The Task: To start and keep a journal.
The Why: I've never been much of a journal keeper. I've tried, but I've always been so overwhelmed by everything I think my journal ought to be. I get hung up trying to write the right words in beautiful handwriting with nothing scratched out or misspelled. My perfectionism gets in the way.
But God is doing something big in us right now and I want to put it on paper. I am the type of person who likes to make lists and mind maps, I don't feel like I fully comprehend something until I've brought pen to paper. And part of this project is to be more intentional, more aware, more authentic. Regular journaling sits well with those goals.
I was moved by this post. It was inspiring and freeing to see a journal that was colourful, and creative. I longed to have a time of reflection and creative expression as part of my morning ritual.
The How: I'm using a notebook I already had and a great set of colourful pens. I keep notes on what I'm thinking, reading and praying. I make doodles and mind maps and lists. I tear pages out and scribble over mistakes and I'll probably glue stuff into it sometimes too.
I like to sit on the back porch in the morning with my journal and my bible and whatever book I'm currently reading. (Right now it's The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I totally recommend it!) I do this while the kids play in the backyard and the laundry dries on the line, and it's a part of our morning that we all look forward to.
The Verdict: Ann Voskamp describes her journal as "a place to place a day, so it won’t get lost in the dark." That resonates with me.
In the past, all my attempts at journaling have had a specific focus; a prayer journal, a journal for sermon notes or notes on a book I'm reading. But that feels so contrived now. The books I'm reading, the thoughts I'm thinking, the prayers I'm praying, they are all a piece of this journey I am on.
And I'm finding that taking some time daily to reflect on what is moving my heart and changing my mind is refreshing for this sometimes weary mama.
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!
I've been using those pens ever since I discovered them in college. They are my absolute FAVORITE and have been my journal pens ever since! I used to keep a journal pretty faithfully before we had kids. Now, it's only once in a rare while. I know it's just a short season of life, and eventually it'll be easier to make more time once the little ones aren't so little. Good luck on your journaling "journey"!ReplyDelete
Hi Carie! A good pen make all the difference, doesn't it? I love that these ones come in a little hard plastic case so I can keep them all together.Delete
Thanks so much for reading the blog. I hope you get a quiet moment for some journaling one day soon :)
Thanks! Me too... (And your blog is always one of the first I check. Love 'em both!)Delete
I recently added a couple rolls of cute washi tape to my journaling bag. Love it!ReplyDelete
Love those pens. And have them. I love journals. I'm just not that diligent lately at writing in them. But lately, my journals have become all-encompassing like yours. Lists, thoughts, prayers, everything in one place.ReplyDelete
I am LOVING your blog. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
This is so encouraging! I attempt to keep journaling in my little One Line A Day: A 5-Year Memory Book. There are some blank spaces, but in these precious years with young children, it's worth 5 minutes to write down the day's thoughts or events.ReplyDelete
I have a hard time keeping a journal also! I started a prayer journal in May that turned into something very similar to what you are describing above. I fell off that bandwagon several weeks ago so I need to get back on. Thanks for the motivation!ReplyDelete
would it be cheating to journal electronically?ReplyDelete
haha. I don't know. To me that seems to take the fun out of it! But if it works for you...Delete
I love, love your porch/backyard. I would love to wake up to this. Where do you live, if you don't mind?ReplyDelete
We live in rural Ontario, CanadaDelete
i was just going to post this!! We live in busy Phx AZ, and I would love this beautiful sight... bet that makes you want to pull out your journal !Delete
I've always tried to keep journals. I have so many from when I was a kid that are only partway filled because I seem to always get busy or distracted with doing other things. Usually I'm too tired by the time I collapse into my bed to stay up and write, and in the morning as soon as I wake up it is just a constant "go". I've been trying to go to bed a bit earlier and write then, but I'm just not in a season in my life where I have a routine, working various shifts at my job right now I am just thankful for sleep whenever I get the chance!ReplyDelete
I have been doing this for a year. Everytime I remember something I need to do, hear a quote I like, hear a song I love, need a phone number...have a thought, find a cool christmas gift...anything, I write it down in my notebook.ReplyDelete
It has been one of the best things I have ever done!
P.S. You haven't updated your other blog in a while, and it makes me sad. When do you exspect to update that again?
