Several stand outs from this book are the call to recognize emotion as important. I sometimes feel that I am too emotional. That there are too many emotions to sort out, and I know people who claim they do not have enough emotion. I think that we all have emotions and a journal can be very helpful in reminding ourselves of our reactions, thoughts, and relationships.
Originally I did not think I would enjoy this book.
As I am reading this book I am finding that it has been reopened at the right time for me.
When I first grabbed it, I was already in the habit of journaling, but in the latest transitions I have felt that journaling has slipped out of reach.
In wanting to become a more consistent blogger I want to be able to write about my life without the emotion and drama becoming overwhelming. Ron Klug mentions just that in sharing that some people have trouble keeping a journal because they feel like the events that were journal worthy were too emotional.
“In past years, I sometimes avoided writing in [my journal] because things were either too painful or very wonderful. I now regret that it didn’t seem necessary to record those times.” Pg. 31
This book has been opening my eyes to ways that I can use journaling in my life. For instance, just taking notes as I read books will help form these book review posts because I can keep the notes in the blog post and then edit down as needed. Making goals based on time to write or amount is another helpful piece of advice as I am trying to build my writing habit. While these might not be all new ideas, the framework of doing it out of God’s desires in my life rather than just to do it is helping me reframe my thinking about my writing.
This book is inspiring me to make slight modifications and then to add to those rather than try to change everything at once. The book shares about so many practical steps mixed with the purpose, motivation, and how to see God in it all. I like that.
I think that this book might be changing a lot more than just a few things, but it will be subtle, so beginning with taking notes from the book I want to stop here to give thanks to God for bringing this book to Lebanon and into my hands right now. Some of the things I see that I believe will have a lasting impact are:
Multiple journals. I have been struggling with guilt, but to think of my folders as a journal organized in a particular way was like light being shed on a dark place. It was not new, and it was not novel. It was obvious as soon as I read it. It also opened my eyes to the fact that I can have journals on the computer as well as written, both for their own purposes. It seems so simple now that I have realized it, but I was floundering a little before.
Personal Contract. This part is where my leaning to dogmatism may come into play, but it was a novel idea to me to take the time to write down my goals and purpose along with a contract. I think that I have taken it lightly that God has also called me, but this book has made it evident that in this season, God is asking my to journal, to blog, to write. Commitment. I want to be committed. So, I am doing this.
As I read this book I am continuing to find pieces that I am happy to begin implementing, and because of the simple steps to begin with I am able to experiment with ways of using the ideas right away. I know that this book is guiding my writing in a way that I will forget because the steps I am taking are so intuitive and useful right away. Also, this book is affirming much of what I already have written and that I consistently write while helping me see a way to make it more useful to my life.
This book does not encourage merely writing for the sake of writing, but also returning to the purpose of growth.
Your journal will be of more value to you if you move beyond the level of what happened to record your reactions to what happened…although not great literature, [this addition of reactions] gives more of a feeling of life because it includes some thoughts and observations. It finds some meaning in even a simple event.
As the book shares about journaling and writing I can hear many people asking, but what does this have to do with God? Beginning with that personal contract I made journaling about God. The act of journaling, of writing is for finding out about myself so that I can serve God. God knows me far better than I know myself at times, and so this is something essential to understand in my writing. No matter what idea I have, how profound, it is God’s creation, and God knew it before I thought it. Journaling is truly a humble task, to open myself before my Lord and stop pretending I can hide anything from him.
Title: How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery
Author: Ron Klug
Publisher: Augsburg Books
Publication Date: Revised Edition, January 1, 2002
# Pages: 143
Special Features: Writing, Journal, Spiritual Journey, Healing, Growth, Lifelong Learner
Price: Kindle Price is $8.96, Paperback is from $0.77 used on Amazon I bought this book from MTI, the Missionary Training Institute that Louis and I attended two years ago, so I have it in paperback.