Personal Journals

A while back a very good friend of mine sent me a link to a blog named Easy Peasy Grandma.  It’s this image that has been on my mind.  It’s a reminder to me how important it is to journal and write down my thoughts.

This is how I started writing.  With a journal.  I hated English in school … I preferred math actually.  English didn’t come naturally to me.  Memorizing grammar rules and spelling.  Oh gosh spelling was HORRIBLE!  My mom can tell you nightmares of me laying on the floor underneath the kitchen table crying on nights before spelling tests.  It wasn’t fun.

But journaling is totally different.  It’s not a school subject, it’s an experience.  Something happens when you sit down with paper and a pen and you write out your thoughts.  You begin to solve your own problems.  Understand feelings you felt but were never able to put to words.  Whatever you call that little voice in your head – the Holy Spirit, Jiminy Cricket, your conscience … it’s there and you have a direct line to it when you journal.

Believe it or not, I started journaling when I was in middle school.  For a while I started out my entries with “Dear Mr. Potato Head” (I had a Mr. Potato Head pillow I slept with).  I was so angry with my parents and I felt like they just didn’t understand what it was like to be a pre-teen.  So I started to write down all the stuff I wish my parents would say to me so I would remember when I was a parent.  I didn’t write in complete sentences.  I didn’t care about my spelling and most times I never went back to proof read what I wrote down.  I just let it flow out of me … in glitter and metallic pens of course!  (hello?!? I was 13!)

I remember when I was hurting so bad and my best friend (at the time) turned away from me.  I didn’t know where to go with all the “stuff” I was feeling.  So I wrote it all down … trying in some way to get it all out so I didn’t have to feel it anymore.

In college, I remember the exact day I started a new journal – it was purple with a green pattern on it.  My mom had given it to me as a gift and she had written a note on the inside cover.  I sat in the reflection lounge on campus and I wrote out everything that I wanted to change about my life.  How I wanted to feel, act and live.  Then I spent time writing out a list on how I was going to accomplish that.  I re-read the entry not too long ago.  Funny how I actually accomplished several items on my list.

When I go back and read previous entries, the same feelings come flooding back again.  It’s like I relive the journal entry all over again.  It’s as if the feelings really were released and sealed onto the page.  It’s like they are seeping back out like a scratch and sniff sticker.  But feeling them the second time isn’t as hard.  I already know how it ends.  I (most of the time) have seen the solution or have enough perspective to see how it was a good thing.  Like boyfriend break ups, not getting a job I had my eye on, changing my degree and so on.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of those experiences.

Journaling brings you closer to God.  So whether you write out your feelings for the world to read on a blog or you secretly jot down your heart’s desires in a secret book … write them down.  Do both.  Jot them down.  Type them out.  They bring you to a place that you would never be able to reach otherwise.

Love, Mel

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