Bible Journaling 101

It’s official…I now have yet another creative outlet! At the beginning of the year, I stumbled upon the planner community after doing some research about the Silhouette die cutting machines, which I quickly learned those little machines do way more than just cut out ephemera (which I love that word..It’s fun to say, and you should have seen the look Jordon gave me the first time it came out of my mouth in conversation…He said it sounded like some kind of rare medical condition!) and stickers, but that’s a whole different blog post! I was going through and watching all the YouTube videos that were on their site and came across The Reset Girl and her online sticker shop, and boy did I get hooked! It was a new year, which always means I’m on a mission to “finally get organized.” By this time every year, I laugh hysterically at why I even attempt it, because we all know I live in chaos, and I wouldn’t even call it remotely organized chaos..hehe! Anyway, Silhouette made a video specifically with Cori, The Reset Girl, and how she uses the Silhouette Cameo to create stickers for planner girls. Man oh man, was I curious.

After a quick Google search, I realized I was missing out on a whole new world. I have always loved my planner notebook. I have tried and tried using the calendar on my phone and even apps like Trello and Any.Do. Those always seem to work for a few weeks…a few months at most. Jordon has never understood why i felt the need to carry around and write in this bulky planner to keep track of all of my activities and to-do lists. His calendar works well for him. So, after digging in and finding out what this all about, I realized I have been doing what these ladies have been doing for quite some time, just a more simplified, less pretty version of “planning.” Some of the layouts of what these ladies were accomplishing every week were truly amazing and so beautiful. It really would make my planner a place I would want to open daily and take with me everywhere I went…and of course show it off to everyone! These girls were stamping, washi taping, sticky noting, water coloring, stickering… the list goes on…addicts! Some of ladies were talking about how many planners they had and were even using all at once. All I could think of was man, I feel like my life is downtown crazy town with preschool activities (which was way more intense that I ever dreamed it would be), kids, and estate wrap up, but how busy do you really need to be to need 8-12 different planners?

These ladies were using their planners as traditional planners, memory planners (mini scrapbooks), faith planners, meal planners…you name it and someone was documenting and/or planning it. Anyway, when I started digging into this whole planner community, I don’t think I can say faith planning or journaling was even on my radar. For several years, I think I have been put off by religion. Yes, I know that sounds really awful, and now that I have reconnected with my faith and with God, it even sounds terrible to me as well, but it’s very true. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple months really looking within myself to try to figure out where all of those negative feelings were coming from. Hannah was coming home reciting Bible verses and singing songs…pretty much singing God’s praises for me. The Mom’s group I had been invited to join last fall met at Sherwood Oaks…also where Hannah’s preschool was. I started out honestly kinda dreading Mom2Mom on Friday mornings. I knew it stressed Owen out to be in the nursery, and I felt when this all started that having friends just may not be in the cards for me. I’ve tried it so many times before, and I always get hurt. Honestly, I was just sick of putting myself out there. I had my Michigan peeps and the wonderful world of texting, so why did I need to worry about in-person friendships?. So, as Mom2Mom was coming to an end for the school year, Lisa (our wonderful neighbor and also our small group leader at Mom2Mom) kept talking about this marriage group they were involved with at Sherwood Oaks and just kept raving about how much it has helped their marriage. I have always felt Jordon and I have had a rock solid marriage, but after having kids, life gets so hectic. We’re both always short on sleep and on time for that matter. What I realized was we were missing each other…badly! There simply was no time left for us as a couple.

So, one Friday after Mom’s group, I sent her a message wanting more info about this, because our marriage and relationship had been on my mind a lot. She told me everyone was invited even if you weren’t a church member there, and she would let me know when the next group would be starting. Within a few weeks we were agreeing to get involved with this marriage group and off to church we went! We were both super skeptical really. I know…that sounds really bad again, but we were. When we left our first service, boy were we surprised. We grew up in very conservative small town churches, which may work great for some, but after we had moved away and came back for visits, realized we just were not liking the messages that were being given. I truly think they had good intentions, but when it came down to it…it was a lot of do as I say and not as I do. People were just downright mean to each other and judgmental, and what I felt was important and what we have always tried to instill in our children is love and respect for others.

The first sermon we ever heard at Sherwood Oaks completely hit the nail on the head for me. I don’t think I had ever really gotten angry with God, but I had definitely gotten angry with the church. That first message was about loving the church. What I wanted was to belong to a church where everyone feels welcome and loved. I truly believe we have found our church home. It only took a few weeks to have that faith planning spark ignited in me, but I had a desire to take it a step further…I wanted to journal and create pretty things in my Bible. A lot of people have no idea what this even is, and some view it as a negative thing…almost like you’re defacing your Bible, but it’s simply creating in God’s word by painting/coloring, writing, stamping, gluing paper on your pages…or really whatever creative way you want to connect with Him. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this type of worship. God has created some of us to be extremely creative. I do believe I fit into that category for sure! So, I purchased an Inspire Bible, which I am in love with. It not only has extra wide margins, but it has some preprinted illustrations that appear to be made for coloring…I usually paint them! Some margins, though, are left blank for those 100% creative moments. It has a gorgeous hard back cover that is a really beautiful aqua color. The prettiest part of the outside is really the page edges. Preprinted flowers and butterflies fill that space…love, love, love! Anyway, it really is my style from cover to cover!

I don’t think I could have found a more perfect fit for me. Not only do I feel closer (feeling of comfort and relaxation) with God when I’m journaling, but you end up letting your mind go free and really think about what His message is. For me, it really helps me to not only remember the message better but it really helps memorize the verse or verses. God is so good!