The ladies over at Choosing Home have a theme this week of journaling.
Journaling. I've done it for years. I've been journaling since I was in middle school, and I have shelves full of journals. The bound pretty ones, the lined spiral-bound notebooks, and the oversized blank sketch books. My favorite journals? Big. Spiral-bound, so you can tuck the opposite page behind when you're writing. Lined or unlined.
How often do I journal? A few times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
What do I journal about? My journaling has changed from its [now-embarrassing] beginnings of a log of events and the details of fights with parents, siblings, and friends... to what it is now.
What it is now is a combination of many things, but overall, it is a window into my relationship with my God. It is full of earnest prayers to Him, and thoughts about Him. It is a record of my spiritual growth, and a reminder to me of where I have been and where He has brought me.
Should you peruse my journal, on one day you would find a confessionary prayer. Two days later you would find a prayer of thanksgiving for an answer to prayer. The next entry would be a list of people and requests- people I have told I would pray for, and their particular request listed beside their names. The following entry would consist of some verses I had copied that God was speaking to me, and a prayer following in light what He was revealing to me at that time through His Word. Next, an entry revealing my impatience and crabbiness of late with my children, and prayers in that regard. And then a page of notes I took at church on Sunday. And so it goes. You would find quotes from books I have read that have impacted me, things my children have said or done that have delighted me (or not), word studies (a couple of weeks ago I did an impromptu study on the word "prudent" after reading this verse in Proverbs: "a prudent wife is from the Lord" and there are pages of references, verses and notes in my journal on that single word.)
The benefits of journaling are great. I love to write, and it is in writing that I can most accurately express myself. I think I am this way because of these years of journaling. It is where I am most transparent.
It is in my journal that you will find documented those cherished events in my life: Mark's proposal, our wedding, the births of our children, our adoption of Isaias. For our anniversary this year, I pulled out an old journal and read to Mark my journal entry from the night before we got married. I have also read portions to him from when we first began dating.
One of my favorite parts of journaling is that I can re-read my journal entries. There have been times that I have been discouraged and have flipped through past entries to find a verse or a particular lesson God was teaching me in another season of life. It is encouraging to have a record of prayers He has answered, and of the encouragement He has faithfully given through His Word.
What about you, dear readers? Any journalers out there? I'd love to hear about it.