For me, journaling is one way I check in with the state of my soul. It helps me take stock of where I am, what I am thinking, what I am feeling, and reminds me of where I want to be headed and mostly of who I want to be.
Often, I begin by bringing my thoughts and feelings to the surface -- then begin inviting God to shine a light on what and where he would like for me to focus my attention. Sometimes my entry finishes with an "aha moment" where I clearly see something I hadn't noticed before -- and sometimes my entry finishes with a prayer that simply says... Lord, help me... Either way I sense God reminding me that he cares about me and understands what ever I am going through at that time.
I like to start writing what's on my mind. What I am thinking? What am I feeling? Why is this bothering me? How am I responding? How do I want to respond? What do I sense God is asking of me? Sometimes I write pages and pages. Other times I may only write a few sentences. Yet overtime it seems to help me process while providing space for me to listen more attentively.
It's pretty simple to get started. Just get a pen (or if you prefer a pencil) and pad of paper and start.
There's no right or wrong way to do it. Find something that works for you for this particular time in your life.
In Jeff and Mindy Caliguire's booklet Write for Your Soul they provided these ideas to help you get started:
- Look back (Yesterday I...)
- Record your dreams (particularly recurring, troubling or exciting dreams)
- Fun moments
- Pray on paper (Dear God...)
- What you're learning lately (insights, wisdom, mistakes)
- Work through decisions (write out pros and cons)
- Quotes or stories you want to remember (something you read or a friend told you)
- Scenes you want to keep with you
- Ideas or goals for the future
- Notes for something you've listened to
- Process through questions