Each Sunday in Lent, I’m going to suggest a spiritual practice you might want to include in your life. So far, we have looked at the Daily Examen, Prayer Partners, and practicing Gratitude. Today we’re going to look at Journaling.

KEEPING A JOURNAL

Journaling is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings. Some people journal on a regular basis, others from time to time, still others for a ‘season’ in their lives and some not at all.

Have you ever kept a diary or a journal? I used to think that journaling was basically keeping a diary, but that’s not the case. A diary is usually kept on a daily basis; whereas a journal can be picked up from time to time or when inspiration hits. A diary is a record of personal and daily experiences whereas journaling is more personal. It contains feelings, emotions, problems, reflections and can be used to evaluate one’s life.

I remember journaling on a regular basis during a particularly difficult time in my life. While my loved ones knew about the situation, I didn’t want to burden them or have our conversations constantly focused on this one aspect in my life. I found that journaling helped me express my feeling and thoughts in a way that helped me to focus my prayers. I discovered biblical verses that spoke to me in a new way because of what I was going through and added them to my journal. There were times when my journaling was very much pouring out my heart to God. I didn’t know it at the time, but journaling became a very important spiritual practice for me during those years and helped in my healing process.

Your journal can be free form, meaning you are writing down your thoughts or drawing images, or writing poems, phrases, lists, feelings. Or, you might want to journal with a specific theme in mind. For example, if you were keeping a journal this Lent, you might want to write down your personal reflections from the daily devotions or your own thoughts about loving with your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Linda Ashfield, minister at Knox Waterloo