Today, I just wanted to share with you some thoughts about getting started with illustrating your faith as I know first-hand that it’s not always an easy process. When I first saw Shanna starting to share her beautiful artwork in her bible back in the summer of 2014, I instantly knew it was something that I wanted to try for myself. Something within me connected deeply to the idea of pairing my love for papercrafting with reading and meditating upon God’s word. Why, then, did it take me until the first day in December to start my own journaling bible and create my very first entry?!

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I was scared of messing up God’s word.

I’ve never thought of writing or drawing in the bible a blasphemous act. During my teenage years, I had a youth bible that was highlighted and scibbled in all over the place; in short, well-loved and well-used. To me, anything that makes it easier or more engaging for you to connect with God’s word is a good thing and I’m sure He feels the same.  So this was never an issue for me when thinking about starting my own journaling bible. The problem came from within myself and the way I always seem to be striving for perfection. (As a Christian, I realise that this statement is utterly ridiculous but I have always been, and probably always will be, a perfectionist. It’s ingrained within me.) I was fearful of making a mistake and a mess in the most important book I owned. Since I saw journaling in the bible as an act of worship, I wanted that worship to be perfect and without a single flaw. But here’s the thing…I’m NOT perfect. And God doesn’t expect me to be. So why does it matter if something that I create isn’t entirely perfect either? Funnily enough, my very first entry back in December ended with these words: “Remember to let him into the mess of your imperfect life.” That was all the encouragement I needed to get started. And guess what? My first attempt wasn’t perfect at all. The stamping was patchy and my handwriting went a bit weird. But it was real and it was from the heart. And that’s all that matters.

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I was worried my entries wouldn’t be “as good” as other people’s.

When I looked at some of the pages that people were producing, with stunning illustrations or beautiful painting techniques, it sort of made me not want to create anything in my bible. I’m not comfortable with paint and I can’t draw, so what hope did I have of living up to the other amazing entries that I had seen? But over time I realised that I was missing the point entirely. It’s not about what other people are doing or can do. God’s not interested in that when it comes to MY relationship with Him. He’s only interested in what I’M going to do in my acts of worship to Him. So I started thinking about what I liked and felt comfortable with. For me, that was stamps and stickers. So that’s what I started using in my bible. And that’s ok. It’s mine and nobody else’s. It should look like mine and not somebody else’s.

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So if you’re finding the prospect of getting started with illustrating your faith, I want to encourage you. It’s ok to make mistakes in your bible. You’re not perfect and God knows that. But He loves you. He created you and anything you create for Him, He will love. And don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Just find what you’re comfortable and stick with that. And have fun with it!

11 Comments
  1. Jen 4 years ago

    So encouraging! I needed to read this today. Thank you. :)

  2. Vicki 4 years ago

    I love this SO MUCH! Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that it’s about the process, not about the finished product.

  3. Deb 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. We are having our first Illustrated Faith workshop this Sat. Please be in prayer for it. A few women, me included, aren’t very talented. Even though I am extremely excited to begin this new adventure.. What an awesome way to meditate on HIS Word!!

  4. Maria Dahlia 4 years ago

    This is the encouragement I needed! Thank you so much!

  5. Kristen 4 years ago

    This is exactly what I needed today. I got my first journaling bible today. I even got my husband one. I am so nervous to even start. I have to remember this is for God’s glory not mine.

  6. Michelle 4 years ago

    Wow! God is speaking to me through you today. I have soooooo felt exactly like this. I got my journaling bible last week before we went on a vacation and I was so excited to come home to get started. But we got home and I found myself stuck instead. Wondering, what to do, where to start and as you said… how would I compare and WHAT IF I made a mistake!!! Thank you for the push. I have 2 different passages that I want to work on. I’m going to work on figuring out which on and jusy starting!!!

  7. Lisa A. 4 years ago

    This completely resonated with me!!! 100%!! Stephanie I appreciate this post so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been following Illustrated Faith for quite a while now and I’ve sat down many a time to create in my bible and have stopped almost every time because of this same exact reason!! Prepostorous right?!:))❤ you have given me the courage I need to finally jump in. Just knowing I’m not the only one makes a world of difference!! Lots and lots of love!! ❤❤❤

  8. Laurie 4 years ago

    Hi I love this bible, could you please tell me which one you have in the photos? Do you like the thickness of the pages to do your drawing and writing? Thank you so much for your lovely words of wisdom, I am so excited to get started. Laurie

  9. debbie 4 years ago

    love your post. please can you tell me which version bible you use? thanks

  10. Heather Smith-Hauck 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m new to the bible journaling world. I just learned of this worship last week. Ever since learning of this, I have been watching you tube videos constantly. I am going to ask for a journaling bible for Christmas, but was so scared to start. I am not artistic and my “hand lettering” is nothing. I can’t draw or paint but I love this idea. This post pushed me over from feeling like I cannot do it, to realizing that it is my form of art. Whatever that is! Thank you so much!

  11. Charisse 4 years ago

    Which Bible do you use?

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