Do you know keeping a journal has many benefits? Perhaps you’re unsure of the whole ‘journaling’ thing and would love to discover how it can be of great help.
I’m here to encourage you and give you the gentle push you need.
When I was growing up, there was a part of me that felt the new year brought its own magic. I believed things would be different because it was a new year. But over time, I realised that I’m the one that can make it magical and worth living. By taking intentional steps towards my spiritual growth and everything else I plan to do.
And how can I plan ahead?
By keeping a journal
I am a journal hoarder and I doubt I’m going to get cured of that anytime soon. I’ve always been a diary keeping kind of girl. As I grew up, it became a journal keeping habit for me to document my thoughts, ideas and lessons God is teaching me.
The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memoryChinese Proverb
As humans, we can be very forgetful, especially in this day and age of rising technology and phones that prevent us from taking time to reflect on our thoughts and words. A journal helps you keep tab of yourself even when you find it hard to. As we begin a new year, I’ll be sharing with you 5 important reasons and benefits of keeping a journal.
You become more reflective
It’s easy to get carried away when we see how fast life is going and people running ahead of us. This can tempt us to feel we haven’t achieved so much or gone so far in life. But when you choose to make each and everyday count by documenting the daily routine of your life, little adventures, prayers, feelings and the world as a whole, especially with God at the centre of it all, you begin to appreciate life more.
It’s one of the benefits of keeping a journal.
You’ll be able to see how you spend your time, the things that drain you and what you need to eliminate from your life to become more effective.
In this day and age, it’s amazing to see how often people ignore reflection. As an individual who believes the heart is where everything stems from, I’ve been examining my motives. Through the help of the HolySpirit, I’ve been able to understand some parts of myself and why I act certain ways.
If we don’t write down our thoughts and our motives, it will be hard to grow. Reflection spurs growth. It provides a Heart-check that’s so negligible and can hinder our growth. Spiritually and Physically.
For example, the moment God made me see that posting stories on the blog weekly was draining me spiritually, I stopped. In the past I was just writing because I enjoyed it and it was an escape route for me. I didn’t pay attention to my motives until God called me to wait on Him.
During my waiting season, I did a lot of reflection and began to see hidden motives I never paid attention to. And it was affecting my spiritual capacity to grow well. The views and the comments had become really important to me as I looked forward to them. The fear of missing out was also a hidden motive I would never have discovered until God made me reflect and re-align myself.
A journal is a good place to start checking and writing down lessons from God.
Document your Bucket list and To-do lists
Though God has been teaching me how to leave my goals and dreams at his feet, pick up my cross and follow him daily, a bucket list is something that reminds you of something special to you.
You may wonder, what’s the difference between Goal setting and Bucket List?
While keeping goals can tempt you to set God aside and chase/obsess over achieving them at a certain period a bucket list is there come what may.
No one is too old to do anything. I’m in my early thirties and I know my life isn’t over. It’s only begun because with Christ in me, it’s a new day. Now imagine dropping that bucket list at the feet of Jesus? I did and he exceeded my wildest dreams.
Even the ones I didn’t include came to pass.
God knows what He’s saying when he tells you to chase Him wholeheartedly and not for what He gives.
A to-do list contains a list of things you have to do for the day or week or the places you have to be and the appointments you have to keep. Writing it down helps you remember because life gets busy. Sometimes I use my organizer to write down my grocery list and just tweak it when I’ve run out of items in the house.
Ability to track your growth and daily habits
Whenever you wonder if you’ve grown spiritually, a journal is there to remind you of your past and your present.
Also, if you haven’t downloaded my spiritual growth checklist yet, feel free to do so when you subscribe to my Newsletter.
There was a season of my life God called me to be an open book before Him. So every word I wrote felt like a letter to Him. It was comforting to see that I could bare my heart out and he could heal me of my incompetencies and flaws I’ve tried so hard to hide from him. The times when I’ve tried to pretend I can do it all when I was too weak to know my right from wrong.
Guess what? There was actually a part I’d told God I was horny and had cramps. Funny right? But He made me and he definitely put it there. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. He’s also aware that I’m keeping my body as a temple to please Him first and foremost.
I kept reading and saw how I’d shared all my fears and dreams with Him. As I sat reading what I’d written, I could only smile and cry. It was amazing to see where I’d told him how he was all that mattered to me and how he’d become my life, not any man.
There were parts of my journal where I kept thanking God for a project I’d worked on and how he’d come through for me. I told him all the times I felt my feelings were weighing me down so much I found it hard to do anything else. I read about the days I’d shared with him how being single felt so hard. And I recall how he’d lifted me out of depression and gave me beauty for ashes.
As much as it helps you gauge your growth, it’s also a letter to lovers in places where God is concerned. I love my journal because it’s a place where I can be myself with my Father as much as possible.
Bible reading and lessons in love
We can read the bible today because some men obeyed God and documented what He told them to write. I can’t imagine life without writing. Journaling down revelations of God has helped me to see his nature and beauty in times when my soul forgets and struggles with God’s goodness.
In the past, I used to write about how hurt I was about people and certain things. I was a ‘feelings’ person. But I’m learning that my feelings cannot keep controlling me. I am higher than my feelings. They’re not eternal, God is. Love is eternal and I will choose to walk in love with everyone around me.
Looking back, I could see how much I’d grown by learning to love others and let go of the relationships that once felt hard for me to let go.
Are you clueless about how to begin? Start by including a list of people to pray for. They don’t even have to know you’re praying for them.
Personally, I keep about 3 different journals. One is for bible study, the other one is like a love letter and gratitude journal and the third is for random things like my bucket list, writing ideas and brain dump.
The number of journals you keep in is solely dependent on you. The more you document your lessons in love, you’ll begin to see the benefits of keeping a journal.
Because writing is good
One of the benefits of keeping a journal is flexing your writing muscles. I can’t imagine a world without words, or writers. I think writing has become a part of me and I’m willing to see how far it will take me. But I’ll not forget how keeping a journal was a ‘little beginning’ for me.
The good thing about writing in a journal is that when you write, you’re not trying to impress anybody, you’re writing for yourself. Often times, there’s a need to express ourselves and our thoughts into somewhere and a journal helps us do just that. To reap the benefits of keeping a journal, be ready to write often.
So, I hope I’ve been able to convince you enough to get a good journal come 2021
Tell me, do you enjoy writing down your thoughts? Or you just feel the journal keeping thing isn’t for you.
Here are some articles you may find helpful
Bloom with Love. Xx!
Picture taken by Gabrielle