Way back now, at a summer central on prayer, which I wrote about here actually -I got the idea to start a journal. Someone in my discussion group mentioned that every night when she was a student, before she went to sleep, she would write down a list of things that happened in her day that she was thankful for as a way of recording all God was doing in her life.
It struck me as a good idea, so I started doing as she did on September 1st, with the idea of seeing how it went. Now as we’ve just crossed over into October, and I’ve successfully managed a whole month, I thought I’d share what I’m doing 🙂
I pretty much made up my system for putting this journal together, but so far it seems to be working well – I have the title page for the current month which I update every few days, a page for each day where I write the things I am thankful to God and record a key verse and thoughts on the passage I read that morning, and a review page written at the end of the month.
This is a photo of September’s title page (complete with chipped nails aha). This is where I write the date, the chapter of the bible I read that day, and a little title for what the passage spoke to me about. You can see that it’s not the neatest, but I’ve decided that really isn’t the point!
Each day, I’m spending the time before bed writing out the good things from the day. It’s funny how much and how quickly you forget the small happiness-es that came your way. Like it’s only through thinking actively about it that I remembered that this morning, I was trying to open a packet of muesli in the canteen and it burst, landing 50% in my breakfast bowl but 50% all over my tray – but one of the staff made light of it and helped me clear it up, and this also gave me an opportunity to chat to him. It’s the little things, the nice things I hear about in conversation, the good news I hear, and the unexpected that are all finding their way onto these pages.
Alongside/after this, is the passage I read in the morning and a key verse from it, with a couple of thoughts from reading it. It’s working well actually, because now when I read in the morning I am consciously looking for a key verse to remember during the day and to write at the end of the day in my journal. It also means that the last thing I do in my day is reflect on God’s word.
And finally, today, because we’ve just switched into a new month (and because I wanted the month’s title page to be on the right-hand side haha), I put together a review page. I went through all the pages from the last month and listed all the best moments of the past month in the column to the left, and the ways I saw God working in the right hand column. It was a lovely way remind myself of the blessings and provision I’ve been witness to in the past month.
So, if you’re looking for a way to practice being more thankful, record the things you are being taught when you read scripture, or give yourself a quiet time at the end of each day – may I humbly suggest that this system of journalling is proving useful for me.
Here’s to another month of thankfulness and seeing God at work!