Joanne’s Journals

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hi Everyone,
Tonight I wanted to share something I’ve been doing which really helps me stay grounded in gratitude: meditative journaling. Sometimes my journal pages later become a greeting card, coloring book page or even a blog post… but that isn’t my intention when I pick up a pen to start and end my day. Meditative journaling allows me to express what’s in my heart, and has become an important part of they way I pray. Below is a photo of some of the journals I’ve filled this year.

I usually have two or more journals going at all times. I keep a small one where I’ll see it when I get up in the morning, and I keep a larger one, which I call my ‘walk-around’ journal,in my pocketbook.
In the morning I try to begin the day with a meditative journal prayer of gratitude. Some days this comes out in words, other days I’m better able to express thankfulness in a drawing. The photo below is of my current journal, and shows four days of morning journaling. It’s a type of Moleskin (my favorite brand of journal!) that I’ve never used before, which has pre-printed boxes; I’m really enjoying the structure they provide.

In the evening I try to listen to the ‘still, small voice’, and then just write and draw whatever comes to mind.Often times it will be something for or about someone who is in my heart, like the piece below.

I strive to write in a way that embodies the Zenspirations® tag line: Live by inspiring others to fly
If you haven’t ever journaled before I’d encourage you to take a few minutes a day and put pen to paper… you can write, you can letter, you can draw– or do a combination the way I do. Your journal entries don’t have to be ‘finished’ or ‘polished’… mine often aren’t. But I get great joy from the interaction of ink on paper, and have come to know myself better as a result of pouring my thoughts and doodles onto the pages of my journals.

And I’ve come to know some of you better as a result of the survey from last week’s blog! My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts. I greatly appreciate your help, and will be guided by your preferences as much as possible. I thought you’d be interested in hearing the results.

39 people prefer a box with 2 each of 5 designs; 21 prefer a box with 1 each of 10 designs.

41 people prefer words in the stones; 13 people prefer phrases (the rest would be happy with either)

35 people prefer verbs; 9 people prefer nouns (the rest either didn’t answer or didn’t express a preference)

In terms of themes, here is the breakdown:

46 inspirational

31 scripture

29 trees

27 music

22 patterns

4 yoga

So in addition to finishing the ‘Written in Stone’ and ‘Love Lines’ series, I plan to work on ‘Zenspirational’, Scripture, Trees & Music themed sets, and will let you know when they are available.

When I wrote the survey I didn’t realize that due to catalogue concerns, the boxes must have 10 different notecards… but since there was obviously greater interest in 2 sets of 5 designs, I’ve decided to create 5 designs for each series, and offer each one in two color ways. Hopefully that will make everyone happy!

After I tabulated the results, I got to do the fun part—pick the winner! I put all the names in a box, covered my eyes and drew one at random…


So congratulations Sherill Patton! I took the liberty of hand-lettering your name for tonight’s blog post, but would be happy to do it again in your favorite color when the notecards are printed and I’m able to ship your package. Please let me know where to send it. You can e-mail me at [email protected].   

And now, since I found the survey answers so helpful, I’m going to ask more questions!

1. For those of you who are interested in scripture notecards, what five scriptures would you like to see me use?

2. If you don’t have a set of favorite scriptures, I’d welcome your suggestions on the theme you are most interested in.

3. I’d love to know your thoughts on my meditative journals…

A. Would you like to see more of my journal pages?

B. Would you be interested in a guided Zenspiration(R) journal project?

C. If so, would you like me to suggest a theme for the month?

D. Would you like me to provide examples of how I’ve written & illustrated that theme to give you a jump-start?

Once again, as a thank you for taking the time to leave a comment with this information, I’m going to do another give-away. The prize will be a set of the notecards once they are printed– you can pick scripture or one of the other themes. Plus I’ll hand-letter your name in your favorite color. And, since this week’s blog is about journaling, the big prize will be a journal which will include a page that I’ll do to help inspire you. I’ll select the winner from among those who leave a comment, so thank you in advance for sharing… I am deeply grateful.

