By Amanda Schenkenberger
As a Bible journaling teacher, one would assume I am swimming with Bible journaling ideas. You would think that you could give me a verse and I would come up with all sorts of brilliant DIY entries. While I have a few good standbys in my back pocket, I am often stumped by what to journal, and especially when I am trying to Bible journal with my kids.
Hi: my name is Amanda, and I'm a recovering perfectist. My kids, on the other hand, are messy and have their own ideas about what to journal. Not surprisingly, when you try to put rigid Amanda into a loosey goosey kid mold, it doesn't go over well.
Even though it's a stretch for me, as a homeschool mom who loves to Bible journal, I desperately wanted to involve my kiddos in Bible journaling as part of our school curriculum. I wanted to have deep spiritual conversations about Jesus and how we can apply the Word to our lives but I couldn't figure out how to do it.
That was, until I discovered "Bible Journaling with Kids" by Chelsea Wojcik. You know those answers to prayers you never prayed: this book was totally one of them. In this book, Chelsea gives you the basics of what you need to journal with your kids, PLUS 7 focused topical units with Bible journaling prompts for an entire year (examples: love, joy, hope, etc...).
Once I got my hands on this book, I was so excited because the ideas wouldn't stop coming after that. At my finger tips, I had all the verses I needed and easy questions to ask my 5 year old. It gave me the freedom I needed to let go and be okay with my son doing his own artistic thing.
The biggest factor that changed things for me was Chelsea's suggestion of getting your kid their own journaling Bible. I felt like smacking my head against a wall. OF COURSE! Why did I think of that?!
So, as per Chelsea's suggestion, I immediately went to the thrift store and found a children's Bible for my 5 year old and got ready to Bible journal the first verse in the unit about love. And you know what my 5 year old said, "Mommy, this Bible doesn't look like your journaling Bible."
I sighed as the joy of my clever thriftiness vanished. I tried to show him the space he could use to journal but he was a little hurt by that. After all, I send journaling Bibles to women all over the U.S., why couldn't I give him one?
After thinking about it for like, half a second, I let him pick out one. Of course, it was the same cover as my main journaling Bible. My 5 year old is such a sweetie.
Anyway, we ended up having a wonderful conversation about love and who to love and how we could do it that day and what makes him feel most loved. It was the glorious time in the Word I had been wanting to have with my son that, before, had felt unattainable.
I started thinking about this whole predicament I had been in and how well Chelsea's book, "Bible Journaling with Kids" helped me overcome it and I thought, "If I have struggled with Bible journaling alongside my kiddos and I'm a Bible journaling teacher, how many other moms are struggling with it!?"
And that is why I am sharing this book with you because, mom-to-mom, sometimes we just need a little help in order to be able to enjoy our children. Our to-do lists are long and it is easy to get overwhelmed by #allthethings we must do to keep them alive, let alone invest in them spiritually.
Then there are times when I don't want to come up with yet another crafting idea to keep his mind occupied. Or I simply have no idea how to engage a 5 year old in a spiritual conversation and I just need someone to say "Do this", and Chelsea has detailed that in her book.
I am so thankful that the Lord had our paths cross through the magic of Instagram because Chelsea has been such an encouragement to me through her book. If you find yourself in the "How do I Bible journal with my kids?" boat as well, there's nothing I can recommend more highly than Chelsea's new book, "Bible Journaling with Kids." Get it! You'll be so thankful you did.