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A Life-Enhancing Tool

  • The Power of Journaling

has been something that I have been wanting to blog about for a while now! Why? Well, because journaling has been a huge part of my life since my high school days! Whenever I meet up with high school girls that are going through a tough season of life or a difficult situation, I encourage them to journal about it. Now before all of the guys totally check out of this post… let me explain! Journaling isn’t a DIARY!! It’s so much more than that! For me, journaling started as a way to document my life.

I wanted to remember what I liked, what I felt, what I thought at 16 so that one day, when I have a 16 year old, I can re-read my old journals and understand why my child is being so weird! ha! But in all seriousness… journaling was so helpful not only in my high school years, but in college as well. Some days I journal and it’s more like a prayer and then some days it’s just a story of our life in its’ current state. While some entries are mundane… others rock my world. Let me give you an example…..

It was my junior year of college and Michael had just graduated. He moved to North Carolina for an internship and I was loving life at CNU! I was living with my best friends and life was good. For the first time in my life, I was enjoying being independent without Michael being by my side. I was figuring out who I was without him and that was the year that I started this crazy business. It was like I blossomed and took off as soon as he left …. and we had a tough year… actually… we had a HORRIBLE year.  We refer to that year as “The Dark Ages”. By November of that semester, we had stopped communicating and I told Michael that I wanted a month of no communication to figure out what I was feeling. I’ll have to do a full post about this time in our life sometime because there is so much more to this story! Basically, it was one of the hardest years of our relationship and I remember it vividly because I journaled about it.  Some may say “Gosh do you really want to remember a year like that VIVIDLY?”…. and my response would be “Yes”.  I’m so thankful that I journaled through that year because whenever I read over those pages now, I’m reminded of how FAITHFUL God is in our life and in our relationship.  It was bad…. really bad. One day I wrote in all caps ” THIS WILL NEVER GET BETTER!!!”….. and look at us now. We’re married!! We’re happy , loving life and we’re in love with each other.

I love journaling because it shows me that the tough times don’t last forever. As I read over the things I was worried about in high school, I’m reminded of just how GOOD God is to crazy teenagers and as I read about the “Dark Ages” of our relationship during college, I’m thankful for my amazing husband. The thing is, when we don’t write down the details of our everyday lives, we forget how much we have to be thankful for. Just this week I’ve been freaking out about speaking and by tomorrow morning, I’ll barely remember that stress. My journaling these days is normally more like a prayer journal and I actually find it easier to pray this way. So for those of you who want to know why I think journaling is a life-enhancing tool, here are a few reasons to consider adding this to your daily life:

1.  Journaling allows you to process LIFE and EMOTIONS before your day begins. Your family will thank you for this. :)

2. Journaling allows you to look back on your life and realize that you are blessed…. even through the hard times. There is hope and it’s hard to remember just how HARD those seasons of life were without documenting them. 

3.  Journaling allows you to dream and write out goals privately! I write crazy, vulnerable things in my journal and no one will ever see it! 

Here’s to journaling, dream-writing and being reminded for years and years of all of our blessings!!!!

17 Comments Personal
  1. Sarah (Danaher) Bradshaw reply

    I’ve been journaling since I was 15, and I can confidently say that it has been one of THE BEST means of cultivating faithful love for Christ in my own heart. As a verbal processor, it helps me work through my own heart and figure out what the heck I’m even feeling before taking those feelings to my husband or other people. It helps me identify lies I’m believing about myself or about God and His work in my life. And, like for you, it is one of the best ways for me to pray, or at least launch into prayer. Journaling is one of the reasons I’m a photographer, I think— it’s the drive to document, and to know the reason why at the same time.

  2. Sarah Wineland reply

    I’m the same way! I have journals and journals filled with anguish and joy from high school and college. since starting my adult life, I haven’t been as diligent about it, but I think for Lent I will start up again. Thanks for the reminder, Katelyn (and Sarah B!).

