Journal collection

How I Journal and What I’ve Learned Along the Way!

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Earlier this week I finished recategorizing all the posts on the blog. 5 years of life lived, lessons learned, and stories shared. It felt good to finally finish the site’s rebranding–something I had been working on since 2019. But you know what I also realized?

What started out as a blournal (blog/journal) has actually shown me all the blessings that God has given me. My life hasn’t gone how I thought it would… I’m still not where I thought I would be, but I know God has me where I am supposed to be!

Going back through the 5 years of posts on the blog I was able to see my life in a different light. Sure, life wasn’t what I wanted but it was good! Writing down the day-to-day, sometimes normal and mundane things that we did has continued to show me that my life isn’t that different than everyone else’s.

I spent WAY too long trying to fit society’s mold of popularity. And that’s not a mold that I was made to fit or a mold that I really want to be in anymore. I’ve realized the value of what’s right in front of me–what’s always been right in front of me! My family, my friends, Church family, tradtions, and everyday life in general. I’m finally able to see all the good things that I’m surrounded with and I can’t help but be thankful!

Especially in the last several years writing has become therapeutic. I kept a journal for several years as kid writing on and off. I was never very regular so when I did write I felt like I had to record everything that happened and it was more stressful than helpful. Eventually I threw those journals away and finally started journaling again in 2018. Trying to write down a few things that we did each day, lessons that I was learning or different prayers. Since then I’ve been updating my journal pretty regularly.

Journal and Pen

I’ve used several different notebooks and systems over the years. One of my first journals was immitation leather and I bought fancy stickers and placed them throughout the pages like a scrapook. Other times I’ve used loose-leaf paper and a binder. Most recently I’ve been filling partially used notebooks and storing them in a box on the floor of my closet.

Journal collection

After watching “War Room” I started keeping a prayer journal and setting aside time specifially to pray.

Bible study material with a morning snack

The very first prayer journal I kept was a FiveStar Notebook. I wrote all of my requests on sticky notes that I taped inside. As different prayer were answered I wrote the word “answered” on a little arrow sticky note and taped it in as well pointing to the answered request.

Sometimes I’ll have a dedicated prayer journal. But most often I’ll just write out specific prayers or whatever’s on my heart in a prayer in my journal.

I find this to be especially helpful when I’m stressed. If I have specific reoccuring prayer requests I jot them down on notecards so that I don’t forget them. As the prayers get answered I’ll mark a line through the request and write a few words summerizing the answered prayer on half of a notecard and tape it into my journal or place it by my bed. Every so often I’ll go through my prayer cards and rewrite some requests saving the older ones in the journal box in my closet.

2021 Journals

Each night I try to write in my journal before bed. Sometimes it’s simply a sentence or two…”Going to bed late. Today was a good day!” Other times when I’m not really sure what to write I’ll simply write three things I’m thankful for or three good things that happened that day. “I got caught up on laundry, I saw something funny or encouraging online, and I made progress on a work project.” I don’t worry about perfect grammer or evenly spaced phargraphs. I’ll simply make a bulleted or numbered list highlghting what I want to talk about or remember.

It’s encouraging to me to look through the pages of my journal every so often and remember what was going on a few weeks or months ago, prayers God has answered, or the way different situations I was worried about were resolved. I know that not everyone is called to a be writer or gets excited walking through the stationary section at Wal-Mart.

However, I want to encourage you to start writing a little bit every day.

Find a notebook, a piece of paper, or even a stickynote and write a sentence or two about your day. Or list one good thing that happened that day, or something you want to remember. It doesn’t have to be a lot. It doesn’t have to make sense. Simply write. You might just be surprized at how good it feels to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.

If you want to start journaling but you’re really not sure where to start check out my guided journal! It’s called The Contentment Journal. Each night you’ll spend no more than 5 minutes jotting down a couple of good things about your day. That should give you a good start and get you in the habit journaling without making it too thought provoking or stressful! (:

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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