Periodically, I wander back through previous posts to see what was on my mind on a given day. Okay, that is only a partial truth. I do read through previous posts, but usually it is because I recall the Holy Spirit dispensing a nugget-or boulder-of wisdom, and I want to go back and check it. Sometimes I read my blog entries again to see what nuggets of wisdom I have forgotten and need to receive again. I do the same thing with my journal.
While I am rather hit-and-miss with my blog, although I desire to be consistent, my journal covers almost everything important in my life, even some things that seem rather frivolous, but one never knows where the nuggets lie. The Bible says that the Lord works ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called for His purpose. ALL includes the "frivolous" parts of life, too, so we can assume there are nuggets to be found in those weird and unusual events and circumstances. Since I am not one who can afford to miss nuggets in any form, I write down even the weird and unusual, and you might be amazed what I find there. (You can find some of it at www.jerrismunchies.com)
You might be wondering how much I actually write down. Well, I don't waste time buying small journals because during "intense" times, I can honestly fill them up in a week. I bought one 100-page journal that only made it through 10 days, and the 10th day was continued to another journal. I can write. Ask people who get "real" emails from me.
Your next question might be why I spend the time and energy to keep a journal. This question came up when a friend of mine was in the midst of a very painful divorce. She was seeing a counselor, which I think can be very helpful, and I told her to journal. She asked why since she was seeing a counselor. I said, "Because it keeps things clear. It is a written history, and you need to write down the wisdom and insights you learn BECAUSE time makes our brains fuzzy, and emotions twist the facts. It shows you where you've come from, and sometimes that is what keeps you going. And, it records the steps you made in dealing with the mountain before you, and don't kid yourself. You'll see this mountain again. Next time around the healing will be deeper, the emotions will be just as raw, and the timing will catch you off guard. You may feel as overwhelmed then as you do now. Your journal will help you keep your bearings and your senses. Your journal is your map of what worked and what didn't. The Lord will further purify you of what didn't work, and He'll perfect what did, so the next time you see this mountain, and you will see it again and again, you will not waste your time figuring out how to get out of the valley. You'll immediately start thinking at higher levels, and your map will be there to move you faster and more smoothly. Your journal is a pioneers' map that reminds you of territorial hazards, means of sustenance, and places of rest. Trust me. Write a journal."
I know we all want to believe once we've climbed a mountain we are done, but the truth is, we are not dealing with a mountain standing in the midst of life all by itself. On the contrary, life is nothing less than a vast mountain range requiring skill and wisdom if we ever want to get out of the valley. Journals are the maps of where we've been that help us more easily get to where we are going. Sometimes they offer wisdom. Sometimes they offer warning. Sometimes they offer a good laugh when we desperately need one. They are the records of mountains climbed and mole hills tripped over. They are the directions for how to navigate what lies ahead by learning how we succeeded and floundered in the past.
Want to learn how to climb the next mountain easier and more gracefully? Journal about the one you are on right now. Write about the huge avalanches, the large boulders that offered a safe place to sit and rest, and the stones you stubbed your toe on. You never know where a good nugget of wisdom will show up, and a journal is a good place to keep them so you can find them again when you need them.