ep. 13 | Bible Journaling with Jennifer Evangelista
On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the privilege of chatting with Jennifer Evangelista.
Jennifer is a pastor’s wife, mother, pediatrician, and the face behind Grace in Color, an online ministry where she teaches women to use their creativity to grow in their faith and truth of the Gospel. Her passion is teaching busy women that there are different ways they can study, pray and learn from God and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today!
I hope you’ll connect with Jen via Grace in Color at the links below. She also has a free Creative Bible Study Challenge for anyone interested in getting a small taste of different ways to actually use some creative ideas in your study of the scriptures!
Here are the questions we covered in our conversation:
Tell us a little about your personal faith story and how you got into art journaling.
Can you share with us about what art journaling is?
What does your personal time spent with God look like and how do you incorporate art journaling? Beyond that, what are other ways of creatively connecting with God?
How has your personal journey with creatively connecting with God evolved over time?
How does one find an avenue of creative expression that fits them?
What would you say to a less creative type who doesn’t see a need for trying this?
What are important things to keep in mind for someone just getting started with trying a new way to connect with God?
How does discipline play into connecting creatively with God?
Where do I begin in learning how to art journal?
Are there specific tools someone needs to get started in art journaling (i.e. pens, paper, tools, etc.)?
3 Questions I Ask Every Guest
What 3 resources would you recommend to someone who is learning how to connect creatively with God themselves OR encouraging others in that process?
What are your 3 simple joys?
As a journeywoman, who is the most impactful person in your own journey with Jesus?
Note Worthy Quotes
“The best thing is to sit down and start with the Word of God first, instead of starting from a study.”
“I can hardly draw a stick person. That’s not what I’ve been gifted with. But I can put things together in a colorful way that means something to me in reference to what I’m studying.”
“Art journaling is anything you want it to be. It is water color, paint, colored pencil, pen and paper, chalk, or collage, it is anything you want it to be. You can do that just for creation’s sake just for fun. I don’t want anyone to think that everything has to be so super spiritual in this practice. You can just play. But then when you take it and put it together with your study of the Word of God, you always start with the Word of God first.”
“I start with the Bible first. The purpose of the art is to 1) reflect on the Scripture and 2) slow me down enough to not just zip by any truth that God may have for me. As I’m doodling or drawing or writing down the verses in the margins of my Bible, cutting, pasting, or putting things together, the entire time I’m reflecting on that passage and gaining new insights on the Word of God. Then I’ll move on from there and study Biblically and theologically sound commentaries or sermons after I’ve looked at the Word itself. Then, sometimes I’ll take the things I’ve learned from supplementary texts and go back and use them to artistically embellish what I’ve already done.”
“The bottom line is we forget the Gospel. We forget the truth of God’s Word every single day. Let’s just be honest, we wake up in the morning and we hit the road running… we all have very full lives and we forget the basic truths of the Gospel and we forget how much we are in need of complete and utter rescue every single day and that that has been done for us. Because that has been done for us we can walk in his glory and follow his commands, not because of us, but because of what he’s done. Part of following his commands is studying is Word and this is what works for me.”
“If you are struggling to find time for Bible study… if you find it harder and harder to tackle that, then you may need to look at how you’re tackling it. If you are sitting down with your study and maybe you’re going through a dry period and you’re feeling like what you’re hearing is just words on a page, you have to remember that the Word of God is living and breathing and that it speaks to us. It’s not about how you feel, it’s more about what God is speaking to you, not in a woo-woo kind of way, but if you are not seeing things differently when you’re looking at a passage of Scripture than you’ve always seen it before, then maybe you need to look at it a little differently.”
“It doesn’t have to be a ton of time or a ton of deep theology, it just has to be you being willing to open yourself up to the truth that is there and that is waiting for you. If you don't dive in a little bit deeper, then really you have no way of learning it and hearing God’s Word. We have to choose the one path he’s given us to hear his Word, which is the Bible.”
“Obedience, even when it lacks desire, actually leads to satisfaction. And more importantly it leads to God’s glory. Which in turn increases your yearning to obey.”
“We live in a distracted time. I’m going to challenge us to say that although we do live in a distracted time, we don’t live in a more difficult time than anybody ever has to practice this discipline. 400 years ago we had to work from sunup to sun down to get food on our tables. All of the excuses that we have—and I have them too—we have to somehow take those, see them for what they are, and figure out a way to battle that… I’ve found that actually scheduling time for Bible study because if I don’t have it on my schedule, a lot of times I put it off.”
“Reprioritizing so that Bible study is part of our day is critical. Because I’m visual and tactile, if I just sit and read my mind tends to wander. Putting pen to paper, whether it’s art journaling or just journaling, enriches my time.”
“Find what works for you and how you connect with God in the stage that you are in.”
“As you write and visualize Scripture you can take it and display it somewhere after you’ve created it and it’s a visual reminder of that Scripture and you repeat it over and over and over again.”
“It’s the blank page that scares us. When you’re starting with anything like this, get a cheap journal like a composition book so you have no monetary commitment in that thing. Photo copy the Scripture, paste it in there, and just start writing or drawing. Just put something on that blank page. When it’s no longer a blank notebook it frees you up to keep pushing on. There are no mistakes when it comes to art journaling. You can always cover it up if you really have to. Or just keep going!”
Tools needed: something to write on and something to write with and your Bible. That’s it! Use what you already have! Eventually if you are of the mind or desire to actually do things in your Bible, the ESV Interleaved Bible is really cool, but you don’t have to start there.”
“As long as you start and end with the Word, everything in the between is all good.”
Illustrated Faith on YouTube
Sermons and articles from trusted pastors who are Theologically sound
Jennifer's Simple Joys
When her kid’s get along and enjoy one another
Connecting with women in her church and online
Time to create (with coffee and good creamer, of course)
Connect with Jennifer
Today’s episode of the Journeywomen Podcast is sponsored by White Pepper Ink, a custom-scripting canvas and wood company founded by Amanda Nicholson. You can find her work on Instagram and Facebook. To custom order, email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you mention hearing about the shop on the Journeywomen podcast, you will get 10% off a canvas of your choice if you order through the second week of August 2017.
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Photo credit for Bible Art: Truth Lettering