I originally wrote this post for Joanny White. Click here to read the original post.
Journaling has been something that I’ve done for a long time. Whether I completely realized what I was doing or why, when I was younger, I’m not completely sure. However, I do know that keeping a somewhat-consistent journal has benefited me immensely as I’ve grown – both physically and spiritually.
So without further adieu, I give you five reasons why I journal.
1) Journaling helps me express myself best.
As an introvert, I think so very much – there’s proof of that on my blog – but when I’m just chatting, I find it difficult to properly say what I’m thinking.
When I’m writing and journaling, I can bring my complex thoughts onto paper or screen at my own pace and share my heart in the way that works best for me.
2) Journaling allows me to see my feelings on paper in order to properly deal with them.
We all have feelings. Some are good for us, and some are not. When I feel myself bombarded with negative feelings, such as stress, depression, or unjust anger, I can identify what they are, where they’re coming from, and how I can work through them.
As a human that doesn’t like to verbally admit to her imperfections, I can write things I know are for my eyes only, come to terms with anything in need of dealing with, and actually go through with working through issues that arise.
3) Journaling shows me where I am in my life, so that when I’m a few years older, I can see how much I’ve grown.
I started journaling when I was eight, and wow, have I grown since then. It’s a little embarrassing to me to see what I wrote and how insignificant things were “note-worthy” to me, but it’s so cool to step into the shoes of my eight-, nine-, and ten-year old selves and remember what it felt like to live then.
As I’ve gotten older, my journal entries have changed a lot, as have I. For the entire month of November of 2015, I wrote in my journal every night, so it’ll be interesting to look back on that in a few years.
And when my future grandkids ask me, “What was it like to be a teenager in the olden days?” I can pull out my journals and tell so many stories – for my benefit just as much as theirs.
4) I can write as many letters as I want: letters to my future self, letters to my past self, letters to my future husband, letters to things I need to let go of.
Sometimes I just want to say something to someone I can’t mail a physical letter to.
There are some things I really wish my twelve-year-old self knew, but because I can’t get that time back, I can spend time now learning from experiences I had. Lessons learned. Lessons I want to teach my future kids. Things I can’t afford to forget.
Writing letters to my younger self helps me, and it helps me to help others younger than me that ask for advice.
And sometimes, writing letters to things and people that haven’t happened yet help me to get things off my chest. Do I know who I’m going to marry? Nope. Not a clue. Right now, while I’m still in the dark about it, I can write letters – letters that say I’m praying for him, things I myself am learning, and about how I view things now – before he comes into the picture.
These examples, among others, are a great reason to journal – because not all letters that need to be written can actually be sent.
5) Journaling helps me to grow spiritually; when I write about my faith, my struggles, and God’s blessings, I remind myself of the presence of God in my life, how He works in the midst of difficulty, and how I’ve learned to trust Him.
As I said, I started journaling at age eight. It’s so cool to look back on these past eight years and see how I viewed God, myself, and others. Recently, I found a notebook in which I wrote questions about spiritual matters, and my answers to those questions as I learned them.
It’s amazing to me to look back at how simple those questions seem now, and how baffling they were to me at the time! Spiritual maturity is a process – and looking back at old scrawlings remind me of that. Everyone grows at different speeds and times, and it’s so important that we take the time to spiritually build into other people.
It fascinates to look back on my younger years and see the things I’ve gone through, and see how God worked in my life then. To see how I felt the peace and presence of God at every stage of my life. To see how He brought me through hardships.
And if journaling allows me to strengthen my own faith, then I’m really going for it!
29 Replies to “Why I Journal”
“…because not all letters that need to be written can actually be sent.”
YES. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know anyone else realized that… sometimes I write things out just for myself, but they’re about someone else, so it works out best if I write it to them. I do better writing when it’s to communicate, not just to myself. 😛
Love these other reasons, too, especially seeing God at work in life. 🙂
Oh yay, it’s so nice to hear that you’re so like me (like it was ever a surprise, haha). Yes, definitely!
I love to find ways that allow me to see God more clearly in my life, and as we both have gotten to know, journaling is one way that it can work. Thanks for commenting, sweet friend. ❤
“Like it was ever a surprise.” SO TRUE. Well. Maybe it was the first few times…
You’re awesome, Amanda. xD
I know, because you are too. 😉
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Love this! I’ve been journaling consistently for about ten years. I love being able to look back and see how God guided me through my pre-teen and teen years. They’re a great source for story ideas, too. It does help strengthen faith as well, especially when you use it as a prayer journal. It’s therapeutic — both mentally and spiritually. =)
Thank you so much, Tessa! You’re so right about it being therapeutic — something about the smoothness of the pen to paper, and the way that thoughts flow. Thank you for sharing your own story!
