I finished an entire journal! Back when I’d been journalling for just a month, I wrote a post about what I had decided to do (that can be found here) – and now I thought I’d use this moment to reflect on my experience of keeping it up.
5 things I’ve learned whilst keeping a journal
- I am prone to miss small joys – Writing a list of all the things I am thankful for at the end of the day, or at the start of the next, is really useful because it makes me actively recall and recognise the blessings I have received. I am often surprised by how much I forget within the day. For example, last week one of my neighbours knocked to say she had been making vegan pancakes and thought I might like one and I was all too happy – and yet I remember nearly forgetting to write it down at the end of the day because it had already slipped out of my mind.
- I am prone to lose focus – Each day is a precious. Just the act of writing down the date reminds me that actually time will keep on passing regardless of what I do, and prompts me to use the day in a way that reflects what the time I have been given is worth.
- I need holding to account – I am motivated by being able to complete things nicely. This is incredibly useful because knowing that if I do not set aside time to read the bible then I will have to leave a blank on certain pages (see this photo of October below), does give me a good incentive to make sure the time is set aside! Also, there have been some days where I’ve found it hard to be thankful because doing some reflection brings up a whole lot of things that I did badly. There are times where I’ve said cruel words, times where I’ve turned away, times where I haven’t been listening to someone properly, times when I’ve chosen what is selfish. In such a case, this reflection back over my day allows me to bring everything back to God, to confess and acknowledge my dependence on his grace and a hope for better.
- I gain from God’s word – Each day I write down a verse from what I’ve read in the Bible. I’ve found this really good in terms of making me think about what I want to take from the passage as I read in the morning. I try to take with me a thought or application from this that I can remind myself of during the day. The days when I manage this successfully are good days, because I am more aware and conscious of God’s power at work, both internally and in what I see happening around me.
- God is faithful – As I look back over the days and the months, I see more clearly how God has been working than I did at the time. Reading over the reviews of the different months I have been reminded of answers to prayer and different things that I have learned or been encouraged by (concrete details available on request if you ask me in conversation!). My journal is one of God at work.
I have a new journal to be excited about! Here is to looking forward to what the time ahead of me holds, and to the moment when lots of seemingly ordinary days as recorded on the pages suddenly reveal another story of God’s grace and faithfulness.