Monday, December 5, 2016

Journaling through 2 (plus) decades


My daughter asked us for a journal for Christmas and that small request unrevealed a world of memories for me. Growing up in Brazil in the 80s and 90s we had "diaries." It was that schedule book with 356 days where we wrote everything that happened during that day. Saturday and Sunday had the smallest slots, which was so unfair because so much life happened during those few days. 

One journaling habit I regret was subscribing to the trend of writing in code. You basically created a code so no one would understand what you wrote. Of course I always lost the code so those words are forever lost to my understanding. I bet it was something silly but anything coming from my teenager heart is fascinating. 

I tried to keep my journaling habit going during my college years but after my first year, I couldn't keep up. I had so many other writing assignments, I was working for the first time so there was no time for it. When I went to graduate school I regained that habit. 

Journaling went from reporting about my life to processing feelings. I enjoyed this transition, it really served me well. It was during that time also that I burned one of my journals. I just wanted to forget about a relationship in my life. I also took a photo of the journal burning, which was really cool. 

Falling in love and being found by Zeke also influenced my journaling. I processed my feelings through journaling during that season as well. Those journals are not fun to read, believe it or not. I often felt bad about whoever was going to read those words. I haven't read them in years, I might revisit them and see what I think. Just so you know, Zeke didn't do anything awful. I just didn't have a human being to share all those thoughts and emotions. The paper just happened to be the only sound board. That's never good. 

A few years ago I heard about scripture journals. I don't journal exclusively about scriptures but I incorporate them there. I often write the scriptures, write prayers of thanksgiving and go back and write how God answered those prayers. I also write down whatever I feel that God is teaching me through Scriptures. 

I want to journal more often in 2017. I want to write the things I can't and won't write here. I want to write from the heart with a future, blood related audience in mind. I want to be candid and I want it to feel like a letter to a future person looking to know me for who God created me to be. I want to write about how God lessons and real life collide. I want them to feel hopeful about whatever they go through. 

I don't know how you use journaling but mine has evolved over the years. I love journaling and I look forward to seeing how my daughter will use her own journaling. Yay for writing! 

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