Time for Mom: Journal

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A woman sitting at a table with a pad and pen.

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Women (and men) have kept diaries or journals for centuries. They are a wonderful way to keep a record of your life and those around you. We can learn a lot about the past by reading old journals.

But another great result of journaling is that it can help you focus, help you learn about yourself. I always think better on paper. It helps me process things. And since I love to write, journaling has been a helpful tool for me as a wife and mother. I do some of my best praying and problem solving in my journal.

Rarely do I reread my journal entries. I don’t like to be reminded of how I used to think or of things that have made me angry, because I hope, Hope, HOPE that I have grown since I wrote it. Even if it was just yesterday.

I’ve been keeping a journal since college. In fact, when we packed up our Kansas house I found a stack of old notebooks in the file cabinet. I will probably burn them some day since they hold all my ugly thoughts as well as my happy ones. But, I know that they have born much fruit in my life, so I’m holding on to them for now.

Starting a journal doesn’t have to be complicated. I just use those spiral bound school notebooks that you can buy for a quarter each summer. I date the title page very simply, “Journal 11/1/08 – ” I leave it open ended to fill in when the book is complete. Having a title page is helpful so that if someone inadvertently picks up my notebook they will be warned at the first page that it may be a sensitive document. You know, like when you wrote “Diary – DO NOT READ – STAY OUT” on your little book with a lock and key?

Anyway, after that I simply date each new entry and spew about what comes to mind. To help me focus during my prayer time I generally write out my prayers to God, otherwise I get distracted by other thoughts like, I’m hungry. I wonder what there is to eat. If a Bible verse stands out in my mind, I write that down, word for word, because the act of writing helps burn it in my brain. Other times I write down questions I’m trying to work through and the following thoughts that come to mind.

If you’re interested in starting a journal, here are some writing prompts to help get you started:

  • How do you want to grow?
  • What are your strengths and how can you use them to bless others?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • How is your husband a blessing to you? (This is a great one for when you’re feeling grumpy at him)
  • Where are you struggling?

Paper and pen are mightier than the sword. Use them to help you work through the things that weigh on you. Take 15-30 minutes and go write.

This is a great thing to add to your time budget!

More Self-Care Strategies

What works for you?

Leave a comment below and let us know what works for you.

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One Comment

  1. I kept a journal from the time I was 13 to when I was 28. I ended up shredding them all just a few years ago. However, first, I reread them, and like you mentioned, I saw how I was. I saw how others were that were close to me. I reread so many hurtful things. I saw God’s great grace in my life, too. Still, I decided it was best to get rid of those books. I still like to write. And I still like the introspection of journaling. But instead, I just blog. It’s not really an online journal, because I never get that deep in my blog, but it keeps me able to focus on positive stuff and know that others (people I may or may not know) are reading too. That alone keeps me in check to avoid getting caught up on a nasty track! And it keeps me away from thinking/writing negative stuff about those close to me, because they all have my link! From time to time I do tackle the yucky stuff in my heart, but try to do it in such a way where my reliance on God shines through.