Several weeks ago, I wrote the first of two posts about the discipline of journaling, where I spoke of my first journaling experiences and how my reasons for journaling later took a more deliberate and dedicated turn. I also briefly stated that there are many benefits from regular journaling, including generational, spiritual and personal.
A large part of the change I experienced I attribute simply to growing maturity. I took pleasure in deeper reflections. I admired the discipline of meditation, and the expression of those meditations. I wanted my writings to express that change, and to go beyond the day-to-day and let the messages between the lines arise from a broader-encompassing inspiration to be a voice, an influence. I saw an opportunity to embrace. An opportunity to show, in a unique and genuine way, my dedication and passion to leave behind a legacy.
It is this reason that is the most significant to me. I want to leave behind a legacy of a life led by the Lord Jesus Christ. Through journaling, I have a chance to record the faithfulness of Christ displayed through a simple, inadequate human being. Nothing about me wants to be remembered for who I was; I want people to know who Christ is, through the story of my life.
Another highly important reason to me for keeping a journal is because I want my children some day to be able to read about me and see who I was like when I was growing up. Some of the sweetest memories I have are the times when I hear from my grandparents what my parents were like as kids or young adults. It's neat to learn about your parents and to hear about their experiences as they grew into adulthood. That is something that I want to capture for my children as well (and grandchildren, and great-grandchilren!), so that they can see someday that daddy was sinner too, but that the Lord was faithful to him throughout his whole life, and that he sought to follow God's ways.
The next reason is because, well, I like to go back and read my journals! Going back to see how God has worked through my life, how I've changed and how I've grown throughout the years brings encouragement to see how God has been steadfast. It motivates me to continue chronicling the events and lessons of my life. Finally, it creates great anticipation in me to see what else God has in store for me.
The last reason is because of the discipline aspect. Consistently keeping a journal can be a difficult undertaking, especially when life is busy and other activities or events seem to take priority. Ironically, it was in the midst of those crazy seasons when taking the time to journal, to a certain degree, helped keep me sane! There's just something about being able to write out one's thoughts and feelings; that form of expression often brings with it an inward refreshment and a new outlook on life. Being disciplined to journal through both busier and slower periods many times just helped keep me going, and that is a benefit and discipline that I want to continue to have in my life.
Ultimately, I want to use my journaling to bring glory to God. Whether if it's through my children reading of God's faithfulness to me throughout my life or myself remembering what He has done, I want it all to inspire praise to His Name. It is such an important aspect of life to me, and a practice that I want to characterize my life for many years to come. I would strongly urge anyone to implement the discipline of journaling into their lives as a profitable habit that can become a powerful testament of the great faithfulness of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.