Bible Journaling 101: #getFLIPPYwithit

The inside cover of my Crossway ESV Single-Column Journaling Bible with the leather cover… aka “my Legacy Bible”.

Hey, friends. I get lots of “how-to” questions from folks who are new to Bible and art journaling or looking to try it out for the first time. Come to think of it, I get plenty of “how-to” questions from those who have dabbled in Bible Journaling for a while as well!

During workshops at Flippy Doodle, I tend to use these basic instructions, and they make up the acrostic “FLIPPY”. Here’s how we #getFLIPPYwithit at my little studio:

  • F: Forget perfection.
  • L: Listen to God.
  • I: Imagine fearlessly.
  • P: Pray.
  • P: Play.
  • Y: Yay!
When I don’t feel I measure up… (Illustrating Bible)

F: Forget perfection.
Don’t you find that we often feel the need to make every little thing as perfect as possible? We say, “I’m such a perfectionist” and wear it as a badge of honor, but secretly we allow it to fill our hearts with fear that what our work won’t be “good enough”, “pretty enough”, or “as good as” someone else’s. This is a lie we tell ourselves, and I challenge you to abandon it! Only God can do perfection, so striving for that is setting ourselves up to fail. Have grace for yourself and just enjoy the process! The goal is to linger longer in our study here, not to create a perfect piece of artwork.

I can’t say this often enough or loud enough: Perfectionism is the greatest enemy of creativity. Say it with me: It doesn’t have to be perfect!

In this “vintage hymnal junk journal” I used stickers and Illustrated Faith paints from DaySpring to feature this favorite Brene Brown quote: “Strong back, soft front, wild heart.”
(It’s a goal for me!)

L: Listen to God.
Our goal in Bible Journaling is to connect with God as we linger longer in Scripture. To do that, we have to listen to him! I’m not talking about listening for audible instructions from the Maker of Heaven & Earth – I promise! What I mean is really about spending time with him. Maybe it’s reading a devotional or study notes in your Bible. Maybe it’s listening to worship music or a podcast. Whatever speaks to your heart is great! Do that, and then begin to pay attention to what sticks in your mind and heart. What is God saying to you in this time?

Let’s be brave! Fearless! (“Summer Garden” Large Print Crossway ESV Single-Column Journaling Bible)

I: Imagine fearlessly.
This is the fun part, y’all! Now is when we begin to imagine what the page might look like. As you think about what you studied above, where does it take your mind? Maybe you’re focusing on a single word or phrase. Maybe it brings a picture to your thoughts. Maybe it’s exciting and energizing and makes you want to splash the page with bold colors, or maybe it brings you to a place of peace and comfort, and you want to create something a little more subdued.

Here’s the most important thing to remember: There are no rules. You get to decide what happens here and what speaks to you most.

The secrets to success here are:
1. Abandon perfectionism
2. Confront fear as a no-good, lying, low-down liar-liar-pants-on-fire.
3. Bravely move forward.

You can do it! (Yes, you can.)

P: Pray.
Sometimes, before I start my page, I like to ask God for guidance just to help me more deeply connect with the message I studied. Other times, I like to talk with God as I go along (even silently).

I have found if I trust him to lead me through the process, I’m much happier with the result. He shows us grace, and teaches us to have grace for each other and ourselves, and that’s super important here!

Align your heart with the reason you’re doing this, and you’ll be fine, I promise.

Rainbow colors and a bubble-wrap technique featured in the Workbook Guide to Bible Journaling by Shanna Noel

P: Play.
Ohmygoodness, this is where we give ourselves permission to have fun! Remember that earlier step when we chose to imagine fearlessly? Now we get to try out all we imagined!

Be as bold or as conservative as you choose; this part is up to you. But I encourage you to be brave and try something out of your comfort zone. Splash on acrylic paint. Try some stickers. Go wild with washi tape. Add some hand-journaled thoughts to the page. No fear and no self-criticism!

Y: Yay!
This is the most easily skipped step, but I believe it’s a super-important one, so I challenge you not to skip this!

The “Yay” step is all about sharing what you’ve done with someone. Maybe it’s showing it to someone sitting at the table across from you working in their Bible also, or maybe it’s snapping a picture and sharing it via text or social media with some friends (or even strangers!). .

“But, I’m not ‘artistic’… My page won’t look like everyone else’s… Mine isn’t as good as ____’s page… I can’t show this to anyone…” said at least one person (or all of the people) at every single Bible Journaling Workshop ever.

I hear you, friends. Believe me. But trust me when I say sharing is worth it. Find a group of others who are supportive and positive (no judgment), and share thoughts and ideas together. (May I recommend our Flippy Doodle Bible Journaling Group and the DaySpring Bible Journaling Group, for those not already in the know?)

I promise that no matter what you think of your page, there’s at least one person who will be glad to see it and blessed as a result. And that is doubly true if your page is not perfect in every way. There is tremendous value in sharing our artwork, both for the person with whom it’s shared and the one doing the sharing.

Welcome to Flippy Doodle! (Pictured: Illustrating Bible from DaySpring.

OK, so who’s ready to get started? For those local to NW Arkansas, we’d love for you to join us at the Flippy Doodle studio. Not possible? That’s OK! Try it out wherever you are locally, but join us in the DaySpring or Flippy Doodle Bible Journaling Groups instead.

Enjoy, friends! I can’t wait to see your next page.

Big hugs,

P.S. Need more Bible Journaling supplies, resources or instruction? Lots of choices below here:

My hands-down favorite starter kit is the Created to Create Kit from DaySpring.

Recommended Supplies:

The bigger this Bible gets, the more I love it! My “Legacy Bible” is a leather-bound Crossway ESV Single-Column Journaling Bible.

Resources for More Ideas & Instruction:

Note: Some links on this site are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. No pressure to purchase, ever, and opinions expressed here are always just mine.

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