by Judith Rollins
I have been bible journaling for many years. I guess I never really gave it a name because it was just something that I enjoyed doing. From time to time I would draw illustrations in pencil and try to make my bible reading experience more visual. When you see something that you like, your eyes linger. I loved looking through the pages of all my dad’s biochemistry books when I was younger, not because I understood them, but because I liked to see his notes and mini drawings in the thin margins. When I owned my own books in later years, I started to do the same. Textbooks were okay, but it took me a while before I felt comfortable writing in my Bible. It’s the Word of God and I didn’t want to mess it up. I wasn’t even sure if I was allowed! So, I started off with notes and little bits of scrawl until in more recent times when I have expanded to bigger illustrations. I still do these but I have become very fond of something that I came to call Micro-Journaling.
Micro-Journaling is a way of capturing key points of what the Word is speaking to you about without spending lots of time trying to create a masterpiece. It highlights the scripture without covering it over or taking away from it in any way. At times we can become so focused on the artistic side of bible journaling that we forget the whole point is to document what we learn, what we see and feel, and what we come to know about ourselves and God through scripture. Simple phrases, small illustrations and a little bit of colour can at times be a more than enough to help us keep things in mind. And what’s more, it’s really easy! I discovered a lady on Instagram who uses her bible in this way and it inspired me. When I began to do it myself, I simply gave it the name Micro-Journaling.
I don’t actually use a journaling Bible even though I own one; I use an ordinary study bible to journal in. I haven’t made the transition because the best bible to me is the one that I read the most regardless of translation, size or journaling space(!) Also, not everyone is able to afford a journaling bible, so Micro-Journaling helps you to make the most of what space you have no matter how big or small. If however I do require more room, I paint over study notes with white gesso to create a fresh canvas on the page. (But because I love the study notes, I have two copies of the same bible so I can still read them when I want to).
A bible is a very personal thing and it is up to the individual how they choose to document or illustrate their faith. But remember, your bible is primarily for you and God, it isn’t for impressing people or showing off your skills. If it becomes about that, it may be hard when you don’t feel that your pages measure up to those that you see on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest…(there are so many, and I’m sure it’s not just me who spends hours looking through them). Micro-Journaling is a great way to incorporate all the things that you love about bible journaling into a simple entry. It doesn’t have to look the best, it only needs to mean something to you!
God is constantly speaking to me about using what I have, sometimes that is just my pen, and a couple of colouring pencils. I won’t lie, I have a lot of art equipment, but that is because I studied art and my business is art based, so I have acquired a lot of materials over time. However, Micro-Journaling takes away the need for tons of equipment and brings you back to that simple place of you and God. The focus is not the art, but the revelation. You don’t need to have a degree or qualification, you just need to be willing to dig deeper into scripture.
To get started with Micro-Journaling, let me give you a few pointers. All you will need is a fine liner pen and your bible.
1. Read a passage of scripture or listen to a great sermon.
2. Pray that God will reveal a deeper meaning to you personally.
3. Try and condense what He shows you into a short phrase that is memorable.
4. Write the phrase next to the scripture and use small images, lines and swirls to make it stand out. (I like to use flowers as they always catch my attention).
I would encourage you to use whatever means something to you, that could be leaves, flowers, literal images from the passage…anything at all! The idea is that it does not need to be elaborate; it is simply whatever you can do. Just use what you’ve got!
OpenBook Print Shop
Facebook: Judith Rollins – OpenBook Print Shop