Many famous Christians of the past and many of the present advocate(d) journaling. I would define “journaling” (writing in a journal) as writing down your thoughts and ideas, how you are feeling, what happened that day, or any other things you care to record. Many people write what God is teaching them. Others write what happened that day. Some people like to write out prayers or prayer requests. Whatever the case, it’s all journaling, and it can all be done with a pen and paper or device and keyboard. Because, in this case, we’re talking about journaling as a spiritual discipline, I’m talking about the types of journaling that provoke thought and remembrance, and somehow help you in your spiritual walk.
Without further explanation, here are a few tips that have helped me to journal.
#1: Choose a Time
After a while of journaling, you develop a hard-and-fast habit of going back to it when you need it. But at first (like the first three or four months) you’ll need a time. So make an appointment with yourself to journal. If you’d like to unload and de-stress, try evening. If you want to feel good about the day and spend time in quiet reflection with your Bible in hand (doesn’t that sound nice?), go for the morning. Either times will work nicely.
#2: Use What Works
When it comes to journaling, just use whatever works! If you’re wondering whether to go with an app or a notebook, use what works! If you’re enough of a poet to have to decide between writing in prose or poetry, do what works! If you’re trying to choose between journaling in morning or evening, just do what works for your mind and schedule. Whatever works is what you will most likely stick with, and what you will stick with is what will help.
#3: Look Back Often
When you’ve journaled for a few months (or even just a few days), look back to past entries and see what God has done. You’ll love doing it, and that aspect of bringing the past to the present may keep you journaling.
Whoever you are, however old you are, start journaling. I guarantee you’ll be grateful you did years from now.
If you already journal, please comment and share what helps you to be consistent!
This is the last post in the spiritual disciplines series. In my next post, I’ll give you a little table of contents for all the posts in the series and a short note about “religion” vs “relationship.”