Journaling is a good tool for both biblical reflection and prayer.  As we read scripture, we can jot down words and phrases that pop out at us.  We can also write down comments or questions.  Writing is a beautiful way connect with God.  I love the feel of a good pen in my hand as it presses down on the pages of a journal.  There is something about the tactile nature of writing to God.  As the letters scrawl across the page becoming words and then clauses onto sentences and paragraphs, I am able to just write.  As I write I can be authentic, be real with God.  I feel liberated to tell God how it really is.  Journaling acts as another way to pray.  Journaling helps me to get in tune with my inner Psalmist.  Some times I am writing a love letter to God.  Some times it feels like a modern day psalm of praise.  Other days it resembles more of a modern day lament.  And still others I am just pouring out my heart and soul.  In the art of journaling I find myself being liberated to claim where I am and what I am feeling.  I start the the journal with words like, “Dear God . . .” or “Hey God, How’s it going ?. . .”  Journaling can also help me to make sense of what I feel God is saying in response.  Another benefit of journaling is the ability to go back and reflect, days, weeks, months, and even years later.  In this way you can see where you have grown and areas in your life in which you still need to grow, where you have come from and insight into where you are called to go.  Journals act as a reality check.  Am I regularly living life in gratitude?  Or is every day filled with complaints?  Is there evidence of joy in my life?  Am I allowing space for God to speak?  Do I write down insights I receive?  

Take time to pick out a journal that inspires you.  Go online or meander into an actual bookstore.  Find a cover that resonates with you.  Notice the binding.  Do you want it spiral bound or not?  Lined or not?  Are the pages tactile?  Now find a good writing pen.  Once you have what you need, go and sit in your Sacred Space.  Act as if you are writing a letter, an e-mail to God.  Talk about your day, your thoughts, your feelings.  Let this be a written and authentic prayer.  Don’t worry about being churchy in your language.  Write to God as if you are writing to your best friend.  Don’t worry about self editing.  This is more about the process than the final product.  When you finish writing, let it go.    Don’t reread it immediately.  Give it time to just set.  Come back another day and write again.  Journaling does not need to be legalistic.  Don’t add it to you ever growing list of things to do.  Let it become an organic and natural extension of yourself.

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