Nuts and Bolts for Starting a Spiritual Journal
Article written by Alisa E. Clark
Keeping a spiritual journal is different from keeping a traditional journal. Spiritual journaling keeps account of how a person experiences spirituality in common everyday experiences and in life changing events. The spiritual journaler may keep accounts of seemingly mundane events while excluding the more monumental moments of life. The spiritual journal keeps account of what has made a spiritual impact; the beauty of freshly fallen snow, the sound of a baby laughing or the warmth of the sun shining on one’s face. Seemingly insignificant moments can be the trail markers for spiritual journaling.
Gaining an understanding of the ways your spiritual journal will differ from a traditional journal is a first step you may take as a spiritual journaler. This understanding helps free the journal keeper from preconceived notions regarding this spiritual practice. You don’t need to have done something remarkable, or have achieved some level of fame or notoriety, to embark on this journaling journey. This is a journey anyone can take. All you need is a notebook, a pen and a willing heart.
Once you have decided that you would like to start a spiritual journal it’s time to gather some materials. Firstly, you want to find a journal that fits your spiritual style. Do you want a sketchbook, a leather bound journal, or a binder with tabbed sections and loose-leaf? Remember that you will likely want to keep your spiritual journal for a long time to come, so make a choice that allows for permanence. Also, make sure you are excited about the journal you have chosen. This is not the place to cut corners or make a split decision. Allow yourself the time and resources to choose well.
Additional materials require consideration as you prepare to begin spiritual journaling. Will you use pencil or erasable pen? Will a good set of colored pencils get you excited about keeping some sketches and special notes inside your journal? Perhaps highlighters, a set of colored pens or some crayons fit with your journaling plans? Give thought to what materials you choose for this special journal journey. Spiritual journals are worth the time and investment.
Now that you are prepared to write your first entry, remember these few helpful hints. Keep the date! You may desire to re-read your journal and knowing the time frame for each entry becomes a great asset. Also, make mistakes! Erase, cross out and rewrite! Remember that your goal is spiritual exploration not perfection! Finally, don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or writing quality. Your journal is for your eyes, and God’s eyes, only. God doesn’t grade your entries. He just wants to hear what your heart has to say each day.
After you have made the necessary preparations, it is time to write and share. You can write down your feelings, note your thoughts on a Bible passage, sketch a childhood memory or simply keep an account of your daily experiences through spiritual journal writing. You can also search the internet for spiritual journaling prompts or buy a workbook on spiritual journaling that includes leads for writing. Some use two different colored pens. One color is used to express your thoughts and feelings, and the second color is used to write down what God is speaking back to you. The beauty of keeping a spiritual journal is freedom. There are no rules here. Whatever you choose to do or say is right!
As you embark on this journaling journey, remember to keep your eye on the spiritual. Look for God’s presence as you go through your day. Become sensitive to His presence in the big and small moments of your life, and use your spiritual journal as a place to explore all of these experiences. Enjoy the increasing awareness of beauty, love, meaning and life all around you. Learn something new about yourself and your relationship with God with each entry. Let your spiritual journal become a place where your experiences are explored, understood and celebrated. Expect to grow, change and find new peace.
Click here to learn more about spiritual journaling!
Testimonies: The Power of Inspirational Christian Stories was formerly titled Dancing in the Doghouse. This spiritual autobiography has been renamed and redesigned to better reach its audience.