There’s just something about filling the last page of a journal. It makes me all nostalgic thinking about all that has happened from the time I penned that first word on page one. It’s incredible to look back on all that has happened. The ups and the downs. The challenges. Overcoming those challenges. Prayers. Praise for answered prayers. Funny moments. Exciting moments. Sad moments. Confused moments. All bound together between two leather flaps. Today I finally reached the last page of a journal that I started before we were even engaged! Talk about a lot of moments held within those pages! Engaged…married…a move across the country… What can I say! It was an eventful year!
I remember when I was younger I’d write almost daily in my “diary” about every single thing I did that day. Looking back, I think that has really helped me find joy and appreciation for the little moments in life!
I find that journaling is a way to remember. Whenever I read through the Old Testament I see how the children of Israel were so quick to forget the Lord. How often I am like that too – I forget so quickly! I don’t want to forget what God has done and writing it down helps me remember!
Are you thinking of starting a journal? Here’s my advice:
1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Just start writing and see what happens!
2. Don’t turn to your journal instead of to God in prayer. While a time of self reflection is very beneficial, it is no substitute for turning to God in prayer. I sometimes find that my journals because an ongoing mix of reflection and prayer all in one. Do not neglect the prayer part!
3. Don’t worry about grammar, neat handwriting, sentences that make sense, etc! No one’s going to be reading it except yourself! This is not a paper you’re turning in – this is for you!
4. Don’t give up if you miss a few days. Just pick back up and start writing again. Don’t feel like you have to fill in all the gaps for the days you missed. Just keep writing!
5. Don’t limit yourself to what so-and-so does for their journal. Find something that works for you! Write about your day. Write our your prayers! Write a list of 1000 Gifts to help you savor the moments of life! Write about the people you meet who inspire you. Find something that works for you and energizes your soul!