Monday Monday! How are you today?!  :) I have several people inquire about my journaling bible, the process behind it and the products I use so I thought it would be fun to make it a weekly post. I recently taught a small class to some kids at our church, and they loved it… actually a LOT more than I thought they would! I couldn’t believe how into it they got, and it was so much fun to see how each one was so unique when they were done. I had some people ask me to do a class, but I think this is something that is better explained as I go. I thought I would update you weekly as I journal in my bible.

First I wanted to say that this isn’t for every one and I totally respect that. Some people may think that doodling in your bible is not respectful. I wanted to point out that this is specifically a journaling bible, and for ME it helps ME connect to the word, and the sermons I am hearing. So let’s talk about this journaling bible! I got this a couple years ago but only recently got back into it. In the interm I was using Paper 53 on my ipad to take my sermon notes, and though I really like process, for now this is inspring me more.

The bible I use is the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible. Of course that black cover was never going to do so I covered mine with some sticky fabric, paper and washi tape as any scrapbooker would!

This is what my bible looks like when I get home from church on Sunday. Usually I use these magical pens.. but a little monkey (coughADDISONcough) got into my purse, left the lid off and it dried out so this week I used a regular old pen. This week what I really took away from the sermon is that as a Christian society we tend to come off as though we “know” what is right, what is sinful, what is WRONG. Let’s face it we can come off very judgemental. As a Christian that is the last thing I want to be, I want to love you exactly where you are at as God does to me. We need to listen more, love more and judge a WHOLE lot less. So in my notes you will see “know less, listen more” please don’t take that as we need to walk in blindly, or be uneducated. Not at all. But we need to allow space for God to SURPRISE us!
Once I get home it is time to start pulling it all together! I pulled out some alpha stamps and ink pad and created a title. I loved the phrase “allow God to surprise you” and decided to add the “today” at the and for a call to action! I used Studio Calico color theory inks (blush, yes peas) I love how they are true to color, and allow the text to show through.
I am slightly addicted to that “today” stamp! It was a part of (Bessie, currently sold out) the latest Studio Calico release Bluegrass Farms
From here I also wanted to add a title across the top with another line that my pastor said on Sunday that really stuck with me. I feel like it is so relevant to what is happening in the Christian community. I decided to use the beautiful orange alpha stickers in the Pip add- on.
I usually add a tab at the top so that it is facing the front of the bible (you can see the front of the bible in the first photo, this tab says “know”). Sometimes I sew it on, tape it on this time I used my tiny attacher  to keep that bad boy attached.

Here is a view from the top. I love documenting what I am learning, hearing, thinking about in this way. I love that Jaden looks through my bible all the time to see the latest notes, I love that Addison says “Mommy your bible isn’t boring THAT’S FOR SURE!”. I love that I am able to take what happens on Sunday morning and reflect on it throughout the week in a way that is meaningful to me.

Do you have a journaling bible? I would love to see yours! Thinking of getting one? Share! I can’t wait to hear all about it! If you have an questions, please ask away!

Have a wonderful week! Look out for amazing surprises!
  1. angela ezzell 9 years ago

    I love this idea. It might take me a minute to get over writing (and stamping!) in my Bible, but what a cool way to make the words come to life for you. I would love to see your other Bible journaling! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      Thank you so much! If you do end up doing it, I hope you will share :) I plan on making it a weekly update and posting past photos on Monday’s I don’t have a photo to share :) Thank you for your interest!

      • Lisa 8 years ago

        Hi Shanna,
        Can you share how you did the outside of your bible or is that a cover? Maybe you have a video about it?
        I am recently a member of this fast growing journey in faith. I absolutely love it and am certainly getting to know God’s word intimately!

        • Author
          illustratedadmin 8 years ago

          Hi there Lisa :) I used a sticky back paper that was available through American Crafts and just cut it down to size ;) Welcome to the community!!!! xoxox

  2. Linda J 9 years ago

    I wish so much that I’d known that there was an ESV journaling bible! That would have worked so well for me. Now I have my notes squeezed in and going in every which direction.:) Yours looks so loved and we’ll used…special indeed!

  3. 9 years ago

    This is so great, Shanna.

  4. <3 Sierra 9 years ago

    I like the KJV bibles…do you know if they have a journalling version or where to look for one?

  5. Monica 9 years ago

    I love this so much!!!! My mom gave me an ESV journaling Bible for my birthday a few years ago, but I haven’t used it. I’m so excited about your posts and I’m motivated to pull it out and use it!

