I journal. I’ve journaled for what has seemed forever. I’ve journaled about almost everything and anything since elementary school. Sometimes a few months would pass without anything, other times (like my exchange year in Germany), at least once a day.
After my first child I was in such a fog, thank God we have pictures for that first 10 months. After my daughter, I have become much more dedicated again.
I write, often, with an invisible reader in mind, but mostly with the thought of my kids and grandkids someday reading it. I’m not writing it to them, but writing for them. Someday they will know what my life was like from my point of view. Someday, someone will know what it was like to be a girl/youth/young woman/woman/old woman when I lived.e
At times, I try to put in references about what is going on in the world, but not regular enough. Generally, I try to mention what the kids, my husband and others are doing. I’ve now started to include notes from sermons and other talks. It is a historical record of sorts.
But mostly, it is just my spirit purging.
Sometimes I just itch to write. Itch to get whatever is in me, whatever I am processing, out of me.
Just the way my mind works.
It can turn things over and over to the point of rehashing so much old ground while incorporating new, that it is as if a huge knot of thoughts was preventing me from functioning.
So I get it out.
I feel better.
I see whatever it is in a different light.
To see something written out. Page after page, book after book of mostly black in – a measurement of life. A letting go. An accepting. A moving on.
For years I didn’t want to pick them up again. Once the words were written, the pages turned, the books stashed away, I just couldn’t look at them again. I couldn’t get rid of them either.
Now, in very small doses, I can return. I can return to days I don’t remember, but then they come back vividly. I can see how normal I was, even comical in that many of the sentences could have been written by anyone.
A child getting used to a new school. A teen trying to figure out the world and her place in it. A young adult on her own, seeing our good old government in all it’s glory. Marriage. Moving. Grad school. Kids.
I don’t know what I would have done without writing. Perhaps no one will ever read the words. But as a decent number of entries end, God has heard my prayers, my joys, and my sorrows.
Those words, pulling out the details of my life, setting them on an altar of sorts, have all been read by God’s loving eyes.
As the black ink marked the pages, God marked my life. As the pages turned, God stepped with me into a new day. As the books were set aside, God celebrated with me as I opened with joy and celebration a new empty book – a book just ready to receive what my life will hold.
I’m all for journaling. I make it my own. Do it my own way. And it has been healing.
Lord, help us to find ways to put our lives before you so that you may work in them and with them to an even greater extent. Amen.