Though I grew up believing I was a Christian and calling myself a Christian, before God regenerated my heart (in my early 30's), I hated journaling and stayed far away from it. I never analyzed this about myself at the time. In fact, I was quite content in my disgust for this practice and would have chalked it up to just being part of my personality (not one who likes to document things). Looking back on it now, I can think of two reasons I wanted nothing to do with a journal.
- I didn't want any record of what I was doing or thinking, particularly not my deepest and most private thoughts (and actions).
- Ultimately, I knew that anything I penned in form of a journal/diary would be just my thoughts, and I knew there wasn't much wisdom in that. At the time, I didn't have any confidence in a source of wisdom higher than my own, so the thought of writing down what I was thinking without any objective interpretation of the information was utterly ridiculous to my mind.
Again, looking back on things now, I think one of the first fruits of repentance in my life was the desire to keep a journal. After God regenerated my heart, I wanted to read the Bible, and I wanted to write that down in a journal along with prayers and other thoughts.
In the last four years, I have purchased what is called the "Jumbo Journal" containing 340 pages each, and I've needed two per year in order to adequately hold all my writings.
Last year, I got into the habit of pasting things into my journal (e-mail articles, church bulletins, prayer requests, etc.) in order to keep everything of this nature in the same spot.
At the beginning of last year, I wrote down a few goals for 2011 (mostly evangelistic goals) and referred back to them every few months, so I could keep them at the forefront of my mind.
I also had one page where I wrote down books I heard about on podcasts that peaked my interest, complete with title and author so I had that info for future reference. On one page, I wrote down all the books I read in 2011 and the date I completed them. I also spent a few entries writing notes on podcasts that I listened to throughout the year. A section of pages in my journal contained people I was praying for and specific Bible passages I wanted to pray for them. I referred back to those pages often throughout the year.
In the month of January I will be sharing some of the information I wrote down in last year's journal before I put it to rest for the year.
I will be keeping a journal this year and will be sharing some of my ideas about that in the month of January as well.
My January blogging will be a time to look back (remembering the goodness of God) and look ahead (anticipating the goodness of God).