The mid-summer sun shone on my propped up feet as I sat on my front porch enjoying some much needed down time. I was snuggled into a chair, hysterically laughing and crying (and probably terrifying my neighbors) as I skimmed through the pages of my 6th -12th grade journal.
If you’re ever seeking a truly satisfying form of entertainment, START A JOURNAL.
And then read it ten years later and laugh at your own ridiculousness.
In all seriousness, one of my favorite things to do is to pull out those old journals and read about what I thought about my life, how I was processing who God was and what He was doing in my life. It’s kind of fascinating to watch how my relationship with God changed, grew and morphed over the course of those 11 years worth of journal entries.
There is something so powerful about documenting God’s activity through the course of your life. Documenting what God is doing reminds you of God’s faithfulness in the past, reassures you of His faithfulness in the future, helps you to reflect on His goodness, and re-ignites the faith of those who read and hear about what He’s doing in you.
Though journaling is the most common way people write about God’s activity, everyone’s “documenting” style looks different. Some people absolutely love journaling. Other people want to rip their hair follicles out at the thought of writing about their feelings and mental processes on paper. Whether you like using crazy colors, drawings and lengthy sentences or short, typed concise memories–either will get the job done.
Here are a couple creative ways to help you document God’s activity in your life.
#1. The Age Old Journal Entries
I’m a sucker for the old fashioned way: sloppy handwriting in bound blank pages with evidence of what I was eating/drinking splattered on the page. I love to fill the lines up with thoughts, prayers, feelings and situations, being as detailed as possible. If you love to write, this is probably for you! Find a journal that you like or some pretty pens and markers and get to writing!
#2. Jot-It-Down Journal
Maybe you’re the person who wants to rip their hair follicles out when you think about writing out your feelings and other stuff. No worries.
In my desk drawer at work, I have a pocket-sized notebook that I write in every morning. I write something that I’m thankful for, something that God did, or something that He’s teaching me. It takes two seconds. Keep a small notebook in a place where you go everyday and make it a habit to jot something down real quick about what God is doing in your life. As you look back on those short memoirs, they’ll prompt you to remember all that God was doing during that time.
#3. Bible Margins
Have you ever seen a book without margins? It would be probably be super difficult to read. Margins are created to help your mind breathe and reflect on the previous sentence. Therefore, they are also perfect place to document events, answered prayers, and things God is teaching you. Write those memories in your Bible margin, and the next time you read through that passage, you will remember what God taught you all those years ago. Let those memories fill up the spaces created for reflection.
#4. Tech Savvy Typer
Maybe you don’t like writing at all and are more of a digital person. Well my friend, Evernote might very well be your BFF. You can create all kinds of folders in Evernote to keep track of your life. (Obvs, Evernote is MY best friend.) You can create a folder for “Entries” and when you’re in line at Walmart or getting ready to put your phone down to go to bed, jot something down about what God is doing and save it. This allows you to look back at your archives and reminisce from any device, anywhere, at any time. You can download Evernote HERE!
#5. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
I have a friend who LOATHES journaling and writing. But she loves taking pictures. Therefore, her method of documenting is by taking pictures of things throughout her day that remind her of God or reveal a lesson He’s teaching her. She saves them all to her computer with a little description of why that picture spoke to her. I think this is such a creative idea!
why is documenting so important?
My husband’s Grandpa passed away this past December and I am amazed at the legacy he left behind. He blessed the life of so many people. The evidence of His love for the Lord was not only left behind on the hearts of many people, but it’s actually written down in journal pages over the course of many years and seasons of his life.
He documented everything God did.
He wrote about hard times and where He saw God’s faithfulness in the midst of it. Prayers for his family and friends and ways He was seeing God move in His church and community were all jotted down in the lines of those journal pages. He was documenting God’s goodness even up to the week before He went to be with Jesus.
I don’t know why he wrote all of those things down. Maybe it was a way for him to look back and remember God’s faithfulness in the past, or to remind Himself of God’s activity in His life. But one thing I do know is that His documentation of God’s activity throughout His lifetime has inspired, influenced and strengthened the faith of multiple generations who read through his entries.
Keeping something that physically marks God’s activity not only edifies your faith, but it also has the potential to re-ignite the faith of those who read and hear about what He’s done and is doing in you.
Find a way to document His activity. Be creative. Have fun with it. Make it a habit; Because you will reap the benefits and the blessings of it for the rest of your life.
What is one creative way that you document God’s activity in your life?