Life notes: The importance of keeping a journal

I’ve been keeping up with the practice of writing in a journal off and on since high school. Not to age myself, but it’s been almost 20 years since graduation, so that’s a lot of ink spilled.

My early journals were full of heartache and late-teenage angst, lamenting patterns of sin and wondering if I’d ever find a girl who loves me. There are whole journals in my bedside table that outline why the answer was going to remain “no.”

Now, as a husband (I did it!), a father of 3 boys, a keeper of a full-time job with freelance writing gigs on the side, and someone who’s involved in various other things in our community (softball, volunteering through church), I use those pages to keep track of what’s really going on in my life and how I feel about it all.

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I try to bring my journal around with me wherever I go, just to be able to make note of some thoughts on different aspects of life; it’s not only a space to express my thoughts, feelings, anxieties, success and failure as I try to sort through it all, but also a reference to look back on and see how things have worked out.

And while I do use my journal to write down some thoughts on current life events, what makes this practice so worthwhile for me is having one place where I can jot down quotes from and notes on books that I am currently reading, the verse of the day from my Bible app, funny things the boys say, writing ideas, memorable lines or scenes from movies / TV, musical lyrics that make an impression – anything worth noting, really.

If you don’t journal, I would highly recommend it. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

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