There is no right or wrong way to journal. Isn't that freeing? Journaling is simply a tool:
- for processing your thoughts and feelings
- for providing a means of release for pent up emotions
- for asking and wrestling with questions you have
- for recording meaningful dates, events, quotes, notes, dreams, conversations, memories
- and anything else you wish to remember.
Your journal can be kept in a bound book made especially for journaling, in a simple spiral notebook (my favorite), or in a loose leaf notebook. Recording beginning and ending dates on the cover is invaluable as your journals begin to multiply. My journal of choice these days is my computer, but I still have a small notebook which I carry for moments when I'm away from my desk.
Be honest in your writing. God already knows what is in your heart - journaling is for you to see what is there. You will be surprised as you put pen to paper what will spill out of your heart and onto the blank pages before you. Keep your journal where it is safe from prying eyes. It's confidential, meant only for you. Record your deepest thoughts and hardest questions.
My favorite place to journal is anywhere that I am comfortable and alone.
Inspirational music turns my thoughts toward heaven.
You may wish to begin your journaling by using your favorite scripture as a springboard for your written musings:
Example: Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
Entry: Wait? Be of good courage? But, Lord, I'm so impatient and I'm scared to death. I can't . . . I just can't. Not on my own anyway. Will you help me, God? Change my can't into a can do. If you help me Lord, I will have the strength to face whatever today holds for me. Patiently. With courage. I love you, Lord! - Ronda
- When writing about a particular incident consider exploring some of the following questions:
"How did I feel about that?"
"How am I feeling right now?"
"What's going on inside of me?"
"How do I feel deep down about that?"
Right now I am feeling ____________________ (fill in the blank with a word from the list of Feeling Words).
I am experiencing _____________ (fill in the blank with a word from the list of Feeling Words) in the following way ____________ (mentally? physically? emotionally? spiritually?)
You may find your creative juices beginning to flow by perusing Thoughts to Ponder in the "Sacred Moments" section of this site. Choose a quote, then journal your insights regarding what it offers.
Your journal is yours to do with as you please. In mine I've written prayers to God, unsent letters that my heart needed to write, poems, daily happenings, special words spoken to me, quotes from books, meaningful scriptures. Your journal is as unique as you. It's your journal. Use it as a means of getting in touch with the real you. You may be surprised at what you write. Allow God to apply a soothing balm of His love to your heart as you being to press toward healing and wholeness.
by Ronda Knuth
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For Journaling Tips see: Garden of the Heart Ministries ; Christian Survivors Journaling Workshop
Journals you may wish to purchase: It's Not About Me Journal (Companion to "It's Not About Me"); "Journaling Your December Grief" by Harold Ivan Smith