Why I Share My Faith // Doodling Through John 7

TLIB received supplies from The Ink Road in exchange for a feature in this post.

 
“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
— John 7:4-5 NASB

As I was reading John chapter 7, verses 4 and 5 caught me, and I asked myself, why do I share my faith so publicly, really? 

This is why I share my faith:

It helps me in my own belief when I openly write about my faith, because I hear from God in the process. Also, more obviously, I want Jesus to be known publicly. As in, really known. Not just "known of".

If even one person is impacted by my writing or "artwork", and is drawn closer to Jesus through something I've shared, I have accomplished my goal. 

So that's it. That's why I share my faith. 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

Can I please tell you why I illustrate my faith?

This blog, my Instagram account, my Facebook page, my life... they aren't just about making pretty things and then getting "likes" and "follows", or impressing people. I mean, that's nice, don't get me wrong, but that's not the point. It has something to do with the point, I suppose, because I know -- or at least I hope -- that the people who are liking or following my blog or Instagram feed are being impacted by what I share, which is fantastic. (See above.) But any sort of popularity is not the purpose... it's not my aim. [Cue background music: "Legacy" by Nichole Nordeman]

I don't need you to "like" me.

I want you to know Jesus.

On Instagram (and maybe in other places online and in real life), there are many questions and eyebrows being raised about the whole concept of bible journaling. I won't go into detail about particular assumptions because I am not one with raised eyebrows, and I don't know for sure what the assumptions are, exactly. But bible journaling is something that has changed my life for the better (in a huge way), so I do take it a little personally when judgment is cast or when friends are attacked online for illustrating their faith.

So let me share a bit of my personal bible journaling process, just for kicks, as a sort of "behind the scenes":

First, whether I'm reading on my own or following a devotional, study plan, etc. I always begin in my Charles F Stanley Life Principles study bible. I purchased this bible at a local Christian book store a few months before we moved from the States, and am so thankful to have found it. It has given me so much more insight into and understanding of the Word. I highlight scripture and study notes as I go, and there are a few doodles and handwritten notes in the margins, but other than that, the bible remains "untouched" (i.e., paint-free). Most writing or note-taking that needs to be done while I read from my study bible gets put into a separate journal or notebook, a lot like ⟶this one⟵.

After I've read in my study bible, I move into my journaling bible. Any main points or verses spoke to me in my study bible, I then read in my journaling bible, because the translations are different.

I pray and meditate over what I believe God is telling me through His Word. Sometimes it's as clear as if He were standing right in front of me shouting into my face, but other times I really need to dig deep and maybe even step away for a few hours before I know what I want to "doodle".

Once I decide on the words I want in my journaling bible, I dig through my supplies, pick one favorite element, and then choose the rest of the embellishments/design based on the color/style of that one thing. Sometimes, as was in this case, a big goal is to cover up bleed-through from the opposite page!

Here, my favorite element was some pretty scrapbook paper. I wanted to cover up some bleed-through, so I decided to doodle some wonky stars all over the place, color them in, and then "float" some cute, also wonky, cut-out stars from the pretty paper. That did the trick. Then I wrote stuff.

I never want to look at a page I did in my journaling bible and wonder what inspired that? So I try to always include the scripture or quote that inspired me, or even some of my own journaling on the page. This page was all my own journaling. 

I enjoy bible journaling so much, and I can't even begin to explain how much my walk with Christ and my life in general has improved since I started. Through bible journaling, so many proverbial light bulbs have come on and aha! moments have been had; doors have been opened, allowing me to walk faithfully and purposefully in my calling. 

If you are even the least bit creative, I highly recommend diving into a journaling bible of your own. Don't let fear of failure or mistakes hold you back, because perfection is not what this journey is about. Of all the bible translations out there to choose from, the illustrated bible is my favorite translation.

YOUR TURN: Do you have any questions about bible journaling that I didn't quite cover here? Ask away! Let me know your thoughts! (Oh, and I have like a million product recommendations, so if you need "advice", hit me up.) ⤵︎

 

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Since joining the creative teams for Illustrated Faith and The Ink Road, I have become an affiliate for DaySpring and Amazon. All this means is that I may receive a small commission from sales that are made through a link you click on my site. Cool, right? Cool for me and cool for you, because you'll also gain access to secret sales and discount codes, such as B2G1MUGS for a free mug when you buy two from DaySpring, and TAWNI10 for 10% off of all of your The Ink Road orders!