Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Importance of Journaling

Today is my last full day of fall break.  It's been so nice and relaxing.  The five-page paper that I had to write today seemed easy considering all the relaxing I got to enjoy.

I filled up a journal today and started a new one.  That's always bittersweet, isn't it?  When I flip through the old one, I can tell the most honest and heartfelt passages by which ones were the messiest.  I can also tell which ones provoked growth and which were purely for the sake of venting.

A lot has changed since I started that journal right at the beginning of the school year.  To follow the timeline forward through the past two months is to laugh at worry over things that turned out just fine and to see the absolute grace of God in granting this fool a good life.

Journals are like people.  No two speak the same way, and each one has it's own life and personality.  The journal that I just started is already more artistic than the last, because my writing bug has returned and I want to fill it's pages with observations and the deeper parts of my emotions.  I want to write not only prayers and little thoughts, but I want to also search my heart and try to relate it to Scripture.  I also want to give a good account of my days so that I can look back and know why I was feeling the way I was at the time.

My new journal is still unfamiliar to me.  I don't know the exact feel of it's pages or it's tone yet, even though it's the same size and brand as my last one.  But it's still a bit of a stranger to me, and a cold one at that.  It needs an ink stain more, or a teardrop, or a coffee spill.  But these things take time.

I want to pray all over this new journal.  I want to see real change and growth over it's pages, even more so than the last one.  Even on the pages that are just to-do lists, I want to be meaningful and intentional, and I want it to be beautiful.

So many things in my journals I will never share here on this blog, and that's the way it should be.  Some things I will share with only my closest friends, and some things I won't share with anyone but the Lord.  Sometimes I'll just jot down song lyrics that lifted my spirit or made me think, and sometimes I'll write my own poetry.

Maybe some days it'll be a mere account of events, and sometimes it'll be a joyful experience that I'll barely fit onto three or four pages.  Sometimes there will be sorrow that I can barely make to flow from my pen.

But journals are special books.  There's something about them that can't be conveyed with typed words, and I really believe that everyone should own one and carry it everywhere.

Buy a small one.  Big enough for your big ideas, but small enough to take with you.  Write every day, even if it's just a paragraph.  Put a date on everything you write so that you won't forget, because twenty years from now you will.  Doodle if you have to, but get your point across.  It doesn't have to be pretty, but it will be beautiful as a whole.

Be brutally honest with your journal, for who is it to judge?

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