Many are the plans in a man’s heart , but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
So here it is a new year and you are adding more and more to that list of things you want to accomplish than you ever intended. Everywhere you turn there is a new suggestion and they all sound good, helpful and deep inside you do want to improve in the area mentioned. Well before you take on one more thing, might I suggest the one thing that might help you along all of the paths you have chosen? Journal the journey. It’s not as hard as you think and can help you see things you might not be able to see otherwise. Here’s why.
We don’t always see clearly when we are in the middle of things. But when we step back, slow down to pause and reflect on our lives, or even one area of our lives, we begin to gain information which can be crucial to our understanding our motives, desires, and patterns of thinking and behavior.
There is no better way to gain clarity than to journal your thoughts and reflections along the journey. Journaling is also a great way to capture details and lessons you might otherwise forget. Memories, ideas, roads less traveled or not traveled at all, reveal to us over time who we are, beneath the surface.
Scripture supports the fact that we should examine our ways, consider our choices and motives in light of what has been revealed to us.
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! (Haggai 1:5)
We are forgetful. It doesn’t take but one walk through the Old Testament with the Israelites to see that we like them need a lot of reminding. A journal is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness over time when we’re in the middle of yet another trial and seeing only stormy seas and crashing waves on every side.
There are many kinds of journals one can keep, and it does not have to be anything more than whatever you need at the time. My journal has held scraps of papers, beloved quotes and scripture, conversations, thoughts, insights, observations, doodles…and yes, many goals and plans. It has absorbed tears, coffee stains, and angry scribbles.
When I was a competitive athlete my journal showed it, with detailed workouts, training regimes, and every morsel I ate! When I was a new mom, my baby girl’s first words, silly moments and new mamma frustrations were recorded, often with an entry that ended mid-sentence because I had fallen asleep.
Your journal can be focused, or frenzied, peaceful, or busy. It can serve as a filter, a recorder of daily events, or a list of your blessings. It can be daily, weekly or monthly!
The only requirement is to stop, look (up) and listen! To your own voice. To His voice within you. Psalm 46:10 encourages us:
Be still and know that I am God…
The neatest thing I have found about keeping a journal is that the beauty of God’s transforming grace can be revealed in those pages over time if you let them reflect you. Just as you are. He never leaves us as He finds us! That is the beauty of it!
Are you ready to journal your journey?