Devotional journals can serve as accessible spirit guides that encourage reflection and inspire your faith journey. However, with so many different devotional journals available, it can be daunting to decide which one will be best (and learn how to use it). Don’t worry, Gracemade has you covered! Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of your devotional journal and how to incorporate its teachings into your everyday life. We’ve also compiled some of our favorite devotional journals for you to consider! Remember, your experience with devotional journaling is most importantly about how you decide to use it: making journaling a habit can be hugely valuable to your personal growth.
Before purchasing your devotional journal, take some time to decide what you want from the experience of journaling. For example, is it better to better understand the workings of God in your life and strengthen your trust in him? Could it be to practice gratitude and mindfulness in response to your present worries? Identifying what you’d like to gain from devotional journaling allows you to set your intentions and apply them in a meaningful way. Be honest with yourself about what you need to become the best version of yourself. To truly grow, one must first acknowledge the areas where there needs to be growth.
Timing is Everything
Be intentional with your time! Dedicate a few minutes to reflection and meditation: tapping into yourself, the prompts on the page, and the word. Find comfort in the silence and know that the only communication that needs to take place in these moments is that which exists between you and God. The world around you may not slow down (and you cannot will it to do so), but by spending time on your own to journal, your productivity belongs to no one else. Whether you decide to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea or a bench at your favorite park, make that space yours while you journal.
Now that you’ve chosen the place and time turn your attention to the journaling process. Because every devotional journal requires something different from you, there’s no “right” way to do it. However, there are ways to ensure that it becomes a healthy habit to incorporate into your life. First, give yourself grace - don’t put too much pressure on yourself to grow! Second, be sure to set goals for yourself that are realistic, attainable, and beneficial. Lastly, avoid the urge to compare yourself to the faith journey of others. Focusing on the growth of others can both serve as an inspiration, and on the flip slide, encourage self-depreciation. Personal development takes time and experience, all of which intentional devotional journaling will allow you to do.
The Gracemade team has compiled some of our favorite journals (devotional and everyday) and practices to share with you!
Jasmine: First Five App
"The First Five app encourages its reader to spend the first five minutes of the day in the word. Every month is a different book of the bible, it gives you a few verses to read, a devotional, a prayer and challenge. I also love that it notifies me to read every morning."
Ciara: Jesus Calling
"It's relatable, intimate, and somehow always speaks to the current situation."
Bailey: The Five Minute Journal
"It makes journaling easy! It has prompts, and goals you can set for yourself."
Gilberto: Reading & Meditation
Gilberto has no devotional journal that he reads but likes to read a chapter out of proverbs and psalms each day and meditate on that. He uses a Bible with commentary for a deeper devotion.