Guest post by Neely Beattie
Sometimes we will tell ourselves anything to keep us from starting something new or out of our wheelhouse.
If you have been wanting to start Bible journaling, but have been nervous about it, here are 10 things you might be telling yourself…but they are totally not true!
1. I have to be artistic
You don’t have to be a great painter, draw well, or even write pretty to Bible journal. If those things make you uncomfortable, you can use stamps, stickers, die cuts and anything else you can find at your local craft store that you think would look good! I have a blog post about Bible journaling supplies you can use when you don’t feel artistic.
2. I don’t have time
You can spend however much time you want on the pages you create! You can take 5 minutes and write a simple verse in the margin, or you can take an hour and paint beautiful flowers on the whole page. There is no time requirement involved with spending time with God…it’s just important that you do it. MAKE the time to spend with God and I’m sure He’ll bless you greatly!
3. I have to draw in my Bible
I understand that drawing in the actual Bible makes some people feel uneasy. That doesn’t mean you can’t use art to worship! You can buy a sketchbook or other type of journal to do your artwork in just as easy!
4. I won't be able to read the words
This one isn’t necessarily a myth, depending on how you create your pages, but I wanted to add it because I know it stops a lot of people. I cannot read most of my pages after I paint on them. However, this Bible is ONLY for my artwork.
I have SO MANY other Bibles that I use to read and study (I may be a bit of a Bible hoarder, but I suppose you can hoard worse things, am I right?). I also have about 4 different Bible apps on my phone. So The Word is always within reach for me to read when I need it. The Bible itself tells the story of God and the artwork that you create tells the story of God’s work in you that you can pass on to your children someday. That story is important too!
5. I have to spend a lot of money
Not true at all! You can start today with only a pencil. I use a pencil, pen, and watercolors on all my pages and that’s all. You don’t have to grow a huge collection of craft supplies if you don’t want to. I’ll venture to say if you do that, you’ll only end up using a few of those supplies in the long run anyway.
6. I don’t know where to start
I think the first place you should always start is prayer. God will inspire you to journal what you need at that moment. Other places you can find inspiration are church sermons, bible studies and devotionals, worship songs and hymns, and just things going in your daily life. I have a blog post here on how to start Bible journaling if you’d like some help getting started.
7. I have to have beautiful handwriting
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t have good hand writing at all. Hand writing and hand lettering are two different things. I have a blog post with some tips how to hand letter here.
It would be really awesome if we just came out of the womb naturally good at everything we tried, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. The good news is that, as with most things, with practice, you CAN get really good at it! That goes with any type of artwork, not just hand lettering.
8. I’ll never be as good as ‘so and so'
This is another one that might not really be classified as a “myth” but it’s still something that isn’t true! That’s because:
a.) You never know how good you can get at whatever you try in life if you practice! And b.) it doesn’t MATTER if you’re as good as ‘so and so’.
The artwork that you’re creating its YOURS and yours alone.
It isn’t about what I’m doing or what that gal over there is doing. It’s about what YOU are doing with God. It doesn’t matter how intricate the artwork is. It doesn’t matter if someone would hang it in a museum someday.
It only matters that you’re spending time with God, learning from Him and growing in your relationship with Him. The only One’s opinion that counts is His! And He will love anything you create for Him. Never compare your story or abilities with someone else’s.
9. I’m not creative
I believe that everyone is creative. The definition of creative, "marked by the ability or power to create. Having the quality of something created rather than imitated."
If you create anything, you’re creative. We were made by the MOST creative Being in the universe, and we are made in His image. The biggest step is believing you can. Don’t be confined to the box of what you think is or isn’t creative, pray about it, and then just do you! I bet you’ll be surprised what you can create!
10. It’s all about the artwork
It isn’t about the artwork at all, really. It’s about the heart behind the artwork. It’s about the time you’re spending reflecting on God’s Word. It’s about the relationship you’re building with God as you slow down and create. It’s about the things you’re learning about God and yourself. It’s all about God. God’s love goes in and the artwork just happens to be the result that pours out.
I pray that these 10 myths will help you get over that hump of being hesitant to start. They’re thoughts we’ve all had, you’re not alone. If Bible journaling is something that’s on your heart to try, I recommend that you take a few minutes, pray about it, and dive right in.