Mindfulness of Scripture- Scripture Journaling

The second Scripture activity I do is Scripture Journaling, essentially a group of Bible verses and positive quotes that I draw, color paint, sticker on a sketch pad page or blank journal. I like to split them up into themes, and I always keep them positive!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.”
Phillippians 4:8 VOICE

As a coping skill, I began to write and save Bible verses that I could reach for during certain feelings that threatened to consume me. I hated the fact that I was so “all about myself” which made me feel selfish and narcissistic.

I had to continue to find ways to ease my suffering and become a part of the world again! I always heard that we are to “hide God’s Word I our hearts” by memorizing verses so we could call them up in times of trouble. That was something I could do when I was younger.

My mind used to be like a trap- Mom saying I had the best memory of anyone in our family- but since my grief and depression, it seems my short-term memory is lacking. I can still remember that giant wood tick on my neck when I was three years old, but memorizing verses is no longer easy for me.

Awhile back, I purchased a book of promises categorized by specific difficulties. I could find my emotion, (Fear, Depression, etc.) and read the Scripture that promised His respite, a good alternative to memorization.
I decided to make a more personal list of promises and put tabs in my Bible when I read a particularly beautiful verse. When I feel the urge to Scripture Journal. I look at all the tabbed pages and bits of paper upon which I have written quotes or verses and then find some that fit together nicely. I draw it out first as a basic design and then rummage through my cases of colorful markers, pencils, stickers, and even sometimes, fabric pieces to design the page.

Spiritual Journal Ia anything too hard for the lord
I am not too artistic, and I have to resist judging my designs and mistakes, but I’ve found that anything can be covered up with a square of scrapbook paper and re-drawn if necessary. The Internet is full of ideas for creative journaling and craft stores sell all kinds of washi tape and stationery supplies to pretty-up the pages. I use a Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal because it has a bunch of dots instead of lines.

Because I decided that there are no rules for my journal, I have pages with To-Do Lists as well as actual journal pages of thoughts, schedules, etc. and interwoven amongst these are my Scripture Journal designs. I can look through my journal and see I “graduated” from being afraid to leaning on God to provide me a path.

My journal lifts my mood, even before reading the verses, just by looking at the colorfully decorated pages! I also like to post them on Instagram- who knows? Someone may need cheering up!
Michelle Pearce, PhD wrote in her book Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Christians with Depression, that “These spiritual words and ideas can function as positive and truthful seeds that, once planted in your mind, can blossom into a more positive mood. The more seeds you plant, the better.”
My own path became clearer as I continued to focus on God’s will for me. God wanted me to stop being afraid of the past and move on. Isn’t it amazing how He takes us through our problems until we arrive at the answer He chooses for us? He uses people to help us reach the conclusion, in my case group therapy and doctors, and He speaks to us in prayer time to weigh options on our minds.

Mindfulness Techniques- Scripture

When I read a passage in the Bible that really speaks to me, I want to explore it further. I found this great Bible at a second-hand bookstore, called The Voice. This version has some further explanation around the events in the Bible and speaks in a modern tone and language as well. You will see me quote from this version occasionally in this book (VOICE). Sometimes, exploring it further means that I look up similar passages to get a better picture of what God is saying to me.

Mindfulness of Scripture is a practice I use to apply the scripture to my current situation. I do this by using Scripture Imagery (this post) and Scripture Journaling (next post). I like to read my devotions and as I have said before, read more of the story than just the verse attached to it. Often, it’s like I “see” in my mind’s eye what God wants me to know. This has been a blessing to me when I am hopeless.

Scripture Imagery
Imagine you are upset about something and as you read your daily devotional you come across a piece of scripture or author’s story that makes you feel better. Stop reading and just “be” in that scripture/story. Imagine yourself watching it unfold or participating in the story- it is happening to you and you feel the Lord taking the weight of your problems from you.

I had been fearful and consumed with my disability. I was so afraid of returning to work, and I felt I had to return, even though I knew I would be faced with a minefield of anxiety triggers. How embarrassing it would be for me to work through this while my peers and boss stood by watching?

One day, came across a beautiful passage in my devotional. It was a story about Jesus supporting someone with His hand on their back as they walk up a steep mountain, the mountain being some worry or problem they might have. The person is impressed with the grandeur, but also a little afraid. Ultimately the story ends with the person walking back down to the world with Jesus’ Light shining within them “as you walk among people again.”

I wanted to BE THERE! I wanted Jesus to take me up that mountain and shine His Light on me! The picture I imagined when reading was so stunning that I had to use it as a centering Mindfulness practice:

  • • Imagine walking up the side of a steep mountain with only the hand of Jesus on my back. I am afraid, I don’t know what is up ahead and the mountain is very steep with very few footholds.
    • The rocks and crags are sharp, but I feel heat and strength on the small of my back as Jesus’ hand is the only thing keeping me from crashing to my death.
    • I feel myself relax against His hand, and this gives me the confidence to begin to see the gorgeous beauty of the mountain as I focus less on what is below me and more on where I am.
    • I am mindful of His Light and even feel comfortable to turn my head and smile at Him,
    • Thoughts and fears still run in my mind, but I can separate them from the beauty I see, and each time a fear comes to me, I watch it fall like a pebble to the world below.
    • With each pebble that falls, I continue to look up to see more majesty. When I am finally at the top, true to the story, I see that the world below and all its problems is separate from where I am. Here, the Lord’s light shines brightly upon me and I am warm and awash in the dazzling light!
    • I know that with each step I took up this mountain with Jesus, He replaced my fear with comfort, just as I would do with my own children. And as I descend back into my world, I continue to hold the light and warmth of Jesus.
    • This light will be with me throughout my day here on Earth.

“He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
And the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” -Psalm 37:6

Scripture Imagery is just imagination and putting yourself into the story makes the scripture so real that you should be able to feel the emotion, the Glory of what you have read in the Bible. You can soar on the back of an eagle or sit with Jesus while he talks to the masses, even eat the fish and loaves that were multiplied for five thousand. Anything goes, as long as it makes you feel better.