It’s not all copied Bible verses in my journal. Not by a long shot. There are pages done pretty on purpose, with verses, because I want to etch something from The Word on my heart. I recommend doing this for several reasons. One, to memorize the words, yes, but more so, to absorb the truth as part of how I think. Another reason to spend thoughtful time doing a little word art with scripture is that the quiet time required is good for my soul. I’m not an artist, at all, but that isn’t keeping me from using colored pencils and pens to kick up the minuscule artist that is there. Later, I can flip back and easily find, to review what was happening and the verses helping me. Plus, be a little wowed by my own inspiration again.
Most of the rest of our story is on the pages of my journal. Things like my daily to-do lists, what-we-got-done lists, and plans, including very scribbled diagrams and floor plans and brainstorms.
And what I’m mad about, excitedly or dejectedly. My first grade teacher wrote the word “placid” to describe me in the year-book. Seriously? Never mind that. My journal knows me otherwise.
These days, there are names of grandchildren and places and events scattered throughout the pages. Yesterday we had a picnic on the lawn, seven grandchildren and Charlotte and I. Lisl and I went shopping the other day and found treasures. And talked from the minute we entered Backroads Coffee for breakfast until I dropped her off at home hours later. These things hit the journal.
There are a few things that my journal doesn’t get to find out. Like the nitty-gritty of personal stuff, not that we’re hiding anything bad, just that privacy still happens to be chic and honorable. Also, I don’t want to belabor a future grandchild with the hard stuff, not pages of it. If he reads far enough and well enough; he’ll find it. For now, we shall live well, after-all. We don’t have to live under the weight of the darkness that constantly encroaches. Don’t have to write it about it a lot, either. I want to write about it to equip a reader by relating our failures and victories maybe even with measured balance. It’s such an interesting thing… This writing for me, to be real and to solve, and for those who read later, to learn and to solve.
There’s nothing like discovering by reading back, a drawer full of journals, the need to intentionally purpose in my heart to make changes and to have real and happy for our life to write on these pages, today. No, I’m not going to fake it. I journal as true as I can possibly relate it. That’s the thing about journaling. It has to be truth, because the purpose is lost otherwise. So, it behooves us to live abundantly in Jesus. And to be honest. And intentional about change. (I said the same thing twice, right there. Sorry, it stays.)
Then, there’s the prayer part of journaling. I would venture to say that if you really want to know what matters to people; read their prayers, written for only God to see. Be disciplined, because of the reader someday, and follow up by writing about the answers to prayer, too.
Probably my favorite purpose for journaling is that reader. She keeps me honest in the telling and interested in outcomes. Notes to the reader happens, too.
(No, you may not read my journals. Unless you are a grandchild who loved me.)