In the house I was brought home to as a newborn, a house my father built, there was a built-in clothes hamper in the master bathroom. It was hardly ever used, as it was such a small space. At which age I began hiding in that little cubby, I do not know. I remember my knees pulled up to my chest in that space, pen in one hand, flash light in the other, writing down the thoughts I never had a voice for. I still have those little journals, archived child thought and emotions, miss spellings and all, tucked away in safe keeping.
A friend has been bugging me to blog again and even Lance has noticed that I haven’t written much in a while (which is saying something). And I have been “off,” not quite myself recently. I couldn’t put my finger on it until today when one of my wiser-than-she-knows friends responded to my comment that I need to blog more. She said, “Remember that essay you wrote about journaling? Journaling and blogging is your “you time.” If you haven’t been taking that time, maybe that’s why you don’t feel right.”
Excerpts from A Genre of ultimate self-expression: Journaling. March 3, 2009. A study of 5 journals belonging to college age, Christian girls at Baylor University.
“Dear Diary… As young girls, we grow up with little pink books with locks on the side. Whether we wrote in them much or not, we carried the tiny keys in our pockets or little purses to keep them safe from meddling brothers. At some point, girls grow into young women and many feel the need to keep the little book of self-reflection. Thus, the lock disappears and the girls grow older, but the book remains personal….
The keeping of journals has two larger implications for journal writers: one being that journal writing is an outlet for uninhibited self-expression, the other being that the process preserves memory and personal history. Journal writing is therapeutic, and for college age, Christian young women, it is a means of connecting with God while navigating confusing, transitional years of life.”
From childhood, I have taken the time to sort out life with a pen and some paper or with keys and a screen. Because of my habit of writing out my thoughts, I even find it difficult to pray whole heartedly unless I am writing to God. Writing helps me to focus and to break down convoluted thoughts into meaningful and discernible ideas. Usually I don’t even know what I am really feeling until pen meets paper or fingers meet keys. And I always feel quieted when I am done.
I have not written anything recently. I feel confused and angry, uneasy, and inadequate. I realize that these feelings are because I haven’t taken the time to look into myself or to God. I find my peace in written word, because in that still, directed silence, I find myself and I find God.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, before God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62-8
With self-reflection now, I realize I need direction. I need new goals and purpose. I need to decide who I want to be and work towards growing into that person. I have become, in some ways, callused.
God give me grace. Help me to realize my faults, to correct them, to continually strive for a life lived in your image, and to love others with your love.
I need a good sign off….Suggestions welcome. For now…
Best Wishes and Good Dreams