I had a couple post ideas for this week, and they both kinda flopped! haha. These things happen, I guess. I'm still planning to update that blog regularly, I just don't want to post if I don't have anything good to say, ya know?Delete
Oh, to be able to open the door and be OUTSIDE right away every morning! :) It seems so nice. (I'm an appartment dweller.)ReplyDelete
I love it when I make time to write in my journal. It really helps to sort things out, and to "save" nice thoughts and ideas.
I love that quote from Ann Voskamp. That makes so much sense. I always kept a journal, but this year life has been getting overwhelming. Thanks for the inspiration to start again.ReplyDelete
And PS - you're right that having great pens or a book you love makes the difference. I always tried to find a journal that I adored, even if I had to splurge on it, because it would make the journalling habit so much more enjoyable. Once I got practical and got a book I didn't love and I didn't love to journal in it. So I agree, it's about finding a routine/place/materials that inspire you, and then it is easier. I'm going to check out those pens.Delete
So what do you do with all your journals when they are full? How do you avoid them becoming clutter? I still have some from high school (more than 10 years ago) and they are piling up. Any good ideas?ReplyDelete
I guess the overly-simplified answer is that if they are clutter to you, get rid of them. If they aren't, keep them.Delete
For me, writing something down is more about the actual process of writing than the finished product. Writing stuff allows me to work through it, to internalize it, to remember it. So keeping the journals, for me, isn't important.
I love this idea of living with less. I have way too much clothes, I spend too much, and I definitely watch too much TV. The hard part will be talking my husband into some of these changes :) I wanted to tell you how both of your blogs have inspired me to share my voice. Visit my blog some time, www.themultifacetedlife.blogspot.com It is this working class girls journey through life, home, politics and more. Thank your for the inspiration.ReplyDelete
I love love love journals! My favorite part of journals is colored pens and highlighters and words crossed out and little bubbles around words. I'm glad you're enjoying journaling. I completely agree with what you said in response to "lostyourmarble" journaling to me is more about the process, and less about the results. I toss most of my journals when they're done. (Actually I usually use them to make paper, hehehe, but still)ReplyDelete
Ok, I have a question that is totally bizarre. How do you write your journal? Meaning, do you fill details in your writing- assuming that you will forget one day or that another family member will have it for posterity? For example, "I volunteer at BLAH BLAH" or "I currently work at BLAH BLAH". Or do you just skip over all that? I found myself putting in the details like that naturally and I thought...why? *I* know this stuff, it's basic details. Then I thought- maybe my son will see this one day? And then I just went into a tail spin of thought after that. Am I talking crazy and way overthinking? Probably and feel free to tell me that!!ReplyDelete
I think it depends what your goal is in your journaling. For me, I'm not even sure I'll keep the journals. It's just a way for me to work out my thoughts and prayers and worries and dreams on paper. So the details aren't necessary. I write what is on my heart. But it's okay if your goals for your journal are different, in which case you may want to keep a record of those details. My advice would be to spend some time deciding what you want your journal to be. :)Delete
This is so interesting! I've kept journals for most of my life. I think I started at the age of 8 (and I'm 31...) and I love it, even though this is an entirely new approach for me. So far, my journals have always been about whatever is on my mind. Sometimes, it's the little, common things of daily life; sometimes, it's been about deeper thoughts or reflections... But I've always written. Of course, my journals are nowhere near as beautiful as the one you seem to be keeping now. ^^UReplyDelete
In any case, I found this idea of writing down prayers so beautiful! I'm definitely gonna give it a try and blend it with my current journal style, to see how it turns out! :D
Thank you for this magnificent idea!!
I really like when you said, "taking some time daily to reflect on what is moving my heart and changing my mind is refreshing". These transitions, these shifts, and "aha" moments are such a great way to think of journaling. My arthritis gets too bad to write much with pens or markers so I enjoy blogging, Facebook, phone calls and sharing with women's groups. Some of the blogs were only for me, sort of an online journal, that allowed me to include colour and photos. Often in the process of writing we discover things about ourselves that we didn't realize until we read them . I would see my transitions in a way that isn't obvious from day to day. It is also an accountability. Are you willing to share your attitudes and behaviours with the rest of the world? If not, why not? It also doesn't have to be forever. My friend wrote six blog entries after her divorce. She said that she said what she needed to express and this was her way of saying good bye and letting go. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Deb GroomReplyDelete