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Spiritual Disciplines: Journaling

This year at my church, we're doing a program of focusing on spiritual disciplines together as a congregation. Each month, we'll be focusing on a different discipline - worship, tithing, fasting, fellowship, body, prayer, etc. Some of these are non-traditional disciplines, but I was wanted to find twelve that would work as a community. I've had a decent amount of interest asking people to sign up so far. I decided to start off with a less intimidating discipline, and my favorite: journaling.

Blogging is great - since I know someone else is reading, I tend to write more consistently in my blog than I do in my personal journal. But it wasn't always that way - I've been keeping journals since 5th grade - I have a whole filing cabinet full of them. But in the past years, my journaling has become much less regular. I'm so glad that at least I've been blogging, so at least there is some record of my thoughts and what's going on in my life. I love looking back over journal entries and seeing where I was and where I am now. But of course blog entries are of a different nature and feel than what goes into the pages no one else sees.

Do you keep a personal journal? How long? How often do you write? This month, I've promised, with some of my congregation, to write at least something in my journal everyday this month. So far, so good. Doing it makes me remember how much I enjoy it.

Back in 5th grade, I wrote about Iraq invading Kuwait. The entry went something like: "Iraq invaded Kuwait today. I won my soccer game. I think I have a crush on (name blanked to protect the innocent...)" It's refreshing to know that I've changed and matured over the years, especially on days when it doesn't feel like it!


Jason D. Moore said…
I've kept a journal for the past 7 and a half years or so. I, too, have written less and less in it since I began blogging. I've come so far since my senior year in high school - thank God! - and the style and reflectiveness has developed pretty well.

I keep telling myself to keep to it, but I haven't done so as well as I would like to.
Anonymous said…
Eh, it never works for me. I've tried journaling and prayer journaling. I just don't get anywhere with it.
Greg Hazelrig said…
I've started and stopped over the last several years. I tried writing in a journal and then got frustrated because when I write for a while my handwriting gets bad and I'm more used to using a keyboard now. So I started up a journal on my computer (Word - not online). This worked well for a good while (with some empty time intervels though). Now, I've basically quit because I use all that time blogging. I'm addicted to this now and can't get back. So I guess long story blogging has become my journaling.
if you are leading a congregational reaffirmation of baptismal vows (as I am in Oneida), what do you do for those who are unbaptized? Is there a way for them to participate in the ritual that is meaningful and theologically appropriate?

eeek that's such a good question!
Anonymous said…
I stopped real journalling last year when I started blogging. Now I just write stuff that I can't share publically - it's a good compromise.

I like to look back and see how things developed. Hindsight is wonderful :)

But God is always faithful!
John said…
I don't keep a journal, and quite deliberately.

Not every thought that goes through my head is pleasant, or something that I would want to have a written record of to come back and bite me in the butt later.

And if I'm not being completely candid in a journal, what's the point in doing it?

So I do journaling of a sort. But it stays in my head.
(a different Jason)
I have both a journal and a blog. I don't diary (that is write something every day). I write things down, or draw or whatever according to what is happening in my life. Like Lorna, I put down things that can't be shared publicly in my journal, but I also write other things down there as well. Some things make both entries.
I also use my journal if I'm away from the 'puter (on a trip or something) and can't blog immediately. I'll write in my journal, then post it later.

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