I love this day. It means I get to buy a new journal for the New Year. These are a few of my previous years’ journals. And do you see my multi-colored blue one for 2014? I’ve been writing in journals for over 27 years now. Wow! It’s always fun to select my spiral notebook for the upcoming 365 days, (that is – if the Lord wills).
So why is journaling such a big deal? The Lord told me to begin expressing my thoughts on paper years ago when my first husband left me. God said it’d become a personal way that He’d commune with me through my ups and downs. And man, oh man, has it ever!
Moses offered a journaling tip in Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days, Lord, that we might present to you a heart of wisdom. Writing in a journal is a good way to count the days and with each entry asking God to give you eyes to see your circumstances from HIS perspective. OUR eyes see differently.
So let me share a few journaling “Here’s How and Why” tips that might help you in your 2014 escapade.
- Buy a spiral notebook. Find one that fits you. This year I bought a blue one because Baby Max was born over the holidays; however, my Baby Leia, a girl, was born in November. So I’m thinking about covering half of the blue spiral in pink construction paper. (Haven’t figured that one out yet). But the point is this: Buy a spiral that fits your season. It launches your year’s endeavor with a personal touch.
- Make the first entry January lst. Take inventory of the previous 365 days. What were the highlights? Struggles? In what ways did you fail? Succeed? Make note of the spiritual markers where you learned significant life lessons. Take time to review last year’s January lst entry. What prayers did God answer?
- Tell God how you feel when you write. Journaling is a perfect avenue in letting out those pent-up emotions and then giving Him praise. But DON’T STOP THERE. He wants to respond. Be still and listen in your heart. Write down what He’s saying back to you. Journaling is a two-way conversation that builds your friendship.
- When you read God’s Word, if something jumps out at you, write it down. It’s likely the Spirit talking to you. Ask God why that particular passage hit your heart? You might not get an answer right away, but journaling your Bible reading is a great way to track what God’s up to in making you more like Christ. Sometimes it’ll make you laugh and other times it’ll make you cry.
- And here’s one final tip: Don’t be legalistic about “having” to journal every day. Let the Spirit lead and don’t get caught up in the guilt trap if days lapse. Just enjoy the journey.
I love journaling. It’s become a hobby and a great measuring device of God’s presence in my days. Moses added further credence to the practice of “numbering” our days: that we might present to Thee a heart of wisdom. Journaling is like a mold of clay in the potter’s hands. It shapes a life of divine insight. I imagine it thrills the Father when we present to Him as an act of worship what He’s teaching us in our journals. Such a discipline fuels our relationship with Christ.
Friend, none of us knows what lies ahead the next 365 days. Fantastic days? Crisis days? But, as for me, I know this: whatever it is, with God and my little blue journal in hand, “we” will make 2014 a unique year in my library of life.