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Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

So… I hope you’ve been keeping up with this series. I scheduled in in a way that if you were faithfully journaling each technique, you will hopefully have now developed a consistent journaling schedule. If not, feel free to go back and redo the series from where you need to start.* ^_^

I always feel a glowing sense of satisfaction whenever I complete yet another journal. As quickly as possible, I prepare my next one and begin writing in it as soon as I can. I absolutely love writing and journaling, and since I’ve been doing this for a little over two years now, I am constantly thinking about what to do after I finish a journal. I’ve come to move directly into my next one, giving a brief  intro of my present life situation, my thoughts, what goals I have, and what I wish to accomplish in the time I complete my new journal. This is sort of like a New Year’s resolutions list and synopsis of what I have just been through in life. I find this extremely helpful in identifying how much I’ve grown since, say, two years ago. I also understand why I wrote a certain entry the way I did. This introduction and end-of-journal life synopsis is extremely useful, and I encourage you to use this once you finish your journal.

Once you finish a journal, keep it in a safe place. You will appreciate these notebooks in the future when you’re older. Life will seem to have passed in a blink of an eye, and you wcan use your writing to revisit the past and relive events in your mind. You can also use your journals as refrences for whatever you neded, especially in spritual growth and ministry.

I hope you enjoyed this series, and I look forward to writing up the next one. But for now, may God bless you as you walk with Him and record His work in your life! ^_^

*If you missed this series, you may work your way through it by clicking here. As the posts are in reverse order, work from the last post up. =)

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One of the hardest parts of journaling is keeping up with your writing. I myself sometimes stop writing for a few days, other times I just can’t stop writing. Here are some tips to ensure habitual writing:

  • You don’t need to write every day; one or twice a week is enough.
  • Keep yourself accountable by writing down important events or discoveries.
  • Experiment with your journal. Write in a different way, from a different angle, in a new handwriting, about different topics… you could even talk about your favorite color socks if they seem that interesting to you xP
  • Switch around entries, for example a prayer one day, a poem another, and yet another a Bible study summary.
  • Don’t burden yourself with a lot of writing. A quick sentence is sufficient if that’s all you can write for the time being.

Journaling is meant to be relaxing, and in some cases, educational. Your journal is yours, and therefore do as you wish to and with it. Try out new things, go wacky or serious. It’s all up to you. =)

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One of my favorite parts about journaling is the fact that I can do my Bible studies in my entries, and keep a record of my personal scripture insights.

Different people study the Bible differently, but here are some examples:

  • Verse study
  • Chapter study
  • Passage study
  • Book study
  • Topical study
  • Word study

Whatever method you choose, record your observations in you entry. If it can be applied in your life, write down the steps you can take towards application. The more you study and the more you write, the more you will hear God speaking to you. The more you hear God speaking to you, the more real His presence is in your life, especially when you can link Bible verses to areas in your life where God has worked, whether small or big. Try out this exercise, and make it a habitual component to your entries. Believe me, the treasures you will reap are priceless. 🙂

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As I am not a psychologist nor have much experience in dealing with bad memories, I am unqualified to talk about journaling for healing. However, I have developed my own way of recovering from these memories. I ask myself questions, look up scriptures to answer my questions, and squeeze away lies and discouraging/depressing thoughts with the Word of God. Here are a couple of steps I follow and questions I ask:

#1 Identify the Pain

What is the thorn? What happened?  How did it happen? Who are the people involved? What do I believe/think about this problem? Are there any benefits from this (character building/development, insights, etc.)?

#2 Go to the Bible

What verses are related to my questions? What does God’s word say about this? Are there any truths that oppose the lies I believe? What can I apply from these verses?

#3 Action Plan

What truths from God’s Word can I apply into my life? What are some things I can do to live apart from this pain? What are the benefits?

I make sure I see painful experiences in God’s perspective, following these two verses:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

“‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

God is always in control. Everything that happens is part of His plan, and because He loves us, He will NEVER let anything bad happen. Every experience, whether good or bad, is ultimately to mold us and shape us into the people God wants us to be. Why does God let bad things happen? To show Himself strong in our lives and make us see how much we need Him. I hope these questions can jump-start you into healing any painful memories or experiences. Remember, the Lord is always there with His arms open wide… you just need to run to Him!

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Journaling your struggles provides you with a record of your progress in specific areas. Often you may feel discouraged about not succeeding in your fight against temptation, but if you write down the times when you experienced success, it can help release you from constant frustration.

Let’s say you struggle with your temper. You are very easily provoked and often instigate arguments from the smallest conflict. You know this is wrong, and you are trying to exercise anger management. After a while, you began to notice that you’re not easily angered anymore! Your success gives you even more motivation to keep going.

But one day you blew it. You’ve hurt a lot of people with your outburst, and everything seems to be a mess. You keep getting angry at almost everything after that, and you don’t know how you’re ever going to get back on track. Now would be a great time to turn back to those days of success and see your slow but steady growth to peace. Hey, you did it before; why not do it again? It will take some time, but you know you will succeed!

I’ve done this with many of my personal struggles, and it is always so encouraging to go back and see those days where I was able to overcome temptation. I also add information on my struggle so I can have a library of battle strategies. It sure comes in handy!

So in this exercise, write down a couple of your struggles, and pick 1 or 2 to work on. As time goes on, work on succeeding in your fight against it, and write down how you got there, what resources you used, and how you feel about succeeding. It might take a long time, but success is all worth it. Take it from someone who’s been there and done that.

At times of discouragement and frustration, flip back to your success days and give your spirit a boost. You can do it!

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Journaling provides opportunities for you to set goals… and later review whether if it is completed or well on its way. It’s amazing when I look back in my journals and see all the goals I had throughout the years. Even more amazing is the fact that all the goals according to God’s plans for me came to fruit… and all the ones that aren’t never even begun.

Try this exercise: list out what goals you have and how you plan to achieve them. They can be academical, spiritual, physical, or life goals. But list them out, then consider if they are in line with what you believe is God’s plan for your life. Make both short and long term goals. Some of mine included establishing daily devotions, play basketball, and get better grades in math.

As time passes, go back and review your goals. What happened to them? Have you started on them? Are they in progress? Are they completed? Setting these goals let you understand what God wants to do in your life. The goals you achieve are most likely part of God’s plans for you. The ones that don’t progress mean that God probably thinks you’re not ready, it’s not time yet, or no — the goal isn’t for you.

I really enjoy doing this activity from time to time. I probably have a new goal every week… and pretty soon I can see whether or not God wants to bring that goal to completion or not. It helps me grow in faith and trust in the Lord in doing what He wants, when he wants, in my life.

I hope you will see these results in your own life as you journal out your goals. ^_^

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When I read a book concerning my spiritual growth, I like to have my journal open for me to take notes. After encountering a subject or topic that really sticks out to me, I stop and take time to think through what I have read and learned. It proves helpful in documenting my spiritual education and knowledge. If I can’t remember what book or article I read something, but know the time frame when I read it, I can flip open one of my journals and locate the response.

Recording fundamental truths I learned from the book allows me to take the lessons with me without lugging the book around with me. In later entries I can reflect on what I read as well. I do this with all Christian books, especially my Bible. Here are a few questions I ask:

#1 What sticks out to me?

#2 What can I learn from it?

#3 What does it mean to me?

#4 Have I learned this in a different context, perspective, or source?

#5 If so, what are the differences and similarities?

#6 How can I apply it?

I usually go through these steps in the order listed, and find it powerfully effective in applying it into my life and adding to my knowledge database.

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