Hey, friends. It’s a bittersweet post, this one, because it’s my last as a member of the Creative Team for Illustrated Faith. I was floored when I was accepted onto the team, and consider it an honor and a joy to have served with such a talented group of ladies for the time that I did. God moves, though, and so must we all.
I recently read through The Beatitudes [Matthew 5:2-12] and was inspired by how many “blesseds” are applicable to the way in which we worship (and illustrate our faith), and as a self-send off I want to use this final post to share a few things I’ve learned over the past year on the team!
Lessons in Bible Journaling
Lesson No.1: It is about you, after all.
Stay true to who you are in Christ! Don’t let yourself feel discouraged by how “good” other people’s bibles look, and don’t spend all of your quiet time trying to measure up to what you see online, or recreating someone else’s page. God wants you – and you guys, He knows authentic worship. So no, bible journaling is not about showing off your skill, your style, or how often you make time to journal in your bible. It’s not about you in that way. But it is about you and your relationship with God. So keep it real!
Lesson No. 2: Illustrating your faith should bring joy, not stress.
This is one lesson I have learned the hard way many times. I’ve written in the past about comparison, the pressure of meeting expectations, feelings of unworthiness and shame, etc., and many times it’s stemmed in part from my experiences in bible journaling. I am weak, you guys, and I fall into the pit of comparison so easily. Once I find myself there, I’ve learned the best way out isn’t through, but just OUT. I have to step back, re-evaluate, and not return until I’ve gotten my head and heart back on track. Worshipping through art is something I will never quit, and I intend to continue illustrating my faith, but the head game is strong in this one. (And I don’t like head games.) If you’re like me, if you sometimes find yourself stressing over perfection, step back.
Lesson No.3: It’s what’s inside that counts – what’s inside your heart, not your journaling bible.
You’ve probably seen or heard the quote, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t,” by Charles Spurgeon. It’s a great quote, and I tend to agree with it, but my journaling bibles are far from “falling apart.” My study bible is full of notes and scribbles and messy handwriting, and it’s got some rips and tears and dog-ears in places, so maybe that one’s falling apart a bit, but my journaling bibles are well-cared for, and I cringe when I make a mistake and get angry at myself for messing up a page. But really… who cares!? God loves our messy pages! Whether your bible is the most beautiful work of scrapbook, mixed media, watercolor, or hand lettered art ever created by Man; or whether it’s full of your children’s scribbles, coffee spills, torn pages, and “experimental art” is not what matters. What you put in your bible is not what illustrating your faith is about – it’s about what you take out of your bible that matters.
I want to say a massive thank you to Shanna, Heather, and the whole Illustrated Faith team. Also to the lovely teams at Bella Blvd and DaySpring. This journey has been priceless and is one that has grown and stretched me in ways I needed most.
Most of all though, thank you – the community – for all of your incredible support and for inspiring and encouraging me every day! I am excited to see how this movement continues to grow and impact so many more lives.
God is within this, and it will not fall.
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