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Journaling As Spiritual Practice

Today’s Reflection

THE SPIRIT OF GOD is always hovering and waiting. Journaling is an opportunity to encounter the spirit. Whenever we set aside time to connect with our inner thoughts, remember the events of yesterday, or dream dreams for tomorrow, we open a way for the Spirit to play an active role in our lives.

Each time I begin a journaling session I try to anticipate a meeting with the Spirit. I look for signs — did an idea come seemingly out of nowhere or did details unexpectedly fall into place? I search for God moments — did my Bible reading open up new meaning for my life or did I see God’s love active in someone else’s life? I monitor my heart for a sense of peace even in the midst of chaos. Is my intuition, otherwise known as nudging from the Spirit, telling me to check on an elderly neighbor or go photograph the sunrise tomorrow?

Can I see or feel the Spirit in the quiet, uneventful sessions when the only entry in my journal is the date? Even on these quiet days, I continue the conversation through the silence of my pen. Opening the journal allowed the hovering Spirit to enter and act as a companion, even if I was not aware of the presence in my mind. I trust that I know in the deep recesses of my soul.

-Valerie K. Isenhower
Journeying Through the Days 2013

From “The Spirit of God” by Valerie K. Isenhower in Journeying Through the Days 2013: A Calendar and Journal for Personal Reflection. Copyright © 2012 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Have you ever kept a journal? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.
Psalm 127:2, NRSV

This Week: pray for friends who are estranged. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Each chapter of Forgiving Your Family contains real-life stories, practical strategies, and encouragement to help you move toward forgiveness. Better communication (while critical) isn’t enough, according to Fischer. Forgiveness requires faith and prayer.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Antoinette Brown Blackwell (November 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 14 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller November 8, 2012, 3:43 am

    I have not kept a journal.

    Estranged friends are on my mind this week, Lord, I wish them your love, hope they are well, and if it is possible to reconnect. For some it has been a very long time. Efforts long ago to reconnect didn’t work.
    Others seem to have willingly disconnected. Lord, you are with all of us always, through your love I know they are watched over. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

    • heidi November 8, 2012, 9:24 am

      Robert, I hate to break it to you, but on your best days, your posts here amount to journalling. When you allow us a glimpse if your heart, when your joy or anguish cannot be contained and spills over here, we are privileged with a glimpse of your soul and we are grateful.

      Journalling/ writing in general keeps me sane. Nuff said. 🙂

      • robert moeller November 9, 2012, 5:00 am

        Thanks for the insight, certainly didn’t see this as journaling.

    • Buzz November 8, 2012, 9:49 am

      I agree with Heidi.
      Journaling at its best is not a formalized exercise. It’s an outpouring of one’s thoughts and emotions. The more simply done the better, in my opinion.
      The reason for the writing of a journal is to be able to meet the Holy Spirit more tangibly but it’s for us to be more able to review where we have been on our journey and sometimes to glean glimpses of where we are going.
      When you allow us into your unwashed secret thoughts and feelings you have a better chance of hearing the Holy Spirit commune with you whether any one even replies.
      Personally, I like the real Robert who shares with us.

      • robert moeller November 9, 2012, 5:04 am

        Thank you for your kind words. I’m comfortable “journaling” here and that’s a blessing.

  • Theodoron November 8, 2012, 5:37 am

    I have been journaling since 1972. I try to journal every morning. It’s my favorite time of day and allows me to connect with god and His Spirit in and around me. Great devotional.

  • Joan November 8, 2012, 7:19 am

    Beautiful writing. It’s been a rich spiritual practice for me, even though I don’t always do it on a regular schedule. For me it works best when I have an open stretch of time that opens me up to hearing and writing from my heart.

    • Buzz November 8, 2012, 9:58 am

      Take 10 – 15 minutes to at least think about journaling. It’s surprising to me how the brief moments are so often more productive than the longer times.
      The scripture that comes to me says in part…”when you pray don’t be like the pagans with their lengthy prayers….”
      Even just a simple “Jesus…” in my conscious thought preceding knowing that my spirit which so often my conscience doesn’t hear will continue my prayer has value.

  • Sally Friedli November 8, 2012, 9:07 am

    I pray for my oldest son and his wife who are estranged from our family. I pray for reconcillation, forgiveness, love and grace for all.

    • heidi November 8, 2012, 9:21 am

      Sally, I pray with you. Amen

    • robert moeller November 9, 2012, 5:08 am

      Having estranged family is tough, I have a great many people in that circumstance. When my wife passed away the barriers went up. I wish them God’s love, peace, and reconciliation just as you do, with God all things are possible.

  • Buzz November 8, 2012, 9:51 am

    May God bless.
    You have my prayers.

  • Michael Ulmen November 8, 2012, 10:24 pm

    Usually I start the day by reading The Large Print edition of The Upper Room meditation guide, even before I wash my face! I feel that GOD wants me to clean myself from the Inside Out . If the reading is about something that I have experience in, I write these comments, and send them to you. If this message co-insides with the message from the Daystar TV program, I take extra care and time to do what I feel the duplicate messages suggest!

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