Bible Journaling and a Giveaway

Today, if it’s okay with you, friend, I’m going to share something deeply personal. I know that all of us come from different backgrounds and that your religion and spiritual life may very well be different from mine. My goal today is certainly not to hit you over the head with my Bible. But I do want to show it to you. You see, it’s become my new canvas and I’ve found a creative outlet I think some of you might enjoy too. If it’s not your thing, that’s okay, come on back tomorrow for a totally different kind of project…but if it is, keep on reading and see how this could speak to your heart like it does to mine.


For years, I’ve been told how important it is to read and study the Bible and have some type of “devotional” time. And for years I’ve struggled with that. Hubby is the complete opposite; he buys and reads theology handbooks for fun. I love him, but I’ll never understand him. For some reason, although I tried lots of different methods, everything always felt to me like a chore I had to do rather than a joy. Recently, though, something started popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feeds that I’d never seen before…an art form called Bible Journaling.


I had heard of highlighting and writing in your Bible, and had done it myself in the past, but these women were actually using the pages of the book as their canvases and making artwork based on what they read. I was captivated. I knew instantly that this was the kind of thing that had been missing from my “God-time” for years. I’m a Maker, a creative-type who expresses herself through art. Of course it only made sense that I should process my spiritual life that way too! Instead of trying to rotely memorize verses, I should be illustrating them and making them come to life…and in the process storing them in my heart.


I saw some really beautiful things online that people were creating and I wanted to try it myself, but I confided to my hubby that there were two things holding me back. First, many of the examples used paint and other materials that completely covered the text on the pages themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what I personally wanted. I wanted to still be able to read what was written there…I didn’t want one Bible for reading and one for storing art. If I was going to journal, I wanted my creations visible in the Bible I actually read.


The second problem was that some folks were using a ton of supplies…stamps, stickers, paint, embellishments, and more. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted something that I could do anywhere without having to drag out a million things and make a giant mess. I used to scrapbook, but gave it up because I was tired of constantly getting out and putting away all the supplies. I knew if Bible Journaling was like that, I wouldn’t stick with it. So, for a few months, I did nothing. Then I got an email offering me the opportunity to try out the Crossway ESV Journaling Bible.


As many of you know, I’ve recently been learning and practicing the art of hand lettering, so I decided that I would see how that worked as a form of Bible Journaling. Armed with nothing but my Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens and my Tombow Fude Soft Tip marker, I gave it a go. And I am so glad I did. My journaling doesn’t look like some of the others out there, and that’s okay! I don’t use paint, I don’t use stickers or embellishments, just my markers. I draw and write in the 2″ margins {there are faint ruled lines to help me keep my writing straight!} and then I usually add some kind of border or edging that may overlap the text but doesn’t make it illegible. The markers don’t bleed through and ruin other pages either. The whole thing is completely portable; in fact, I just put my markers in my purse on Sunday morning, and this is what I do during the sermon. I’ve also journaled in the airport, on a plane, and all kinds of fun places.


I have absolutely fallen in love with this form of creative expression and it’s gotten me to open my Bible more in the past month than ever before. If you think this is something you might want to do, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. You don’t have to be an expert at drawing or lettering, just doodle and express yourself in whatever ways you like best. Use colored pencils, crayons, or whatever you have on hand. I can’t recommend this enough.


If you have any questions for me about what I use or how I do my journaling, I would love to answer them for you and chat about this more. In the meantime, you can find a Bible just like mine for $34.99 from Crossway. I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to give away one of these ESV Journaling Bibles here on the blog too; simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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  1. I just went to an iMom Grow group last night and today Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength” is with me. I love what you have done with your journaling! Beautiful!!

  2. This is beautiful! I kind of do the same (it’s not this pretty) but on my notebook while I’m studying a passage. I’d love to be able to do it on my actual Bible, if I had one like yours! 😉 So I’m hoping to win! 😀

  3. I’ve been loving the many lion references in the Bible recently, so I’d most likely start with my favorite right now “..The righteous are bold as a lion.” -Proverbs 28:1

  4. My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, so chances are, that would be the first I would journal. However, God placed another verse on my heart this year that has been speaking to me as well: Ask the LORD for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture. Zechariah 10:1

  5. I’ve been eyeing the Journaling Bible for several months now, what a wonderful way to express what is moving you in God’s word.
    I really like the simplicity and boldness of your art! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! Good luck, but if you don’t win I really encourage you to go ahead and buy one or put it on your Christmas list! You’ll love it!