Stay Zenspired,


37 thoughts on “Joanne’s Journals”

  1. Hi Joanne, I'd love to see some of your beautiful Judaica work in cards, coloring pages, and/or as a journaling project. There is so little quality products like yours out there and I'm sure I'm probably not the only person who is Jewish who would appreciate it! I have had 3 TBIs and find Zentangling helpful but need jump start projects. Thank you for the gift you have given me and others.

  2. My 5 favorite scriptures:

    1) Mark 11:24

    2) Galatians 16:1

    3) James 4:2

    4) Deuteronomy 33:12

    5) Psalm 46:10

    To answer question 3, yes to all with praise being the theme.

    Your inspirations are divine and I thank you for thawing out my inhibitions!

  3. Hi, I would love a Journal project. I try to journal everyday and am always looking for new ideas. Thanks for all your beautiful work!

  4. I just love the journal with the two boxes! I've done a gratitude project with photography, but never with drawing, and your work is inspiring me to begin. Would you be kind enough to post a link to the Moleskin with the preprinted boxes? Many thanks for all the inspiration!

  5. Hi Joanne! I have been following your work for the past couple of years and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you do! Thank you for introducing me to the Micron!!!

    I am big into music so that would be a theme I would enjoy seeing. Some favourite Scriptures are Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 2, Psalm 23, Psalm 18:46, and Philippians 4:19; although they are ALL great! Lastly, I love seeing someone's own craftsmanship and what comes from their heart, especially one who shares such an uplifting message! I love anything that keeps me focused and meditating on Him, so a great big YES!!! to everything in #3!

  6. Hi Joanne,
    My suggested scriptures are:
    1 Corinthians 13:7 "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things"

    Psalm 127 3 "behold, children are a heritage from the Lord "

    Galatians 3.28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there no male and female, for all of you are one…"

    Yes I would love to see more of your meditative journals.

    Would like a journal project but not sure how good I would be at keeping up with it.

    My theme would probably be family or the joys of friendship.

    And yes, a jump start is a great idea.

  7. Yes, yes, yes, please, to 3 a, b, c and d!! I love the idea of meditative journals (and yours in particular) and I connect with God through being creative. I would love to see more of your journals and learn your process!! Thanks for all you share with us Joanne!!

  8. Joanne, thanks for all you share on your site. I love it! I also journal, sometimes with art, mostly with words. I am trying to draw and sketch more so I stay inspired. I love your drawings and thoughts expressed in your journals. I would love to see more on meditative journal writing and drawing. So grateful for your posts!

  9. Thank you Joanne for all the inspiration you give, weather through word or art.
    I do a lot of just art journaling and have never been to excited about writing on those pages. I use them for more of "play time" of color and techniques, But now that you have laid the questions out, I think I would enjoy a meditative type of journal.

    Yes, I am interested in seeing more of you meditative journals. I love the way you keep them simple, but almost dreamy.

    Yes, I would be interested in a Zenspirtations journal project, it would help me get started in this type of journaling.

    Yes, I think a theme would be nice and of course I would love to see how you illustrate them.

    As far as scriptures…….I love all the Palms and the praise.

    Congrats to Sherill for being the winner of the drawing!!

    I really like the Moleskin with the squares and would like to know where one can be purchased.

    Thanks again!!

  10. Joanne,

    Five of my favorite scriptures are:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    Romans 15:13
    Psalm 46:10
    Isaiah 41:10
    John 14:27

    I loved seeing examples of your meditative journals. I think it's a great idea to have a journal to carry around with you so that when an idea/inspiration hits, you can journal it immediately.

    A big YES to A-D.

    Thank you so much for using your talents to inspire others.

  11. I like the following Bible verses: Psalm 34:7. Micah 6:8. Joshua 24:15. Psalm 121:1. Psalm91:11,12

    Seems like a theme could be Psalms. And yes I would like to have a guided journal page. Thank you.

