Guest post by Lisa Nichols Hickman, author of Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible.
In September, I met blogger Karen Kondziella Hunter at a Visual Faith event led by Connie Denninger. I instantly knew Karen was pretty amazing. I think you’ll see in her reflection here – just how so! Here’s her journey with Bible journaling, in her own words:
“Before I discovered Bible journaling, I was already bringing my faith and love for paper crafts together. In my home church and online I was hosting and teaching classes that showed others how to bring their faith more deliberately into their scrapbook pages and other craft projects. In late 2014 I was perusing Pinterest and came across photos of colorful Bible pages and was immediately hooked.
I had never thought to draw and paint right in a Bible, but I knew I wanted to do it. My heart did a little joyful leap at the thought of interacting with the Word in such a creative and hands-on way. I quickly purchased my first journaling Bible and jumped right in. Since then, creative journaling has been an integral part of my devotion, bible study, and prayer time.
When I first started journaling in my Bible I was also going through a bit of an identity crisis (moving from a successful teaching career to being a full-time mom) as well as a difficult season in a close friendship. The more time I spent in the Word, the more God revealed to me that my worth and my identity is found in Him – not in what I did or didn’t do and not in who my friends were or weren’t. Looking back at those entries from that season I can see God’s gentle, yet firm hand as He helped boost my confidence as His daughter and heal my fragile heart from a broken friendship.
Not too long ago, we began to consider a move to another state. This was a big decision for our family and Bible journaling was an important part of my praying over this major life change and seeking God’s wisdom and guidance. Looking at those entries in my Bible affirms and reminds me that God walks alongside us through all of life’s changes and challenges and He will give us guidance and direction when we ask for it.
Since I began Bible journaling, I have been more consistently in God’s Word than I ever was before. That time spent has also been more fruitful and rewarding as I paint, pray, and journal – turning over and meditating on the Word.
Yes, I find joy in creating art, but creating art with the Word as my primary focus results in so much more than just an end product. The primary joy for me is the confidence of Christ’s nearness to me. I also feel a great joy knowing that God is blessing my art when I share it. He has used me to inspire others to spend more time in the Word and grasp that joy for themselves.
Acrylic paints are my go-to for bright colors that don’t bleed through thinner Bible pages. Applied thinly, they also dry quickly so I can get on to the lettering and journaling. I also use a lot of alphabet stickers (many from my scrapbooking stash). I’ve been using more and more stamps as manufacturers are recognizing the popularity of faith-related crafting and so many choices are being made available. The right pen is also important to me – I typically use Pigma Micron pens in various sizes.
At the beginning of the year I compiled a slide show of 100 of my Bible Journaling pages from 2016. As I looked through these entries, there were so many “favorites.” Each entry represents intimate time with God and a relationship that grows closer and better every day. Bible journaling has made me see the Word as living and active in my life. It’s not a trend or hobby – it’s the way God created me to draw me in to a life walking alongside Christ.”
Check out Karen’s blog at: http://karenscraps.blogspot.com