Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Plug for Journaling

Last night I bought a new journal. My previous one had lasted me about a year and a half, through MANY ups and downs, trials and triumphs. Let me give a quick plug for the art of journaling. If you're not in the habit of keeping a journal, I highly suggest you do so. Since the majority of you are probably fellow bloggers and therefore already in the habit of writing, keeping a journal is not that much of a stretch for you.

I've kept a journal for years. I don't write in it every day--sometimes I've gone weeks without writing in it, while other times I've written in it twice a day. That's part of the beauty of it--no one but you is going to read it, so no one but you gets to dictate how often you write. But I recommend writing on a regular basis, at least once a week.

For me, journaling is cheap therapy. Now, I'm not discounting the need for therapy--trust me, I have considered seeing a Christian counselor several times throughout various heartwrenching trials in my life. But many times when I'm feeling apprehensive, or irritable, or just plain confused and can't put my finger on why, I take out my journal and just start writing what I'm feeling. This is probably an easier exercise for women than for men, since women are much more emotionally wired to readily answer the dreaded "What are you thinking about?" question. But men, I think you can greatly benefit from this too. It's amazing how many times I just start writing what I'm feeling and suddenly I have an epiphany.

I write pretty much anything and everything in my journal. Much of it consists of prayer requests, special verses or quotations, answered prayers. I especially enjoy re-reading entries and seeing how God answered specific prayers.

If you don't already have a journal, get one. Find a style you really like. Last night I bought a scarlet linen-covered journal with lined pages. It's thin and light enough to pack (I like to take my journal with me when I travel). Find a pen you like as well, one that writes well. Any color will do--black, blue, red, purple--this journal is for YOUR eyes only, remember that. And then write away. Hold nothing back. Let the thoughts flow unhindered. Above all, be HONEST--this is strictly between you and God.

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