Wednesday, May 1, 2013

dear diary.

first things first: so i think i sort of bombed yesterday's challenge when i definitely went over the 250 word limit of yesterday's challenge. oops. the word police came knocking (as well as flash backs to my college writing class). okay, not really (to the the word police) but i have a tendency to go overboard so let's see if i do a better job with sticking to the rules. *wink*

okay, so for day two, we have the following challenge, good people:

                            educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at.

to be completely honest, i felt a little blank when i was thinking about what exactly i am good at. i feel like i am more of a jack of all trades kind of girl. so i was thinking about it this morning while laying in bed - and then later, while on a run, asked Ryan what he thought i was really good at. he said, writing. you are a really good writer. you're also a really good wife. (thanks, babe.) so...since i am only going into month number five in marriage, i thought i'd go with this first suggestion.

but i am going to narrow it down a little bit, since writing itself is such a broad topic, and talk about keeping a journal. not a blog. not a twitter account. or even a myspace. i am talking about a good old-fashion diary.

because our world is changing so quickly and dramatically, it seems like just about anything handwritten or jotted down on paper is literally getting flushed down the toilet. don't get me wrong - i am a big fan of technology. i own a Kindle, for goodness sake. i love text messaging and all of those social networks. and duh, i love blogging. however, my heart aches a little bit at how bookstores and printed newspapers are becoming a thing of the past. and it makes me even sadder when even journaling is becoming a lost art.

i stumbled across quite a collection of my old journals when i was home in South Carolina and found another larger collection of more journals when I rummage through a pile of stuff from Chicago. every time i sit down and read through those old entries - some making me laugh out loud, others making me tear up as i am brought back to past heart aches, and while some make me flat out cringe - i realize how much of a gift i hold in my hands. these pages where i touched pen to paper, while in a coffee shop or a college dorm, are filled with pieces of my life - experiences, challenges, moments of weakness - that have shaped me to be the person that i am today. i have even come across entries where i cannot deny the hand of God orchestrating His plan in my life from one chapter of my life into the other - moments where i did not even recognize His hand working in my life at the time, but then only seeing it in hindsight as i read my journals.

and that is why i felt it so important to urge you, my friend, in keeping a handwritten journal - and i also believe that it is never too late to start:

find a journal, a notebook, or any blank book that you genuinely love. i think this is so important to journal writing. this journal will be your companion through a particular season of your life. if you hate lines on yours pages, pick out a journal without lines. if you prefer a fancy leather covering or one covered with hello kitty faces, pick that one. or if you are extra creative, decorate a notebook and make it your own.

write without fear. i know some people hate journal writing because they will worry someone will read over their shoulder - but a gift of keeping a journal is to be able to truly write your heart out. if you write with that fear, you won't be able to express who you are. your journal is not a blog. it's for you.

write out all emotions. write when you are happy. write when you are sad or upset. this gives you a full picture of who you are. i also think that it is very therapeutic to be able to express yourself in all range of emotions. i have been able to process a lot of thoughts or decisions but merely writing them out on paper.

write out your prayers. i personally like to write down prayer requests or letters to God because i love looking back to see how He answers them later on. it never ceases to amaze me when i go back to a journal entry to see how God was working in my life at that particular time when little did i know He was preparing me for something else later on down the road. this has happened time and time and again.

-if you are feel weird writing to yourself, write in letter form. some people think it's strange to just write to themselves and really don't know how to go beyond that - so i say, choose someone to write to, as if you were carrying a conversation with them.

last but not least, just write. allow yourself that and on that last page, you'll find more than just a book full of events and emotions. you'll find that your journal is your place, your haven with no judgement, a reflection of who you are... in the confusion, in the happiness of laugh, in the mess, and in the beauty of your life.

any other journal writers out there with tips and thoughts on personal journal writing?

much love.
{happy thursday, friend.}


  1. I'm having trouble coming up with something to write about for this topic as well. But I really don't want to skip a day on the 2nd day of the challenge!! ;]

  2. I love journalling! It really enriches my relationship with God and i'm with you - looking back on prayers and knowing they've been answered is really special :)

  3. I used to journal when I was younger but don't really do it anymore. Maybe I should start up again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! and are you sure that your post was not over 250 words?

  4. I haven't journaled in so very long, at home I have stacks of journals from high school and college. This was a good reminder to get back into it. Love this...

    And I'm struggling with this topic too... Who knows what I'll come up with!

  5. Oh my gosh! Yes, journaling has always been something that I just 'do'. I've had breaks, and been MIA, but I always come back to it.
    Lately I've been doing it on my iPod because I was tired of doing it in a journal, but now all I want to do is go back to the book...

    I've already planned out what my next post is going to be about, but for me it's still Wednesday... ;)


  6. You got me on to the May challenge. I'm a bit stumped with this one too. Hmmm...

  7. I have always loved to journal. I've been keeping a journal since I was about 13 though I did get rid of age 13-18. I'm not sure why but I regret that I got rid of those memories. Now I write when I want to but I do have another journal where I write a few lines a day no matter how small or boring it seems. It's a wonderful memory to have. x

  8. So glad you are doing this challenge :) I love writing but would never consider myself 'good' in fact I have kept a journal since I was 8 (wow) I wonder what to do with them all, it is sad that the written word is a rarity maybe our journals will end up in museums lol

  9. This is so inspiring, I too love to write but I have become so lazy because it is easier to type/blog and therefore I neglect my old journals. Thanks for the encouragement to get back to it!

  10. I love this. I, too, have soooo many journals (some from 2nd grade!!) that I've kept over the years, and yeah a lot of the stuff makes me cringe, but lots of it is also surprisingly moving or really deep and I am so happy I have them all. They're little pieces of history- MY history. :) I hope this post inspires others to put some pen to paper, too!


  11. These are all such great, encouraging suggestions. I have old journals from the time I was a little girl through college, but it's been many years since I've written one. Maybe it's time again!

  12. This was really great to read! I'm more of a computer-writer, but am in love with the idea of writing in journals. I was pretty successful with keeping one last summer to early this school year, and then it kind of just went downhill from there when I started school and things got busy... I definitely want to get back int the game though! Thanks for posting!

  13. I love this post! What a great topic to talk about! I am still figuring out what to post about for day 2. Journaling is something that is very dear to me, but it is definitely challenging. I think the biggest thing that has helped me is scheduling journaling. This sounds a little silly- but it's the same thing as fitting blogging into your schedule. I'm really bad at journaling so I've gotten into the habit of doing it on Sunday nights. This is just the time/day that works best for my schedule. I also love how you mentioned praying through your journal. I do that all the time, and it is a really great thing.

  14. Awww I love this. I kept a journal pretty much straight from 8th grade to college so I definitely understand the feelings and emotions of going back through them! So fun. Thanks for stopping by today and I definitely will be following along with ya this month!

  15. LOVE this. I've just gotten back into journaling and I see now how much I MISSED it. Blogging is one thing but journaling is such a nice way to get it ALL OUT.

  16. You ARE a good writer. I totally agree with Ryan on that one :).

  17. I love journaling. All my best blog posts came directly from my journals.

  18. These are awesome ideas. I never thought of any of these :) thanks for the tips

  19. I love journaling offline sometimes because I can really pour my soul out. Journaling online can be good because we create beautiful concersation


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