Random Journal Day #46 with Susie Klein

Faded edges

 

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….

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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.

  1. 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!

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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!

Visit Susie at her Personal Blog, Professional Blog, Facebook Page

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

 

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara
    Dec 05, 2014 @ 09:34:56

    Loved this post! I share so much with Susie: I have a basket beside my “reading” chair – which I rarely get to use! – with a prayer shawl draped across the back – which my hubby invariably removes when he sits there (usually when I am trying to finish writing a post!)…the basket holds my Bible, devotion books, magazines used at our women’s meetings at church, notebooks to jot down thoughts, prayer or scripture or blessing journals…and I also have a basket in the cabinet with empty journals waiting to be needed (as I finish the one I am currently using). I don’t set rules! Wouldn’t follow them if I did!! Looking forward to the 21 Days of Journaling in January – and joining for the Random Journal Days in 2015! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • enthusiasticallydawn
      Dec 05, 2014 @ 10:25:02

      We are kindreds here for sure, Barbara! I agree , the journal is a place to just let it all out…my journals are well loved and messy, and whatever wants to come out of my pen is allowed. I look forward to peeking in your journal someday…perhaps? No pressure! AND I am thrilled you will join in for the January endeavor. I will be doing that one along with the group and so look forward to it! Thanks for chiming in today!

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      • Barbara
        Dec 05, 2014 @ 19:35:11

        I actually DID use some of my journals for my 31 days of Dementia’s Demands…and will use more. I like the idea of just randomly picking a journal and sharing from it. Guess I’d better figure out what I’ll write for 21 days – is that how that works??

        Liked by 1 person

      • enthusiasticallydawn
        Dec 05, 2014 @ 22:40:34

        Barbara, the 21 Days of Journaling in January prompts are actually posted already they are the same as the 21 Days of Journaling in June! Check them out at the top tab and you will find a great variety within each post!

        Like

      • Barbara
        Dec 06, 2014 @ 09:43:19

        Well, Dawn…call it fate or call it just browsing through my notebook (where I TRY to keep it straight what I am posting on what days!!!) and I came across this entry from November when I was at a women’s retreat. I needed to hear these very words TODAY; so I am posting them for the Random Journal Day 1st Friday of December; since it is Saturday and I still have time to do this!!! Thanks for the idea…I feel I do need to go back to my old journal entries on occasion (I have even written along the side if something changed or happened that related to the entry I am reading)…GEE, I NEED to write; I keep leaving BOOKS for comments!!

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    • susieklein
      Dec 05, 2014 @ 21:44:32

      Barbara we seem to match up often don’t we? So glad we connected here!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • Barbara
        Dec 06, 2014 @ 10:27:29

        Yes, Susie, we do!!! I just posted my RJD for December 2014!! First ever, and I’m joining in January!!! Thanks for the ideas!!!

        Like

  2. susieklein
    Dec 05, 2014 @ 09:38:59

    Reblogged this on Susie Klein – Writer and commented:
    I am the Featured Writer here today!

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    Reply

  3. Trackback: Routines and Wonderings (and Random Journal Day) | Nourishment for the Soul
  4. kelrohlf
    Dec 05, 2014 @ 21:08:44

    Thank you Susie and Dawn for getting this community together…RJD is a highlight of the month for me! I am linking up unconventionally with my current blog post…but it seems rules are just general guidelines or to be thrown to the wind when it comes to journaling, right 🙂

    I never thought of using my journal to settle family arguments about when and where and details…hmmm…may need this strategy some day…I guess I’m the honored historian of our family so never had anyone question me too much before.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Carolyn
    Dec 05, 2014 @ 23:38:15

    Susie, I loved this. Of course. I love that you made rules, broke them and kept going. I love that you kept journals for your sons (I did for my chublets, too!) and kept going. I love that no matter what else has happened in your life, you just kept going with journals. And I love that your random journal dives became the genesis for all of us to dive into our own and discover from each other what God has done in our histories–this week or two decades ago. I’m thankful for you this Advent season, for your ministry in journal, in blog–in all the ways your words touch people (especially me, cuz I’m like that ;)).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Trackback: All of my Big is God (RJD December 2014) | Enthusiastically, Dawn

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