Sit down and let me tell you about something I love.
Throughout high school I kept a journal, though I think I’ll call it a diary to distinguish it from my now-mature-not-angsty-teenage-thought-journals. Those diaries probably kept me sane at the time, as it was somewhere to write down all the stuff that goes down during high school.
But journaling has taken on a whole new dimension since leaving high school.
I journal nearly every day (though not in a challenge way, like my blog.) My journal is my brain. I write about my day, but it’s more than that. It’s where I write to God things I can’t always say out loud, where I write my hopes and dreams and future plans. Where I write my poems and random thoughts. It’s where I put my feelings, particularly ones I’m not ready to share with anyone else. My journal is for those thoughts I didn’t even know I had. It’s where I reflect on certain situations so I can look back and see where I’ve grown (such as public speaking or putting myself out there) and where I do my devotions and write down biblical thoughts (do I sound really holy lol).
My journal is serious. It’s not just ‘I hate this teacher and this girl ignored me in class today’. It’s my heart on a page. And, in case you didn’t gather this from my blog, I’m a words person. Writing down things literally calms me down and makes me feel better.
I decided to start my ‘serious journaling’ last year because I wanted to remember every small thing God was doing in my life. I wanted to look back and see my life from the perspective of the time. Sometimes we look back and we forget and we were rose coloured glasses. But not for me. Last year I used four journals for the entire year, and this year’s shaping up to be the same; approximately a journal for every three months. That also fits well into my year of ‘terms’, as I generally finish a journal at the start or end of my holidays. Pretty great timing, am I right?
I’m so serious about my journaling I put different coloured sticky notes for different things so if I’m looking for something specific I can find it. (For instance, my ‘Big God Moments’ is a green sticky note, whilst my ‘Stepping Out Reflections’ is pink. I also have an ‘Encouraging Things’ sticky note so that when I’m sad I can look back and remember when someone said or did something nice to me. I told you it was serious journaling 😉)
Last holidays I went back into my special box of memories and dug out the journals from last year. I’m glad I wrote down so much of what happened, because it made me not put a vague ‘yeah it’s all great’ label on my entire year. I mean, yes, my year was great, but I needed to remember the painful times when God was my comfort. I needed to remember the sadness so I could see where God showed up and pulled me through the yuck.
Even though I’m really (really really) tired, I’m still going to journal because today is worth journaling about. Every day is. I encourage you to try out journaling; it may surprise you and help you in more ways than you expect.