How I Read & Journal

The best feeling that I have experienced as a Christian is the feeling that I got when I first experienced being his bride: I felt the reality of God in my mind. I felt his presence as his hands intertwined into mine; I felt the gushing on my face as I felt his hands hold my flushing cheeks, as I felt weak for my first love; I felt the warmth of his motherly embrace, even though I am a bride. Sometimes, when I read the Bible, all those moments came to life, and I felt surreal and smitten as his bride.

One of those verses where I felt him overtly was when I first read Ezekiel 16. As I journeyed through the Odyssey of life, I realised God’s love is special. Rejection is something I’m most afraid of, and in the book of Ezekiel, he writes his letter to Israel where he unconditionally revives up a baby rejected by her parents, thrown in the garbage bin in an atrophying state, so insignificant and nugatory that no one even bothered to clean her blood off or cut off her umbilical cord before they put her there. No eye pitied her to have compassion on her, but the Lord cleaned off her blood and made her thrive. When she was mature, he took her as his bride, and she became his. He clothed her with the finest clothes and adorned her with precious jewellery. However, after a while, she got carried away and committed adultery against him. We are the church of Christ, and the church is his bride, and what a privilege it is that our creator would call us his own bride, and also his sons and daughters.

Reading God’s word is an essential part of Christian life. I believe it grieves the Holy Spirit when you forget to read your Bible, and when you forget to speak to him. Some of my most treasured joys and unspeakable peace came from reading God’s word. Sometimes, how you journal is how you do life. Knowing is half the battle.

I want to take you on a journey of how I read and journal what I read. God speaks into your situation from his word, and I wanted to categorise everything that spoke to me, so all the information would be easily accessible. Before I go into more details, I want to show you how I read my Bible before I journal. I use five text marker colours to code text that speaks to me by highlighting text: purple signifies breakthrough, pink shows God’s love, orange highlights stressful situations, red for mistakes, blue for easiness and God’s peace, and fluorescent/ yellow for instructions. Whenever I flip through my Bible, it’s easy to recognise all that spoke to me because of how I categorise it under those colours.

To categorise highlighted text, I used page tabs. Page tabs have two functionalities: one is to label the topics of the pages so I can flip to what I want to read about by writing on it, and the second is to indicate – through the colour of the page tab – what its about, like the breakthroughs, God’s love, stressful situations, mistakes, God’s peace and instructions categorised under the same colour-code of text markers. I wanted to keep the meaning of the colour-code of page tabs and text markers consistent, so there is no confusion. I found this to be very helpful, and whenever I wanted to look back on my mistakes or revise through instructions, I’d flip to the colour of paper tab and read about that topic written on the page tab. There, you’d find text highlighted according to the colour-code of the page tabs so I could read about God’s love, stressful situations, mistakes, easiness and God’s peace, and instructions, all categorised under their respective colour and topics written on the page tabs.

I also want to talk to you about how I journal. I think we as people have our own set of weaknesses and strengths, and it differs from person-to-person. The important thing about Bible journaling is that all the information you’ve recorded, and all that you’ve learnt, should be accessible easily. The marker colour-codes, the paper tabs, and the table of contents of your journal help make this possible. All the content on my table-of-contents are instructive in nature. For instance, ‘don’t be afraid to feel like you are second’ instead of ‘when you feel you are second.’ If I am in a hurry and can’t go through my diary, I can still get little snips of wisdom in the morning before I start my day from one page. I hope this helps you organise your reading. Happy reading!

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