Spiritual journaling is the pdf most people request from this blog. This has been true throughout the years (I can’t believe I have been blogging since 2009!) and true this year too. Click below if you what to see the number one request.
Click Here to Get the Tip Sheet
I love talking with God in my journal. At home. While traveling. On retreat. My journal companions me on all types of journeys, especially through this adventure called 2020. Expressing my prayers, emotions, hurts, dreams and whatever else is on my heart to God through the spiritual practice of writing in a journal brings me clarity and peace. I hear God’s voice and discern his wisdom.
Writing becomes my camera capturing a moment in time in the net of my pen.
I began thinking about this word – capturing – this past week and discovered three treasures emerging during 2020 in my journal.
Spiritual journaling captures history.
I have literally copy, printed then inserted into my journal internet posts and memes that grabbed a moment during Covid. Events like school and church being cancelled, the newness of tape on store floors making safe distancing, weddings postponed, entire sport seasons upended, shortages of masks and toilet paper, empty shelves, the creation of family/friends bubbles, travel plans stopped, jobs lost, new jobs created, the look of fear and exhaustion in first responders eyes… the list is endless. I wrote and continue to add my own observations of this point in history. The good. The bad. The real.
In my imagination, someplace in the future, a grandchild, maybe a great-grandchild will open my journal and wonder how life was during the Great Pandemic of 2020. He/she will get a glimpse of history in my journal, what this experience was like and how we survived, thrived and grew through difficult times.
I guess I also hope that rereading these entries will also give me strength and hope as we step into the future and new adventures ahead.
Spiritual journaling captures the highs and lows.
As an Enneagram 3, I suppressed my emotions and buried them deeply within my soul. I find it quite difficult to express feelings. This year articulating what I am experiencing exploded in my writing. These is a new honesty in saying how I am doing at that moment, both the good days and the bad.
Anguish. Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Inadequacy. Hope. Energy. God’s leading. Numbness. Uncertainty. Sadness. Curious. Courageous, Creative. Thankful.
I have learned to release all these emotions from my head and heart and let them free to roam on the paper before me. There I see them, name them, and choose to recognize their presence, not give them power.
Spiritual journaling captures hope and discernment even in dark uncertainty.
Spiritual journaling is a form of deep listening. The noise of Covid and politics and explosions of protests and wildfires roars in the ears of our hearts.
I write, then write some more and slowly my soul enters the stillness and silence. I rest in the quiet voice of God and listen to the whispers within my own true self.
I hear clarity. I close my journal with reassurance. I don’t know all the answers, but I sense the right next step to take.
In writing out my prayers I hear “Jeanie, I’ve got it.” “Stay the course.” “What have I called you to do? Do the work I have given you.”
Spiritual journaling has been an essential practice for my spiritual growth throughout the years. Writing in 2020 revealed surprising and life-giving gifts.
How has writing in a journal helped you in 2020? What new gifts have you discovered?
Elizabeth Herbert Cottrell says
I have learned so much from you about spiritual journaling and have found your tip sheet to be so helpful. I’ve been keeping a journal for years, but it has taken on a whole new dimension since March as we move through truly historic times. The silver lining of “The Great Pause” has been, for me, the time to capture that history and process it through the lens of my faith and understanding of God’s presence in it all. Spiritual journaling has been a truly meaningful tool.
Jean Wise says
I feel like we are journeying together, Elizabeth, You are a wonderful companion. I am finding during this time journaling grounds me and contemplative prayer brings me peace. Good practices for any time.
Nancy Ruegg says
I am not the faithful journal-keeper that you are, Jean, but I often wonder who might read what HAS been recorded and what parts will prove helpful. Sometimes the act of writing uncovers insights that would have remained hidden without pen and paper. There’s something about finding the words to express nebulous thoughts that brings to light new discoveries. And when those discoveries seem to come from God Himself, well, the heart nearly explodes with wonder and gratitude!
Jean Wise says
I write in my journal about twice a month; more when I am on retreat so definitely not daily like some people. I love reading my great aunts journal – over 60 years of them – so actually I hope some future relative value my writing. Neat way to leave a legacy. You are so right about finding the words – its really helps to find that clairty and insight
I think it is wonderful how you have inserted captured moments of this time into your journal for the future generations. I’ve been dabbling in mixed media art journaling lately, and know it is also time to pick up my pen to start the habit of daily journal writing. After all, I also published two journals for others!
Jean Wise says
I hope someone will value them. I have even printed out and pasted in an occasional blog post . I admire the artistry you wrote about. I traveled with a friend who instead of writing in her journal, sketched what we were seeing. That was so neat and what a keepsake. Thanks for stopping by Lynn
Pat Forsman says
Journaling is a great way to get inside…out….ive kept journals for many years…spillin my heart out to God…entries are fewer now…but now have found an app called..thought diary…its very good and is in conjunction with cognitive behavior therapy…..just have it on my tablet..can be set for reminders..ie…abt 3x a day..says..”take a moment…how are you doing?”….just seeing that on the messages …especially now…feels like someone is caring…..humanely speaking…so very comforting that our Dear Lord is only a breath away when we dont have the energy to pick up the pen or click on the miniscule keyboard…
Thank you jean….you are very comforting…..
Jean Wise says
Love how you express this, Pat – a way to get inside out. I love it! Interesting app. I will look into it, Yes God is so comforting and I find his presence in my journaling. Blessings
Martha Jane Orlando says
I’d love to claim that I’ve been keeping a journal during these days, but I haven’t, Jean. I know, shame on me! But I do find solace and comfort in simply writing my blog, trying to encourage others during this time when there is so much discouragement everywhere we turn. I’m so glad this method works for you in growing closer to our Lord.
Nancy Ruegg says
I agree, Martha: there is great satisfaction in “trying to encourage others during this time when there is so much discouragement everywhere.” Ruth Graham included this anonymous quote in one of her books: “More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason.” I like being part of the team against failure!
Jean Wise says
no shame, Martha. Not every practice is for every person nor at every season of life, This is one that gives me life though. Yes I agree writing the blog grounds me too I have printed out some posts and pasted in my journal. Blessings!!