Most people use a journal or a diary as a way of being able to record daily events in their lives. Spiritual Journaling is different but the basics are similar.
Whilst a diary will be a open account of the details of someones life, a journal has an intentional nature to it which focuses on the thoughts and feelings of a person during that time. With a spiritual journal the deeper focus will be on the persons connections and encounters with God.
When is a good time to journal? Well the question should really be when is it not a good time to journal?
Whenever you feel that you need to. There have even been times when I have scribbled notes down on some scrap paper in my bag in order to stick them into my journal at a later date. It is all about being prompted by the spirit. For some it might be helpful to designate time daily to journal, for others this can be seen as restrictive and is upsetting when we fail to meet that ambition. The beauty of spiritual journalling is that it can work with your personal spiritual habits and disciplines.
You should journal somewhere comfortable and relaxing without distraction. It should also be somewhere where you feel able to write freely without another person looking over your shoulder. Coffee shops can provide a great place to ‘disappear’ into the background, whilst ones office or bedroom can offer more privacy.
Why people use a spiritual journal will differ with each person. Some may wish to use it more like a prayer journal, as a way of binding all their prayers together so that they can be reflected on at a later date. Some may use a journal to record the encounters they have with God during worship. I have kept spiritual journals for as long as I have been a Christian and the reasons why I’ve been using them have changed over the years. It had helped me to reflect back on a season in my spiritual life and pick up on the ways that God has been moving in my life that I may not have noticed the first time around.
There is so much about spiritual journalling that I wish to share. It has been one of the few spiritual disciplines that has kept me sustained and in-touch with God even when everything else had become difficult. After writing this introduction I hope to write later posts to go into some more detail about spiritual journalling and the joys that it can bring. I wish to share some my experiences with journaling so that it might encourage and challenge others who haven’t journaled before, or even those who have been journaling for years.
Peace & Joy.