Monday, September 12, 2016

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

I’ve always loved creating art. When the recent adult coloring craze hit, complete with intricate designs, I immediately jumped in. So, I was excited to see/experience this book for review.

Here’s a summary:

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal invites you to bring creative journaling and the calming act of coloring into your quiet time with God. This beautifully designed interactive prayer book from Tyndale’s Living Expressions collection helps guide your thoughts as you pray about concerns such as health, overcoming stress, personal relationships, and more. Gratitude gives you a way to celebrate and give thanks to God for the many blessings he provides. Filled with over 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling and sketching, and 40 needs-based prayers, Gratitude helps you express your devotion to God with your whole heart!

And now, my review:

The book is more compact than I expected, only measuring 6x8 inches. But that size makes it easier to carry around. The cover is made of cardboard that’s 1/8” thick, so the journal is protected. Some of the pages have more printed color (color provided by the publisher/artist) than others. A few even have a black background already filled in. Others are completely colored in by the publisher. Some images are more intricate than others, and there are many themes—gardens, flames, flowers, ocean waves, cottages, etc. I liked that aspect very much. Something for everyone. 

I also liked the wholesome, upbeat feel of the journal, in general. This book has the potential to bring relaxation and blessing to the user and would make a nice gift.

Here’s the setup: Each double page (left plus right when the book is opened) is themed. These often include a prayer with lines to write your own thoughts, and a Scripture, as well as art for you to color. These elements are varied throughout the book.

I’ve always been a "journaler." I’ve never been a fan of guided journaling—pages that tell me what to think, or what to say to God, or what to pray. The prayers were adapted from an earlier publication from 2014 of prayers for mothers (see title page). They read in a religious and somewhat formal voice, almost as if the author is trying to tell the reader what to think or how to relate with God. They are (as the description explains above) “needs-based” prayers. Perhaps if all of them were instead gratitude based, the general feel of the journal would be more “we’re all on the same level” rather than the hint of condescension and direction (and blanket application).

I like the idea of a creative place to write my thoughts and then express myself in art and colors. The concept of this creative journal is welcome. I’m just looking for something a little less directive. Perhaps a Scripture and then space to write and then space with art to color would be more my taste.

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