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I think that when you talk about keeping a journal as an adult, people’s minds often go to the image of a little girls writing in her diary …
“Dear diary….today I brushed my teeth, washed my face and wrote a love note to Peter.”
Um no, that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about a grown up journal—or call it a diary if you prefer. Haha
Here are a few reasons why I keep a journal:
*To track your memories—
Not just remember something that happened, but how I felt when it happened.
When my middle son was born with a collapsed lung and had to go to the NICU right after his birth, I was wrecked. I knew it wasn’t life-threatening and the lung just needed time to heal on its own, but it still really hurt my heart to be separated from my sweet new baby. It’s been almost 5 years since he came home from his five day stay in the NICU and the pain from that time is gone, but when I read my journal entry from that day–it brings those feelings right back to the surface–
Tonight I had to come home from the hospital without you. What a terrible feeling. Although you are healthy and probably coming home in the next couple of days–I hate that you are all the way there and I am all the way here. Praise God that your issue is minor–and this will soon be over.
I promise not to complain too much during the upcoming sleepless nights and to really be thankful for each and every tear.
We prayed for you for almost two years before you were born–and now you’re here–and I just can’t wait to hold you. I love you more than I could ever write, Grant. My littlest boy–my miracle.
Love for always,
(Excerpt from a note I wrote to Grant in my journal.)
Most of the time when I start to write, it turns into a prayer to God. Giving thanks to Him, seeking direction, or asking forgiveness. It’s always been that way, but it wasn’t until 3 years ago that I realized that writing is a form of worship and prayer. I had no clue!
I can remember keeping a journal as a small child (maybe 8 years old) and finding such peace and rest after writing. Now, as an adult, I know that was Jesus and that fills me with such overwhelming love for a Savior who knew me (and loved me) before I even knew Him at all.
*To empty my brain—
Sometimes I just need to do a brain dump. Most of the time when I’m having trouble actually writing or I’m “blocked,” it’s because I have too much circling around in my brain and I just need to get it out. Sometimes that looks like a list, other times it’s just rambling words and no punctuation. Either way, it feels great when it’s over!
Personally, I think everyone should keep a journal because it is a great way to sort out thoughts and feelings. When there is something that is stressing you out and you’re not quite sure how you need to act next—writing it out will help you determine your next steps.
When I am feeling overwhelmed—like I have too much on my plate—my typical reaction is to go hide under a blanket somewhere. But keeping a journal has really helped me to keep everything in perspective. And let me just add that what feels like 10,000 things in my head is really only 10 things on paper. It’s amazing how distorted your anxiety makes things.