”Not all who wander are lost” Tolkien
Journaling allows you a place to wonder and wander
“Space and time are not conditions in which we live; they are modes in which we think”
”Journaling is a place where the inner being is expressed. Where the noise of the world ceases and the sacred rhythms of God’s grace can be found”
The bible is God’s encouragement journal for you
“Be still and know that I am God”
Journaling can provide a wonderful way of processing and recording life. It can be done as a record for others or as a personal part of life’s journey.
One of the most important things to know about journalling, before you begin, is that you DO NOT need amazing literary or artistic skill. You have to give yourself permission to be completely yourself!!
We often think of journaling as very private thoughts written in a secret book and indeed journaling maybe undertaken for this reason and recorded in this form. I am hoping, however, that as you read on you might discover the broad creative scope of journaling. Perhaps you will consider some new reasons for journaling. Perhaps you will be inspired to try a new form of journaling or revisit a form that has nurtured your soul in the past.
There can be a myriad of reasons for embarking on the process of journaling. You may have been inspired by reading a published journal, a friend or counsellor may have suggested the usefulness of journaling to you, or you may have been journaling for years and looking for new ways to journal. Whatever your reasons for journalling - all are valid!
Here are some of the reasons that I have had for Journaling – You may like to try some?!
Things I have learnt from my children
This is the title of my journal where I record the funny, loveable and challenging things my children have said and done. My children love it and it triggers my memory and lots of smiles [You think you will never forget those moments –but we do!!]
From my journal- Sam aged 8yrs. I asked Sam why he had not borrowed another book from the library for the school holidays. He said “I was not allowed because they are doing stop taking. ..you know stop taking the books out “[he meant of course stocktaking].
My Professional Journal
I take time to write down [as I feel the need] reflections on my practice. This journal has become a record of experiences and learning, it also provides a safe place for me to explore thoughts for the future.
This has been a wonderful spiritual discipline for me at times. I tend to seek God in prayer and when the answer comes move on. Recording the prayer and the answer has allowed me to reflect, to be thankful and more consistent in my prayer life. [I do try not to make my prayer life a list of requests!]
Looking back over scriptures I have recorded and what they meant to me at the time, inspires me to see how God has revealed himself.
These started with the gift from a friend of a journal in which she had written her favourite quotes and verses for me .When my daughter was younger we decided to pass a journal back and forth between us with encouraging thoughts and scriptures and even questions [it has been a lovely part of our relationship].This resulted in my daughter starting an encouragement journal with her school friends where a book was passed around the group in changing order so that everyone received an encouraging message from one of their friends each week.
Sometimes I write without thinking too much and just let it be. On other occasions it is a place for recording meaningful insights, a time to reflect, to be quiet and be refreshed. Sometimes I will just write down words that come to mind or write a poem.
Journaling may be in the form of written language alone. It may be a record of pictures, art or photography or other creative expressions, such as quilting. Journaling may also be in the form of spoken words or songs/music that has been recorded.
Some examples that I have found helpful or shared with others:
- Picture journals for children who are grieving. Allowing children to draw can be a wonderful way of naturally allowing them to express their feelings.
- Photographic Journals. Can be a special way of recording special celebrations and events that can be looked back over and remembered
- Pregnancy Journals. Give the opportunity for family members to record the progress of the pregnancy in lots of different creative forms.
- Taped Journals. I have lots of dreams that I remember, from time to time, I have recorded them onto a tape so that I can listen to them later and reflect on them.
How to get started!
1. Think about why you would like to journal and decide on what from you would like to try
2. Collect what you will need for you journaling e.g. Paints and paper, a book and multicoloured pens, a notebook with a pen in your handbag
3. Now here is the main point –Allow yourself the time!! See this time as a gift from God to you.
Kath - One of Gods girls . Co-senior pastor of Northridge Vineyard Church in Thornleigh, Sydney with husband Phil. Mum to Beth (Mother love to Beth's husband Sean) and Sam. South Pacific Regional Co-ordinator for Tirzah International (Investing in Women - Changing the World) Community Chaplain for Karios Outside (a ministry to women who have been impacted by a significant others imprisonment). Speaker and Writer.