Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Restore My Soul - a coloring book devotional journey

Restore My Soul devotional coloring book by Ann-Margret Hovsepian
 I've really enjoyed collecting inspirational coloring books for myself, and purchasing them for my older children, as well. I was the high school student and college student that still colored in my own coloring books. It took me years to hand over my Precious Moments and Garfield coloring books to my kids. I'm so thankful that mindful and more complex coloring books for adults are gaining popularity!

Restore My Soul is more than just a coloring book, however. It's a devotional, with coloring pages to accompany each of the  devotions. These 40 pictures and devotions are written and illustrated by Ann-Margret Hovsepian. (On a side note, after receiving Restore My Soul, I'm going to look into her girls' devotional books for my daughter.)

A photo posted by April E (@elcloudapril) on

Each devotional is laid out in a two-page spread. The devotional reading is printed on the left, on the reverse side of the previous coloring page, and the coloring pages are on the right side. The book is square, just under 10 inches by 10 inches. The paper is thick, though I haven't tried using gel pens or markers in it. I have stuck with colored pencils.

A photo posted by April E (@elcloudapril) on

Ann-Margret's illustrations are varied. Some are more complex, some have less to color in. Some have blank spaces for you to write your own thoughts, and others have words and Bible verses already in the coloring page. Most of the pages have a curving, flowing, feel to them. Some of the pages have a more geometric shape or pattern, but not the majority of them. There are blank pages in the back of the book where you can create your own illustrations, as well. You can view sample excerpts from Restore My Soul at the Tyndale website. (Click the pdf button under the cover's picture on the left side.)

The devotional readings each begin with a Bible verse, and then an anecdotal story with application for your life. The devotional ends with a suggestion to pray about or meditate on (not in the Ohm-y zen way) as you color the page next to it. Sometimes you are directed to add your own thoughts to the image.

I wouldn't consider this a regular devotional. After all, I don't have time to color a page completely every day. But I like that when I want to sit down and color for awhile, it has an accompanying devotional and thought to focus on while I color. It's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon or Friday evening. Or to unwind and color even for a few minutes after the end of a long day of homeschooling.

April E.

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