Posted by: mahlbrandt | August 1, 2008

The Art of Keeping a Prayer-journal/sketchbook/diary/calendar/scrapbook

I enjoyed reading this post on Orange Beautiful about journaling, especially some of the comments. I’ve always been a journaler but it’s just in the past 2 years that I’ve started figuring out how to incorporate a prayer journal, a diary and a sketchbook. At the beginning of 2006 I made a beautiful journal/sketchbook/calendar covered in blue and brown paisley fabric. I used it mostly at school but kept a tight watch on it. It was very personal to me. Once I was doodling and sketching through most of my philosophy class. One of my design friends who was sitting next to me looked over at my page full of ink and chuckled. Then—can you believe the nerve?—she asked if she could see it. I was taken aback and immediately said no. She seemed as shocked as I was. Why should I let her see the private outpourings of my brain?

My main problem with that journal was that it was a big, bulky hardcover book. Also, because I wanted it to be a calendar, I had divided the book into 12 sections. The problem was that the first sections ran out of space and I ended up leaving pages blank in the back in order to stay in the correct month. The other problem was that I still had a separate prayer journal and I hated having to choose between journal to God and journaling about my day.

A little over a year ago I started a study on The Power of a Praying Wife with a couple of friends and we discussed the idea of doing prayer journal/sketchbooks. One of the ladies is an avid scrapbooker and I loved her idea of combining the two. My prayer journal/sketchbook is now almost full so I’m thinking about my next journal. I’d really like to try incorporating all 4 or 5 ideas again. In addition to my current prayer journal and daily diary and scrapbook (pasted in photos, e-mails, sermon notes*, notes from Jason**…), I would like to try to reincorporate the calendar and design sketchbook aspects.

It will definitely have to be an unlined notebook, small and flexible, with a decent page count. One or more pockets would be great. I’m not totally decided on how to do the calendar part. For now I’m thinking I’ll design and print a monthly calendar for each month that can be pasted in (and store them in the pocket) and maybe I’ll use tabs to make where each month is…

Hmm, it’s fun to plan it out. Maybe when I get my $10 target gift card (for our Wellness Works program at work), I’ll use that. I know I’ll have a lovely time picking out a new journal and planning out it’s purpose. Here are some from

*I don’t like taking my journal with me everywhere, especially to church. I’m not a packrat and I hate carrying a giant purse full of books with me everywhere. I stick a small pad of paper in the back of my bible. I keep a tiny Moleskine notebook in my purse for bright ideas, sketches, lists, price quotes, jotting phone message, etc.

**He rarely writes me notes anymore. I’ve brought to his attention how much I love notes so maybe he’ll start again. I love to keep his handwritten notes. I love his handwriting. I love to keep a record of a note he wrote by hand. I have one pasted in my current journal that says. “There is dog x?#t on the leather rug. Too late for me to clean it up. Better if dried anyway. How did this happen? There was jelly in the master bath as well. Love, Jason.” Ahh… it’s funny now. Too late to write complete sentences. And how it happened? Our pup, Lucy had hookworm.

I was just looking for my beautiful but impractical blue and brown paisley sketchbook (with no luck) and I found this journal. I forgot my mom gave it to me a few weeks ago. She bought it shrinkwrapped and then found it was unlined. Perfect for me! (‘Cept that I don’t like the metallic bronze.) Now I’ve got to get to work filling the last few pages of my current one.


  1. […] #54: Adjectives of Order or Rank I was making a note to myself about the functions of my new journal. Primary… Secondary … … Tertiary. What comes next?? I googled to find out so you […]

  2. i’m using iPrayer Journal on my iPhone.

    It lets you keep a prayer journal using categories and e-mail or twitter them to people.

    check it out ->

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