Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Joys of Journaling

An author friend of mine has been posting clips from the diary she kept as a little girl on her Facebook page. I've gotten a kick out of reading them, as it's helping me get to know her better. It's also caused me to think of what a great tool journaling has been in my own life.

Why do people journal or keep a diary? I can't tell you everyone else's reasons, but I can share why I've been journaling since I was eight or so.

1. It started as a way for me to say things on paper that I couldn't say out loud. I could write down anything I wanted to, and only my journal and I would know about it. I confided in my journal like I would to my best friend, only I knew my journal wouldn't repeat what I'd said - ever.

2. It became a way to put my life on a page. Who I admired. Who I couldn't stand to be around. Who said something mean that day. Who complimented me that day. What happened when I... you get the idea. I could keep track of my memories on the pages of my journal.

3. It became my artistic, creative outlet. I wrote poem after poem in the pages of my journals.

4. It became a place where I could take notes and learn. And relearn. Once I met Jesus and made Him Lord of my life, I began taking notes in my journals during church or leadership meetings or at conferences. I studied from my journals. To this day I can go back and learn some more from them.

5. It became a place of inspiration. Any time I read a scripture that inspires me, I write it down in my journal. Sometimes I expound. Others, I simply write the verse.

6. It became a place of prayer. Some days I have a difficult time focusing on my prayers. Distractions come at me from every angle. But if I sit in one place and break out my journal and pen, I can focus right in as I write out my heart's cry to God.

7. It became a place of testimony. I write down daily events and happenings as a reminder of what God is doing in my life. I can go back and read journal entries from five years ago and see where God has brought me from to where He's brought me to.

8. It became a place of thanksgiving. Looking back and reading about loss of loved ones, marital stress, step-family issues, etc. I can see where God's hand was in it all, where He never left me nor forsook me. I can take note and give thanks to Him for all He is to me and all He has done in my life. It's a place where I write down my thankfulness for healing broken children, restoring family relationships, providing financial relief, and simply just loving me for who I am in Him.

9. It's been a place for me to practice writing. And finding my voice. God called me into a ministry of writing two years ago. It's a call I knew was on my life years and years ago, since I was a little girl. But it's only recently God has stirred the desire up inside of me again. In order to be a writer, one must write, and so I do...

10. It's been a place of reflection. I am amazed at what I discover about myself as I go back and read entries from two, ten, or twenty years ago. I see who I was and who God has created me to be. Who I left behind and who I am now. I see the immaturity and the maturity. God shows me things, whispers, "See how far I've brought you?" and continues to love on me through the words.

What joy do you find in journaling? If you don't journal already, why not? And if you'd like to start, today's as good as any...

Photo Courtesy of Sanja Gjenero


  1. Oh, I LOVE those "girlhood journals." I have boxes and boxes filled with them! I always tell my kids to PLEASE open the pages when I'm gone (or before), because nothing captures my life better than those raw prayers and pleas and dreams!

    Hope your family is adjusting to the "new norm" as your husband's job changes.



  2. Journaling has been my constant companion for years- for many of these same reasons. Thanks so much for your insights and honesty.

    I shared your link with FB readers of WLW. I know it will help others.

    Blessings and keep writing!

    Marylane Wade Koch

  3. Marylane, Thank you so much for sharing the link! I appreciate that!

    Alicia, I actually tossed most of my childhood journals, since I didn't accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior until my college years. I wrote a lot about boys... But my testimony is in a lot of the journals I've kept since salvation, which is what I'd love my children to read when they are all grown up. Thank you for sharing!


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