Bible Journaling 101: #getFLIPPYwithit

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

(Psst! As of this writing, everything linked in this article from DaySpring is on sale thanks to the “Live Your Faith” 25% Off Sitewide sale with code FAITH25. Sale runs through April 1!)

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,
Melody

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.

Help, I Messed It Up! (What to Do About Mistakes)

My Dearest Bible & Art Journaling Friends,
Spoiler alert:  “Mistakes” happen. We can call them “oopsies”, “unintended outcomes” or even “happy accidents” (just like Bob Ross said). Whatever we call them, they are a fact of life.
Today I decided to focus on this important basic concept we must master to preserve our sanity when Bible journaling: Know what to do when something goes wrong. 

I worked on this page to feature in the DaySpring Bible Journaling group featuring the Women of the Bible “Better Together” kit (featuring Huldah’s story – amazing!). As I worked through it, I used some little teardrop-shaped inkpads I’d purchased recently to make this flower and used a simple yellow crayon to do the center.

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Disaster! It soaked through! (Spoiler alert: It’s not a disaster. It’s ok! No, really… it’s actually ok!

I was happy with the outcome for such a simple page technique until… disaster! It. Soaked. Through. And isn’t that everyone’s greatest fear with ink pads? If it soaks through, it’s surely ruined, isn’t it?!?  (Spoiler alert: NO, it is most certainly NOT ruined. 😀)

Allow me to share the single greatest piece of advice I try to heed for myself when an “unexpected outcome” happens and I get a result about which I’m not immediately happy.
Here’s the secret: DON’T PANIC! Take a deep breath. It will be OK. (And say it with me again, friends, “It doesn’t have to be perfect!“)
Who remembers the wonderful, kind voice of Bob Ross (and his legendary afro)? Remember that he said that there are no mistakes in artwork, only “happy accidents”? I challenge each of us to see this sort of thing as exactly what Bob Ross said; it’s a happy accident!
Yes, the ink soaked through on one of my pages, right? So. What. It’s not a big deal. Instead of panicking and telling myself (and others) how “I messed up my page,” I challenge each of us to find a way to make it awesome!
For instance, here are just three quick ideas I could use for the back side of this page (and have used with other “happy accidents” in the past):
  1. Use paint and/or ink over the soaked-through portion to intentionally do a similar flower design on the back side also. Take that, “mistake”!
  2. Cover with absolutely anything – die-cut decorations, stickers, or some fun and beautiful washi tape. All of these can look amazing!
  3. Add splashes of bold acrylic paint here and there on the page and on top of the ink here as beautiful background for another page.
Most important tip for your “happy accidents”: Dont. PANIC. It can always be fixed.
And you know what else? God always shows up for me every time.
I have had ink and paint soak through. I’ve torn pages, stamped words upside down, and smeared things I thought would be impossible to fix. But God shows me every single time that he can make all things beautiful. All. Things. And time spent in His word is more beautiful to him than any design I put on the page anyway, don’t you think? ❤️
So, let’s have some grace for ourselves. When it doesn’t look as expected, just go with it and call it a “happy accident”!
Big hugs,
Melody
P.S. Here’s a personal challenge from me: On your next Bible journaling page (even if it’s your first!), I challenge you to say 100% of nothing negative about it, even to yourself, and not even silently. Criticize nothing. Apologize for nothing. Celebrate the beauty of the time you spent in the Word! Your art is beautiful to Him, and you CAN do this. I believe in you! ❤️
P.P.S. Just getting started Bible Journaling? Find supplies and resources at DaySpring here.  Looking for more great articles on Bible Journaling? There are some awesome choices on DaySpring as well. Try these. And if you’re just getting started, I recommend starting with the basics, like 7 Easy Steps to Start Bible Journaling. Enjoy!

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.

New Kits & Workbooks & Journals, Oh My! (My Recent Supply Favorites)

Hey y’all! Thanks for joining me on the DaySpring Bible Journaling Group and (in)Courage’s Women of Courage Online Bible Study on Facebook, at the Flippy Doodle studio, and of course here at OhSeriouslyMelody.com.

I get oodles of questions about supplies we’re using in the group and in the studio, and I wanted to share those with you. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to leave a comment with a question! Happy to help any way I can.

First, let’s review some of the posts! You’ll find the supply list below.

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We used some fun and beautiful Bibles, journals and Bible accessories! One of my faves was the new Written on My Heart: Bible Study Notes Journal by Shanna Noel (which you’ll see below). I’ve discovered this is perfect for taking notes at a Bible study or during a sermon, and it made it so, so easy for me to organize my thoughts on the page and still allowed me to make it fun and creative.  Five stars on this one!

