There is a Chinese proverb that says the faintest ink is stronger than the strongest memory.
My Grandma Meggison kept a journal. In it she would write, maybe two or three short sentences, like: Took Bitsy to the vet. Michael stopped by. Watched Cubs--it's a building year.
I journal and I have since 2001. I'm on my 116th since then. They average like 200 pps.
Moses says we live in a land of forgetfulness and I see that word like "forget fullness" and we don't want that.
So journals help us to remember--which is a Biblical motif.
Journal means "daily." I feel like the Psalms are songs, yes; but also David's journal entries.
Little verbal photographs we can date, timestamp, contextualize the who and the where we were at the time. Bill Johnson says, I just read the Word everyday until He speaks to my heart." I try to even do it in my Key Word study Bible.
I have had such sacred moments so many times when I looked down and it was the very verse and the very day many years before He'd spoken from right in that space.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will whisper a journal number and page to me and I'll yank it off the shelf and count them out and it is the very thing He has been trying to whisper to me for a month. Not every time do I hear brilliantly; but the more closely I listen, the easier it is for Him to get past my D.U.I. (doubt, unbelief and insecurity).
I have some journal entries in emails from a long time ago, too. Divine exchanges. Like...
Some years ago, a dear friend was in my kitchen sharing a heart-struggle with Christine and me.
York, maybe all of two years at the time, came up to her and smacked the table three or four times and said, adamantly, “Read it. Read it! READ IT!”
I looked at her and I realized York was prophesying to her and just required a little help with interpretation.
It was a well-read copy of a Thomas the Tank Engine series book, entitled: “James in a Mess."
I said, “He is prophecying.” (To clarify, when I say Prophecying--I mean he is hearing something God is whispering so lean in).
The struggle she was describing’s cure is outlined with specificity in the Book of James. “James in a Mess” with a three-to-four times emphasis said to me, there was a degree of intensity for her to read this book--not Thomas' James in a Mess--but the Book of James in the Bible for the mess she found herself in. (Scholars believe James was Jesus' half brother and later, full.)
I spoke to her the next day. She said it was as though she had never read the Book of James before in her life. It says in Proverbs 9 that if you rebuke a wise man, he will love you more. Humble lady to be able to receive wisdom from a two year old.
Because it was in one of my journals, I could share it with you. Bonus.
Evernote it, google doc it, doodle it, arts it up, voice record it: but, gang, my momma died in 1991 and my daddy died in 1992 and I've no records to speak of from their very hearts. So, do it.
It'll be messy at first, so try Grandma's method. "Read Megs Blog today. Ate at Fernandos down by Drake." But do it, your people will thank you when your pens don't write anymore.
Journey and Journal share the same root and it is "day" straight from our Pastor's sermon theme this weekend: seize the day.
I wrote in my journal: "He who sees the day; is he who'll seize the day."
Still not convinced?
A little company called Facebook is essentially a journal that many of us are already using. Take a peek at this keepsake/(keeps ache).
What are you going to write in yours?