Here’s what: if you’re not journaling then you’re missing key aspects of your life.
The cold hard truth of the matter is that remarkable things have happened to you- prayers have been answered, dreams have been realized, you have grown immensely- and you’re never going to realize the extent of it, feel the overwhelming gratitude for it, because you failed to record any of it.
That ends now.
I’ve been keeping a journal since I was old enough to write in one. Unfortunately, not every book of my past has made it this far in life, with me. I do still possess notebooks I filled up as long ago as ten years, however, and going through some of those angsty passages reminds me of just how much I’ve been able to conquer in terms of my own personal growth.
Keeping a journal isn’t limited to writers, though. Your personal entries are not going to be entered into an essay contest, and no one is going to be looking over your shoulder correcting your grammar. It’s for your enjoyment, and your benefit, alone.
I believe everyone would benefit from writing in their journal consistently, and I’ll give you 5 inspiring reasons why.
Self-Discipline. “In moving forward you create a past. If your past is still a part of your present, you haven’t moved forward at all. And who wants to live their lives stationary?” When I decided that it was time to give up alcohol, for real for real, I knew that it wasn’t the first time I had made that declaration. It was going to be hard, it was something I’d tried to do before, and it was a part of my lifestyle for as long as I could remember. In fact, I decided to scour the pages of my old journal entries and found that I’d made that same decision on May 9, 2011 (ten days before I found out I was pregnant with my little lady). That wasn’t the first time I’d sworn off drinking. But knowing that it’s been over 5 years that I’ve been bored and unchanged with the habit really fueled my resolve this time around. #2monthssoberyo
Self-Awareness. “I’ve had many thoughts lately, revolving around my own personal goals and ambitions with my life, and I realized I’ve been trying to fit someone else’s mold. Not because they’ve pressured me to, but because of my ever present desire to be accepted and fit in.” Writing is like untangling your thoughts. If you let the words flow without judgement, you’ll happen across some pretty in depth feelings that you didn’t even realize you were dealing with. Things are not always what they seem, and that includes in your own mind!
Encouragement. “Thank you, Father God, for the troubles of my life…for it is only because of them that I remembered to turn to you. Thank you for my personal challenges…for it is only with a battle that I can become a conquerer. Thank you, Lord, for my hardships and my weaknesses…for it is only out of adversity that strength may be made known. Like a muscle cannot be grown without resistance, neither can a person grow without difficulties.” Knowing and recording all of the times I was down and then brought up again is encouraging when I find myself back in the valley. I love that I made sure to write through my trials, because now I have somewhere to go to reference just how strong I have proven to be. Talk about a confidence boost!
Focus. “I don’t want a life that looks good on social media, I want a life that will look good on the resume I hand over at the Pearly Gates. There is no passage in the bible that applauds selling more than you serve or posting more than you pray.” I look back through my journal to remember what I felt when I made big decisions in my life. When doubt comes creeping in, trying to veer me off path, I can refer back to why I did what I did in the first place. Too many times we live in reaction to our immediate feelings. Journaling (and re-reading those entries) can keep us from doing that.
Answered Prayers. “Sometimes while I’m praying, I feel a tug in my heart to lead others down this path. I don’t know enough about the bible, I don’t feel particularly godly enough, I’m definitely not pure enough…but I still feel called to lead women. A church group maybe?” I wrote that little excerpt last year. October 26, 2015–just one month after I made the life altering decision to go all in for Jesus. I had no reason to believe I was in a position to teach others about God’s unfailing love, but yet, it was put on my heart and became a part of my prayers. One year later, almost to the date, that prayer promise will be fulfilled. My friend and I are teaming up to co-lead a women’s ministry group at our church! Looking back, seeing that, knowing that it was a year in the making, trying to comprehend why I would even think of it back when I thought of it (ahem, Holy Spirit)…it gives me all the courage and confidence I need to know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m on the right track. When I wonder…when I feel confused or conflicted…when I feel fear over the changes and big decisions in my life… I can look back and realize everything is happening as it should, as it was meant to, as it was promised way back when. #doubtbegone
Purry Murry knows what’s up. And now, so do you.
If you realized that you truly need to get on board with this whole “journaling thing” then I think you’d be interested in signing up for the FREE Messy Girl challenge I’m hosting next month! It’s going to be 3 weeks of learning how to create and enjoy an intentional morning so you can go to bed with peace of mind every night. The New Year is fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about how you can make 2017 different. Better. Greater.
Yes, I want to be the FIRST to know about the FREE challenge!