Written by: Amy Dalke
So. I’ve been journaling.
I’m sure this information ranks on your Most Interesting News Ever list.
I decided to do this, somewhat randomly. Which is the same manner I tend to do Most Things.
Nonetheless, I jumped on this bandwagon sixteen days ago, to be exact. And the weird thing is, I’m still doing it.
It’s been so awesome, that I had to tell you about it.
This daily journal thing takes me no more than fifteen minutes. (Okay, truth be told, sometimes it takes more like twenty.) (But that’s because I talk a lot, and I write how I talk, so writing all my words in a notebook takes a hot minute.)
What I’m saying is…more than likely it will take you fifteen minutes max, unless you’re a Chatty Cathy.
Nonetheless, this journal thing…it’s been kind of amazing.
You know what I have found about journaling? It’s actually scary.
Not Nightmare Scary…but Truth Scary.
I’ve found that I can run from myself (and God) all day long when I’m distracted. But when I come face to face with that journal at the end of the day?
Well, that gets real, people.
Because wow, I can pretend a lot of things about my heart and my motives if I’m too busy to slow down and lie to my own face.
But when I open that journal, and take out my pen…it’s not so easy to deceive myself.
Maybe I really am the only one who finds it easy to justify my own behavior.
But if you and I are the only people in the world with that tendency, well, so be it. Let’s do something about it. I promise you that keeping a daily journal is a great beginning. It will shake you up. (In a good way.)
Here’s what I do. (Believe me, my process is not some secret original. I basically rely on The Google and The Pinterest for all my creativity.)
So after a bazillion links and clicks, I finally settled on my own Daily List of Eight:
(1) What did I do today?
Okay, so I don’t record the boring stuff like, I washed dishes. I also don’t write about things like burned dinners or baseball games. Both of those are now so routine they’re no longer notable.
Instead, I stick to the highs/lows of the day, recording the events I want to recall.
(2) What lessons did I learn?
A real life example from Day 5, Friday, May 23, 2014:
Realized today that I have been looking at things according to what I can see…not with eyes of faith. I’ve been trying to figure it all out based on my own understanding – the tangible stuff. Go figure, God wouldn’t be God if He wasn’t bigger than me. I limit Him way too much…thinking if I can’t see on the other side of the hard thing…then He must not be able to either. Note to self: God is WAY, WAY bigger and more capable of handling my stuff than I am.
(Well, come to think of it, maybe if I did rehash the Burned Dinners in writing, I could possibly face the reality that we ought to eat out more often.) (Lesson learned.)
(3) What am I thankful for right now?
I am really thankful for grace and all that…(I mean, my word, I would be a mess without it.) But my daily thankfuls in the journal tend to look more like:
…grateful for clean sheets…that Luke still has a kid-boy voice…that I have ears that allow me to hear. Thankful Luke has great friends…for Diet Coke…that Larry is patient.
(4) What am I feeling right now?
Happy. Content. Mad. Afraid. (These weren’t taken from the same day. But I’m not ruling out that possibility.)
(5) What did I read today?
If Larry had a daily journal, he probably wouldn’t select this particular question. (Just saying.)
I selected this question, because I read
too much a lot, and I like to remember what I read…and what I learn from what I read. (I know. Obnoxious. Nerdy.)
(6) What are my plans for tomorrow?
The Type A Obsessor in me loves a plan. The ADD part of me wrecks that every time. So to look at the day ahead helps me prioritize. Life-changing.
(7) How well have I loved today?
Not a good question when you want to hide behind your Halfway-Christianity and glamourized selfishness.
(8) Have my ears been open to God today? If yes – what did He say? If no – what kept me from hearing?
This is what I meant when I said scary. Because, have mercy. My ears get stopped up with my own wants; and its hard to hear God over the noise. Frankly, sometimes I just flat don’t want to hear what He has to say. Foolish? Yes.
But you really don’t want to face this question if you don’t want God to mess with your heart. Because He will take your open heart and change it. He’ll take it and shape it by His wants…as you give yourself over to Him.
Worth it? Truly.
Want to try it with me?
Your Journal Nerd Friend,