I love my new gratitude journal from Tyndale Books even though I haven’t written in it yet. I’m only about half-way through my current journal, so I’m not ready to start a new one, but that hasn’t stopped me from feasting my eyes on Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal. Here’s how I’m making good use of it even before setting pen to page, and how you can too.
1. Enjoy the cover.
I love the journal’s thick cardboard cover that makes a great backing for the colouring pages. The cheerful colours are used as accents throughout the book, but they never overwhelm the pages, and there’s plenty of room to colour, write, or create a drawing of your own.
2. Immerse yourself in Scripture.
I happily read through the entire journal which includes Scripture from the New Living Translation. These two passages especially spoke to me:
Be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. – 1 Corinthians 15:58 (page 20)
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 (page 26)
Most of the entries also include a short prayer adapted from 365 Pocket Prayers for Mothers by Amie Carlson, but the prayers aren’t focused especially on motherhood. These are prayers of confession, thanks, trust, and much more that speak to the realities of life and faith for a wider audience. For example,
When I stop to count my innumerable blessings, I’m overwhelmed. You’ve been with me every step of my journey, and your unfailing love has never ceased. Thank you for adopting me as your very own child. My heart longs to trust you at a deeper level. Remind me to rejoice in the simple things. Fill my heart with joy and peace as I meditate on you today. (page 98)
4. Wonder about colouring as a spiritual practice.
Each chapter of my Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal explores a different spiritual practice–from classic disciplines of Scripture reading and prayer to less conventional approaches like having fun and living simply. Since it’s release, I’ve heard a lot about colouring as spiritual practice too, including colouring books for adults and colouring cards. Is colouring for adults a passing fad, or might it be a new and helpful way to pray? Is it another form of multitasking, or a good way to slow down and be attentive in a busy and distracting world? I’m looking forward to finding out for myself.
5. Contemplate gratitude.
Last year I found myself asking, Can a Gratitude Journal Make You More Hopeful? At the time, both my husband and I had started a daily gratitude list, and we’ve continued since then, even during his painful job loss through no fault of his own. I’m not thankful for the hurt and injustice he has felt, but I’m thankful for the support we’ve received from others, and for how the hardship he’s experienced has allowed us to minister to others facing similar loss. I resonate with the words of this prayer:
Lord Jesus, You know what I am thankful for today? Despite the hurts and disappointments in this life, I have your promise that one day tears, pain, and suffering will be no more. Even though life seems chaotic and unruly right now, you are still on the throne. You are making all things new. Thank you! (page 52)
Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal is part of Tyndale’s Living Expressions Collection. You can find samples and sharable colouring pages on Tyndale’s Inspire Creativity Board on Pinterest like this one:
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Do you find colouring a helpful way to pray? Why or why not?
Thank you to Tyndale Books for a complimentary copy of this journal.
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