Welcome to Random Journal Day! This is the last RJD of 2014…the next time we gather it will be a new year! I so look forward to sharing through 2015 and all that God has for us here as we open our hearts, journals and minds in our journal-keeping fellowship!
This month’s Featured Journal Keeper is none other than our Co-Hostess with the mostess and originator of the original Random Journal Day! Susie and I connected in the first few months of me blogging and she became a trusted mentor, friend and confidante as I maneuvered the then new to me world of Christian Blogging. God uses anything and everything, including this wonderfully wild and wide world online to glorify Himself and weave His good and perfect will in the lives of His children. Well, I could go on, but let’s let our dear Recovering Church Lady share….
Hello Fellow Scribblers! I want to thank my friend Dawn for inviting me to be a Featured Random Journal Day writer! Dawn and I met through our blogs and our blogs are just extensions of our love for journaling, so I credit journal keeping for this wonderful friendship. I now count Dawn as one of my closest friends even though we have never even been in the same room together. But we will, I am sure of it!
Like most of you, my journaling journey began with a small white and gold diary given to me at age 12. I loved the tiny gold key and the idea that I could express my inner thoughts in complete privacy. Being the serious minded girl that I was, I set up some very strict rules for myself, written clearly and underlined multiple times on the inside cover
“1. Can never leave more than 2 pages undone at a time.
- You MUST catch up on the 3rd day.”
A quick skim through that diary reveals that I consistently broke my own rule, and I have since learned that with journal keeping, the fewer rules you set up, the more enjoyable it is. If you have to work at it, the pleasure is lost and the beauty of recording your thoughts just becomes a chore.
Those early school days of writing about who said what during lunch break and which boy smiled at me, are long gone, but the habit of recording my thoughts in one journal after another has never ended. I now have a great collection of meaningless drivel mixed in with some really lovely words and self-revelations.
As an expectant mother in my 20’s, I picked up a cute “Blank Book” covered in pretty fabric and became even more serious about capturing the moments of my life and the new life that we anticipated so passionately. I knew that these were important moments, and that someday I would be thankful for the words I managed to scribble down in-between doctor’s appointments and later during baby naptimes. I wrote in their special journals in addition to my own personal journals through the growing up years.
So now my two sons each have a journal filled with my thoughts, prayers and letters to them. But I must admit that though my firstborn’s journal was filled while he was a toddler, the journal for my second son still has empty pages at the end. He is now 28! Oh well!
Being a journal keeper has been a lifesaver for me over the years. Or at least a sanity saver. During the ultra busy years of raising a family and being a super involved pastor’s wife, my journal was my escape, my meditation moment. I had a special basket with my journal, Bible and pens always handy for the stolen chances to sit and spill my heart out on paper.
There is something very REAL about spelling out your worries, complaints or praises on a page in a journal. In written form, the worries and complaints appear so trivial and small. For some reason the whine-factor shows up very clearly when written out on a blank page. My attitude often took a strong turn upward in the middle of writing a journal entry. A page that began with grumbling and self-pity usually ended with thankfulness and repentance. In this way I tend to identify with the psalmist David in the Bible who sometimes began his writings with doubts and accusations and then ended with rejoicing and strong self-talk.
Journaling my prayers has also turned out to be another wonderful part of this scribbling habit. Clarity arrived as my words and inner doubts hit the page. Some of my journals have little margin notes that lead me to a different journal where the prayer was answered. It is a beautiful thing to have black and white proof of answers to my heart’s cry.
This is where the Random Journal Day has been such a fun and addicting thing. Years ago I used to randomly open an old journal just as a private little writing prompt for my blog Recovering Church Lady. Over and over again it made me laugh or cry with thankfulness as I saw parts of me that had changed and parts that had not. It often felt as if God Himself had guided my hand to a “random” journal page because it spoke so clearly to me in the current moment.
I created a small Random Journal Day picture to accompany those special posts and I am now so thankful that my blog friend Dawn decided to expand my small idea to the wonderful large group activity it is now!
There are many advantages to being a journal-keeper and this post could become much too long if I listed them all. Besides, all of you are already addicted, right? But there is one last perk to being a journal keeper that I don’t think others have mentioned yet.
A serious journal keeper always gets the LAST WORD in any family arguments about what happened on what day and who said what to whom. Yes, I will admit that I am not above grabbing an old journal and setting the record straight in hotly debated group discussions like this. After all, who can argue with your own written word right there in black and white? Please tell me I am not the only one who does this!
Now let’s get out Journal jumping going! Come link up. Please see guidelines if your first time. Thanks so much, and those who participate are invited to be Featured Journal Keeper! I also want to extend and invitation to all to join in for 21 Days of Journaling in January– starting January 5, 2015.
I will be late to the party…but see you soon with my link, and also as I visit each of you!
Let the journals open!
Linking with friends in the Blogosphere: Create with Joy