Friday, September 27, 2013

Scripture Journaling

I have discovered a way to introduce my "creative side" to my interest in daily Bible study.  Somewhere in my Pinterest wanderings, I ran across the concept of SketchNotes.  As I explored additional links, I found all sorts of people engaged in scripture journaling, using a combination of words, images, symbols, and designs to reflect the meanings of the Bible verses.
When I first decided to try it for myself, I used 2 Corinthians, chapter 4, which was the focus of my Thursday morning women's Bible study group at the time.  All I knew when I started was that I wanted a banner across the top, sections divided by solid and dotted lines, and an image of jars of clay.  Beyond that, I had some creative figuring to do!

I began a Pinterest board entitled "Scripture Journaling," where I pin sources of symbols and drawings, and examples of other people's sketch notes from their scripture studies.  I also do Yahoo searches for things like, "drawings of strength" or "symbols of God's glory," and I get all sorts of ideas for images to use in my notes.  You can see by the page included here that it's not all about drawing, but rather about figuring out how to organize and arrange the content of the passages.
I have found that the great value of this kind of scripture journaling is the actual process of creating the pages.  While I can certainly review the text by looking over my notes, I really internalize the message by working through the creative process of how to represent it on the page.  I have to really dig deep to be sure that I am linking ideas accurately, and truly representing all that is there.
I have continued scripture journaling backwards through 2 Corinthians, and have notes for chapters 1 through 4.  I plan to then work forward along with our study, until I hopefully have a set of visual scripture journaling for the whole book.

I will confess that every time I sit down to do a new chapter, I am convinced that I will not be able to figure out how to represent it in visual notes.  And yet every time, once I stick with it for awhile, the representations develop across the page, and I find the process very satisfying, both to my need for creative expression and my need to spend time in God's Word.

I invite you to give this process a try for your own spiritual and creative practice.  I will share the pages I have made for other chapters in 2 Corinthians in the coming days.


Unknown said...

This sounds really useful. I've only recently heard of sketch journalling and I like the way you do it. I find I can concentrate on a sermon far more if I am taking notes, but I don't like to have notebooks full of notes I will never look at, so listening and finding key points to write, sketching and decorating letters helps me.

donna!ee said...

love love love it...thank you much for sharing your process. blest be ;D

Anne said...

I like this idea. But it makes my brain buzz just trying to think how to do it meaningfully.

VivJM said...

Great idea! I think journalling must be an ideal way to work these things out & clarify your study & thinking.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great idea.

Parabolic Muse said...

I have to say, when I was studying scripture, writing down my thoughts about each verse was the absolute best way to remember and also commit to the scripture at hand. I wasn't drawing much then, but this is yet another layer of making it your own!