  12. 1. For those of you who are interested in scripture notecards, what five scriptures would you like to see me use?
    Lamentations 3:22-23
    Romans 15:13
    Exodus 14:14
    Zephaniah 3:17
    Luke 1:37

    3. I'd love to know your thoughts on my meditative journals…

    A. Would you like to see more of my journal pages? YES

    B. Would you be interested in a guided Zenspiration(R) journal project? YES

    C. If so, would you like me to suggest a theme for the month? YES a monthly theme would give good structure

    D. Would you like me to provide examples of how I've written & illustrated that theme to give you a jump-start? YES

    Love what you're doing. I decorated a birthday card envelope with some "zenspirations" I did after watching your video. It was a BIG hit with the recipient.

  13. Sorry I haven't sent my book to you yet, Joanne!

    Here are my favorite scriptures (from my book, actually).

    John 15:5-7 (all or part of)
    Phil. 4:6-7
    John 13:34-35
    Math 18:20
    Psalm 37:40

    You are the best!

  14. Love everything you do!!! So happy to have met you at CHA in January. You are so gracious to explain how you get the beautiful results on your pages. I am in awe of your creativity. YES to everything. Any scriptures would be good, but I am partial to the gratitude themed ones. A class and a jump start would be just what I need to keep motivated. THANK YOU for all your hard work and sharing.

  15. 1. I like Solomon's wise advice in the book of Proverbs. Some of my favorite verses are:
    Proverbs 4:23,
    Proverbs 10:14,
    Proverbs 11:18,
    Proverbs 11:28, this one would be good with your tree theme:
    "Trust in your money and down you go, trust in God and flourish as a tree"
    Proverbs 16:1.
    2. since spring is on the way – how about flowers or birds?
    3. A. Yes, more of your journal pages
    B. Yes, a Zenspiration journal project
    C. Theme for perhaps April – flowers
    D. I allows appreciate a jump-start
    Thank you Joanne for sharing your inspirations.

  16. 1. favorite verses
    psalm 139:14
    proverbs 31:30
    psalm 54:4
    phil 3:12-14
    james 1:12

    2. theme:
    How to run your race well:
    1 cor 9:24-27
    2 tim 2:5
    james 1:12
    phil 2:16
    phil 4:7-8

    a. I really enjoy see in your meditative journal- they motivate and inspire me! ,

    b. i would drove to see more pages! and i am interested in a guided zenspiration journal project-

    c. suggested themes help me narrow down all my options and gives me a start,

    D. yes please provide examples to help jump start me

    C. If so, would you like me to suggest a theme for the month?

    D. Would you like me to provide examples of how I've written & illustrated that theme to give you a jump-start?

  17. I need a jump start. I like a few, but there are really so many, and many that aren't personal favorites would be great for notes for specific purposes, ya know. Thanks for a chance to win too.

  18. Bless you for your beautiful creations, your sweet inspiration, and your excellent, enjoyable videos! What a difference you have made in my life….thank you.
    The following are Scriptures I love:
    John 3:16 – because where would we be without this?
    Psalms 103:1 – because this verse is something that you can claim anytime and wake up to running over and over in your mind
    Jeremiah 29:11 – because sometimes this verse is my rock
    Philippians 4:8 – because this verse keeps thoughts where they need to be
    Hebrews 11:1 – FAITH!
    Hebrews 12:1-2 – Oh!!! I realize this is a lot, but any part or parts are just wonderful!
    Love the meditative journal so much! And, yes, I would love to see more and think your suggestions are great and inspirational!!
    And thank you, thank you!

  19. 1. For those of you who are interested in scripture notecards, what five scriptures would you like to see me use?
    First, I'd like whatever scriptures you choose, there are so many wonderful ones. I like John 3:16.

    2. If you don't have a set of favorite scriptures, I'd welcome your suggestions on the theme you are most interested in.
    Themes that keep you/us going, getting up every day are wonderful.

    3. I'd love to know your thoughts on my meditative journals… Well, they are marvelous. I've managed a daily Zentangle, but nothing deeper. Yours are deeper and desire able.

