Journaling has been a lifelong practice for me. I’ve used up a couple dozen, at least. My blog, Joyful Reflections, is the result of working through many of them and choosing those of my personal reflections that were worth sharing with others. The prayer of my heart since I started blogging is that God would use my ramblings to help some other in a similar place. If feedback is trustworthy then God is answering my prayer. In amongst the gems were entries that ended their days in the paper shredder or our backyard fire pit – a good indicator of what was contained therein – the fiery diatribe of a woman shredded by the frustrations of difficult circumstances and difficult people. Better penned and destroyed than left to fester inside! Yes, journaling has been both therapeutic and cathartic for me.
If you were to look on my shelves, however, you wouldn’t find a single journal. What happened to them all? They’re gone. Their contents, as I said, relegated to my online journal to serve a more useful purpose; or to a landfill somewhere, having outlived their usefulness. And so I have begun a new kind of journal. It’s different. A virtual journal has its place. I will admit to struggling with the venue change; a fact which, I feel, still makes me a rookie some three years into the blogging world. I am a writer at heart (definitely not a “typer”). Pen and paper has always motivated me like no keyboard ever did but its growing on me. So here I am after a lifetime of penning my thoughts I am strengthening my acquaintance with a new kind of journal. I am learning that you can still engage the art and heart of journaling in a virtual space. Here I can share my heart but I choose not to “get ugly” and vent like I was free to do in a space no one read but me and God. I enjoy blogging but every woman knows you don’t work through the stuff of life on any available online media outlet – Heaven forbid! There are some things even cyber space should not be privy to! I always contended that journaling like a mad woman kept me sane. So what do I do with the ugly stuff that needed out so I didn’t get ugly inside? I’ve just eliminated the paper trail and go directly to God with it – He sets it straight, sets me straight or sets the record straight and I’m good.
P.S. I haven’t given up my pen altogether – I still make notes in the margins of my various Bibles – what a rush! J