Wednesday, 3 October 2018

a beginner's guide to faith journaling : part 1, process

hey all, today i'm going to answer some questions about faith journaling - what it is? what's my process? why i do it? how to start? i've only been doing this for a few short months, but i've picked up lots of tips that i hope will be of use to those of you interested.

let's start with the reason why i even started to journey down this path... i think i'd seen a "related" video on YouTube about "bible journaling" and clicked on it - i watched til the end and i had never seen anything like it before! i thought, wow, a creative way to spend time in the bible, why haven't i thought of this before?! honestly until that moment, each time i'd taken my bible out to study i'd found it a real struggle to spend much time reading, let alone meditating on it. i love group bible study but that had been a challenge for me to get to with a little one, and it's not the daily practice that i knew i needed.

so, after watching that video, i actually started this whole process off with getting a proper "journaling bible" (the ESV Crossway Double Column - US/UK), which is super pretty and was a great starting place for me.


i did a few spreads with craft things i already had, but it felt a bit too "confined" for me - the margin wasn't big enough and the text wasn't big enough, and the paper is really thin (and i'm not the most delicate of people!). and i also felt a lot of pressure to do it perfectly because i didn't want to ruin my bible...

so i bought a Leuchtturm 1917 journal (US/UK), which is one used often for bullet journaling, and started writing, doodling and painting in there, and then my real style evolved...



i have previously done quite a bit of scrapbooking, both in the traditional sense and also with a Project Life style binder (i recorded all of our time living in Belgium that way). so i had quite a lot of stickers, washi tape and other bits and bobs i could use. though i must admit to purchasing a few new bits to experiment with.

i'll list in part 2 some of the things that i think are quite essential items if you're interested to start, and i'll definitely share a 'what's in my journaling bag?' style video in the future to show you what i've been taking on trips with me.

but let me first explain the process, because a lot of people have asked that on instagram...

 - firstly i search for a quiet hour or two, most often when my son is sleeping, so that i know it won't be disturbed time and i can fully let myself enjoy the process of creating and spending time in the Word. 
 - i like to get out all of my craft things before i start so i know what i've got to work with. i don't have a separate craft room, i just keep everything in boxes under our sofa bed and then get that out each time - it's a bit of a faff but it's so worth it!
 - next i get out a bible study, turn on a podcast or just open my bible and turn on worship music, and sometimes a combination. and i open up my journal.
 - sometimes i just start writing as i listen and read, and sometimes i listen and read first and then create. it just depends on the day. sometimes i just create a journal spread based on some amazing quote or verse that i've read that week and want to remember.
 - as for quite how i go about it, i take inspiration from a lot of my favourite creators on social media, (see below) and then i just go from there. sometimes i have an idea in mind of a picture i want to paint or a medium/craft tool/method i want to try out, but other times i just journal what i am reading/listening to. 


there are lots of people who've inspired me along the way, and i wouldn't be doing this if they hadn't inspired me, so here they are, some are Christian "bible journalers" and some create other types of journals:
 - Scribbling Grace
 - Doodling Faith
 - Grace Laced - and I would really recommend Ruth's book with the same title (US/UK)
 - Johanna Clough
 - The ReBookery
 - Merel Journals 
 - Meg Journals
 - Katie Jobling
 - Sarah Swan
 - Cheyenne Barton
 - Pinterest! i've got a whole board full of journaling ideas, so that's also another great place for inspiration from a wider variety of creators.

i would love for you to comment on your favourite inspirations in the comments box too - it's always fun discovering new people!

and without these people i wouldn't have felt confident enough to try out acrylics or watercolours or collage. i find watching other creators really inspiring.



the MOST important thing for me is to have a time and space allocated at least once a week, if not daily, to get out my bible and spend time in God's word, meditating on a verse or worshiping with music, and this is the first time i've really been able to and feel excited to do it!

so i praise God for leading me down this path, where i eagerly anticipate my next session, where i carve out time in my day to sit with Him and spend fully focused time. it's a great way of putting your phone to one side and relaxing too.

i've spoken to a few people who've said they would find my style of journaling too distracting - they thought they'd end up getting too caught up in whether something looks good rather than with spending time with God - to this i can say 2 things; 1 - journaling isn't for everyone and 2 - give it a go! if you end up spending at least some time reading the bible instead of none it's a big win!! i also find that some days when i spend time making just one verse look pretty instead of an intense study, i still spend the rest of the day thinking about the verse, meditating on it and singing praise songs. it's a bit like creating adult memory verses.

anyhow, i've loved it so much that i've created a journaling travel bag that i've taken on my last two holidays so i can keep on creating and reading His word. i'll share more about that in part 2!

extra notes:
 - my bible book tabs are from a seller on Etsy, you can find them at OpenBookPrintShop and they are the 'Magenta Rose' edition (click here).
 - my favourite podcast to journal to is the Journeywomen Podcast with Hunter Beless - it's been a fantastic blessing to me, and i'd recommend it to anyone. also the associated playlist on Spotify is fab.
 - i've had to take a lot of pages out of my Leuchtturm 1917 because i have been adding in so many pockets and tip-ins/flaps and other things to bulk it out, you can easily take out pages by finding the middle parts of each signature and gently taking them out where they've been sewn.

to see a talking flip-through of my journal, watch the video below on my YT channel:



please let me know your questions, and i will do my best to answer them! otherwise, head on over to part 2 to see what my favourite supplies are...

*and also please note, this post has got amazon affiliate links in, which don't cost you anything extra but do help me keep my blog running, so thank you very much if you do chose to use them.

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