    A. Would you like to see more of my journal pages? Yes. I can't believe you journal in cards!

    B. Would you be interested in a guided Zenspiration(R) journal project? Yes, I'm inspired by all you do, and find myself uninspired alone.

    C. If so, would you like me to suggest a theme for the month? Yes, month, week, day….

    D. Would you like me to provide examples of how I've written & illustrated that theme to give you a jump-start? Oh, yes!

  20. I would love any prompts, guidance and examples to help me start a prayerful journal. Thank you so much for sharing your art and your life journey.

  21. I would love to see more of your meditation journals. I've just started my own, however I'm having trouble converting what's in my heart onto paper……


  22. I like C & D> I would love to have ideas to practice…journals would be wonderful too!

  23. Hi Joanne! You may not remember me, but I met you a few months ago at CHA. 🙂
    My favorite verses (NIV version)
    Matthew 22:37 (paraphrased as "Love God, Love People" which is my church's tagline)
    Romans 1:16
    Proverbs 3:5
    Colossians 3:17
    1 John 4:9
    and my favorite Psalm is 40.

  24. Ephesians 2:8
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

    Hebrews 11:1King James Version (KJV)

    11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  25. Hi Joanne, all your work is beautiful, l love the journal idea, and some example of your writing would be good, l love calligraphy, maybe another book on some lettering would be good, but a little different to whats in your books already, maybe some flourished letters ?, thanks for always sharing…..bless you ……………kate

  26. 1. It has been a wonderful treasure hunt to revisit each of the favorite Scripture passages people have sent you. And such variety! And I could agree with every choice! But each of us reads differently and with different spiritual needs so here are my "favorites"

    Isaiah 40:31
    Galatians 3:28
    Galatians 5:18
    Romans 8: 35-39 (a long passage with Verse 39 able to stand alone)
    Matthew 25:40

    2. I've kept a written journal for most of my life, and have recently discovered art journaling with the emphasis on the art. I've also kept a gratitude journal for a year four times now since 1996. But that was just written words not created in an artistic way, and often not about matters spiritual. An illustrated meditation journal is a new idea for me and I will explore this further. Also, did not know that a Moleskine journal with blank squares was available – what a great idea!!

    3. A-D With you as the guide, I'd welcome a journaling project!! We have so much to be grateful for, to think deeply about, to discover about ourselves and each other! Sometimes I'm a bit intimidated by the talents of others – artistically or in their written words, so as much as I enjoy your inspirational art, I try not to be a copyist or allow your talent to overshadow my own. I'm still looking for my own "voice" and hope to achieve a balance between seeing what you do, and finding out what is within me to do on my own.

    As always, thank you for being so generous with your heart and feelings and beautiful talent for bringing this special community of followers together.


  27. Wow, what a great talent and thank you for sharing! I think this is something I could really get into!

  28. YES to all the above. Love scriptures about LOVE, Love of God, Love of Family, Love of Life. I had never thought about a meditative journal. My brain is racing with how to make that work.

    Do you ever do anything with wildflowers? I'm in Texas, so naturally I think bluebonnets. YES to guided project. I love pictures of hearts. I can't ever get my swirls as pretty as yours. Maybe I should practice more???

    Thank you for being so generous with your projects.

  29. scripture cards would include the–
    23 Psalm, you may have done that one..
    Psalm 46:10,
    Psalm 122:7,
    Psalm 20:4,
    II Corinth 13:14,
    II Thessalonians 2:16-17
    There are many more many have been mentioned above. Many are beloved..
    I would truly enjoy more on your meditative journal, I have been a journal-er sense half of forever, sense the mid 70's. I have been known to doodle in it a bit. I would like it to be more expressive with art forms.. I have been involved in art one way or another sense the mid 70's as well.
    I would so enjoy a theme of the month. When I had a class room and, on to a business; I did a theme of the month, every one seemed to enjoy them.
    Guidance in the how too's. I do think the pen has some to do with it. I have a goodly variety, I always seem to run out of my favorite ink in them at the most inopportune time….
    Examples are very inspiring, and yes a guided how to projects, would be awesome. I think I have seen every U-Tube you have.. Maybe not but I look for them. You are so entertaining and I love the peace you have in your voice and actions.
    You my darlin' are such an gift to me. Thank you for being so willing to share.
    A bit more – more than you may want to know.. I am battling colon cancer, and if nothing else, I can do is to sit and zen-doodle. Your Zenspirations have been – just that an inspiration, and a joy. I can put pen to paper to draw, when my mind is not working.. I am drawn to your enthusiasm, and joy. Thank you, for the huge piece of you – you share with us

