One of the toughest challenges for me when I journal in my Bible is making a mistake. It's not like I can just rip that page out and start over. By the way, this is why I journal on loose pages and bind them later! But what do you do when you mess up in your Bible? Break out the markers, add another layer or two, and go with it!
We've been studying the book of Joshua at church for the last several weeks. Our pastor used Proverbs 21:31 as a tie-in to the study, and the scripture stuck with me. I knew I needed to journal it. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. I imagined an armored horse at the ready and realized, although we prepare for the journey ahead, each and every victory we receive comes from God. Pretty powerful stuff!
I Googled armored horses and found hundreds of types of equine armor--amazing! I sketched out my horse combining a few things I'd found and broke out the watercolor pencils and crayons. I decided to try to use a light wash of black to try to get a grayish-silver for the armor. It was pretty flat, but I kept going.
What to do with the horse? I grabbed a brown but stopped. This horse was going into battle with God...what color should he be? Brown just didn't seem to fit. White isn't an option with watercolor on cream-colored Bible pages...Black. I'd already used the black to create the armor, and I wasn't going to get a rich black for two reasons. First, I use matte fluid medium to seal the Bible page. The paint dries on top of the medium; therefore, trying to layer on color reactivates the dried paint and doesn't build on itself. Second, I use inexpensive watercolor crayons which aren't the most vibrant without being able to layer them on. I decided to mix the black and white crayons and hope for a light gray horse. It somewhat worked, but there was no contrast. In other words, I had a large gray blob on the page. Markers to the rescue! I picked up a black marker and started adding some details. Better. I went back in with a gray marker to add some depth...not realizing the black marker was not permanent. I now had a gray blob with black smears. Yay...
I grabbed the waterbrush and started pushing black ink around, and something began to happen. I liked what I saw! The monochromatic shades and the hazy lines began to work for me.
I said all this to say two things.
#1 Don't worry about making a mistake in your Bible. It's about the time you're spending focused on God's word without the distractions of the world.
#2 Don't quit if you make a mistake! Keep layering, add some marker detail, break out the white acrylic paint and clean the slate. Above all, enjoy time being thoughtful, prayerful, conversational, and reflective with God!