Journaling as a Spiritual Practice: Encountering God Through Attentive Writing, By Helen Cepero alt

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

Encountering God Through Attentive Writing

by Helen Cepero

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice
  • Length: 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: July 10, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9392
  • ISBN: 9780830893928

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Whether you are a longtime journal keeper or someone who has never kept a journal at all, this book will help you go below the surface of your life with God. It is not about the art of writing, but about how journaling can form us spiritually. Every chapter combines descriptive text, illustrations from journals and the author's own experience with journaling practices integrated along the way to help you bring your own life and world into sharper focus.

God wants to surprise you with the beauty of your own life, growing and alive, filled with movement, light and shadow. This is the book to do just that.

"Helen Cepero has done a great service for spiritual directors who want to encourage their directees to 'go deeper.' By using the guidance provided in this excellent book on journaling, we can suggest a structured yet inspiring method of sifting through human experience to find the gold of God's presence. By framing journaling as a prayer practice, Cepero has focused this work as a path to spiritual and personal authenticity.

I recommend this book as an inviting, reflective tool to help us find the Holy Mystery hidden beneath the rushing surface of life."

Suzanne M. Buckley, editor of Sacred Is the Call: Formation and Transformation in Spiritual Direction Programs and director of Mercy Center, Burlingame

"This is a book which should not be (merely) read. It should be done. Her book is a vast smorgasbord of particular experiences in the practice of journal-keeping, each one inviting the readers to 'taste and see' the presence of God in their lives. This book opens up the rich potential in journaling, warns us of the patterns of thinking that threaten to derail this practice and provides the tools to make it a valuable means of pursuing relationship with God."

Evan B. Howard, author of Praying the Scriptures

"The wisdom and guidance of Helen Cepero's book is irresistible. Using poetry, Scripture and stories, she guides the reader into journaling activities that uncover the presence of God in the writer's life. Those who are beginning will discover the richness of journaling as a spiritual practice. Those with experience will find new ways to delve into their depths. A wonderful book."

Rev. Jane E. Vennard, author of A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice

"Helen Cepero's book is warm and unassuming, full of wisdom without any showing off. A wonderful introduction to journaling."

Tim Stafford, author of Shaking the System

"A grace-filled tour guide, inviting readers to join her on a path to encounter God through attentive writing."

Cathy Norman Peterson, The Covenant Companion, December 2008

"Cepero's real-life anecdotes, spiritual insight and suggestions for journaling are most effective."

EB, Libraries Alive, Spring 2009

"Cepero's book eases the reader into the journaling process from the absolute beginning and leads all the way to how to enjoy the fruits of one's journal. Fresh, frank, and unassuming, Cepero's text allows readers to see that like many other forms of prayer, journaling can be for anyone. Journaling as a Spiritual Practice is a welcome introduction to spiritual journaling, bringing a sometimes intimidating form of prayer out of the garret and into the light of everyday."

Monique Keffer, Presence, December 2008

"A fantastic gem that you will need and desire to be part of your journaling library that will never become outdated."

Chery Clay, Midwest Book Review, December 2008

"A strength of the book is Cepero's intentionally focused journaling exercises that can jump-start neophytes who don't know how to journal or revivify the practice of those with considerable experience."

Christian Century, October 7, 2008

"Helen Cepero argues that journaling can help us hear God better and experience spiritual transformation."

Steve Rabey, YouthWorker Journal, July/August 2008

"Lively, encouraging and pastoral. . . . Cepero shows readers how to . . . [move] past simple recitation of events, to writing that reveals God at work in a life."

Publishers Weekly starred review



1. Starting Out: Discovering a Journaling Practice

2. Beginning . . . Again: Staying in My True Calling

3. Looking Intently: Paying Attention to My Life

4. Claiming Significance: Honoring My Own Story

5. Naming the Landscape: Mining Below the Surface

6. Listening Beyond Words: Blessing the Body

7. Looking Backward: Reflecting on the Past

8. Looking Forward: Where Does This Lead?

9. Re-orienting in the Present: Where Am I Now?

10. Talking Back: Dialogue Journaling

11. Embracing the Cross: Finding My Way Through Suffering

12. Discovering Life: Writing for Healing

13. Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary: Noticing God in the Everyday

14. Facing Resistance: Finding the Pathway Home

Appendix: Listening Guidelines for a Journaling Group



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Helen Cepero

Helen Cepero (M.Div., North Park Seminary) trains spiritual directors at the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Seminary and is co-program director of the Spiritual Direction Formation Program at the Journey Center in Santa Rosa, California. She is a spiritual director for the Academy for Missional Wisdom, and a consultant with the Transformational Listening Center. She is an adjunct instructor at North Park Theological Seminary and Multnomah School of the Bible. A frequent retreat leader, she is ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church. She is the author of Journaling as a Spiritual Practice. She and her husband, Max, live in Anchorage, Alaska.