Here we are celebrating Illustrated Faith’s 2nd birthday and I couldn’t be more excited! What a journey it’s already been, and so much more is promised to come! I count myself extremely blessed to have watched this story unfold before me and to be a part of the experience, but even better than that is the fact that I can say I’ve been illustrating my faith for nearly as long and this Journaling Bible of mine is getting rather chunky! There are pages and pages of entries in it – some simple, some complex, some experimental, some fun, some heartbreaking, some arty, and some are just word based. Some are taken from hymns, some are taken from sermons. Some are about my children, and some are even by my children. And through it all I’ve learned a lot about my God, my Lord and Savior and my Helper Holy Spirit. I’ve also learned a lot about myself and my art/craft and what it means to be a bible-journaler.
The first thing I learned very early on was that you don’t have to be an artist to illustrate your faith. Forget what you’ve seen on Instagram and Pinterest of the pages with the sprawling detailed paintings or the calligraphy-strewn typographical masterpieces. If all you know how to do is highlight a verse and doodle on some flowers, but it fills your heart with joy to even accomplish that then I say go and doodle flowers on every single page! Personally speaking, I can neither draw nor write, I am not an illustrator and my handwriting is not that neat. But do you know what I can do? I know how to use my stamps, and I own a bunch of letter stickers… so I pretty much just stick with that. I’ve learned that it’s about using the supplies you’ve got on hand and the ones that you’re comfortable using. My very first entry was quite a timid affair of stamping in a very tiny stamp and surrounding it with a couple of printed labels from my scrapbook stash. But that’s what came naturally to me and it grew my confidence to try something bigger and bolder the next time. There have certainly been times where I’ve experimented with trying out other people’s styles and that can be quite fun. But at the end of the day when it’s just me and the Lord and I’m responding to him in my own way, I need to do what comes easily to me and not strive to make something to please others.
Similarly, I also learned that there’s no such thing as a mistake when it comes to bible journaling. I mean, yes, there are definitely pages that look like a hot mess and are beyond repair as far as artistic aesthetics are concerned. But so what?! That doesn’t mean the time spent making that page has been a waste. Far from it! In fact, the more time I’m spending in my Bible and soaking in the words, meditating on scripture and letting Him speak to me the more refined I am becoming as a person. Unfortunately that doesn’t necessarily equate to becoming a better artist. Heck no! Even the last page I made (the one you can see a sneak of it in the photo above) is a messy affair of paint and ink. There’s nothing ‘beautiful’ about it artistically, but what it does is make my heart leap in my chest with emotion at the prayer I was praying whilst I journaled this out. So who cares what it actually looks like? Not every page you make needs to end up on social media!
Today in my video I’m sharing a few more things I’ve learned as I flip through and show you some of my many entries in my Journaling Bible. Some you might have seen previously, and some that have never even been photographed before. It includes my very first entry so you can see my humble beginnings, and it includes what I consider to be the ‘worst’ page I’ve ever created… and why I’ve never covered it up! You’ll see it all today! ;-)
Happy Birthday Illustrated Faith! May there be many more years to come and many more lessons to be learned along the way.