I recently ran across an old blog of mine that I had only used for a few months a couple of years ago. It’s always interesting to read old blog and journal entries. In fact, if I so desired, I could probably pull together a fairly complete autobiography of my so-called adulthood between various paper and online journals I’ve kept over the years, with a dash of some message board posts for good measure.
At our old church, there is a lady who is very (justifiably) respected and honored for her wisdom and spiritual maturity. I remember a few years ago, she stood at the front of church and recommended to everyone to keep a prayer journal, because it made it possible, when looking back, to see how God has worked in your life, and was very encouraging.
Journaling serves many purposes for me. More than anything else, it’s simply been a witness to my life. I know that I’ve been as encouraged by the entries from difficult times as I have been by the ones from good times. Invariably, I have a much deeper and higher perspective on those events, being that I now know how it all worked out. But aside from that, sometimes you just need to pour out your “stuff” to nonjudgmental witness, and it doesn’t get much more nonjudgmental than a blank sheet of paper or an empty Notepad file.
When my grandma passed on a few weeks ago, my uncle asked us all to please take with us any of her personal items that were meaningful to us. One of the few things I asked for was a small, fat notebook that was always on her kitchen. My grandma was also a journaller– I recall her saying after a flood several years ago, one of the worst losses was her “notebooks”–the journals she kept over the years. I don’t know if I will read any of it. But it didn’t seem right to just let someone throw it away, and I somehow felt like she’d like me to have it.
Mom was not a writer or a journal, at least not that I ever knew. But I do have a few recipe cards she had given me over the years. Every now and again, I will pull out her recipe for no-bakes, and just look at her handwriting, and smile at the word “vanilla” consistently spelled “vallina” (Mom was a horrible speller, but she was consistent –she always misspelled the same words the same way every time.)
I’ve been blogging less and less here lately, but I’ve been writing in my paper journal a lot more and more. It’s not that I don’t want to keep everyone else updated on what’s going on with me. Maybe I’m just trying to leave a record in my own hand. Who knows? Maybe some day Josh and Maddie will find one of my old journals, and find a connection that they need when they need it.