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Bibles, Journals, Books & Bible Accessories I Used This Week:

Kits:

fullsizeoutput_3d11I was so blessed to do the video preview of the new kit, which just released the week of Feb 19! This is the second kit in the Women of the Bible series called “Friendship on Purpose“, and I just love it! 

Other Supplies:

Just a few other tidbits!

 

Quick tip for buying from DaySpring: Shipping is always free for any $50 purchase.

Not seeing what you need in this week’s list? Shop all Bible Journaling supplies here.

Thanks for joining us this week, friends! Questions? Add them in the comments, or feel free to pop over and join the DaySpring Bible Journaling Facebook Group for more detail on the individual posts this week. (Or better still… pop over to check out our latest editorial calendar, and follow along with us!)

Have a fabulous week! 

 

 

Quick Tip:  Just getting started with Bible journaling?

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Created to Create Bible Journaling Starter Kit

If you aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend the Created to Create Bible Journaling Starter Kit.  Great devotionals, plenty of supplies, cute storage box and right around $50 so shipping is free also. Super easy!

For great articles on getting started, I highly recommend checking out the library of Bible Journaling articles on DaySpring.com! You’ll find everything from beginner basics there to tips for hosting a Bible journaling get-together with friends – no artistic skills required! 

 

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.

Getting “Psalty” With My Book Club Besties

IMG_1225I recently tried a little Bible and art journaling experiment with a group of girlfriends. It was especially awesome for us in part because we weren’t all regular “Bible journalers”. In fact, the four of us could be called an unlikely group of friends, as we are all very different.

A few years ago, the four of us led a women’s Bible study together at church. And this was no regular Bible study. (Meaning we weren’t exactly polite ladies sipping sweet tea and smiling over tea cakes.) It a group of women who got realover a period of months. We got personal. We got raw. We got vulnerable. And we got close. And we’ve stayed that way. It’s glorious.

We call ourselves The Book Club.

That’s why I wanted so badly to start this what I’m calling my “Get Psalty” experiment with this group… We are so close yet so different, and some of us love to get creative more than others! (And at least one of you just started laughing reading that sentence…)AI9oeqb3QHy76r8asjr%6g

My immediate reaction was: all the heart eyes for this journaling psalter!

And I thought to myself: The girls will love these!

Maybe, I thought, it would be cool to exchange them with each other. I knew it would be a great way to lift them up. It’s the exact opposite of a “Mean Girls”-style “burn book”, and it could really help us celebrate each other.

But would they try it?

So I brought the idea to my Book Club girls. I suggested we each have a Psalter and do a little work in it ourselves, then exchange them and work in each other’s.

The idea is that we keep exchanging them over a period of weeks, months or years, and in doing so we end up studying the book of Psalms together and celebrating each other and our friendship in the process. And we come away with a treasure for each of us – a keepsake with words from our girls that we will treasure always.

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The Book Club girls showed immediate (but brief) excitement, followed by some apprehension and maybe a teensy bit of terror:  We love it! How awesome! But wait… what if we make a mistake? What if my page looks stupid? What if it isn’t as good as hers?!? What if completely ruin it? What if I’m not good enough at this!?!?  What if what if what if…?!?!?!?

Isn’t that how it so often goes for us as women? There’s excitement about something new, followed by that fear of failure… the comparison to others that makes us feel we don’t measure up… that (no-good, conniving, lying) voice inside us that says to us, “You can’t handle this. You aren’t good enough.”  (Except we are. And you are.)

 

So we did it anyway. And I’m so happy that we did!

We had to speak the words out loud that we would have grace for ourselves and for each other. “Mistakes” do not exist… only happy accidents (thank you, Bob Ross, for that phrase!).

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Now, we exchange psalters about once a month or sometimes a bit more often. We take someone’s (not our own), do a page as a tribute to or prayer for each other, and then we return them a week or two later. And each of us fights the urge to cry. Every. Single. Time.

Flipping through one of our psalters, you’ll find things like:

  • “You inspire me to be a better person. You are truly my sister.”
  • “Love you, my friend with the infectiously amazing smile.”
  • “God, you continue to pour out your love through her life and friendship…”
  • “God, thank you for… she is truly a gift for me and I love that you use her to show me who You are…”

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When my spirit has been weaker than my day has been long, flipping through my psalter and reading what my Book Club sisters have written legitimately changes my spirit. Quickly.

It’s glorious. And I will cherish it always.

