This is my story; this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long…
Everyone has a story and all of our stories are different! The idea for Joyful Journaling began for me after a particularly difficult season. I’m sure many of you can relate to that season that seems to be devoid of color and joy; it physically hurts to see others laughing and enjoying good times.
Well, that’s where I was and not being one to dwell in the pity-pot too long, I decided I needed to find my joy and add some color and music in my life. I have always journaled but found that writing out my deepest, darkest thoughts were not sparking joy. As we know, true joy comes from the Lord! And so, Joyful Journaling was born.
No special journal is needed; I used a spare planner that I already had in my possession. Invest in some colored pencils. You can start out with some from the dollar store and as you get hooked on adding color into your life I will probably run into you in the aisles of Hobby Lobby.
I use four pages each week. One page for Sermon Notes, a page for Thoughts and Devotions, and then two pages that journal each day, with sections for morning, afternoon, and evening.
A section is devoted to intentional prayer. This is an opportunity to become a true Prayer Warrior. Pray daily for those you are lifting up in prayer and follow up with at least three of those people during the week by email, text, or perhaps over a cup of coffee.
List six things each week that you want to become daily habits and then give yourself a check for each day that you follow through. Two things that are not negotiable for me are Praise and Prayer and being in His word. My journal includes more mundane things such as de-cluttering my house, exercising, and being more conscious of what I am eating.
Now comes the fun part! Take those colored pencils and instead of writing, writing, writing, I challenge you to color, color, color. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just put color on those pages. I am not an artist so my journal is full of stick people, hearts, and other basic symbols. Use your colors to reflect your moods. I tend to use gray when I am sad, shades of purple when I am feeling the Lord working in and through me and hearts of many colors as the Lord shows me blessings even as I go through tough times.
When I look back on early journal pages I do not find them colorful yet at the time I thought they were. Now my pages are chock full of color, Bible verses, snippets of songs, scattered bits and pieces that He is showing me as I go through each day, randomly gracing the margins of my pages.
My old journals will probably end up in the fireplace because I really don’t want to share them with anyone! My new journal is a wonderful, colorful piece of folk art that I would be proud to have future generations look at. There is just enough detail to make them very curious about what was going on in my life, and without a doubt my family will know that I was walking with the Lord, praying for them and others and praising our Lord every step of the way. My journal, my story, may not always be upbeat but my God is faithful and He repeatedly shows me His blessings and even ways to bless others each and every day.
For more information on Joyful Journaling watch the CCM calendar for future classes.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Written by Colleen Lavdar, Vice Chair of the CCM Board