How Journaling Has Impacted My Faith

By November 30, 2012 General 14 Comments

Note from Kat: This is a guest post is from the lovely Amanda Holland. Also, don’t forget today is the last day before December. If you don’t have an Advent activity planned, check out Truth in the Tinsel.

I’ve kept a journal for years. In fact, there’s a big stack in my cedar chest of little hardcover, dollar-aisle notebooks with sunflowers and puppies on them, containing the deepest thoughts of my teenage self. On top of those are the little spiral notebooks that contain the ups and downs of my early adult years.

Okay, actually, they contain a lot of complaining…all of them. That’s why I stopped journaling several years ago – I started looking back on what I’d written, and I realized that the only time I wrote was when I needed to vent.

My journal had become a place to release all my negativity, and so I gave it up.

A New Perspective On Journaling

A few months ago, I read Savoring Living Water, and I decided it was time to try something new. I was ready to journal again, but with a new perspective. Instead of journaling just about my life, I wanted to journal about my faith. That’s how my “faith journaling” began.

I laid out a few ground rules for what would be recorded. It sounded simple enough… I had no idea what was ahead of me.

My Journaling Process

Faith journaling has changed my life. My walk with God is growing so much deeper than ever before. So what do I journal about?

1. My gratitude list
Taking Ann Voskamp’s challenge to record God’s gifts and graces has been life changing. Recording what I’m grateful for has made me look for things to thank God for, no matter how stressed I am or how bad my day may be.

2. Scriptures I’m memorizing
I’m doing the Hide His Word challenge at Do Not Depart. Every day, I write the verse or verses I’m learning that week in my journal. There is something about hand-writing the verses that helps them sink deeper into my soul.

I read a lot of books and a lot of blogs, and I find a lot of great quotes. The quotes I jot down challenge me, inspire me and pick me up when I’m discouraged.

4. Conversations With God
Most of all, my conversations with God have amazed me…it’s amazing how much He will speak to me, if I’ll just slow down enough to listen.

I can already look back and see how He has slowly revealed things to me, little by little, as I spend time with Him. He’s revealing big dreams – God-sized dreams – to me, and reawakening dreams that I let die long ago. Do I have this “listening to God” thing down? Good grief, no…but the closer I get to Him, the better I hear His voice. When He speaks to my heart, I record it in my journal.

I think the most exciting thing about my faith journal is being able to look back and see what God has done, even over the span of only a few months. In the Old Testament, God’s people built altars to commemorate and remember what God had done – my journal is my altar to remember. It’s the recording of God’s faithfulness and blessings in my life, and journaling is reminding me of just how blessed I really am.

Amanda Holland is a pastor’s wife, working mom of two boys and a Yorkie, and full-time college student. She loves cooking, crime shows, reading mysteries, coffee, and being a boy mom. You can find her sharing her heart about faith, working moms, and parenting on her blog, Grace In Our Moments and on Twitter @graceourmoments.

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