Journaling Bible

Have you ever lost the excitement of digging into Scripture, finding new insights, being nourished by what God speaks to your heart? I’ll confess to a problem that’s been hard for me to talk about. In recent years, I’ve had a strong resistance to “Bible time.” My love for God, and my awareness of His tremendous tenderness hasn’t left. Prayer was still a joy. But because of several life events, reading the Bible was something I skimmed over quickly. I did the homework for Bible studies. Verses came to mind during the day. I mulled sections of scripture while doing devotion writing. But I struggled to settle in and let God surprise me through His Word.

For Christmas this year, my mom needed a gift idea, so I asked for the Inspire Bible. It has wide margins for journaling on every page, illustrations to color in, and it’s a translation I hadn’t read before. I hoped that all of that could stir a new love for –and interaction with–the Word.

JournalingWow, has it ever!

I’ve always kept a set of color pencils with my Bibles. In high school I created a “Bible Underlining Code” that helped me as I read. I’d underline prayers in yellow, commands in dark blue, promises in purple, praise in light blue, etc. I also wrote dates, tiny prayers, or study notes in the margins – cramped barely legible words.

But this version with its artwork and ample margins has coaxed me into lingering much longer…filling the lines with my prayers, questions, and doodles.

DoodleBible (1)

I call it my “Doodle Bible” – and that’s not meant to disrespect the Word. In fact, I’ve realized that the new popularity of art in our Bibles traces back to illuminated manuscripts–carefully hand-penned and illustrated with great reverence and love.

What tools or strategies have aided your study of the Word?


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4 thoughts on “Journaling Bible

  1. I have kept this for awhile now and keep reading it again. I struggle with being in the Word because it seems like reading words for me. I don’t know how that has happened but it has. How is this Bible different in how it reads in comparison to the NIV? That might be a hard question but I am really curious. By the end of this week I am going on the Whole 30 food plan. I have gained so much weight since my surgeries last year and feel so ashamed and frustrated. This is only meat, fruit, vegetables and oils. Please pray that I will make it through the 30 days and have success. I think of you often Sharon and trust that God is still guiding you as you continue on this not what you wanted journey. Love, Kathy

  2. Hi, Kathy!
    I totally hear where you’re coming from. I’m finding this translation is just different enough that I’m noticing fresh things.
    And yes, I am praying for you. 🙂

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