  6. I love this! I would probably start with psalms because I am most familiar with them. It’s been some time since I’ve studied the bible and this really makes it come alive.

  7. A verse I read today…Matthew 7:24: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

  8. I would start with Genesis 1. In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth. I have wanted a Journaling Bible for many years. This would be so lovely to have.

  9. I absolutely love your blog and look forward to checking out your Facebook page for any new crafty shenanigans. For Christmas I bought, and had engraved, a Bible just for my husband. He likes to write notes in the margins. This type, would be right up my creative alley! I dont have one of my own, we’ve been using the same passed down famiky one for years. Its beloved and cherished…but falling apart a wee bit. Keep up the great work!

  10. I have several friends and family who are bible journaling. They love being in God’s word and the freedom to express themselves. I am eager to get started. I love how you stress the importance that you don’t need all the fancy supplies. Certainty an option but not necessary. I think God simply wants to be with us. Most like our children due (until a certain age lol). I have to mention I am extremely excited about this give away. Good luck to all your followers.
    Ant 🙂

  11. This is a beautiful idea, I live that you can just let whatever strikes you in your reflection come out right on your pages ….
    As I sit here watching the coverage of the Paris tragedies- I can only think of peace John 14:27 ….”do not be let your Heart be troubled and do not be afraid”. Though our Hearts are heavy, all we can do is pray and hope…

  12. great idea iam really going to try this my story same has yours i spent time with god daily but this would be so much better thank you for sharing

  13. Fantastic idea!!! I have peices of paper, notebooks, journals, a bunch of random bible notes that I can never find when I need to refer back to them. This is the best idea ever!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. I love this! I also think that “praying in color” is also an excellent way to draw close to the Lord through a creative outlet. Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. This is a great idea. It’s even something I can do during the radiation when the fatigue sets in. My first verse would be 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10, 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  16. I just discovered these bibles last week and have been trying to find one that I love! This one is perfect! Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favorites!!

  17. The story of Jesus sending the demons into the pigs – Matthew 8:28-34. It was our message today at church.

  18. I would start with Corinthians. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I have a photo frame with the verse on it. Inside the frame I have a photo of my husband and I at an Air Force Ball. My favorite picture of us…. Every time I get frustrated with “the military life” this photo and verse remind me of what is really important.

  19. What a wonderful way to reinforce what the Lord is showing! Would love to have this Bible to get started myself . . . Thanks for sharing how you’re combining your faith and gift of creativity!

  20. I would actually gift it to a friend. I have been so blessed by journaling and like you it helps me to focus and study. My first verse I journaled was Is 40:31.

  21. I’d start with Psalms. I’m not a bit creative and this is the first time I’ve heard of Bible journaling. It looks like so much fun! My daughter would love this, as well.

  22. I LOVE your style of Bible journaling! Simple, yet gorgeous. I agree, less is more. I was gifted a Bible a few months ago and have done a few pages. You’ve encouraged me to do more by your lettering tutorials and your lovely art! Thanks! <3

  23. Hi, I’ve been trying to find some markers that won’t bleed through the pages of my Bible and these are beautiful, I love the colours you’ve used. Is there any chance you know what the colours are as its hard to find these Tombow markers in England and I’ve only managed to find them to purchase individually. I’d really like those exact bright colours you’ve used on yours but ve found there are so many colour variations I couldn’t figure out which were the same.

  24. I’ve got to know, although I suppose I could try and see how it goes myself. Do the tombow markers bleed or shadow? I love the look of pen and marker, but I can’t seem to have the shadow on the other side of the page not drive me crazy. I love your style! I admire women who use watercolors and paints, but I’m the same as you in the sense that if I make it really complicated, it’ll never happen! Maybe before kids? 😉

    1. They don’t bleed, but they do shadow. Since I only do it in the margins, though, it doesn’t bother me much. It would drive me crazy if it shadowed where the text is…

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