Why Keeping a Journal is Good For You

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Aside from crafting, journaling has been the best form of therapy for this crazy and sentimental Mom of two. I have kept my thoughts in pretty diaries since high school. Though the entries were not consistent, I do find time to take note of my milestones then: When my crush smiled at me or when I did great in school. If I was feeling too romantic, I’d compose poems and even songs for that special someone and they too will be carefully logged in.

Then came the year 2000, the year of the internet. Those dainty notebooks and scented pens were replaced with heavy, electronic paraphernalia. I too fell victim to this new thing and began online journaling. I think it was in the 90’s when my TV crush, “Dr. Doogie Howser” started journaling. Each episode ends would Doogie facing his Jurassic desktop computer and typing away his emotions… Doggie Howser was the first blogger I ever encountered.

As I became really serious with God, my faith in him and the many roles that I play each day, I needed an outlet using the old pen and paper. I missed holding a pen and writing on pristine pages so I began journaling again.

I am such a stationery addict since grade school that’s why I needed to start with the right journal/notebook. I was blessed to have received two great journals for two consecutive years as Christmas gifts…now you know what you’ll get me! Yes, I would love to have those leather-bound ones but they are just too expensive for me. Simple one are enough.

Next would be the pen. I prefer those that would give me smooth writing. The current pen I use is just a BIC Easy Glide pen which fits my criteria and is so cheap, less than 10 pesos. I love the color too 🙂  I have favorite pens too. There’s this silver Parker pen which was given to me by a friend many years ago. It’s my favorite because it fits my pen requirements, it has my name was engraved on it too and it was given by a dear friend. I have it refilled many times and use it often. I’ve become fond of Pilot Frixion Ball Erasable Pens too which was a gift, by the way! I just had my birthday this week and I am still accepting gifts haha! 

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Recently, I have been smitten by calligraphy, the age-old style of handwriting. I had the privilege of chatting with a young brush calligrapher recently too. Aside from her encouragement and tips, I would include amateurish quotes from books I read, Bible commentaries that have impacted or simple Bible in my daily note-taking. If I feel crafty that day, I will embellish pages with washi tapes too!

When my love affair with the pen and journal was rekindled, the entries were no longer about romantic love but it has evolved because the young diary keeper has grown up. Now, I take note of the lessons I have learned directly from God’s Word. I now consider my aha moments as milestones because the Bible speaks to me on a daily basis. And I want to remember them, look to them for encouragement and a little slap on the back when needed.

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How about you? Have you ever kept a diary when you were younger? Do you have the one with an actual lock and key? When we were younger the diary was likened to a best friend to whom we share our deep and darkest secrets. Today, journaling is a conversation between me and God. It can also be an awesome conversation between me, myself and I. It has not been just about what happened that day or what activities I was involved with but it is the evidence of what is inside my heart and soul. Journaling is the solution to finding the precise word to your unexpressed emotions.

Here are some reasons why you should start journaling:

It allows you to be introspective. You seek your innermost thoughts and record your emotions like joy, fear, anger, happiness etc. You can write in tears or in sheer excitement. You can write in anguish or in delight.

It show your imperfection. It highlights what you need help with and how you ask God to help you become better. Because you know you are imperfect, you don’t need to impress anyone. God is not impressed by our words because he sees the heart.

It entertains you. As you turn back the pages of your journal, you get to relive your funny or “teleserye” moments then you ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” It tells you if you have grown up or has not changed at all.

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You learn to be grateful. You appreciate the hurts and joys because they were all needed to make you the person you are now. Those glimpses of the past open your eyes to the reality that everything does happen for a reason. The “how” or “why” then is the “is” and “be” now.

You see the faithfulness of God. You cross out prayer items that the Lord has answered either by Yes, or No. For the things that remain unanswered or when God is telling you to wait, it pushes you to trust Him more and be patient while waiting.

You become a wordsmith. It hones your writing skills and through constant writing (practice) you get better at it. As you write more and more words each day, you begin to love words. You learn to use words wisely not only the ones we write or post on Facebook but more importantly the ones we utter to the people around us. Words can both heal or destroy a person. Choose and use your words wisely.

I am hoping that you were encouraged to start your own journaling journey. You can start with a few sentences each day or every other day. Start with anything that you learned from work, any quote that you read or heard from someone, any Bible verse that was sent to you or any aha moment you might have that day. Write it down. Do this for the next three weeks and it will become a habit. Happy journaling!