As I began my Bible Journaling journey, I found myself obsessively scrolling through Pinterest, Google, and Instagram to get ideas for pages. I was making shopping lists of supplies, collecting folders and pinboards full of ideas, and honestly – spending more time looking at the work of others than actually making any pages myself!
One day I came upon a page on Pinterest that I haven’t been able to relocate (and I believe that’s by God’s design!) – and it stopped me in my tracks. It was stunning. It was a flock of sheep meandering across the page, very big ones close up and the whole flock fading into the distance. The Shepherd was in the foreground too, walking among the sheep. It. Was. Spectacular. Have I told you I really loved it?
I loved it too much.
I wanted to replicate it. Exactly. I kept it in my browser and kept looking at it, trying to figure out how she created it and how I could make it. And the Holy Spirit had a few words for me about all that.
I had lost my focus; I was more concerned with the art and not so much with the Word! The Lord said I was to fast from looking at more Bible journaling on the internet; He wanted me to spend my time with Him, not trying to be someone else. He wanted our relationship to grow, and I had become only concerned with how beautiful I could make my pages, and (gasp) how many likes I garnered. Talk about a gut-check.
I was obedient, and spent a few years in the glorious wilderness with Jesus. I wasn’t shopping for kits and stamps and mediums anymore. I wasn’t buying all the stickers and clips and tabs because everyone else had them. But I also was no longer comparing myself with the pages everyone else was making. I was spending time with the Lord, seeking what He was telling me – and then figuring out how to illustrate that.
Long story short, I finally made my own sheep page, 2 years after that day I saw the amazing page. It took me quite some time to complete, and much of it was done on a cross-country flight (great witness opportunity!). But I actually liked my flock page much better than that page in my distant memory; mine required only watercolor pencils and a baby wipe, created in my Interleaved Bible with blank pages between each printed page.
I had discovered “my” style after all that time: simple. Artistic and complex at times, but simple in its recipe: time, a simple medium, and Jesus. I’ve shared my recipe with others, in my books on this site, in my classes, and in my YouTube videos.
So how do you find out your style? I’d suggest a visit to the wilderness with Jesus. He might take you there and show you how to use all the supplies you’ve collected in your own unique way. He may have you put some things down, and pick up others. Let Him show you what your way is, both as an artist and a child of God in relationship with the Father you love. Your process for coming up with an idea for a page is unique. Your execution of it is unique. Focus on what God is telling you, let Him be your Teacher – and your style will emerge.