Do you find it difficult to journal, or are you one of those persons that jot down every tiny thing that happens? Some find it hard to put into words their feelings while others think it unnecessary.
Let me share with you a few of my journal entries written in January five years before Mother died:
Mother is watching the parade of colorful birds feeding outside the window, including more than a dozen bright red cardinals. The sun is coming up over the hill adding diamonds to the snow-packed yard. Crystal limbs hang heavy and beautiful in the shimmering sunlight. After days of being extremely ill, she is doing great and going to be okay. The promise of a new day beckons and I’m ready! It’s a new year, time for renewed commitments; hopes for a better tomorrow.
Only three days later I wrote:
I have such an overwhelming sense of my need for the Lord today. Mom’s been so sick again. I wonder if she’ll need to be hospitalized. I checked on her then sat down with my Bible. Before turning a page, I felt those tears run down my cheek and my spirit praying, “Lord, I need You. I am so totally helpless. I cannot make these decisions concerning Mother and our family without You. Little seemingly ordinary decisions loom heavy in my heart and I need You so much.”
One week later the journal continues:
I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. Earlier as I snuggled on Russell’s shoulder and we talked, I felt a renewed sense of wonder and peace. When I took Mother’s second cup of coffee to her room, she was as bright-eyed and full of smiles as she ever had been. She had brushed her own hair and was eager to face this new day. And so am I.
I am so thankful to have these writings; most of which no one will ever read. Many of them are too personal to share, at least for now. However, having the journals has given me a sense of peace about my years of caring for her. When I begin to wonder if I could have done more, I can look back and realize what a difficult time it was for each of us. I can know that we were in God’s hands and did the best we could.
Reading these entries reminds me how much we loved her. I can recall God’s overwhelming presence in the most difficult times and find comfort. I see how He showered us with His blessings over and over again.
You do not need to be a writer to journal. You may never ever write a book or even a short story. You may not want to share any of your journaling with a single soul and that is okay. But, I challenge you to write anyway. It’s therapeutic to write your feelings down on paper. Writing from the moment of confusion, anger or even the feeling of helplessness will often help sort things out later. The key is to write your thoughts as soon as you can and close the book.
You will find many of my journal entries in my book, MY MOTHER MY CHILD. I will tell you honestly, there are volumes of notes left out. These, at least for now, are shared only by God and me. They are written on napkins, scrap paper, sales receipts, whatever was handy at the time. They are priceless personal treasures.
I pray you will make some priceless personal treasures of your own this week. Try it, I promise you’ll like it. Let me hear from you.
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