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What NOT to Journal!

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Women Living Well Blog: What NOT to Journal!

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, January 9, 2009

What NOT to Journal!

Cracking open my fresh journal this January was exciting! I bought a simple 5 Subject Notebook with folder inserts and got busy in it. I have received emails from a few of you that you are starting journaling also this year! That's exciting and I know that you will reap benefits beyond what you can imagine from this tool (and don't be discourged if you missed a few days - just keep at it - it will grow on you!).

So there is one thing that you never ever want to journal and if you are starting new you may find yourself tempted in this area. Many moons ago, I used to journal to God complete stories of a bad situation that would have happened - like something mean someone said to me and how I felt about it or I'd have a long pity party - yuck - rereading those entries is no fun! Stuff that should be long forgotten and more importantly forgiven comes flooding back to my mind as fresh as the day the wounds were made. These journal entries litter my journal and need torn out and thrown away!

I have learned that if my husband and I squabble - the details should not be included in that days entry - I may write "Keith and I disagreed over ... ." But I leave it without emotion for two reasons: 1) someone may read these journals someday - like a child of mine, and 2)Because once we hug, kiss and make up - the subject should be dropped. I would not like it if my husband was journaling all my mistakes! This goes for children too!

Part of forgiving and forgetting in life is not allowing your mind to replay those words that sting. For some, you may think of journaling as a way to get all your bottled up emotions out - but I find it better when I'm really troubled to sit and write one verse after another after another until my heart is lifted. I know when I flip to a page that has verse after verse written over and over that something was going on that upset me and I was laying those emotions at Jesus' feet and allowing him to hold me and comfort me.

So, as you start a new year - remember that words that are written can be reread. Leave the bitterness and ugliness your heart sometimes feels out! And if you must write - tear it out and toss it when you are done!

Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Obey this command and you will live well in 2009!

Walk With the King!

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Blogger Morgan said...

I agree- when we write down all our negative emotions towards someone, and then have that nastiness there in our journals to be re-read by us or someone else someday, it makes it hard to just forgive and move on. If we truly want to forgive and release that person from their debts, then we need to let it go.

It's nice to meet you Courtney!

January 9, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Hi Morgan! It's nice to meet you too! Thanks for the inspiration today! You are a blessing!


January 9, 2009 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Jean Stockdale said...

Thank you for stopping by my website and for your kind words. I have been teaching MOMS for 20 years and I just love it. Who better to invest in than the women who are shaping the next generation. Stop by often. Blessings!

January 10, 2009 at 2:14 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hi Courtney! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your kind words of congrats too.

I have always wanted to journal faithfully, but have never kept at it. Maybe 2009 will be the year! Thanks for sharing the great tips.



January 10, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Peter and Kim said...

I found this today under "How to have a quiet time" link.
The Holy Spirit used your words, over a year later to convict me today!
I have been married nearly 14 years and I have journaled almost every day! (Something I learned from my Grandma--the art of journaling.) I always want to remember where I came from (my marriage's humble beginnings...Deut. talks about this--the Israelites were to set up a monument to teach their children where they had come from--deliverance by the Lord!) and when people comment about me having a good memory, I say that journaling helps! HOWEVER, I don't want to have a good memory when it comes to evil---your post is a "fleshed out" way to live out 1 Cor. 13--Love keeps no record of wrongs!
We also have to filter our writings through the lens of Phil 4:8 and take every thought under the captivity of Christ (reference eludes me just now).
I do believe there is a balance there somewhere between writing out our pain, like some of the Psalms--and focusing on how God brings healing and deliverance-- for it is good to take a healthy look back if it is to help us move forward (something I learned from Beth Moore's Breaking Free Study).
God has a great track-record and he proves his faithfulness when we look what he brought (and BOUGHT) us from! (The darker the night the more glorious the sunrise!!) That's something to always focus on and write about!!
Thank you for this post,
PS. I copied it all down in my journal! Hee.Hee!! :)

February 26, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

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