Five Tips for User-Friendly Journaling

writing

“Then the Lord replied:

Yesterday I promised some pointers to help make journaling feel more accessible; less overwhelming. So here they are 😊.

  1. Don’t get overly intense about it. There have been seasons where I’ve written in my journal nearly every day, and others where a month will go by in between entries. I don’t sweat the frequency. I just make sure and make journaling a regular part of my life, in whatever way works with His leading from season to season.
  2. There are no rules. You can put down just one sentence for an entry. Or a paragraph. Or a page. Or ten pages. Just relax and enjoy flowing with His Spirit as you write.
  3. Keep a note on your phone for future journaling purposes. When something drops into your heart in the midst of your busy day, jot down a brief addition to your “Journaling” note there. Or make a voice recording for yourself. Then when you are back in your quiet time, you can transfer your quick notes over to your journal and expand on them.
  4. Develop your own shorthand. Abbreviate as much as possible, helping save time for more listening and writing.
  5. If you don’t know what to write, here are a few ideas:
    i. Anything you have sensed Daddy speaking to you about recently (see “Sixteen Ways to Hear from God”).
    ii. A Bible verse that stuck out during your daily reading, and the specific way it impacted you.
    iii. A question that you want to lay before Him. As soon as you write it, He may start showing you the answer. Make note of your initial impressions and leave space to add more later as He continues to answer.
    iv. A prayer pouring out your heart, either brief or at length, depending on the moment.

As you record what He is showing you, this will help you to further process it. It’s kind of like more thoroughly digesting the spiritual food you have swallowed. Just as your physical food gets assimilated into your body through digestion, so it is in spirit. Daddy God’s truth, revelation, and guidance become incorporated deeply into our being as we spend time thoroughly chewing on and ingesting His words through the discipline of writing.

We can learn form King David’s example: “‘All this,’ David said, ‘I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan’” (1 Chron. 28:19, NIV). As he wrote down the revelation that was coming to him, his comprehension expanded and deepened. This is what journaling God’s communication does for each of us. As we write His messages down, He will faithfully give us the increased understanding that we so desperately need.

I’m excited to think about all that He wants to show you, as you continue to passionately pursue His heart in this way!

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For those of you that already journal, what tips of your own would you add to this list?

 

21 thoughts on “Five Tips for User-Friendly Journaling

  1. Jennifer, your list is quite good, but allow me to add a thought about security. Be mindful that what is written within the journal is the writer’s private adventure of response. There may be times when no harm would come if others read it, and times when it may be best to keep it from others. The journal reflects one’s personal relationship with God, and could be innocently misinterpreted if read by others.
    Doing a journal has been a great aid to me through the years, but treat it as if it were a diary and, borrowing from Tolkien, “keep it secret; keep it safe.” — Mike

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the next installment! I use a small 3×5 book so I can bring it with me. That way when my husband and the guy in the plumbing department at Home Depot are spending WAY too much time discussing some gizmo, I can pull it out and read previous entries and use it to pray while I am waiting.

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  3. Jennifer, I think your list of tips is very good, I have nothing to add to it. I would only include my encouragement to everyone to journal. I especially like looking back every once in a while to see where I was and what was going on and even more so to see the very real ways our Father has moved in and grown me through circumstances.
    Blessings,
    Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Past journals are kind of like altar stones 🙂 It really is encouraging to look back and see all that He has done, both for us and in us! I also find it strengthening to look back on specific times that He spoke a promise to me, to strengthen my faith in the waiting season. Thank you so much for your input, Chuck! I always enjoy it very much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your pointers for making journaling more assesible are great! I like the idea of recording thoughts on the go on the phone 👍🏼. I 💖 those verses; It is exciting to think journaling can be a time of interaction with Father God; a time to receive and incorporate “deeply,” as you say, His “truth, revelation and guidance!” Thank you for the encouragements to avidly journal Jenn! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Something I do, not sure it’s called journaling or not, but it’s worth sharing. In times where I’m heavy with thought or emotion I will get a notebook and pen and start a written conversation (or counselling session) with myself. I usually begin with, “So, what’s going on?” I answer my question HONESTLY and without holding back. I do this “session” In a Q(question)/ A(answer) format. I ask honest and tough questions based on my previous answer, just like I would counsel someone, but then I will answer the previous question or statement as if I’m being counseled. By the time I get to the end, I usually have my answer and loads of scriptures. It sounds a little wacky, I’ll admit, but really believe it is the Holy Spirit’s way of counseling me. Sometimes it is short, and sometimes it is pages….lol, I’ve even had to ‘leave’ with a question and come back later with the answer. Honestly, there have been times where I have gotten so angry at my own councel that I was brought to angry tears, but, I kept going and came to a spectacular ending. I think if my family were to find these ‘journals’ they would have me committed. They actually are very aware of my ‘journaling’ and I hope that one day they are able to interact the same way. I love it. BTW, I’m not a professional counselor, but the Holy Spirit is! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much, Jeniffer, for sharing your wonderful method here! I really think a lot of people could benefit from it. After all, in the Psalms, David counseled himself frequently, saying things like “Why so downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God!” We really do need to speak His word to ourselves, and this is such a creative way to do so! Thanks again! 🙂

      Like

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