Sunday, October 30, 2016

5 Places To Find INSPIRATION for Illustrated Bible Journaling

"Where do you find ideas for your pages?" "How do you decide what to journal in your Bible?" These are two of the questions I've been asked in my illustrated Bible journaling workshops, and it's an easy one to answer because there are quite a few places where I find INSPIRATION for journaling. I've shared in previous posts about INSPIRATION from online classes, participants in my workshops, coloring pages, and online challenges. Today I'm sharing the top five places I find INSPIRATION and ideas for what to journal in my Bible. 

1. Sermons

One of the best things about attending a Bible preaching church is hearing the Word shared, explained, and applied during sermons. I've been a note-take for many years, however I often found that I didn't go back through those notes and did not have a way to help me remember and apply the important points. Now I take time to review those notes, look up the scriptures, and spend time with the Lord and my journaling Bible. Sometimes I want to record lots of notes, like I did with a sermon explaining spiritual gifts.

Spiritual Gifts - I used a Micron pen to add lots of journaling to this page and colored pencils to highlight the scripture and keys points in the notes.

Other times I simply want to record one point that really spoke to me, like when I heard Dr. David Shibley from Global Advance share the idea (based on Matthew 9:4-5) that we must do what we can now to share the Good News of Salvation because night is coming.

Night Cometh - I used black letter stickers, outlined with an orange Micron pen for my title, then boxed in the scripture and added journaling with Micron pens. The illustration was traced using the Illuminated Journaling One and Done Favorites.

2. Bible Studies

I enjoy Bible studies and have participated in many in-person classes over the years. I've also worked through Bible studies on my own. Recently, I've enjoyed the convenience of online studies.

One of the lessons in The Amazing Power of Grace Bible Study focused on the woman caught in adultery. This story is such a powerful reminder that we are all sinners, saved only by the grace of God. Let's not throw stones at others!

Throw First Stone - I traced the hand from a sketch I found online and cut the stone from a piece of patterned paper.

The current study from The Time-Warp Wife is on Exodus, and I recently illustrated Chapters 1 & 2 after reading these scriptures and working through the study materials.

Exodus 1 & 2 - I used a variety of letter stickers to emphasize one of the main points of Chapter 1, then drew and colored the illustration of Moses in the bulrushes using Micron pens, Zig markers, and colored pencils.

3. Devotionals

I also find INSPIRATION when I read a devotional. Illustrated Faith offers monthly devotional kits for Bible journalers. These devotional kits come with a devotional booklet, stamp pad, clear stamps, washi tape, and other bits & pieces.

Gratitude - Most of the bits and pieces and stamping for this page came from the Created to Create Illustrated Faith devotional kit.

Sometimes the INSPIRATION comes from a devotional that I've written to share at a class or event. This page was created for a devotional focusing on examples of faith in the book of I Samuel.

HERE I AM - I used watercolors for the outline around this page, then added Illustrated Faith letter stickers and stamped hearts.

4. Scripture

Of course, scripture itself is a primary INSPIRATION for what to journal. The themes of prayer and joy in the book of Philippians inspired this page.

Pray with Joy - I traced the praying hands from a sketch, then used a blue Gelato to add the frame.

In the book of Esther, the first chapter describes the scene in the palace as it sets the stage for the rest of the story.

Setting the Stage - I traced this image from a coloring page, then finished it with Micron pens, colored pencils, and a clear Wink of Stella pen (to add shimmer to the curtains).

5. Products

Occasionally the INSPIRATION for a Bible journaling page begins with the product, like the Creating in Faith Esther stamp. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that Esther is one of my favorite books, so I was excited to pick up this stamp and use it in the margin of my Bible.

The one thing that always intrigues me about Esther is that she "obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her" (Esther 2:15). Think about it . . . all who saw her . . . this means she found favor with the men and the women, the young and the old, the servants and the king. How many women do you know who find this kind of favor from everyone? Obviously it wasn't just Esther's physical beauty that drew others to her. (Let's be honest, we often feel intimidated by or jealous of beautiful women and avoid them rather than extending them favor!) Esther's inward beauty (humility, obedient spirit, faith in the Lord) must have shown through.

Queen Esther - I used the Creating in Faith Esther stamp on this page. I filled it in with colored pencils and added my journaling with a Micron pen.

There are so many inspirational stamp sets on the market these days, many of which contain scriptures and encourage me to mediate on a particular passage as I journal it in the margin.

All Things - I used an Inky Antics stamp set and Powder Puff chalk inks to create this illustration, then filled in and highlighted some areas with colored pencils.
I have to admit that I'm rarely at a loss for journaling INSPIRATION when I sit down with my Bible! There are so many places to find ideas to record and spend time thinking and praying about. Where do you find ideas for illustrating in your Bible?


  1. I like the idea of using sermons - our preacher is good about boiling things down to the basics - that could feed a lot of simple illustrations.

  2. Such a lot of inspiration just looking at your own work ... Such an interesting way of interacting with the written word.

  3. Melissa, thanks for this post! I just taught an Intro to Bible Journaling class which I'll repeat in January and I'm going to point people to this post!!


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