  6. Joan 9 years ago

    You have found a way to make The Word accessible and personal! I am so humbled and impressed by your talent and absolutely LOVE this process. Please do keep us up to date on your progress. This is so inspiring and I cannot wait to get more personal with my Bible.

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      You have brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing that with me. xox

  7. all that scrapbooking 9 years ago

    Wow! This is huge! Thank You for sharing!

  8. Emily 9 years ago

    Love this!! I don’t have a journaling Bible, but I do transfer my Bible study notes into a Smash book… here’s my latest notes that I worked on this weekend, even though the notes themselves are from a year and a half ago: Can’t wait to see more of what you create though… I might have to go out and get one of these too!

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      I use to use my smashbook for the same thing as well! Great mind! I am off to check yours out! xxo

  9. stef 9 years ago

    This is such an incredible idea! Thank you so much for sharing. This might actually be an opportunity for me to get back into regular devotions.

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      I love hearing that! Thank you so much for sharing! I hope once you do start that you will share with us! xox

    • Valenchia Hershberger 8 years ago

      I love reading my notes from the past. I can sense where I was spiritually at that time and reflect on how much I have grown or if I’ve remained stagnant. It’s a great way to remain in touch with the Savior!

  10. julie 9 years ago

    ok miss shanna, you have now hit on 3 of my deepest passions, studying the bible, paper crafts, ha! which i haven’t done much of lately because my child will rarely let me photograph him. :( and not being judgmental!
    my new saying as of about a month ago is: “JOY not judgement” i personally feel that if we as followers of Jesus would just focus on getting to know Him, we would learn how intensely He loves us and I really don’t believe that we would judge anyone. if we could truly get a handle on who we are in Christ, I believe our only goal would be to help others see how intensely He loves them and we would only want to help them find their own identity in the One that cares for them so deeply that besides dying for them, He rejoices and sings over them ( Zeph 3:17). judging others would be one of the last things we think of. we must look into getting that big ol’ log out of our own eye and see others through the lens of our Mighty Savior. ok i’m done… thanks so much for opening up the flood gates of inspiration!

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      I am tearing up reading this. I could NOT agree more. Thank you so much for sharing!!! xox

    • julie 9 years ago

      aww, you are welcome! i sure do wish we could meet irl. where my lack of typing skills would not get in the way. it seems as though we would be kindred spirits and would be able to talk for hours.
      someday maybe…

  11. julie e 9 years ago

    This really fascinates me. And since I find myself feeling pretty disconnected lately, I am wondering if this would help.

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      To be honest, that is why I did it. I really helps me stay focused! If you do give it a try let me know!!! I would love to see :)

  12. Brenda 9 years ago

    this is beautiful!!! And such a great way to make the Word of God exciting and meaningful. Thank you for sharing! i’m off to find a Bible of my own to journal in! You have given me inspiration for a way to incorporate my love of crafting with my love of the Word of God. Thank you!

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      You are welcome! I hope you love it as much as I do. If you end up doing it I would love to see a photo, maybe we can feature you on the blog! :)

  13. Beth 9 years ago

    Do you mind if I take this idea, put a spin on it and present it to our youth at church?

    • Shanna Noel 9 years ago

      Oh my WORD I would love that!!!! If you get any photos would you send them my way? I would love to feature you on my blog :)

  14. Ashley Noelle 9 years ago

    Obsessed. This is so awesome!

  15. SheWhoFears 9 years ago

    Absolutely LOVING this!! Thanks so much for the share!!

  16. Tori Bissell 9 years ago

    I’ve never even heard of anything like this before – but I love it! I already write in my bible and highlight and draw arrows and circle things and now I’m inspired to take it to the next level with stickers and stamps and tabs. I asked for a new Bible for my upcoming Birthday – I asked for this one actually! I can’t wait to open up my new Bible and really engage with it more. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Tori Bissell 9 years ago

    P.S. I can’t wait for you to share more of your journalling Bible posts. I would love it if you shared some of your older ones too!

  18. Lorraine Yeung 9 years ago

    I have the Single Column ESV Journalling bible that’s leather bound. LOVE it.
    I usually have lots of inductive style notes and highlighting in there with symbols and thing :)

  19. Bevie Pearl 9 years ago

    I have to say this is absolutely genius!! After Bible Study yesterday, I went to the book store at Willowcreek and bought the Single Column ESV Journaling Bible. God’s word and art…..a winning combination in my life. Thanks for sharing this idea. I have found that colored pencils (yep got them out and dusted them off) work well with highlighting and coloring in stamped images. I look forward to seeing your next post on Bible Journaling.

