Feeling stressed lately? Too much to do and not enough time to get it all done? Homework. Sports. Haircuts. Groceries. Playdates. The list is truly endless. However, I want to share an astonishing key to relieving some stress in your life. Now, the first word of the next paragraph might spark an eye roll, but just hear me out.
Journaling is one of those areas you love or hate. However, being a former hater, I actually found I love it! The thoughts of writing down my thoughts, insights or aspirations seemed like another stressful thing to add to my to-do list.
What I have discovered over the years, journaling actually releases stress and provides an outlook on life you can never experience without it. I finally purchased a cute journal and started putting pen to paper about my limitless worries, dreams stirring my soul, and desires for being a wife and mom. That was 1997.
An astonishing fact about journaling is I realized how much I forgot. How much I took for granted. Things just seemed to work out. In all reality, the threads of my life were woven by my prayers. It was those horribly handwritten pages soaked with tears that brought an epiphany to my life. I filled three journals worth of blood, sweat, and tears. Then, I finally decided to go back and read them.
I sat and marveled at the graceful hand of God. He was with me through everything. Through every thought, crisis, decision, uncertainty – all of it! And the amazing thing was, I didn’t even realize what I had taken for granted. I forgot what my worries were once they were settled. What seemed like a catastrophe at the time was little just a bump in the road.
I realized that beautiful day journaling would always be a part of me – I didn’t want to forget God’s faithfulness. Words scribbled in a pretty journal increased my faith with a new understanding of His sovereign hand.
My journals are my place to write it all out to God (and I mean the good, bad, and ugly). The stroke of the pen alleviates my stress knowing I have entrusted God with the details. Only then can I release my role of playing control freak. I encourage you to purchase the cutest journal you can find and take a few minutes to let your thoughts go wild.
I use ACTS, which guides my journal entries to bring praise where praise is due, and to provide a little order to whatever is on my mind:
A – Adoration, tell God how much you adore Him.
C – Confess, repent from sin.
T – Thanksgiving, give God all the thanks He deserves.
S – Supplication, ask in humility.
Our journeys are filled with ups and downs, taking a few moments to hang out with Jesus is the greatest stress relief you can find. Write it out and watch Him work in your life…it will be a journey you will never regret!