Journal Writing – Why You Can’t Afford to Wait
Last night I read two journal entries from ten years ago. Life was very different and somehow still very the same. I was simultaneously hit with sadness and joy. The more I read, the more I knew what I wanted to write about today. Journal writing is about more than keeping track of life events.
But there is still more.
I am going to share a small excerpt from one of my journal entries. It is an average entry with nothing spectacular, but there doesn’t have to be for it to be meaningful. To truly understand the value of a journal, you need to know what I would have forgotten had I not written it down.
…I also had my choir concerts this last weekend (Easter concert). Saturday we had 6 hours of singing. I started having trouble with my voice but it came off alright….Sunday performance was packed. It went really well. I felt the spirit during both performances. Sometimes I wish I could always share the gospel through music. I actually felt like I was there saying and bearing my testimony….I wish I could make music come alive. I am grateful for the experience.
It is (daughter’s) birthday today. She is excited for her birthday cake. I can hardly believe it. She is so sweet.
I love my family. My husband and little (daughter).
Journal Writing Brings Renewed Commitment
When I read this entry I had no recollection of the choir concert, not even a little bit. In fact, I still don’t because I’ve sung in so many choir concerts that they blend together. Reading how much I enjoyed singing renewed my commitments to improve and…made me feel like singing.
Singing is my happy place. It’s the place where my worries disappear. It’s the place that I experience creative freedom. It’s the place that I connect with other people. It’s the place where emotions become fluid, colorful, and beautiful.
How could I forget?
Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I needed to be reminded.
Journal Writing Creates Gratitude
There’s not much said about my daughter’s birthday. There doesn’t need to be. It’s enough to know that she was excited about cake.
That same little girl turned twelve this week.
Gone are the days of her making up her own verses to “The Wheels on the Bus” with the mom who says, “Just a minute.” No more dragging her blanket around the house or pulling my nose to make it honk.
We only have six short years with her in our home. I’m not planning on throwing her out the door as soon as she turns 18, but things change once they move out on their own. The very thought breaks my heart.
We have precious little time with our children. It’s exciting to think of the adventures that await her – college, dating, marriage, family. But when I look at her beautiful face, I still see that little girl with the crooked ponytails sitting in the back of my car singing about the mom that says, “Just a minute.”
I can get a little tunnel vision when I think of my first daughter. I tend to focus on her baby years when she cried a lot. It was a hard. However, in reality, it was a relatively short period of time. She became a cute, smart, and somewhat sassy little toddler.
When I wrote this entry, I was pregnant with our second child. Soon after, everything would change. I tried to appreciate our time together because I knew with a new baby it would never be the same. It was special. I wish I could have time like that with all my children but it doesn’t work that way.
I can go back and read this entry to my daughter. She may not remember when it was the two of us at home. But I want her to know it was a special time that I loved.
How could I forget?
I can’t because I wrote it down.
Journal Writing Helps You to Remember
A journal can remind you of things you’ve forgotten, lessons you’ve learned, friends you’ve lost, or feelings you’ve felt. Good or bad, when you read a journal, you see how far you’ve come and yet what is still the same.
I am not the same person I was when I wrote this entry 10 years ago. Thank goodness. To stagnate and never change is not what I want. That is important for me to know.
But some things I’m glad are the same. I still love my family. I need to be reminded of that when I’m arguing with my children to pick up their clothes, clean their room, and be kind to their siblings. My love for them only grows the more time I spend with them.
As I read about my two-year-old daughter that is now twelve and almost as tall as I am, I could almost smell the baby shampoo, feel her soft cheeks, and hear that tiny voice singing.
You think you’ll never forget but without something to remind you, you will.
Write in a journal.
Write in a journal to inspire yourself.
Write in a journal because your children will want to know all about you one day.
Write in a journal because you want them to know what is important.
Write in a journal so you know how far you’ve come.
Write in a journal so you don’t forget where you started.
Your children will thank you.
You will thank you.