Do you journal? Whether you do or not, stick around and read some magic I found as I took the day to re-read the stories I’ve written down in my pile of journals.
I have always enjoyed writing. And reflecting. And now that I’m married to the biggest reflective person I know, I feel like I need to step up my game hah! I have about 15 journals that are 25% – 90% full, and y’all – the ones from middle school Jacs are hilarious.
Here’s some gems, a little peek into my two decades of journals:
January 16, 2015 RE: prophecy I received at church “You will love the unlovely – the ones who are abandoned and unlovable.”
August 2, 2004 (8th grade Jacs) “Sometimes I don’t get sisters. I get in bed, and then they tell me to vacuum the bathroom floors. When I refuse, a simple dramatic hit on the shoulder wakes me up. Sometimes I feel like she controls me so much, I get mad her her and want to hit her or something. I need to work on the fruits of the Spirit!”
October 2, 2014 RE: the Story conference notes “Failure teaches. Love something. If you’ve solved something the 1st time, you might have solved the wrong thing. Struggle a little. That way you know what you’re willing to fight for. This shows you what/who you truly love. /// I seek distractions because doing what I really love is hard. I want to have more creative confidence: all about trying, not achieving perfection.”
Florida Trip 2002 “This trip was a blast. In fact driving to Florida for 25 hours down and 25 hours back was part of the fun. It started out that we drove from our house to South Carolina where my cousins live. So we stayed there for 1-2 days. While we were there all of the ladies including me and Janel went out shopping for wedding dresses for Yvonne. We all couldn’t choose. They looked so wonderful on her.” (I then went on to describe on the proceeding 4 pages what the hotel in Florida was like – including that we had three tv’s in the hotel suite) HAHA!
September 17, 2013 “One thing I want to remind future me: be careful and tactful in how I advise people. So many people in this season have given me their advice on what I should do / their opinions. Do you know where all of those opinions have brought me? To confusion. To questions that don’t end. To chaos in my mind. To an anxious heart. A ball of yarn people keep adding to. I understand peoples’ motives in trying to give me their opinion , but it is the people who spoke encouragement and truth to my soul about how God sees me that brought me to peace. It was those who directed me to a much more important questions: who is your God? What are you believing Him for? Instead of stating ‘this is what you should do.'”
I put a couple of fun gems in there, but to be honest: my soul needed the promises and notes of encouragement and realizations I had over the last several years to encourage me today. There have been seasons of writing when I find it more of a venting tool, but here I am today reading those vents over coffee and seeing roots. Roots that were established from experiences and relationships and heartbreaks and fun trips and revelations from God or prayers I needed reminding of that came to pass. And today, I need little Jacs – younger Jacs – to help me understand those roots and why they matter today. She has wisdom and feelings that matter today. Realizations that matter today.
My next post will include a list of practical ways to start journaling and reflecting, but I found it extremely valuable to share my why. Why does it matter?
For me: my why is because I want to learn about myself and learn from myself, and writing things down in the moment gives me great clarity – if not in the moment of writing – older me can begin to process and have those “ah-ha!” moments that I crave.
What is your why if you enjoy writing and reflecting?
What could be your why if you don’t?