Journaling for the Soul:

A Handbook of Journaling Methods

by Deborah Haddix

A personal note from Lisa – You all know how much I love Bible study, and want to equip you to find ways to enhance your Bible study time. I have a copy of this handbook and find it an absolute treasure! It is packed full of ideas for artists, list-makers (that’s me), as well as beginners who simply want to get more out of their Bible study. Warning – you will likely develop an addiction to journaling once you try some of these techniques!

What is Journaling for the Soul?

  • Simply defined, Journaling for the Soul is a way to connect with God at a deeper level.
  • Foundational to this discipline is the journaling process — one that invites us to record our
    experiences, observations, ideas, reflections, and such on a regular basis.
  • Journaling is a tool for soul care. Used as a spiritual discipline, it helps us grow in grace,
    experience truth, and discover His character.
  • The process of Journaling for the Soul strengthens other spiritual disciplines.
  •  Journaling our Bible study can lead us to new insights. Combine journaling with prayer, and our prayers become more concrete which in turn facilitates better communication with our heavenly Father. Incorporated into the discipline of simplicity, journaling leads to genuine and unhindered praise and worship.
  • Journaling for the Soul is about engaging:
    • Our mind and our body as we become focused and involved.
    • Our creativity as we consider our God-wiring and discover fun and meaningful ways to meet with Him.
    • With other spiritual disciplines. For example, journaling will help you engage with the Bible text, moving you from the act of reading for information to reading for

Journaling for the Soul helps us move away from our old mindset that spiritual practices are draining obligations and helps us view them as practices that connect us to God, His grace, His energy, and His joy.

It’s a tool for engaging more intentionally and consistently with God, a means for getting to know His heart (John 17:3).

May you discover methods of Journaling for the Soul that speak directly to your heart,

draw you in, and

create channels that enable you to cultivate a practice that engages you more intentionally

and consistently with your heavenly Father,

helping you to know Him.

And may your soul be nourished as it is filled with God’s grace,

His energy, and

His joy.

Who might benefit?

Any one of any age or experience. Those in need of soul care – to be with God, to rest, to replenish.

~ ~ Sample ~ ~

Verse Mapping Journaling *

The idea behind Verse Mapping is that through the process of examining a verse more closely, you can make it yours forever.
Journal, composition book, paper, or index card
Scripture verse of choice
Pen or pencil
Optional: highlighters, colored pens, colored pencils


Step 1: Write. Write out your chosen verse of Scripture. Be sure to leave
plenty of white space around it, between the lines, and between the words.
This will provide ample work space for your “mapping.”

Step 2: Map. Choose any of the ideas from the Verse Mapping Guide (below) to map your verse.

Step 3: Review. At the close of your mapping time or at any other time during your day, take another look at the verse. Consider writing out a prayer, sharing with God what you have learned.

Verse Mapping Guide
Personalize it – Cross out pronouns such as “you,” “we,” and “whoever.” Insert your name.

  • Highlight words or phrases that jump out at you. Use different colors.
  • Look up word definitions and/or synonyms.
  • Read the verse in context by reading the passage, chapter, or entire book it is a part of.
  • Read the verse in at least two other translations. Note words or phrases from other
    translations that help you understand or apply the verse.
  • Find cross references and note anything that brings new meaning.
  • Circle a word or two and do a word study.
  • Write out what you are learning.
  • Record your thoughts on how you can apply the Scripture in your daily living.

* I am not the originator of the Verse Mapping technique. In my search to locate its origins I found an article on the subject at Proverbs 31 and many examples of the process at Pinterest, Google, and YouTube. However, I was unable to locate the origin.


About the Author

Deborah Haddix is an author, speaker, and board certified advanced Christian life coach whose passion is to empower women to embrace God’s design for their life.  Deborah confesses that she struggled with journaling for many years unable to enjoy its benefits until she became a grandmother.  It was then that she discovered several ways to incorporate this valuable discipline into her role of grandmother.  In recent years, she has embraced journaling as a spiritual practice by learning the joys of putting a creative spin on it.

Deborah is the author of three journaling related books.  Journaling for the Soul is a journaling handbook packed full of methods, tips, and more for any journaler – novice to pro.  Two of her other titles, Praying with Purpose: Taking Your Prayer Life from Vague to Victorious and Soul Nourishment: Satisfying Our Deep Longing for God, share several creative journaling techniques within their pages.  Deborah also serves as a faculty member of the National Association of Christian Journal Writers, which is a community and resource center for Christian Journaling.

Connect with Deborah

Website –





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