Day 7…Favorite Reads On Spiritual Journaling


I have been an avid journaler since my junior year in college.  I have been compulsive about my journaling for years – indeed, it was the first medium I used to pour out my writing heart and soul.  I’ve been reading books on journaling for almost as long.  Along with books on non-specific journaling, I have been fascinated with the process of journaling as it relates to my spiritual life.  They are now one and the same for me – I can’t write in my journal without praying, or talking to God, or seeking His direction amidst my daily babble and squalor.

Each one of these books has been instrumental to me in my journaling process.  In particular, Luann Budd & Helen Cepero’s books are probably the most underlined.  However, I just discovered Luci Shaw’s beautiful little volume on journaling this past year, and am still finishing it.

1. Journal Keeping: Writing For Spiritual Growth by Luann Budd

In today’s culture we spend little time really writing…We don’t often pick up a favorite pen and spend an hour or two carefully choosing words to express our heart or share our life…Unless we make a point of writing, we miss the discovery aspect of writing.  Taking the time to identify and express our hearts is profoundly important.  How else will we discover what we truly appreciate about someone, or the significance of day-to-day events, if we don’t pause long enough to think about them?

When you hear God speak, write it down.


2. How To Keep A Spiritual Journal by Ronald Klug

Journal writing should never become a grim chore.  If you see it that way, you probably will not do it for long…Go at it in the spirit of creative play.  Let your journal-writing time be a sabbath time for you, an enjoyable, quiet time, even a gift you give yourself.  Think of the solitude connected with the journal as part of the abundant life God wants you to have.

3. Journaling As A Spiritual Practice: Encountering God Through Attentive Writing by Helen Cepero

It is here that God wants to surprise you with the beauty of your own life, growing and alive, filled with movement, light and shadow.  It is here that God wants to meet your own longing for a deeper life with the Spirit’s even greater longing to be with you, in all of who you were and are and will be.

Everything in our lives tends to be hectic, and what is subversive about a journaling practice is that it calls us to stop.  It is when we stop, when we let our look linger, that a deeper movement within can be discerned.


4. Life Path: Personal & Spiritual Growth Through Journal Writing by Luci Shaw

Journal keeping is a record of your spiritual, emotional, intellectual or artistic travelling, your personal edging closer to God, reality, true perception, and self-knowledge.

Tristine Rainer says…’There are no mistakes.  At any time you can change your point of view, your style, the pen you write with, the direction you write on the pages, the language in which you write, the subjects you include…You can misspell, write ungrammatically…curse, pray,brag, write poetically, eloquently, angrily, lovingly…’  Once you’ve opened the dam, or have surmounted the fear barrier, and you have felt the exhilaration of writing freely, then you can afford to slow down and take a more meditative, thoughtful, reflective look at your life.


Do you journal?  

Do you have favorite books on journaling?

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4 comments on “Day 7…Favorite Reads On Spiritual Journaling

  1. Thanks for the suggestions. I’m always looking for ways to change it up. I’ve journalled forever and when I look back at my old notebooks I can see how much my writing and my thoughts have changed over the years. I haven’t read any books on spiritual journaling but I’ve been using a suggestion about it from Jen Hatmaker in her book, A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study.

    1. I’m so glad you resonated with this post – I didn’t know if anyone would. I LOVE journaling – I think its been my window into beginning to blog and write more seriously. I’ve been obsessed with journaling books for years – its seems an odd thing to read about, but I still loved them. I’m hoping to write more about journaling after this 31 Days series is done. Isn’t it true that looking at old journals is such a great tool to see how far we’ve come? I’ll have to check out that section of Jen’s book – thanks! 🙂

    1. Glad I was able to help with book-finding for you Anne – I’m a big fan of your blog, and your book recommendations! Yes, I know–I was surprised when I discovered Shaw’s journaling book! It’s a slim volume, and I don’t find there’s any particularly new insight there about journaling, but I love hearing what Luci has to say on the subject. Would love to hear what books on journaling you’ve enjoyed reading! 🙂

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