Do you keep a journal?
I love life, and I love writing, so hey! Why not combine the two? There are so many experiences, pieces of advice, and memories I treasure, and writing them down is a great way to save them for later.
Journaling has become such a normal habit that I can hardly process anything without scribbling down my thoughts. Just getting my heart and events of the week on paper gives closure and helps me gear up for a new week.
That being said, you may be able to understand why I keep 6 journals at once 😉 Maybe I’m obsessive. Or maybe I have way too much time to write. Either way, I wanted to share with you the six different journals I keep, and why.
So, let’s take a look into my drawer of notebooks…
1) Worry Journal.
Yeah, this one doesn’t sound so welcoming. And it’s not.
Do you ever just want to scream in frustration, but can’t even put your finger on the reason for your angst?
Often we let ourselves get so lost in the grind of life, that we struggle to function. Every day is a chore, leaving us stressed and exhausted. And, with it all, comes worry.
Worry chokes. But Why?
Because, though we don’t realize it, worry is sin. We’re told not to be anxious for anything (Philippians 4:6), and by letting fear rule our lives, we live in disobedience. Sin complicates everything. It makes life tough to deal with, and if we don’t crush that sin, it’ll crush us.
How this journal works:
A) I ask myself, “What am I worried about? What is driving me to react in the negative ways that I do?” As one answer pops into my head, I begin writing…and more answers flood in. Soon a list of worries crowds the page.
B) I “show” my list to Jesus, and lay it at His feet.
C) I ask Him to lift my burdens, forgive the worry, and help me start again—With joy.
You would be surprised at how many troubles are caused by your own anxiety—a sin that may not be obvious on the outside, but strangles within.
The process of thinking through and jotting each worry—even other sins you struggle with—down can be strenuous, but so freeing in the end.
—> If you want a little more help and guidance with anxiety, check out this post by Miss Natalie over at Milk and Honey Faith ❤
2) Devotions and Sermon Notes Journal.
I’m not always successful, but I try my best to read the Bible every morning.
Personally, it’s hard for me to absorb Scripture just by reading it, so I like to write down verses that stick out to me or teach important lessons. Underneath each verse, I’ll jot down thoughts or applications. Sometimes I even use those verses as a prayer guide, and scrawl down prayers under the verse.
Journaling through my devotions has helped me absorb so much more of Scripture, and taught me to read with intention. I love reading back on things that have ministered to or taught me valuable lessons.
[I also use this journal for sermon notes from church or conferences]
3) Personal Life Journal.
“Be brutally honest with your writing.” (Philippians 4:8)
My dad shared this advice that was once given to him, and it helps so much. It’s not always easy or fun, but this rule is so therapeutic when it comes to processing my feelings or various events of my life, and the closure gained is incredible.
Journaling “brutally” not only teaches accountability to myself, but it’s also enabled me to be more honest with others. Really, who wants to look back on exaggerated or downplayed entries, and wonder how things really happened? I know I’ve done that before, and it drove me crazy not knowing how I truly felt or acted during various times.
Voice all those roller-coaster emotions, memories (happy or sad) and stupid decisions! When you read those entries later, you’ll not only get to laugh at yourself, smile at the good memories, and recall the hard lessons, but you’ll see how far God has brought you…And trace the evidence of His hand through it all.
4) “Mr. Right” Journal.
My Mr. Right Journal is a (future) wedding gift for my future husband.
It’s a black leather notebook full of letters, dreams, and prayers for him and our future together. I’m not gonna lie: this is one of my favorites. 🙂 I talk about the journal more in this post, and I plan on making another post on this concept, so you can keep your eyes open for that!
5) Prayer Journal.
I hope you saw that coming 😉
My prayer journal probably isn’t like anything Pinterest advertises. It’s not organized with color and bullet points and stickers, and I don’t write in it all that often. It’s just where I go when the the pain is too deep to voice. The pages are crammed with frazzled, confused, and fractured thoughts–pieces of my heart that I’ve asked Jesus to glue back together. This journal is my place to organize the questions in my heart. My place to confess and ask forgiveness. My place of surrender (Philippians 4:6, 7).
It’s the deepest journal I write, and, so very precious to me. I’ve experienced countless intimate moments with my Savior by scrawling out chapter-long prayers in the silence of my room.
Sometimes the words are brutal and chaotic, yet He understands each prayer written, and answers all of them. That’s my favorite part 🙂 I definitely recommend starting a prayer journal if you haven’t already.
6) Blessings Journal.
A grateful heart is the healthiest kind! On the lines of these pages, I scribble down specific gifts—blessings—of each day. The more time I spend looking for things to be thankful for, the more I realize how incredibly abundant my blessings are.
This journal helps me maintain a positive outlook, even on the hard days. Writing down all my blessings–forcing myself to FIND the good in every day–has increased my joy and gratitude to the Giver of every perfect gift (James 1:17).
I’m truly humbled by His lavishing goodness. This notebook is just a reminder of how good He really is. It’s a little box of treasures ❤
And there you have it!
In my next post, I’ll share some tips on how you can get started on journaling—and stick with it! I hope you’ll stick around 🙂