  30. 2. Quotes and poetry would be another couple themed options.

    3. Your journals are beautiful – the free flowing lines and movement always sucks me in.

    A. I always enjoy seeing others artists works.

    B. i would LOVE a guided journal project! With so many ideas already swirling around in my head, getting started is always the hardeat part for me.

    C. I think a theme could help provide some focus for a springboard, but also not to defined so it allows for more creative diversity.

    D. Some may enjoy or need this aspect more than others, but i always enjoy shorter segments vs long ones when i do watch others. I prefer jumping in asap.

  31. I have only just recently begun following your blog and to say that I am thrilled is an understatement 🙂 In regards to your questions above, here are my thoughts on them.

    Favorite scriptures: Sad to say, I haven't read the scriptures for a good long time, but the time has come in my life to get back to what is important, so most any about gratitude and love are perfect.

    If not scriptures, then overcoming adversity is a wonderful theme for me as I have family issues that I am looking for ways to help some family members. I have followed your blog and shown the wonderful uplifting pages from your journals to my family members and even tried to to a couple of my own.

    I love the idea of a meditative journal, as I have tried many times to start one and not been very successful. I'm normally a creative person, but I find that I do need a kickstart to start the ideas flowing, so a guided journal project would be great with ideas prompted by your journal pages. A monthly theme would be excellent.

    I know that I am not the only one to say this, but thank you so much for sharing your upbeat style and attitudes. It is such a breath of fresh air to find you on the internet and listen to your videos. Thank you very much.

  32. Your creativity has opened a whole new dimension to my creative interests/pursuits in recent weeks. Several months ago I came across a book entitled PRAYING IN COLOR. The author suggested this method for those who have difficulty in praying the "typical" prayers of words and being still enough to stay focused. The book certainly opens the doorway for several styles/types of praying and scripture memorization.

    So, it was after reading that book that I discovered your creative patterning and dangle techniques; the zenSPIRATIONS is certainly uplifting. Now I am experiencing some uplifting times practicing patterns and also stepping into the zentangle world.

    I just saw the video about your new home and your incorporation of the dangle and lettering to beautify the doorway. Gorgeous!

    I am eager to acquire your book about LOSS/GRIEF. My husband and I are trained Stephen Ministers and much of our compassionate listening/caring is connected with grief/loss. I believe your book would add a new dimension to our working with others.

    Thanks so very much for your beautiful God-given inspirations and art work. I admire your lettering capabilities and coloring.


    Joyful blessings,
    Charlotte Birdwell

  33. I chose 2 themed ones.
    My first choice are about LIGHT…
    Matthew 5: 14-16
    John 8: 12
    John 3:16
    Psalms 119: 105
    Psalms 27: 1

    Second is PRAYER…
    Philippians 4: 6 (My favorite)
    Matthew 18: 20
    Romans 12: 12
    Colossians 4: 2
    1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

    YES to A-D of part #3

    Thanks again for what you do Joanne! You're my favorite!

  34. favorite bible verses:
    Psalm 46:10
    Psalm 16:9
    2corinthians 5:1
    Jerimiah 29:10-14
    I would like to see more of your journal pages.
    A guided Zenspirational journal would be great and so would be a monthly theme.
    Examples would be helpful.

  35. Joanne what do you do in the Storyboard Moleskine when you get to the back half of the book? Because that has the very small blocks? Would love to see how you use that.

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