Of Paper Thoughts and Love Notes
Do any of you feel as if you haven't fully experienced a joy or plumbed the depths of a trial until you have scribbled it out in a journal?
A few months ago, I started a short post on Instagram with that sentence.
I'm one of those people that does my best thinking on paper, with a pencil. Always. The rhythm of handwriting and forming my thoughts into complete sentences and paragraphs helps me organize my mind like nothing else. My journal has seen me through so much, from nail-biting growing up situations (oh, dear, the dilemmas of my fourteen-year-old self! :)), to dark hours of learning what faith means, even when all you understand is that God is good and sovereign. And now, the new journeys of love, marriage and motherhood are unfolding.
My happiest and scariest times are recorded in that book, for better or worse. Songs of praise and tear-stained screams for God's help are within its pages. That book is like a part of me. I love looking back and reading prayers I've forgotten about, and realizing that God has answered them - exceedingly, abundantly.
But maybe thinking on paper isn't the way you operate. Some people think best talking out loud... or just sitting and pondering. And that's great! But even if writing thoughts and prayers down seems tedious, I still believe that journaling can be valuable. By journaling, you can create a record of the working of God's grace in your life. Prayers answered are an obvious reason, but I have found that it is such a blessing to look back at lessons the Lord has been teaching me, and marvel at providences realized and the power of Christ.
Even if it's just a sentence or a phrase at a time, think about giving it a try. To me, it's a reminder that He has brought me this far, and He will bring me home.
Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I've come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
- Come Thou Fount, Robert Robinson
Oh, and I'll let you in on a little secret. There's more to that pink floral journal than meets the eye. On one of my early dates with Daniel, we were browsing in a bookstore, and I was dawdling in the notebook aisle, as I tend to do. :) He told me to pick one out, and this one caught my eye - especially the verse on the cover about God's guidance.
That was, incidentally, the same night I remember confiding to my mom in whispers - "I think this might be the man I'm going to marry." :)
Fast-forward a few months to October. Daniel proposed, I said yes, and, hopeless romantic that I am, out came that journal. I hadn't brought myself to start writing in it yet, and there was so much I wanted to say...so, long story short, that little book became a collection of letters to my groom, treasured up throughout our engagement. It made the perfect wedding gift!
So who can say what a notebook can become?
What are some of your favorite uses for a journal? Do you keep a daily diary? A prayer journal? Who has tried bullet journaling??