A Brand New Journal

I love the day I open a brand new journal, its lined pages pristine. It always reminds me of Anne Shirley saying “Every day is fresh with no mistakes in it.” And yet I know the pages before me will be filled with mistakes. Not just words crossed out and misspellings, but bigger things. Like sin. And struggle. It can be a depressing thought instead of a jubilant one. So I always recall the comfort of Lamentations:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

How do I know this holds true? Because when I open I new journal (which ends up being every year or so) I take a few moments to pull down all the old ones out of the top of my closet. Scattered remembrances of the last twenty-five years of my life. I flip through the pages. Sometimes I read the journals all the way through. Sometimes I read a few pages here and there. But one page or one hundred doesn’t change the fact that those journals—once filled with blank pages, now filled with words from my pen—are tangible evidence of that very promise of God’s new mercies and His faithfulness. I see from where He has brought me and I anticipate where He will take me through the pages yet unwritten.

My newest journal waits just a few last pages transcribed into the old one. And then I will look back—and look forward. And I’ll begin again.

Do you journal? Do you write every day or as the mood strikes?


Wendy Paine Miller said...

When the mood strikes. I used to be an every dayer, but now I just pick up my pen every so often.

Needed this message today. Thanks for reaching out yesterday. Meant a lot!
~ Wendy

Anne Mateer said...

I know, Wendy. I think blogging has eaten away a bit at my need to journal every day.

And I'm glad we connected yesterday!

Niki Turner said...

I generally journal every day as part of my prayer and Bible reading.
I love getting a new journal... in fact, I've got a gift certificate in my purse just waiting to be used for that purpose!

Anne Mateer said...

I love to journal during my Bible reading, Niki. I write down questions or thoughts or convictions spurred by what I've read. I love capturing those whispers of the Holy Spirit!

Joanne said...

I have kept a journal since I was 11 years old.I am now 47... sometimes I go back and read them and they make me smile at all those things that I thought were so important. I journal whenever the mood strikes me. It is always by my bed ready for new writings. love your post. Blessings, Joanne

Anne Mateer said...

Thanks, Joanne. It's good to be a lifelong journaler! Glad you found your way here today!

Melany said...

Lovely blog, and I think the Anne quote very prettily captures the feeling of starting a new journal.

A friend of mine once compared journaling to the "stones of remembrance" set up by the Israelites, so that their children would be able to look back and see what God had done. I really liked the analogy, and it inspired me to be much more purposeful in my writing, which had previously been a mostly diary of hopes and heartaches.

With that purpose comes a greater desire to share my thoughts with others, so most of my writing is for my blog. But there is nothing like pouring out your heart (in your finest cursive!) on delicate stationary or in a beautiful journal, so my most personal thoughts are still expressed with paper and ink.

To answer the question you posed, I have always written because I "need" to write, so I definitely write impulsively. Unfortunately, the creative impulse can come the worst times! While in college, I always felt inspired to write (anything but my required paper!) during midterms and finals. :)

These days, I write fairly regularly. I'm living pretty far from my family, so the desire to share my thoughts and stay connected with them causes me to prioritize writing time.

This is a long answer! I hope that serves only to demonstrate that I liked the question. :)

Anne Mateer said...

I'm so glad you liked the post and the questions, Melany! I love long responses!

I agree with your friend. My journals are definitely stones of remembrance. And yes, I, too, find myself "needing" to write at the most inopportune times--like during sermons at church!

How wonderful that you stay connected with your far away family through writing.

So glad you stopped by my little piece of cyberspace. :)