Adding Your Words to God's Word

Don't be afraid to add your notes to your Bible; it makes it much more personal.

By Carol Kuykendall, Boulder, Colorado

As appeared in

Now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. 1 Samuel 15:1

In our bedroom is a bookshelf full of different-sized Bibles: my first one, my husband’s for good attendance at Sunday school, Grandmother’s well-worn volume, various translations. Most are old but clean, and the pages make a crinkle sound when turned.

Though each is special, the one I now use is the first I’ve ever had that feels like my very own personal Bible. Why? For two simple reasons: I write in it–and I carry it around with me. It has become a close friend.

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I remember exactly when I started marking in my new Bible. It was in a Bible study class. On the first day, the leader suggested that we underline meaningful Scriptures and make notations of our responses to the passages, adding dates for future reference.

Somehow it sounded sacrilegious. But as I saw others around me doing it, I carefully began to underline a few passages here and there. I felt self-conscious at first, but slowly the habit developed.

Today, my Bible is filled with marks and scribbles that are meaningful only to me. The cover has grown dog-eared, some pages are loose, and I know I will have to get a new Bible soon. But when I put this one on the shelf next to all the others, it will be special because it is my own spiritual diary, a measuring stick of my steps of growing faith.

Heavenly Father,  let me not be afraid to make my Bible personal and alive so that Your Word will grow precious to me through the years.

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Dear Carol Kuykendall, How wonderful to see a lovely face from Boulder days when we talked about writing and our kiddos growing too fast and not fast enough. My move to Chicago four years was all about being closer to them, especially since my son and daughter-in-law now have a daughter and a son and are experiencing parental decision making. I have been blessed by being a granny nanny to my granddaughter from the time she was two months old until she was almost three. To me it was a gift from God to have an opportunity to hold a child and think of when I didn't have the time to look at my primary priority of sitting and rocking, making up silly songs, coming up with routines and so on. Now the kicker is to see my face as it appears on my granddaughter's face when she scrunches up for some reason or to hear the audio recording of my voice coming from her. When I started packing for the move, I realized that my Bibles were all packed, which afforded me the gift of buying a small (portable) King James Version that has so many bookmarks sticking from it. This comes with love and so much respect that you are writing and publishing and now I have the opportunity to read something new from you. I hope this finds you and your family (all grown now) well and happy. Bless you, Carol Kuykendall! Fondly, Diane Coffelt