I have a confession to make. (By the way, it seems like I confess to you a lot, doesn’t it? When I started this blog I had no idea there was so much I needed to get off my chest.) Anyway, here it goes: I’m a writer who doesn’t keep a real, live, after-I-die-they’ll-publish-it journal. Nope, haven’t done that since I was a freshman in college. And I hope no one ever finds that one. I may burn it. But that’s another story.
My journaling consists of three things: me, my trusty laptop, and bullet points. Did you just cringe? Stay with me, it’s going to get better. I began this type of journaling a little over two years ago. Before then I had tried to keep a journal but somehow it never became consistent and included a lot of whining.
One day it seemed as if God put the idea in my heart to start keeping a “good things” journal. This journal would include little blessings, encouraging words people shared with me, and other ways He showed His love in my life every day.
So I did it. At first it felt awkward. I felt prideful and a bit cheesy. But over time it started to rock my world because it made me realize how much I dwell on the negative. I would sit down at my keyboard and think, “What a rough day!” Then by the end of the journaling, I would realize four or five really amazing things happened.
I often tell my counseling clients that our minds are like cars. If you let go of the steering wheel in your car, it will naturally drift in one way or another. We’re like that too. I think we all have a natural tendency to drift either toward being negative or positive.
I, my friends, tend to drift toward the negative. Because of that it’s really important for me to do things, like my journal, that are the equivalent of me taking back the wheel. Well, it’s really Jesus taking the wheel. (And we all know that song. Sing it with me now.)
Here’s my 7-step guide to doing your very own “good things” journal:
1) Choose a time to journal each day. I do mine right before bed. You only need five to ten minutes. If you miss a day (or three), give yourself grace.
2) Sit down in a quiet place with your journal or laptop. I prefer a laptop but I do still have zillions of paper journals just because they make me happy.
3) Ask God to help you see through His eyes. Then start mentally digging through your day from beginning to end like a treasure hunter.
4) When something comes to mind, write one or two sentences about it in your journal. For example, “I had lunch with my dear friend and we laughed so hard we almost fell out of our chairs, Thank you, God, for the gift of friendship.”
5) If someone has spoken or written encouraging words to you that day, record those in your journal too.
6) Include short prayers (see #4) expressing gratitude.
7) Reread often, especially on hard days.
That’s it, dear readers. I did mine the first year with a bit of reluctance. But when I sat down and reread it on January 1st of the following year, I was really hooked. I had forgotten about 80% of the blessings in my life and I knew I’d probably do it again unless I kept going. You probably are more spiritual than I am and would never do such a thing.
AND I believe in this whole idea so much that to help you get started I’m doing a giveaway. Yeah, for giveaways! This is a Sassy & Sophisticated journal I helped create and I love it…
The cover says, “She lives. She loves. She laughs.” Each page inside includes a Scripture.
To be entered, please leave a comment sharing one blessing in your life today. Three (yes, three!) winners will be announced on Friday and our friend the random number generator will decide which comments get the journal. If you’re a subscriber, please remember to go to the site and post your comment rather than replying to the e-mail.
All of you are going in my good things journal today because getting to know you through this blog has been wonderful. I love hearing your hearts, learning from you, and laughing with you too.