Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Journalling

Last weekend I read the second chapter of the Fresh Brewed Life.  In this chapter, Nicole Johnson encourages the reader to journal.  I've never journaled before or even kept a diary, as I was:  always afraid of what to enter into it; what would happen if someone got a hold of it and read it; and really did I want to keep that commitment.  Since starting this blog I have shared some of my life with you and considered that enough.  I never realized though how cathartic journalling can be and I've only just started. 

Nicole has some great ideas of journalling that have really encouraged me:

1.  Your journal should inspire you to pick it up; "it should beg you to be written in";

2.  Have a pen that you use exclusively to write with.  The pen should be comfortable.  In fact, she encourages you to use pen and not pencil as you may be tempted to erase what you've written.  

3.  Take time to write in it daily.  It may be as quick as 5 minutes or an hour.  

4.  Find a place that will encourage you to journal - a quite corner, a hammock or even a tent under the table.  

5.  To quote her directly - "Your job is to get honest words and feelings down on paper, not justify them  or explain them or make sure they are beautiful: vomit on paper; explode with excitement; weep; laugh;" Be open, honest and raw.

6. Finally, have your bible near.  You never know where God will direct you while you journalling. 

Since I'm not sure a lot of times where to start, I've been using some of the directed journalling questions from the Fresh Brewed Life to steer me on.   The question that shook me while I journaled late last week was :  Imagine yourself completely surrendering to God.  How different would your life look?  In the spirit of being Ephphatha, I'm going to share my journal that day. 

Imagine completely surrendering to God.  How would that look?

Wow, what would that look like?  I don't even know.  It would mean that D1Q1 statement I AM NOT MY OWN would come to complete fruition.  My family life, hopefully, would be better.  I hope I would be a calmer, happier more forgiving person, not judging.  I hop my family would ALL become true worshipers of Jesus.  Not that we would be perfect like the Flanders', but more authentic and honest.  Open to His leading and guiding. 

I would hope my outside would reflect my inside and that my inside would reflect God's love and newness and cleaning in my life.  I remember walking into Cheri's house on Monday all sparkling organized bleachy smelling.  I thought WOW is this clean.  I want to personally be like this.  I want to have people look at me and say - WOW, she is a reflection of God.  Right now I feel like a reflection of my laundry room - messy, trashy, disorganized, dirty, a little mold here and there.  I'm sure I reflect this.  I'm not perfect, but I am a possibility as the children's song states.  I think of Philippians 3:12 - Not that I have already obtained all this or already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Jesus took hold for me.  Every morning, just by praying and my daily studies, am I pressing forward toward complete surrender.  Will I get there?  I'm sure I will.  When?  I don't know, only God knows.  But, I'm not alone.  He's walking with me.  Sometimes at my side, sometimes carrying me.  But no matter where, always there.
I hope that I've inspired you to look at journaling in a new way and to pick up a book and pen and start writing your raw and messy thoughts.

I'm linking up with Jen of Finding Heaven at for her new meme, the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.  Come join in.



13 comments:

Home's Where My Heart Is said...

Michelle,

I loved this! I love to journal, but don't do it nearly enough. Do you feel released, in a way, when you write down your thoughts?

I smiled when you said Nicole suggests a pen, because with a pencil we may be tempted to erase it. I would so do that!! :) I also really like a nice pen. It doesn't have to be expensive, just write nicely and feel good.

Thanks for your sweet comment today...

janicejohnson said...

Wow, what an inspiring post! Makes me want to grab my special soft-grip gel pen and go journal.

I see you are in Saskatchewan. We live in the Dallas, Texas area and have a couple of dear friends from Moose Jaw. Small planet, eh?

Critty said...

I always have the best intentions in journaling. I get a nice new journal I love. I get pens I love. And I start...and then nada. Sigh. I am going to write down these suggestions and work on this. You are so right. And that question..wowzers. I think I might need to get out the trusty pen and journal!

Jen said...

Can I tell you that I just love the Flanders reference? I'm not a huge fan of the Simpsons or anything, but that just gave me the giggles. I also want to thank you for your raw words from your journal - what bravery, what obedience. I'm excited to walk with you in the journey to complete surrender.

Donnetta said...

I seem to go through seasons in my journaling. Reading this has inspired me to get to it today.

Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement.

Nancy said...

If you only knew how many empty journals I have lying around! Thanks so much for stopping by my place today. Just found the Finding Heaven site today and have already met some lovely people. Not perfect like the Flanders--love it! Blessings to you.

Andrea said...

You, my friend are definitely a reflection of Jesus. I have watched you grow and blossom so much these past few years, I am almost jealous! :P And we're all like the messy room in our house - but at least we're not as bad as Kev's man cave. Now THAT is a disaster!

Laura said...

I posted yesterday about a Family Gratitude Journal -- I think journaling is good for everybody!

Amy Sullivan said...

I have the same feelings you described about keeping a journal...what if someone finds it? The idea of writing my deepest feelings down made me feel so vulnerable. Actually, it still does.

Good tips. Glad I stopped by!

Mandy said...

I can see how you feel about the vulnerability, but I'm a life-long journal-er. Occasionally I have burned them or trashed them, but for me it's the process of writing and getting the thoughts down that helps. I loved that book, BTW, such a fresh perspective! Thanks for the look into your honest words~ I can totally identify with looking like my laundry room sometimes (today?!). Have a great day!

Sarah Morales said...

This was wonderful! I used to journal all the time, and haven't done it much in the last few years. I recently started blogging to try and get back there =) It seems when I start journaling my mind is open and ready to receive what God has to say, it forces me to push the business aside and listen and focus on what He is saying. Thank you for your encouraging post!

A Mom After God's Own Heart said...

I just discovered you at Two-Handed Mommy and love your blog! Love that you are a fellow Canadian too! I was born in AB and grew up in MB, and lived in SK for a number of years and now back in AB! I plan to come back to your blog tons:) Be blessed!

Tammara said...

Just stopping by from 3 in 30. I love it... I am also a proud Canadian (but hail from Niagara Falls). I enjoyed your post because I also love to journal and have been proudly since 1987 (that's right i was 12), and i still have all my journals. It's so helpful to be able to look back and be reminded about how God found me, and how He has been faitfully with me through all of life's ups and downs. Thanks for the tips.

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