Well, actually we say “Hi” when people come into our home. We greet them with a big smile and a hug and invite them into our space to spend some quality time with us.
That is what I hope to do with you here.
In addition to helping you make space in your life to start journaling or return to journaling, I want to share about the impact of journaling on my own life. I will tell you stories about how I grew in my faith through some seemingly impossible to overcome challenges. I will share vulnerable moments about those challenges and how God loved me through my not-so-pretty responses. At the chagrin of some of my favorite people, I will share some of my funniest moments with you too.
This is an invitation into my journaled life.
Into some of the notebooks from my early childhood where I wrote about the behaviors of the stuffed animals in my at home classroom. Or in my tween years into my diaries that were filled with angst about my next door neighbor friend’s brother Travis and why he never seemed to notice how cute I was. In high school, into the notebooks that were filled with my name and the last name I imagined having as a result of a few of the crushes I had. And of course, the separate notebooks about the devastation of those crushes not being reciprocated.
Though a lot of my life has not turned out as I planned in my journals, I continued writing. Into my first job as a teacher. Into my first marriage and the only child I gave birth to. Into my grief as a widow, a second marriage and later in life as a divorcée. Into my struggles as a stepparent. Into my people pleasing sickness. Into jobs I loved and jobs that served as character growth opportunities. And into my faith.
And now I am inviting you into it.
I have filled many journals over the years so there is a lot to share. I have written a lot.
I’m talking pen to paper writing. Putting my phone away. Going into a quiet space with a cup of coffee and losing time. I pour out my heart without concern for punctuation, spelling or penmanship (which if you know me, you know this is from God). I “write my heart” and think about making sense of it later.
This practice has been so beneficial to me that I journal everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.
It is my release. It is one of the ways I pray. It is becoming the way I feel safest to speak most honestly and authentically about who I am and what I’m going through. Writing in this way is how I safely dump my emotions and get real about what I think and why I make the choices I do. Through journaling I move closer to being…clear.
I had become highly distracted and unclear in my life and knew that God was really seeking to spend time with me. That He was trying to share with me how He wanted me to show up in His plans for us. That He was wanting to help me combat my worldview and replace it with His perfect plan and a heart full of His Good News.
I’d like to share with you that I was super excited about His direction to start this blog and share many of the things He has put on my heart, but that would be a lie.
Nope, my heart has been reluctant and fearful. Hesitant to receive His invitation. Concerned about how this blog and these posts and ultimately my heart may be received and responded to. So I journaled about it for a bunch of months before I even realized and accepted that this was what I was being invited to do.
At the end of July, I started taking steps to develop this blog without a very clear path as to what would come next. Initially, I made excuses and had very negative talks with myself. I fought God’s invitation to write this blog. I tried to bury the idea under job applications. I tried to ignore it and distract myself with getting my son ready to go back to school. I fought to drown the invitation under my past failed blogs and insecurities.
When it started keeping me up at night, I knew I needed to go back and carefully consider what I was being invited into.
I paid the deposit for a more costly web platform I’d not used before. I signed up for courses about blogging. I ordered and read a book about blog writing. I got a writing team together for accountability and encouragement. I shared my fears with a few and asked them to pray for me. Then, I went public.
I have accepted my invitation and now I get to extend an invitation to you.
You are being invited to live a journaled life and it only asks three things of you.
- That you have a desire to BE your real self in the words you write.
- That you would put forth genuine effort to WRITE a little bit each day.
- To DO the good that shows up as a result of your writing.
This is all you need to say “yes” to. The rest will come will come.
I’ll be in it with you sharing excerpts from my journal, because yes, God is still working some stuff out in me. There will be tips to help you make space for journaling. Posts about types of journals to help you find the fit that is best for you. I will share things that inspire me or prompt me to write. We will do this together.
And we will have have fun. There will be interesting and challenging moments. We will laugh and sometimes because this work is hard, we will cry. God will meet us in this work and it will be worth it.
The invitation has been extended. I am praying that you accept it.