I started keeping a journal at age ten and I have at least a journal to show for each stage of my life. Each of my journals shows me areas in which I have grown. I write anything and everything in my journal. Things from random thoughts and observations, to notes on books I’m reading, to goals I want to work towards, to how my day/the week/the year went, to list of books I want to read, places I want to visit, my prayers, etc.
A journal is a personal record of significant occurrences, experiences and reflections kept on a regular basis while journalling is a process of writing in a journal or diary.
Journalling is a form of therapy that helps you to open up to your feelings without the pressure of being judged. A person who journals is able to gain mental and emotional clarity, validate experiences and come to a deeper understanding of him/herself.
The following are different forms of journal you can keep:
*A gratitude Journal where you intentionally write at least ten things you are currently grateful for. It is basically an act of counting and naming your blessings. This helps you to keep the right perspective when you are going through difficult times.
*A prayer journal where you pen your prayers. It helps you to pray consistently and see God’s faithfulness in answering your prayers. It also helps you to concentrate better if your mind tends to wander while you pray.
*A Bible study or sermon journal. It helps you to keep track of the things you are learning daily in God’s word. It also helps you to refer back to them and evaluate your life based on God’s word.
*A memorial journal( this is more like the memorial stones God instructed the children of Israel to pick as they crossed River Jordan in Joshua 4).
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord ’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua 4:4-5, 7, 21-24 NLT
The idea behind a “memorial stone” is simply to recognize a significant event or change (either pleasant or otherwise) in the previous week/month/year and put it in the context of God’s work in your life. It affirms both gratitude and faith. It shows you all the ways God has being faithful to you.
I’ve had people say to me that they don’t think they can keep a journal because they are not writers. My response to that is “you don’t have to make a living from writing before you can journal. If you can talk, you can journal.” There is no right or wrong way to journal; just do what works best for you and start with baby steps. Associate your journalling time with the things that give you joy like lighting a scented candle, drinking hot sweetened tea or listening to music(provided you won’t be distracted) and enjoy the experience.
Never forget that your life is worth living well and your story is worth telling (in this case journalling about). Your story will one day inspire someone to live his/her life well. Leave a good legacy!
• Have you ever kept a journal or diary?
•How have you benefitted from keeping a journal?