Journaling with intention can change your life, just like it changed mine.
I have started journaling so many times it’s not funny.
In the past I would write for a week then . . . I’d skip a day or two or more.
Or, I start writing and the hard stuff bogs me down. I get stuck in the muddy mess of life and sometimes not writing about the mess is easier than trudging through. I think what if someone finds my journal. Oh dear.
But when I started writing differently in my journal things started to change. I started writing with intention then I started seeing results. I started seeing healing in my heart. I started to let go of insecurities that held me down.
Here’s a bit of transparency for ya, I tend to be a negative person. I see the glass half empty in pretty much everything.
I want to be a positive person, honest! But rewiring my mind has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I work at it but I find myself in the same rut all over again.
I am fortunate that my husband relentlessly reminds me to see the bright side of life. It’s such a blessing that he calls me out. It’s a little annoying too but it’s a blessing. : )
Deep down I know that a positive outlook is important. I have heard and read studies that show positive people get more done, live longer and are generally happier than negative people.
When I read “How to become positive” or anything similar, I am encouraged because studies show that people can change how they think. I love the idea that people can change their life outlook. People can become positive no matter what is stacked against them.
Whether you are dealing with staying positive or a bad gossip habit or needing a thankful heart, this process of intentional journaling can work for you.
Here’s how to journal with intention –
1) Read. Do your normal Bible reading plan. If you don’t have a regular plan I recommend starting with Proverbs. Reading one chapter a day. There’s 31 so it makes it easy to remember what chapter you are on. This will get you going for now and you can branch out later. The main thing is to get the habit in place.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2
2) Pray. Use your journal as a prayer guide through the scriptures.
Keep a daily prayer list in your journal. These are items that are weighing on your heart.
Also, as you read write down your prayers. Example, if you are reading in Psalms about the tree planted by the waters that will not be moved (see below), write down something like this: God, I want to be like a tree planted by the water with strong branches to help my neighbor, deep roots to help me stay grounded and lively leaves to remind me of the life, victory and hope I have in you. Or you could pray something as simple as God, help me to stay strong and have much fruit. I know that living by the source of nutrition will strengthen my life. I could go on with why I want to be a strong Christian but you see where I’m going. The main thing is to let God speak to you through scriptures and for you to respond with prayer.
Empty your heart of all the burdens you are carrying. While you are reading your verses, you’ll know when a verse speaks to you. Stop then and write your prayers.
When you read, write, and pray through scripture, you’ll notice that you will become like the tree from Psalms 1; strong and sure in your faith.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:3
3) Write. Write with intention. What is your one issue? How did you handle it today?
After you read scripture and wrote your prayers through scriptures, you are now ready for the tough part. What is your intention (your goal) – positivity, gossiping, lying, laziness, bitterness/unforgiveness or something entirely different? Only you and God knows this. Write down your one intention after your prayer.
Think about your day, did you have to face your issue? What was said or done that triggered the internal struggle? I’m sure you know exactly what it was. I know this is terrible but sometimes seeing someone particular can bring you back to pain or old habits. What struck your heart today? Write it down.
Sometimes our thoughts can run away with us and take us for a dangerous ride. If this is your struggle, record that too.
Next write down how you handled the situation. I’m sure you already know if you handled it well or not. Write it down. This will hurt in the beginning but bringing awareness to issues will help heal and change patterns for the future. Changing how you think is possible but requires you to face your issues and stand up against them.
Next, write down, if you were in a perfect world, what should’ve happened? What would you have said differently? What is the ugly feeling that you want released from?
4) Forgive. Forgive yourself and ask God to forgive you. Ask God to heal the broken parts within you and to bring you to healing. Don’t stay in a place of hurt. Instead, get up, dust off, and find peace in your soul.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22
5) Affirmation. Write down 5 things you love about God. This is good to do last so you remember the good things of God throughout your day.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
No matter what you are going through, if you want to focus on Jesus and change your life, you can. All you need to do is to start writing.
Here’s some additional encouragement for you as you start journaling intentionally.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:14
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:1-4
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. – Philippians 2:1-2
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:20-27
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18
Journaling has been a tool that God is using to remind me of all the
good positive things I have. God has blessed me. When I think about that, my heart is full.
How do you use your journal? Leave me a note below and let me know.