Really great post Amanda! I love reason #4. I should really start journaling. Two or three times I have started, but it only lasted two weeks at max. 😉 But I really want to! 🙂 Thanks for writing! ❤
P.S. It has been a while since I have read any of your posts, I need to catch up! 🙂
Thank you, Sarah Grace! I need to keep up with it myself, haha. <333
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Awesome post, Amanda! I actually just started back up with my journal after a LONG break(basically a whole year). I used to journal all the time, but I just totally forgot and just stopped at one point. The other day I just found my old journals and went reading through a couple and thought: You know, I was growing a lot more spiritually back then…
And I decided to continue writing in my journal. 🙂 Thanks, this was an great post! Such a blessing. 🙂
Thank you, Jazzy! That’s super cool. Cheering you on, and good for you! Thanks for sharing this with me. 🙂
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Wow, this really wants to make me journal! Very good points! Inspiring.
Thank you, Lissa! I appreciate it. 🙂
Usually, I’m horrible at the whole journaling thing…I frankly don’t have the endurance or patience to sit down and make myself WRITE about how my day went, or things that are laying heavy on my heart, or rants about things I despise.
But…as I got older, I think around the age of twelve…or around there, I finally realized: You know, I may want my future children or husband to be able to read about me. Who knows, maybe my story will make history! (I know, that was a bit far fetched…but I digress. 😉 So much of what we know about history is from people writing about their lives, whether in journal entries, or letters to people they loved. Should we stop now just because it takes time and effort? No. Absolutely not.
You have inspired me to keep up my journaling, whether I feel like it any given day or not. 😉
I totally get that, Rebekah. I go through times of “THIS JOURNALING THING IS TAKING ME WAY TOO LONG” and “oh wow this is so amazing, I should do this every day.” xD Yes, it’ll be so cool to show our future families! I’m excited about that part.
Thanks for commenting, friend, and I’m so glad it could inspire you! 😀
Hahahaha. Half my journal is like boy troubles, so if I shared it with my future hubby (who perhaps will not be the boy I was struggling with) it would be awkward XD
Ha. I’ve tried countless times to start journaling and keep journaling. Usually I’ll journal every night straight for almost two weeks, then slack off because my life is so boring and I only ever journaled about the same thing. And now, whenever I need to get something off my chest that I edon’t feel comfortable talking about with someone, or when something major happens, or perhaps just a random thought I want to write down, I journal. I have this nice, pretty, striped journal that has HUGE pages (and lots), so I can write to my heart’s content without worrying about space. I think the first time I wrote an entry was between ages 6 and 8. It’s fun to look at my thoughts from back then, and see how I’ve changed–and how I haven’t. The last time I wrote was maybe a month and a half ago.
But yeah, I enjoy journaling, and I feel itd be more interesting if I wasn’t homeschooled ;P
ALSO, I just realized I have not talked to you in FOR-E-VER!! How are you?
I feel you. xD Most of my journaling is more emotions than events, though there is a good mix. It’s all good. 🙂 Haha, yeah, it is cool to look back on how things are now and have been in the past.
Yes, I haven’t talked to you in the longest time. I am doing really well, thank you! How about you?
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🙂 I am doing okay, I guess. I started school Monday 😦 Mostly it’s just this paper i have to write that’s got me stressing. It’s the first argumentative paper i’ve ever written, and I’m not sure how i’ll do… : /
Aw, man! Well, I will be praying; I know how difficult that is! All you can do is your best, so remember that, girl. 😉
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Aww, thanks, Mandy :’D
Wonderful post, Amanda! Journaling is something I’ve wanted to get into, but I can’t seem to find the time or motivation to do so. Soon, after the moving-and-school-starting hubbub settles down a bit, I think I’m going to try to get into a journaling habbit. 🙂 I’m excited!
(also, I have far too many journals that are absolutely gorgeous, and I just don’t want to mess them up. xD)
I understand that, Emily! It’s totally something that you need to find a reason to do on your own for, otherwise it’s much more difficult to make happen. But good for you!
(Haha, I TOTALLY feel you there!)
I started journaling last January and I’ve discovered that it’s a really good way to see the ways that I’m learning in life 🙂 Like you mentioned, it’s such a great reminder of God’s work in our lives to go back and see the ways we’ve changed! Btw, I noticed that you have an account on Revive! You should come on there and chat sometime 😉
That’s awesome! So great to hear that you’re enjoying it as well. 🙂
Yes, I do! Haha, I haven’t logged on in forever…so much to do, so little time. Maybe soon!
Ah great post. I’m certainly thinking of starting to journal after I’ve read this!
Oh, that’s great to hear!
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