10 January 2014

Four Reasons to Journal Your Year


I believe in journaling. I'm a journal fanatic, a diary addict, a daily-log devotee.

Why?

It keeps me accountable and thankful and focused. And that's just as I'm filling it out. When it's full, it helps me remember.


It's the beginning of a new year now, which means I've begun a new journal. It's not an empty notebook but rather a book ready to be filled--a book stuffed with charts, categories, verses, goals, and calendars. It's a journal on steroids.

Someday soon, I hope I can share my complex journaling style with you all, but for now--in this new year of 2014--I simply want to encourage you to journal. Look to tomorrow, live in the day, and remember yesterday. It's so important to keep our lives in proper perspective. Run the race with your eyes on Jesus. Write down the blessings. Remember people.

Journal
. . . to keep your focus.
I've seen this theme lately on other blogs as well. Ann Voskamp wrote about how counting our blessings keeps us close to God, keeps us living in the light. Holly Homer gave 10 ways to remember that special moments happen every day. If we don't stop to focus on what is important and what is a gift, our days may slip by uncelebrated, unappreciated, unnoticed. Sadly, those days may whisp away, leaving nothing for our memories to grasp--as if those days had never happened.

Recording things (in writing or in pictures) encourages gratitude now and revives it again and again each time you see it.

Journal
. . . to sort out meaning.
Journaling does not only keep us thankful; it also helps us make sense of what is happening. So often, we'll feel in between life events, lost in the middle of transition, or pining after a surety of God's will. Our prayers may come out as blank stares or murmurs of impatience, inertia, and insecurity. It would be easy to shut down, but it's better to persist--to pursue God, to grip truth, to record His steps in our lives even if they seem to be treading in the wrong direction.

Personally, I enjoy reading through journal entries from the past, but the most meaningful entries are from the hardest times, times of difficult transition. I would pour out my thoughts, empty my heart, cry to God. Then, as I continue to read, I see His faithfulness--often through tears of thankfulness. Writing it helped me then, and reading it helps me now.

Journal
. . . to stay accountable to your goals. 
Do you have something you'd like to see finished? What are your health goals--physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially? Can you make a chart or a schedule or a step-by-step plan? Can you commit to writing down your progress?

Here are some charts that I keep each year:

  • Books read
  • Poems written
  • Dates with my husband
  • One-on-one time with each child
  • Prayer requests/answers
  • Impacting Bible studies/lessons/passages
  • Exercise consistency

Journal
. . . to remember God's faithfulness.
I've touched on this important blessing in the above points, but it deserves reiteration here. God is faithful. Write down how He speaks to you, how He nudges your heart, how He embraces your soul. Record it to glorify Him--then repeat it to bless others and to teach your children. Reread it to deepen your faith and your love for Him.

You can start now--simply. Write in a journal or on a blog. Organize your photos and include captions. Date things. Make a jar with the label "God's Blessings" and fill it up through the year. 

Record the everyday because the little things make up life


Do you journal? Will you share what works for you and how it blesses you?



2 comments:

  1. Malia, thank you for your post. I am visiting from Titus 2sday and while I don't keep a journal on a regular basis (I will journal for a while and then let myself get distracted) your post has reminded me that I need to commit to journaling on a regular basis.

    Misty Boone
    http://thebarnprincess.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this was an encouragement! Something that helped me get consistent was a journal my brother bought me one Christmas that had the days already marked. It motivated me to fill each blank space. Just an idea. :)

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