I’ve always loved journaling. I’ve had half-filled notebooks since I was old enough to write. They’re half-filled because every time I saw a pretty journal, I begged for it, or they were gifted to me. I’m obsessed with the design, the paper, the material, the pens and pencils, the freedom to do whatever you want on those pages, and how therapeutic it’s always been for me.
There are so many benefits to journaling, it’s kind of weird how something that is seemingly so simple could have such an impact.
I want to share with you today both facts and personal experiences with journaling. For one thing, the magic of writing something out on paper and increasing the chances of becoming reality is extremely fascinating (at least for me). As for another, it can really help your strengthen your relationship with Christ.
- Strengthens immune cells (T-lymphocytes)
- Decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
- Acts as a stress management tool
- Helps you understand yourself
- Helps you to problem solve
- Helps you to understand misunderstood situations and others’ point of view
- By keeping a prayer journal, you can track how God answers your prayers, jot down verses to meditate on, and prayer requests.
- Journaling helps you unwind by writing out your thoughts without editing, or thinking. Just write, and whatever comes out, comes out. God can also use this way to speak to you. You never know when He may take hold of your hands.
- Keeping a nighttime journal can help you sleep better by writing out your concerns and whatever else is on your mind and giving it to God. Write them out, and forget about ’em.
- It’s a release for thoughts you feel as though you can’t talk about. There are some things in life that, for whatever reason, either because it’s triggering, or it’s simply uncomfortable for you, and the only way to process those thoughts and feelings is by writing them out.
- You can strengthen your prayer life by turning your entries into prayers, or worship, even.
Bible journaling is a great way to help you understand the Word. The method that has worked best for me is the SOAP method, which also seems to be the most popular. For those who have never been introduced to this method of journaling, here’s a brief explanation.
- S = Scripture
- O = Observation
- A = Application
- P = Prayer
Writing out the verse(s) you’re studying can help you grasp and familiarize yourself, helping with memorization.
How does the Scripture speak to you? What do you feel God is trying to teach you?
How are you going to apply the Scripture in your life? This is one of the many places where post-its come in handy! Leave yourself reminders, copies of the verse, and whatever helps you to stay focused on it throughout the day.
If you’re new to prayer and have a hard time knowing what to write, turn your notes into one big prayer. Thank God for the Scripture and wisdom, ask Him to help you apply it to your life. You can even practice turning the verse, itself, into a prayer.
Illustrated faith is just art journaling, but in your Bible, mostly. This is a not only a great stress reliever, as you get to express yourself, but is also a great way to familiarize and soak in His Word. Pick a passage, and express how you feel about it or what speaks to you about the passage. I personally love using water color and washi tape. There are tons of tutorials out there to help you get started and inspired! Here is the one that I use.
Wreck This Journal is a super fun journaling series that provides bizzare and creative ways to get your thoughts out. From random acts of silly-ness, to painting or coloring in shapes, these books pick your brain, make you think, and are also really fun to do with friends.
In my opinion, the Listography series is more for older teens and adults (some of the lists are slightly dirty, which is why I don’t recommend for anyone under 18). I stumbled upon it at a Barnes and Noble in high school, and had never seen a journal like this. I’m so thankful that someone out there thought of it because it’s such a unique way to journal! There are all kinds of list prompts from your favorite movies, to your favorite memories, favorite quotes, favorite places to shop, cities you’ve been to, and so many more. Not to mention, the illustrations are adorable. These books are great conversation-starters and a super fun way to get to know yourself and others.
What are some of your favorite ways to relieve your emotions? Has God ever spoken to you through journaling? If so, what did you learn?
Thanks for reading,