  3. Jenny reply

    I’m a terrible journaler. I’ve got probably 10 diaries and journals from over the years with just a handful of entries…I think that’s why I became a photographer, so that I could still record everything!

  4. Morgan Leigh reply

    I justed to journal all the time in high school…this gives me motivation to pick it up again!

  5. Karen Allen reply

    I remember the first time my husband glanced through one of my journals. I’m sure he was so excited, thinking he was diving into my “diary” (haha, boys!), but his repsonse was something I will always remember. He said, “Wow. This is how you pray, isn’t it? This is where you pour your heart out to God.” I don’t think when I started journaling that I intended for it to become a prayer journal…it just naturally did…and I love it. Thank you for this post!!

  6. Katie reply

    I feel like we’re in each other’s heads… I’ve been journaling each morning and I feel so wonderful! I realized its easier for me to pray via journal than in my head or outloud too.. something I don’t think I would’ve discovered without you KK! :) xoxo

  7. Jessica Bulloss reply

    I love this post. I have been trying to keep up with a journal and was so happy when I used to keep up with it daily for all the reasons you mentioned! I think I will have to start it again and make sure I dive into it every morning or evening.
    Thank you for a reminder to keep it going!

  8. SHalese reply

    I LOVE this post! Of course, I’m sorry about the “Dark Ages,” but honestly, it’s encouraging to know that we can get through the downs of a relationship . . . because they all have their ups and downs! You & Michael are a shining example of never giving up when distance and life makes your relationship difficult. This post really spoke to me and made me want to sit down and journal out all of my worries.

  9. Christin reply

    Thank you for sharing this. I have never journaled before because of a couple of reasons, but you have brought a new light to it. i have three boys and in all the tough stuff i need to be journaling all the blessing and joys of my days to give me some perspective and hope. again, thank you :)

  10. Emily Baxter reply

    I remember this vividly :) we both had a pretty hard year and look where we are now … Pretty wild!

  11. Shuva Rahim reply

    I love this post. Thank you for sharing. I’ve journaled since I was 12 or 13… and have every journal I’ve kept in my possession now… and still journal today. Good for you and continued success to you…

  12. Kathy reply

    Katelyn, what a wonderful post and such a pretty site. I too love to journal! Like you, many of my posts turn out to be prayers for both myself and others.

  13. Callie Lindsey reply

    Thank you for this post, Katelyn! I needed this reminder today. It’s such a good thing to be reminded of God’s grace in times of doubt by revisiting an old journal.

  14. Kimber Wassenberg reply

    Amen! I’m not a huge journaler but when I’ve got lots of emotions and thoughts going through my head…that’s the first place I go! Most of hte time it does end up as a prayer to Jesus and I love going back through my journals and seeing where I was spiritually, emotionally, and mentally years ago! I think my kids will enjoy it one day too!

  15. Kristina W. reply

    I’ve never been a journaler because it takes so much time! You’re such a busy person – how and when do you make time for it?

  16. laura beth stricker reply

    I have always loved to write, but i was one of those kids who was obsessed with being neat and orderly. I clearly remember throwing at least 5 or 6 journals (mostly spiral notebooks) into the big blue recycling bin in my parents’ garage several years ago. I look back now and kick myself because i should have kept them to look back years from now! regardless, i have several journals that i received as gifts that i have held onto. i got my inspiration from my parents – they both have kept “logs” for years. they both have boxes full of them – they were hardcover, embossed with the year and had 365 pages in them for each day of the year. I happened to find my dad’s from 1988, the year i was born, and it was so cool to sit and read his thoughts over finally being pregnant (after 6 long years of trying!) and then watching me come into the world 3 1/2 months prematurely. i think i sat for over an hour with tears in my eyes the whole time – that’s what i want my kids to experience one day.

  17. Sydni Jackson reply

    Oh my gosh, we have a time we refer to as “The Dark Ages” too! hahah. It was when I told Whit I didn’t want to date him…when he was fully expecting that I would say yes. Whoops. SO glad the Lord is faithful!!!

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