I believe in the power of journaling. It is my outlet, place of free expression found in the confines of white lined paper smothered by a black composition binding–it is my freedom on paper. It provides me with an open window or rather a “vehicle” to communicate with God. In this time, I drive out all distractions–family, friends, and the hustle and bustle of city streets–to hear that still small voice, whispering in my ear the direction and purpose for my life. I tuck away with my journal, pen, and bible to a cozy oversized chair in front my window or lye in the middle of my bed with my blankets to keep me warm. There I write to God about my love and admiration for him, in addition to, my questions, emotions, dreams, aspirations, and prayers. Jokingly, I have said if a stranger were to read my journal they would think I am crazy, because it appears that I am having a conversation with myself–instead, it is an endearing dialogue between father and daughter.
For as long as I can remember, I was writing in a journal, at school, or at home–anywhere. My grandmother said my writing ability is a generational gift, because my mother is a great writer and was writing since she was a child. Whether at work or at home she can be found journaling with a dictionary by her side. Our connection exceeds our DNA or title of mother and daughter, but also is a relationship among writers.
I like to think of journaling as my timeline, labeling the years, months, days, and hours of my life. Over the years I have had a variety of journals, each symbolic of my age and stage in life. In elementary school my journal was purple with black spirals and embroidered with pink flowers. It contained descriptions of fun sleepovers, great birthday parties, Disney movies, Barbie and Ken’s wedding, and the “evil” acts of my 5th grade teacher, Ms. McQueue. But as I grew up, it grew with me, transitioning from flower power, and pastel colors to a regular composition notebook. The contents became my excitement about parties, the Key Club retreat, prom, and whatever current crush. The only consistent detail of my journal was the huge private sign imbedded on the cover, used to ensure the safety of my private thoughts. I also played “hide and seek” with it always keeping it in a safe place hidden from unfamiliar eyes. It was my dependable friend that I could whisper my secrets to.
The powerful aspect of journaling is the ability to backtrack and reread my thoughts. I can see the thoughts and handwriting of a 10 year old Stephanie and 21 year old Stephanie all in the same day. It is the what, when, where, why and how of my life. More importantly, it is an opportunity to witness the awesome things God has done in my life. It is my reflective tool–filled with lessons learned, blessings past, and future expectations. For this reason, I believe in the power of journaling.
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