I was up early this morning. Sitting on my backyard swing, the gentle breeze caressed my face like a kiss from God. I heard the birds’ sweet melodies. The stillness enveloped me and my soul was at ease.
I love that time of day. It’s when my thoughts are most pure and clear. Before the dawning of the sun it’s just me, God and my journal.
It’s ironic because I’ve never been what I’d call a morning person. I don’t jump out of bed full of zest ready to scurry about for the day. Instead, I experience what I call an awakening. My thoughts come first, followed by the slower response of my body. It’s a beautiful feeling to become aware before fully awake.
These days it is my journal that beckons me up and out to the swing. I have fallen in love with capturing my thoughts, writing my prayers, releasing my hurts. Journaling is not new for me. I just now finally understand the purpose of it.
When I was a little girl I had one of those diaries with a key. I loved it for two reasons – it was mine and I could lock it. The problem was I eventually lost the key, and well that was the end of my journaling.
Throughout my adult life I’ve sporadically journaled. There was something about writing things down that allowed me to better focus. But invariably I’d stop when life got busy or something hurtful happened. I never wrote the awful things down. They were too raw, too real. What if someone found my journals and read them?
And yet it was a painful period in my life that drove me back to it. Early last year when my life was turned upside down journaling became my comfort. I was so full up with emotion that I felt like I’d erupt if I didn’t release it. You know what I mean?
Yelling, screaming, cussing, crying, and throwing things just didn’t work. There were not enough miles I could run on the treadmill to quiet my spirit. But the time alone with my journal was like a balm to my soul. Putting pen to paper gave me the outlet I needed to heal, to rest, and breathe deeply. Truthfully, I think it restored a little of my sanity.
Months later I understand why. Journaling is my most intimate alone time with God. In those first few lines is when I am talking to Him. Like last year, when I was so angry there were moments when I could barely speak. My writing was jerky and my sentences curt. It’s painful even now to read those words. I can still feel the residue of the hurt.
But nowadays I start with gratitude. I could write pages on the things for which I’m grateful – the birds, the breeze, the swing, my great cup of coffee. It’s not anything profound; it’s just the ramblings of my mind. Kind of like a 3-year old just babbling about everything.
But somewhere after the first couple of pages, the magic happens. It’s as if the first part of the time I’m clearing away the leaves, and suddenly I find it. It’s my secret place, the space in my mind where only God and I dwell. I know it sounds kooky, but I can literally feel the shift from my conscious thoughts to that deeper space where I can hear Him.
The experience changes from a conversation to a communion. It’s where revelations take place, and I come face to face with the truth. It’s where dreams are born. It’s where Loving on Me took shape.
I imagine this sounds incredibly strange if you’ve never experienced it, like I’ve fallen off the deep end into some crazy cult like world. Yeah, I would have thought that too – if I didn’t experience it regularly.
It’s actually taken me a long time to write this blog. The experience of journaling is so intimate that I was a little uncomfortable sharing it. But this morning when I woke up I knew it was time. You see, the more time I spend talking to God – and mostly listening – the more at peace I am about when to do what and how. It’s just one of the amazing by-products of daily communion.
Journaling has given me such an incredible peace and excitement about life that I can’t help but wish the same for you. So today I’m encouraging you to just start writing. No special skill required – just your thoughts and your words. It can be a random stream of consciousness that starts with God thank you or I have no idea why the hell I’m trying this. Just write. Try it long hand versus typing. There’s something about the hand to heart connection that’s powerful.
Write about your hopes and hurts, your dreams and gratitude. Write about your kids, your husband, your parents or your health. Write about what you’re struggling with. Not what the world sees but what’s behind the facade; that thing that no one would guess if they looked at you, but you and God know is your real struggle.
You see there are no lies in this kind of journaling. Why would there be? We are talking with the One who knows it all anyway.
My greatest release has come from getting to the root of my issues. Journaling allowed me to see behind my veil, to talk about what’s really bothering me. Sometimes we’ve put up a front for so long that we convince ourselves our real issues are those we show the world. But we know that’s not true. After a few pages of clearing away the debris we drop in that hole and talk about what’s really on our mind, and slowly begin to leave it there.
Yes it’s personal, it’s intimate and someone may find it. But after a while, the worry of that often fades away. You stop judging yourself so harshly, and stop caring much about how others judge you. You’re just so grateful to be at peace you cannot trouble your mind about what may happen if some nosey person reads a line or two. And if you can’t get past the worry, just burn the journal when you’re done. It’s yours so you can do what you want with it.
I know it sounds strange, but I’m encouraging you to give it a chance. Don’t worry about making sense. You’re only writing for you. Don’t worry about what time or where. I’ve written in the morning, at lunch or just before bed. Some of my best time with my journal has been on a plane full of people. You create the atmosphere, not the circumstances surrounding you.
Go get your peace, your restoration, and renewal. It’s there, waiting. Just start writing.
Loving on Me as I Love You! ❤