This morning I finished another God Journal. This one spans January 13, 2014 – October 17, 2014. I began the spiritual practice of a God Journal over a decade ago. This has been one of the biggest catalyst for spiritual growth in my relationship with God.
4 Reasons Why You Should Keep a God Journal
1. A God Journal keeps you focused.
I am easily distracted when I do my God Time in the morning. I can be in the middle of prayer and suddenly find myself thinking about the ant problem in our kitchen, which leads me to thinking about the counter tops, which leads me to thinking about how they need to be updated, which leads me to thinking about going to Lowe’s, which leads me to thinking about their garden center, which leads me to thinking about how they water all those plants, which leads me to thinking about the irritating kink in the hose in our backyard. Writing keeps me focused.
2. A God Journal is a safe place to vent.
My journal is filled with highs/lows, triumphs/failures, faith/doubt, hope/despair. I think if people read my journal they would wonder about my sanity at times. I’ve looked back at my journals and wondered about my sanity at times. My God Journal offers me the opportunity to vent to God; the one who hears my prayers and answers.
3. A God Journal is not just for you.
I purposely journal knowing my kids, grandkids, and their kids will one day read them. What would you pay to sit down with your grandparent or great-grandparent or great-great grandparent and hear the raw truth of their journey? I journal with the hope that one day these pages will encourage and build the faith of the generations yet to come long after I am gone.
4. A God Journal is a journey.
I often go back and reread entries from the past years. I have a horrible memory, but my God Journal captures the moments for me. As I reread the struggles and victories I am reminded of how far God has brought me and how faithful he has been.
How to Start a God Journal
I’m not a writer, so a God Journal is a discipline. For those of you who struggle writing try these tips and see if they work for you.
1. Journal one page a day.
I learned this from Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek in Chicago. I have found that one page doesn’t overwhelm me, yet it’s enough space to record my prayers and thoughts.
2. Journal five days a week.
I try to journal daily, but it’s tough. So, my goal is to hit five out of seven days.
3. Journal first thing in the morning.
I know, you’re not a morning person. It’s not about getting up earlier, but about going to bed earlier. Try it for 30 days. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier and get up 15 minutes earlier. If you wait until later in the day to journal you most likely will not do it.
4. Journal God moments
I use my journal to record God moments. Specific moments of breakthroughs and failures. They are all there. Whenever something big happens I make sure it gets recorded. Whenever something devastating happens I make sure it gets recorded. You will only regret the moments you don’t record.
5. Journal more than just your prayers.
Some days I write out my prayers and other days I write out a Scripture. Some days I record my thoughts and some days I draw a picture (my artistic ability is a big reason I am thankful my journal is private). It doesn’t matter what you write. Just use it as a way of communicating your thoughts with God.
One final thought. You don’t have to get a Moleskin, bonded leather, or a journal with a Scripture with all those swooshes all over it. Most of my God Journals are not that fancy. Just get something you can write in and start writing and watch what God does in your life.