FAQ Series #1 —Where Do I Start?

Welcome, and thanks for joining us for our FAQ series—you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! We’ll kick this series off by answering possibly the most frequently asked question in the Facebook group— “How do I get started Bible Journaling?"

Let be the first to tell you, there is no “right” way to have quiet time with the Lord.

If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest searching for Bible study inspiration, you’ve probably noticed that everyone’s Bible journaling method looks a little different. 

Examples Bible Journaling Study

For a beginner, this can add to the  confusion or intimidation factor of  knowing where/how to start. There is no right or wrong way to study, and this is a wonderful place to learn from each other.


Bible Journaling

With all of that said, for the sake of being practical and having a jumping off point, I am happy to share with you my personal routine—but I do so with the disclaimer that this is what works for me—it’s not the gospel!  Feel free to try on different study methods until you find one that “fits” (And don’t give up if the first one(s) you try don’t feel right.   Finding a study method can be like searching for the perfect pair of jeans… it may not be the first one you try, but it’s worth it to keep trying until you find the one that feels just right—and your style/fit may change as you grow and age!


Pre-study Prep:

I like to find a quiet place where I can be alone and have few distractions.  I also prefer a table to work on because I have lots of stuff (I know TONS of people like to do their quiet time on their couch or in a favorite chair, and that is totally ok!  You do you).  

Once you’ve decided where you’re going to study, gather your journaling materials.  For me, this includes my Bible, colored pencils, pen, and a notebook/journal (this can be a simple spiral notebook, or we have a whole line of digital journals in the shop if your prefer a little more direction, or if pretty things help get you excited about journaling!).  

I also like to have a cup of coffee, tea, or a bottle of water (depending on what time of day it is). Sometimes I’ll put on some praise music in the next room over (but quiet, so it’s not overwhelming). It’s also a good idea to either turn your phone over, or leave it in another room…it can pull you off-track in a hurry!

Bible Journaling Bible Study Example

Getting Down to Business:

Now, you should be ready to go!  I ALWAYS recommend beginning with a prayer.  (I know—you’re probably just ready to dive in, and it can be tempting to skip this step, but I assure you, it’s vital in my process.  I can tell a real difference when I take the time to prayer first) I like to ask God to show me a specific word or message for that day.  I ask that He would multiply my time, give me a fruitful study, and that He would help keep me from getting distracted.

After praying, I  open my Bible to the passage I plan to study. For some, this can be the most intimidating part.  It’s helpful to know that the Bible is actually composed of 66 individual books. Each of these books can stand alone, meaning you can read them in any order. Additionally, then books are divided into two sections—the Old and New Testaments. We’ll share a separate post to explain the differences in the two and a sort of “roadmap” of what to find where—but for today, just know, it’s best to start at the beginning of any book.

If you’re new to reading the Bible, the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are excellent places to learn about Jesus (I’d recommend starting with John or Luke). 

I personally like to study a chapter at a time. If the chapter is very long (Psalm 119 is a doozy!) , I may break it down into something more digestible (you’ll notice many of the chapters are broken into smaller sub-sections, so that can help you find a stopping point).

I read through the entire passage once without stopping, just to let the words soak in.  Next, I read through a second time, looking for words/passages that stand out/speak to me (since I prayed, asking specifically for that). As they occur to me, I mark them in my Bible.  (Some people prefer not to mark in their Bibles, and that is ok…to each their own!)

Finally, once I’ve read through the passage twice and marked the text, I make notes in my journal about what I observed.  This looks different for me every time.  Sometimes I doodle a little or write a particular word or phrase really big and bold because it stood out to me.  Other times, I like to define specific words that grabbed my attention, to help myself understand the meaning of the passage better.  If I don’t understand something cultural, sometimes I even write down questions (“Why did He wash their feet? What was the purpose of it? Whose job would that normally have been?”).  Sometimes I come back later and research those questions if I want to dig deeper.  

Bible Journaling Bible Study Example

Once I’ve finished, I read back through my notes one more time and say another prayer, thanking God for my time with Him, as well as inviting Him to lead me in the rest of my day. (Sometimes I forget to pray when I end, but it really is a sweet way to close out my quiet time).

**A word of caution—release yourself from any expectations of what your journaling “should” look like.  Some days I really love the way mine looks.  Other days, I’m thankful no one has to see it but me.  Some days the Lord gives me something really profound, and others, he astonishes me with something incredibly simple that I had never noticed before.  

Thanks again for joining me. I hope this post was helpful in providing the tools to get started, but if you have any questions, feel free to message me or comment below. 

Also, If you enjoyed this post and are ready to take your Bible study skills to the next level, we would love for you to check out the Bible Study Collective Membership. Inside you'll get the tools, inspiration, and support you need to be successful as you learn to study, interpret, and apply God's word to your own life. You don't have to do it alone! Learn more here.

We want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have some Bible study routine tips you'd like to share!


  • Lynn

    Thank you for sharing. For Christmas I got a new journaling Bible and Notebook to get started. I made notes from your experience to use a guide. Please keep sharing.

  • Tina

    Thank you for sharing. I am renewing my journey in my faith and have been looking into bible Journaling. Thanks for these wonderful tips.

  • Keri

    Thank you so much for writing this. I really did not know how to start this! Keep this up!!❤️❤️❤️

  • Netta

    Thank you so much for you ideas. I invested in a Scripture Journal (similar to a Bible, but it has wide margins to put thoughts). I use stencil letters to emphasize words/phrases in the journal.. I’m thinking about investing in some nature stencil scenes to make certain passages stand out. I also underline words/phrases. My Scripture Journal has footnotes, which I try to take advantage of, but sometimes, it confuses me even more. Since I am on the downside of life, my handwriting is bad, so I type on my computer about things that I’ve learned or random thoughts that come into my mind. Thank you for your post.

  • Linda Leigh

    Thanks for sharing this information because I am one of the ones who “had no idea where/how to start” but wanted to get into this!! So now that i have some direction, I’m ready to start!!

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