I’ve always taken notes. Page and pages of notes. In fact, I’m mostly an auditory learner and writing notes is quick and easy for me. But, I’m bummed to say that with all my note writing, I’m still horrible with retention.
After I became a Christian in my teens, I knew that reading the Bible was important, and I tried to make it a habit. I’d read regularly, but was disappointed when I didn’t remember much or after reading a book repeatedly, I would be surprised to hear a verse quoted that I was sure wasn’t in that book when I read it. What was the good of reading and re-reading if I was missing most of it?
So one day, I made a list of some attributes of Paul. But this time I added doodles. And a door that had been sealed shut was opened in my mind. Paul became a real person, not just a character written about in the Bible.<
I have since come to realize that when you translate something from the written word to a visual image, your brain processes it differently. You are essentially translating something from linear form into a picture in your mind, and then doodling that picture onto paper. You’re synthesizing and distilling all the information down to the most important parts and it sticks.
You are engaged in higher level thinking with both sides of your brain at work. You process, engage, focus, and understand it quicker, easier, and in a way you’ll remember for years to come.
A picture (or doodle) truly is worth a 1000 words, and here are three (of many) reasons why you should add doodling to your quiet time:
1. Because you can. We were all born artists and doodlers. We just had that sucked out of us by mean kids. Every single child I know draws, scribbles, and doodles. Every one, without exception. If you had a crayon, or pencil, or sharpie (especially a sharpie) you were an artist. And if we wouldn’t have had mean people tell us otherwise, or start comparing ourselves to Da Vinci, I bet most of us would still be doing it. The fun part is that I give you that permission back. You can doodle, and you can do it while learning from God’s word! And if you’re hesitant, I’ll do everything but hold you hand by showing you how, and then letting you play!
2. Because our focus stinks. Face it, after 10 years of internet, and just half that time on Facebook and Google, our focus and retention are shot. I blame it on the annoying 20 second news blurbs, celebrity “news”, the 140 character tweet, and the Facebook #trending ticker. Really. We can’t sit down and read even part of a chapter of the Bible without our mind wandering off and sometimes never coming back. If you doodle, you’re THERE. You’re engaged, your awake, and you’re thinking and doing.
3. Because it’s so important to understand God’s word. With our lack of focus, the lack of understanding comes right along behind it. If you’re impatiently reading your Bible, but thinking of the grocery list or the dentist appointment you forgot to make, it’s just words on paper, that never make it to your brain or your heart. How many times have you read a chapter or a paragraph and had to read it again because you have NO IDEA what you just read? How are we going to be able to stand for the truth, if we don’t know what truth is?
If you’re still not convinced, I have a challenge for you. I’m so sure it will work for you that I’m giving everyone a free full length Bible study through Ephesians to test it out. It’s not about art, or drawing. It’s about doodling to focus, learn, and remember. In the Journal and Doodle Bible Studies, I teach you how to dig out truth, how to make simple doodles, and how to apply the truth to your life.
And, as an added bonus, I’m also giving away a free copy of my two newest Bible studies coming out this Saturday through 1 and 2 Corinthians and a copy of my DIY Bible Journal to get you off and doodling on your own!
And one very blessed person will win 1 copy of Kari’s new Doodle Journals for 1 & 2 Corinthians!!!
Kari writes from the beautiful Pacific NW where she is married to her best friend. She homeschools their three teen boys, (Please pray!), doesn’t read enough, and always overestimates what can be done in a day. Born from her love of doodling and journaling, she created the Journal and Doodle Bible studies. She is a terminal dork, Jesus girl, and coffee lover. She blogs at Stone Soup for Five.