On Keeping A Journal

On and off since high-school I’ve kept a journal.

journal
Photo: http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/

At times I’ve been consistent with this practice and written down what I’ve been experiencing and feeling about certain moments. It’s mainly been a spiritual exercise that is entirely me being honest with God.

After over 15 years of this practice, with a few long breaks in-between, I’m not really sure whether there is a right or wrong way to journal. I have very rarely looked back and read them, whether they were written in a notebook by hand or on a computer. I’m always nervous to read the old me. It’s like taking a step backwards and realising how stupid and immature you were.

But I’m interested in a post by Desiring God, which highlights a way of journaling that keeps God at the centre. I think it is an important exercise to my well-being, whether spiritual or not, and allows me to express what I’m going through and can bring clarity. After all, writing helps clear the thoughts and bring clarity to decision-making and situations. As the author points out, “journaling is a way of slowing life down for just a few moments, and trying to process at least a sliver of it for the glory of God, our own growth and development, and our enjoyment of the details”.

What about you? Do you journal? What have you learnt through it? 

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2 Replies to “On Keeping A Journal”

  1. I would be the same – journalling off and on since high school days (probably a lot of “God please give me a girlfriend – oh and I hope so-and-so becomes a Christian,” if I’m entirely honest) to a very sporadic return since parenthood. I’ve begun to rediscover it this year in particular, as a place to thresh out ideas, wrestle with concepts, and more contemplatively seek God on various things. The biggest benefit I’ve found is that it forced me to slow down, to actually capture those fleeting thoughts, draw them out and pursue them through to their conclusions, and as such be able to engage with whatever it is I’m seeking/struggling with, as opposed to feeling overwhelmed by the fast-paced thoughts and concepts. In that aspect, it’s been a great rediscovery!

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