... or any combination of the above or more... as long as it's bringing us closer to God, we can make it 100% our own.
  • Bible journaling isn't meant to be stressful. If we are worried about not doing it enough, or how our pages don't turn out, we cannot fully enjoy and grow from the process. 

To be honest, before I started Bible journaling myself, I found myself filled with a lot of doubts. I knew I wasn't a fantastic artist, and as I would see these other beautiful pages on Instagram and Pinterest, I would feel intimidated. I knew I couldn't create those beautiful pages, and the perfectionist in me started saying, 'why bother trying?'. To be honest, on occasion those thoughts still creep their way in. I had to really pray on it, and remember the TRUE reason that I wanted to start: I loved crafting and I loved being creative, and I wanted to find a new way to connect with God on that level. I had to give myself permission to be imperfect and to just enjoy the time with God no matter the outcome. In letting go of that perfectionism, at least in this area of my life, it allowed me to truly think about the words I was reading and connect with them on a deeper level. It allowed me to artistically step out of my comfort zone and try new things that might have scared me otherwise. I so often found those pages to be the ones that in the end glorified God the most--- doing it in spite of the uncertainty. It allowed me to openly share my Bible journaling with others, even knowing that there were better pages out there, bringing this form or worship to more people AND a much needed positive message where it so needed. Once I allowed it to be, Bible journaling truly has done amazing things for my personal faith and it can do the same for anyone too... so long as we are doing it for the right reason! It's not the pages, it's the relationship. 

How do we start Bible journaling, the right way?
  • Find a translation you love. The best way to fall in love with the Bible is to have a translation that makes sense for you. Lately, I find that I prefer CSB or ESV, but there are journaling Bibles in just about every translation- from KJV to The Message!
  • Pray about it. Before you begin, and before each page, pray. Ask God to keep your heart and mind open to whatever He wants to teach you through the experience. If you struggle with insecurity over the process, use that time to hand it over to Him.
  • Give yourself permission. Before journaling anything else in your Bible, consider creating a permissions page--- a page that reminds you that imperfection is okay, mess ups are okay, etc. You can even use some of the points on what journaling is and is not from above. This can help put you in the correct mindset to start!
  • Join in 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude. Earlier this year, I participated in Illustrated Faith's 100 Days of Bible Promises. To be entirely honest, after two years of journaling I found myself in a bit of a rut, unsure where to journal next. This gave me the daily prompts I needed to offer inspiration and get me more excited about journaling again. 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude is the next addition to that, and truly is ideal for this season. I for one cannot wait to get started on November 1.

Even better? Through December, the Illustrated Faith monthly devotional kits will go perfectly with the 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude journal. Take a look at October's kit, month 1 of 3 Grace & Gratitude:

  • 30 hole punched Thankful prompt cards on key ring
  • 2 sheets of clear stickers
  • 1 washi tape
  • 1 4x6 clear stamp
  • Paper pieces
  • 1 Grace & Gratitude sticker
  • 1 surprise from Shanna
  • 1 thank you card from Shanna
  • Packaged in a box with mustard gold tissue and sticker

If this kit doesn't scream fall, I don't know what will! The leaves, the acorns, that pumpkin stamp... not to mention the fabulous colors. For so many of us, fall in the time of the year when we truly start thinking about everything we are grateful for. Often we see our newsfeed start to fill up every November with daily posts on what we're thankful for. That can start to seem like just any old tradition, but have you ever noticed what a difference it can make in your day when we stop to think about the GOOD things we have? Dwelling on the bills piling up, the never ending pile of laundry and the kids constant bickering can really weigh us down and have us feeling like it's all just too much. But taking that time to remember that we actually DO have a lot to be thankful for even when things aren't going well? That has the power to completely change our attitude!

This kit really allows us to think about and document that through fantastic scriptures and prompts, beyond just those typical 'I'm thankful for family, etc'. The first thing that struck me about this kit was just how versatile it is. Some kits in the past have seemed much more specific to a theme or color scheme, etc. Gorgeous as they might be, I'll admit there are many pieces from kits passed that I have yet to find a way to use in my journaling. These pieces and themes are just classic. They pair beautifully with last year's Gratitude Documented collection, or are perfect on their own too. I love the simple stickers and leaves and that amazing washi- I can't get enough. The stamps offer a wide variety of perfect for fall images that I cannot wait to use. My favorite part though? The amazing acorn stencils! Backgrounds are something I still struggle with in my journaling, and this is a very welcome addition that I cannot wait to use.

The biggest difference in this month's kit is the devotions--- or lack thereof as the case may be. Instead it features 30 'Thankful' prompt cards. Each card features the prompt on one side, with a related verse on the other. If you're just looking for a quick prompt to journal, these cards provide just that, all on their own. If you like a little more devotional content, these cards feature the same themes as the 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude Journal. I love that there are so many options to best fit your personal needs and budget this year. You can go with just the journal if you like the devotional content, and don't have need or budget for the coordinating supplies. You can use the kit on its own. Or pair them up to really dive in deeper and get the most out of both.

The Illustrated Faith Community will begin working through 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude on November 1. Will you join in?

Shop the Grace & Gratitude Journal.
Shop the Grace & Gratitude October Kit.

Follow along with me as I journal through these 100 days starting in November.


And today, I am giving one very lucky reader the chance to win a copy of 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude Journal for themselves! Enter using the giveaway form below:


  1. I have yet to do Bible Journaling but I really want to start. I do believe it will help me grow!

  2. I would love to do Bible Journaling! Thanks for sharing this with us!


"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24