  20. Dawn F. 9 years ago

    This is amazing! I can’t wait to see more posts. I’ve done variations of this through the years but in notebooks. To use your bible is ingenious! I’m in on this one!

  21. Nana's Charms 9 years ago

    Shanna What an awesome idea!!!! I was so intrigued I ordered a Bible right away. I thought if I poured over Gods Word the way I poured over my layouts it will be amazing what God could do in my life! Do you have any starter supply suggestions?
    Thanks for sharing
    Carol Weatherholt

  22. Moz 9 years ago

    Hi Shana. I have been following your post on your Journaling Bible and wonder if there is bleed through with the inks etc. I live in South Africa and have not yet found any journaling Bibles here, so would have to buy online, without seeing one. Any information I pick up on your blog helps. I just love this concept as it keeps one focused during the sermon and working on it afterwards lets you think and rethink it all through. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to some feedback. Do you perhaps know if this is available in NIV’s? Hugz from Moz

  23. Sherry Boesch 9 years ago

    Moz, the FriXion highlighters do not bleed. I just got mine and even tho they are very rich in color,you can just barely see anything on the back of the page. Go to Jetpens ands look up FriXion highlighters “light”. You can buy them singly or in a six pack (or more!) I got the six set so that I could figure out a coding system with just those colors as to not be confusing. I hope that works,out!

  24. SweetyK 9 years ago

    This is such a wonderful idea! thanks for sharing this with us. I feel like it is such a great way to stay connect, remember the words that speak to us most and use our creative muse. I am thankful I cam e across this post today because I trulu think it was divine intervention for my soul.

  25. Leah Berdine 9 years ago

    Planning to cite/link you in my blog, hope that’s alright!? I am doing a post on my journaling Bible and want to credit you for the print-outs that I used from your blog! They are in some of my photos!

    Love your posts too, they have given me some great ideas!

  26. Amber Naus 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for being an inspiration. I am currently in a rut.. Feeling like my devotions are just so so.. This will completly change that! It will so help bring out the parts that are so personal. Those that I want to remember! Thank you!!

    P.S. Might be a silly question but, where do you find sticky fabric? Thanks!!

  27. Cody Doll 9 years ago

    Yay! I am not the only one. I have so many notes and doodles in my bible. I remember getting yelled at for it, but I couldn’t stop because it how God talks to me. Thanks so much for sharing.

  28. Bonita Rose 9 years ago

    you said you had a singl column bible but the pics look like double column?? what exact version do u hv?

  29. Lisca Meijer 9 years ago

    I found your blog by googling journaling Bible which I have read about for the first time today. What a great idea! I haven’t got one, but I would certainly look out for one online. (I live in Spain and books are notoriously expensive to post). I would have no qualms about stamping and doodling in my Bible, I scribble a lot in my Bible and there is never enough room I find.I’m a scrapbooker, so why not embellish my Bible….
    Thanks for sharing what you are doing.
    God bless

  30. Jen 9 years ago

    Love love love this, Shanna!! There is NOT enough room in the tiny margins of my bible for all of the things I want to write there. This would solve that and several other problems! Off to find more of your posts on this topic! xoxo

  31. lindsey 8 years ago

    Im looking for a journaling Bible, I would really like one with at least a concordance in it, Have you seen any?

  32. suzeyq 8 years ago

    I’ve had my bible almost a month now. Finally got “brave” enough to write in it!

  33. Joelle 8 years ago

    Any idea if there is an NIV bible like this?

  34. hbphotomom 8 years ago

    I just purchased a journaling Bible, you have inspired me! Will be getting other supplies this week. Once I begin, I’ll be blogging about it and will definitely link you. Can’t wait to get started! :)

  35. Audrey 5 years ago

    What do you think of this bible? Is it worth getting? I’m going to be ordering a custom painted journaling bible but I’m not sure what type of bible I want, do you like this one? I’m trying to find one that doesn’t have an elastic strap to close it (as I don’t want it to get in the way of my design). If I do choose this bible I will be getting it double columned, my handwriting is not that small! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Heather Greenwood 5 years ago

      Hi Audrey, this Bible does have the elastic strap, but we like the Journaling Bible. That is the one we’ve been purchasing for ourselves all along. There will be a new Bible coming next month that we will transition to using more often.

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