As a child, I loved my diary. I used it to record the days events, my secret crushes, happy times with friends and girlhood sorrows. There were times I propped it next to my mom’s bed so she could see on paper the struggles of my heart, emotions I found too difficult to express verbally. These diaries are like written pictures, and I am grateful for the insight into who I was once upon a time.
In my adult life, journaling has been a beautiful vehicle – aiding in my spiritual growth, contributing to emotional healing and drawing me to God in prayer.
Whether or not you are a “natural” journal-er, it is never too late to become one. There are spiritual benefits that come from this discipline and I’d like to share some with you.
- Therapy: Writing (or typing) our private prayers to God is therapeutic. I find release as I let my pen give voice to the cries of my heart. Praise-therapy is what I call replacing negative thoughts with words of praise. Writing my praises to God brings this therapeutic benefit to the next level. I often look back on what I have written months or even years later, seeing how far the Lord has brought me and taught me along the way.
- Prayer Requests: Like you, there are dear ones around me who need prayer. Often times my busy brain forgets, so I keep a list in my journal of those that I am praying for and update it regularly. I keep tabs on how God is answering these requests and document updates next to the names of those I am praying for.
- Quotes and Scripture: I write quotes and scripture that speak to me – meaningful passages I don’t want to forget or want to re-read in the near future. Oftentimes, they are words that pertain to a particular trying time that I am experiencing. God uses these words to bring encouragement. Many times I record something funny or meaningful to share with a friend whom I am praying for.
- Sermon Notes: I am a sermon note-taker. Instead of taking notes on a bulletin to lose, I slip my journal into my purse. During the week, I review the sermon and key-scriptures. I believe it keeps me focused on the sermon as my mind is prone to wandering (often making lists in my brain of all that needs to get done that day).
- Focus: My journal is a means of keeping me focused on Bible reading or prayer. My silly mind wanders often during my time with God in the mornings. So, as I am drifting off to parts unknown – again, usually thinking about all that I need to do – I write the floating thought down in my journal and get back to prayer. Later, I transfer those floating thoughts to my to-do list for the day.
My journal is a practical and engaging aid in growing me in God. Even if you think it isn’t your thing, I challenge you to pick one up and give it a shot. Just start with the words: Dear God…
Your messages are just what I have needed. Thank you for the inspiration.
You seem to know my heart!!
I have shared your blog with several of my friends. They too feel blessed by it.
I just might actually start journaling!! No promise yet, but I do feel I am being led in that direction!! Perhaps as I get older it is better to write down the things that have a special meaning rather than rely on my memory!
Beautiful Kris, just beautiful. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing what’s in your heart as a woman of God and a woman who battles letting emotions take over, like all of us can.
Kristin Saatzer says
Thank you Nancy.
Kris, you are a beautiful vessel being used by our Lord to speak wisdom into the lives of other women. Thank you for answering His call and for the encouragement you offer so many. May He continue to bless you and those whose lives you touch.