This past week as I took time several days to write out a praise list in a small notepad I almost always have in my pocket, I realized one practice many regard as helpful I have failed to mention yet, journaling. From time to time I hear some speak of journaling as a wonderful experience and as a “door” to spiritual insight and growth. If I am in a group of people when someone makes that statement I can usually look around the room and see some silently (or not so silently) agreeing and others grimacing, seeming to say, “Not that journal thing again!”
At its foundation a journal is a way of paying attention to your life. It is a way for you to be with your thoughts, and experiences. It is private and it is yours. There is no one right way to journal that fits everyone. At its best, a journal is a tool that helps you reflect on God’s presence in your life. It is not a scorecard to see how often God shows up. It is a way to slow down and pay attention to the ordinary (or not so ordinary) and maybe see what you missed.
Let me repeat, “No one way of journaling fits all.” If you are drawn to this practice you will over time find a pattern and style that fits you. But remember, it is not a “school” assignment. You don’t “turn it in” for a grade. You are creating a place and space to listen to your life, your experiences and to God. Slow down for a few minutes, pay attention, and let what you see and hear find it’s way to a sheet of paper or even to a computer screen. You may be blessed in ways you cannot at first understand.