Thursday, November 10, 2011

Journaling-Five Things

I have been journaling since 1992. If I don't journal my thoughts I get into endless cycles that leave me unfruitful in life. I am not a "Dear Abby" journaler. I don't write everyday. It is not a "have to" event for me, whether it is a "want to" event. I have no form. I have no script. I just start writing whatever comes from my head, to my hand, to the paper. Personally I believe this is how the Psalms were written. That is why the Psalms are the most referred to book in the Bible when you need empathy for your feelings.
I know one day my children will go thumbing through my journals and will wonder if they had a schizophrenic for a dad. I tell it like it is. My frustrations, anger, disappointments all come out. Not only is it my dumping station for my feelings, but it is also my altar. I bring my sins to the altar on those pages. It is where I meet God. Sure I pour plenty of my garbage in it, but I also write all of the inspiration and revelation that God deposits through me as I write.
One of my favorite passages is Psalms 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Through my brokenness God repeatedly showers me with wholeness as I write. When I mourn He comforts, when I am confused He brings clarity, when I am frustrated He calms me down.
I guess that is why I now love these social platforms for communicating my heart like Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter. I recently have taken a a few days off from Facebook and Twitter just because I can. I wrote in 2009 how it helps me (Click here). Some say that their blog has replaced their journal. But I can't cosign that, to me nothing replaces the old fashion pen on paper. When I type, I am automatically thinking about formatting. When I write on paper I just flow.
Five things I use my journal for:
1) I use them as scrap books. I staple articles or devotions in them that impact my life.
2) I write down key points from sermons, my thoughts, & impactful thoughts of others.
3) I write my prayers: the request and the answers.
4) I draw pictures of Biblical truths to help me understand.
5) I preach from it, Facebook from it, Tweet from it, and Blog from it.

Five questions you can answer when journaling:
1) What is going well? Why?
2) Who needs prayer? Your confessions? Marriage? Children? others?
3) What would I do differently, if I could do it again? Why?
4) What have I learned about myself and my leadership?
5) What areas do I need to correct, change or grow in? Where is God at work in my life?

Five reasons I would encourage you to get a notebook and write your thoughts:
1) You have a reference point to evaluate your life experiences.
2) It tames your thought life and helps to ends cycles of thought that rythmically beat you down.
3) It affords one more platform for the Holy Spirit to teach you.
4) It is a great collection point for all of the teachable moments that you encounter in your day.
5) It becomes a funnel that can take the broad array of your emotions and narrow it down to the heart of the matter.

These are my thoughts what are yours? How does journaling help you.

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