 

SwyIwvQgRX+jULmS5SCiMASoon, at my Bible Journaling studio called Flippy Doodle, I’ll be hosting a “Bring Your Besties and Get Psalty” workshop for those who want to try it out. Bring a friend, your sister, daughter, mother, neighbor, bestie, colleague, or even commit to try it out with someone you don’t know well yet. I assure you that you’ll cherish the result!

For more information on upcoming Flippy Doodle workshops, check out our Facebook page events, FlippyDoodle.com, or see the upcoming events at Rogers Experimental House (where the studio is located).

 

For supplies and more Bible Journaling content, check out the Bible Journaling supplies page on DaySpring.com.

 

Illustrating Bible

 

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.

 

#LegacyBible

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My first #LegacyBible.

My grandmother passed away when I was 17. Days later, when family were going through her things and dividing up each of the items she had kept for years, my mother asked if there was anything specific at my grandmother’s I really wanted. I could think of only one thing – her Bible.

See, my grandmother’s Bible was many, many years old. The outside was quite worn, and the inside was even more lovingly used. This was not a Bible that had collected dust on a shelf; it had been used, and used heavily.

My grandmother was a firm believer in making notes and her Bible. Notes sometimes included the names of people for whom she had prayed and the dates, or sometimes the events about which she was praying. A note and a date on a Scripture in grandma’s Bible was a glimpse into the depths and breadth of her prayer life.

I was so grateful that my family allowed me to have this treasure. It was indeed a valued family heirloom. It was her “legacy Bible.”

Years later, I discovered something called “Bible journaling,” thanks to my friends at DaySpring. I believe it resonated with me so deeply because in a way it was already part of my family’s faith history.  And while she wasn’t using paint or stickers or drawings, my grandmother had spent years making notes and her Bible – meaningful notes – notes that had a lifetime impact and touched us many years after she had already departed this earth.

Daniel Page

This page from Daniel was originally in Grandma’s Legacy Bible but was a picture she cut out (!) and pasted into a notebook for me. Forty years later, I carefully removed it from that notebook and mounted it on archival card stock and made it a permanent part of my #LegacyBible. A cherished part!

Now, as I’m documenting my faith in my own Bible, my hope and prayer is that this Bible will become a family heirloom as well. Maybe some of the words I write or draw or’s even scroll in my Bible will be read years after I’m gone and maybe make an impact on someone years down the road.

If you read through my grandmother’s Bible, for instance, you might find a verse labeled Melody and Sharon with a date from the early 1973. The Scripture refers to the Potter and the Clay. My belief is that what my grandmother was praying about was that I would have a relationship with my mother.

See, during that time in our lives, my mother was suffering with serious mental health struggles. Her health was very poor. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, and I know her greatest fear was that I would never be close to my mother. I know that she prayed fervently against that and prayed bravely and boldly for my mother in for me and for our future together.

Those prayers are most certainly answered, as I grew older and found great redemption in my relationship with my mother despite all of her troubles. My mother was a believer, a very faithful woman, and I came to be a woman of faith as well.

Another great find in my grandmothers Bible or notes from February 1987. She had underlined Psalm 121:3: He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

That scripture was so tremendously important because during that period of time my grandmother had an aneurysm in her leg. Doctors feared it would cause her death and were prepared to amputate her leg. My grandmother, a very independent woman, feared that amputation much more than she feared death. And she prayed fervently for that surgery not to happen.  What’s most interesting about that passage from her Bible is that it was the very night she passed away. I believe she breathed a prayer to God to take away the need for the surgery, underlined that beautiful scripture, closed her Bible and placed it at her bedside, then slipped into bed and peacefully went home to meet Christ.

That Bible is so precious to me.

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These days, I spend a lot of time Bible journaling (and now even working in my own little Bible Journaling Studio called Flippy Doodle), and my most precious entries are in the leather-bound journaling Bible I lovingly refer to as my #LegacyBible. It includes lots of underlined scriptures, dates and names of family and friends, references to important events in my life and the world, and photos and mementos that I treasure. I pray it’s the one our little guy will hold onto long after I’m gone. And I especially pray he will read it and get even a tiny sliver of the sort of joy I’ve found in flipping through my grandmother’s Bible.

It’s history. It’s family. It’s legacy.

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One of my Legacy Bibles.

Psst: Friends who are preparing to make the next (incredibly beautiful) version of the Illustrating Bible your new #LegacyBible, head over to DaySpring.com at the link below and sign up for “back in stock notification” on the Illustrating Bible page. You’ll be the first to know when it’s available for preorder AND when it’s officially back in stock!  Enjoy!
XOXO,
Melody

Illustrating Bible

Disclosure: 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.