How To Journal

 In Emily Cummins

Have you ever done something and felt some completely at home, yourself? Throughout the first 29 years of my Becoming Story, I can’t remember a moment I wasn’t writing, scribbling down learnings, struggles, heartache, joy, to-do lists, prayers and dreams. My 40+ (yes, over 40!) journals have helped me mark who I’ve been, who I am, and who I’m becoming.

Whether you consider yourself a “writer” or not, I 10/10 would recommend picking up a notebook or starting a note on your phone to document a few important things on your becoming journey. I was recently asked:

What kinds of things do you write in your journal? Doesn’t have to be anything personal, I just struggle sometimes wondering what I should write.

So, what do I write in my journal?

  • What I’m learning in God’s Word. Every time I open my Bible, I have my journal next to me, ready to soak up what God is saying to me right now, in this day. Each time I read God’s Word—no matter how many times I read a verse or passage—I discover something new. I believe God does a new, fresh work in us each day if we’re willing and available, inviting Him to show up. Noting what I learn helps me remember what God is speaking into and over me.
  • What I’m thankful for. Marking the things that have brought joy and growth reminds me God is always at work. On the days I feel less than, uninvited, or not enough, I go back to all of the written moments, both the big stuff and the little reminders along the way.
  • All the crazy emotions. Writing is and always has been my therapy. Writing down the good, crazy, and ugly helps me get my emotions outside of my head and in front of my eyes. From there, I’m always able to not only see a little more clearly, but objectively look at what emotions are flooding my thoughts, learn from them, and grow.
  • My dreams. One of my favorite things is looking back at older journals, seeing what I was dreaming about, and seeing how those dreams have become a reality today. I’m always reminded of the bigger picture, that God is always at work, and dreams do come true… these recorded dreams remind me to never stop dreaming!
  • My prayers. Sometimes they’re a sentence or two, and sometimes pages—no matter how long or short, jotting down my prayers helps me mark moments and infuse intentionality into my conversations with God.
  • Random lists. From wish lists to lists of people to send thank you cards to, to notes from teachings, podcasts, and books, I love jotting down my random thoughts in my journal as a one-stop-shop for all the things in my head!
  • Toxic Thoughts Detox. I recently started Trish Blackwell’s 21-Day Toxic Thoughts Detox journaling layout and LOVE it. This template helps me identify thoughts, mindsets and attitudes that are not helping me become the Emily God made me to be, and grow through them. You can learn more and download the template here.

That’s it! There’s no perfect formula to journaling… it’s all about documenting and growing through your becoming journey! Journal in a way that works best for you!

Warrior friend, who are you today? Who are you becoming? Pick up your pen and mark the moments along the way… 29 years from now, you’ll be so happy you did!

Author: Emily B. Cummins

Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.
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