After reading some other articles on journaling, I was reminded of the persuasive speech I did in college. I found what I emailed to my professor & decided to share it here:
26 November 2007 She sits alone in her room with no noise but is still distracted when she tries to pray. After starting over several times, she finally ends the prayer quickly feeling more distant from God than before her attempt to pray. He grieves the loss of a loved one and wishes he could know how they felt about certain situations. He wishes he could remember their words of wisdom or have their perspective of times they had shared. Then there is you: lying in bed after a long day, yet unable to fall asleep. You're thinking of things you should have said, should not have said, or hope to say the next day. You make sure there's nothing you forgot to do in the rush of the day & that you know what you're doing tomorrow. You wake up to find that you wasted all that time wondering and worrying because you forgot what you needed to remember anyway. All of these situations could be avoided by journaling. I'm familiar with the many benefits because I have completed at least 9 journals myself in the past 5 or 6 years. But right now I am going to focus on JOY: how journaling helps your relationship with Jesus, Others, and even Yourself. First of all, I've experienced all of those situations at some point. I don't think there's anyone who can say there isn't some point that they've been distracted in their prayer life. Also, is there anyone who doesn't miss a loved one who's passed away? And, according to the American College Health Association, it takes us about 25 minutes to fall asleep. That is why writing in a journalis so important foreveryone.
You're probably thinking that you already have a busy schedule to say the least. Being a fellow college student, I know what you mean. However, the benefits are so great, that I try to make time forit every day. One benefit is that it helps me stay focused when I pray. It keeps me from just say things out of habit over and over. I really think about what I am saying. Then when I read them years later, I see how God answered some of those prayers. I have been fortunate enough not to have anyone in my immediate family die. However, if they do go before me, I would cherish any journals they had written. There are people from my church that have died, and since I have kept a journal, there are things I had written about them that now I can read and remember some of what we have been through together. I have even written journals to people. I gave one to my mom when I left for college. I did one fora friend's birthday. And I almost finished one formy brother. All but one or two of you told me that you think you might have children some day. The legacy that a journalwould leave forthem or your grandchildren would be priceless. You could still have a voice in their lives even when you're gone. Family members who were born after you died could have a chance to get to know you and learn from your experience. In the movie Freedom Writers (which is based on a true story), the English teacher gets her students to write in a journal about their lives and involvement in gangs. They could write poetry or draw pictures. That's another great thing about journaling--it's very personal; you can fill it however you want so that it is not boring or stressful to you. In fact, writing in a journalhas helped me deal with anger and depression in a healthy way since my parents' divorce last year. In the book Journaling: A Spiritual Journey, it says, "There's something about actually putting words on paper that clears my mind. As I think through what I want to say, I realize what I'm feeling. And somehow I feel better" (Anne Broyles 10).
Now let's go back to the people I talked about in the beginning. She sits on her bed with notebook and pen, writing about her day, the things she needs help with, and what she is thankful for. She hardly even notices the mess she needs to clean or the homework she needs to do. All of that can wait while she spends time with Jesus.
As he goes through his loved one's things, he comes across a journal. He takes a moment to read it and begins to laugh as he remembers the crazy things they had done and the jokes they had shared. He was glad that during their life, this person had thought of Others.
Now imagine you--lying in bed, writing all your thoughts and activities in a journal. Then you quickly fall asleep relatively worry-free, knowing that the best thing you can do about your situations at the moment is get some sleep. The next morning you wake up and review your journalto remember all you need to do. A few years later, you read it again seeing how far you have come. You are thankful that you wrote in a journal forYourself.
I hope that each of you will decide tojournal forJ.O.Y.) Making this happen is cheap and easy since all you need is a pen and some paper. You could even start one on the computer. The EC email actually has a folder forjournaling.
Because you never know when your time will come, don't hesitate to begin a journaltoday. (Or continue one you've already begun.)
Here are some questions I had to answer for the speech: Q 1. Which do you recommend most--journaling on computer or on paper?
A 1. I recommend journaling on paper because it can be taken anywhere. I especially love to write outside. If you have a laptop, that's great, but a notebook is still lighter, cheaper, and less breakable. Plus, I prefer looking at paper because it is more relaxing than staring at a screen. I also like having things in my own handwriting. Sometimes I write so fast that it's hardly legible, but that could be a good thing if I did not want anyone to read it.
Q 2. Do you ever get scared that someone will read it?
A 2. When I first started, I was a little paranoid about that, but I have found that people really respect my privacy. I usually have the journal I am currently writing in with me so I don't have to worry too much about anyone reading it. Although I would not like forsomeone to snoop around reading my old journals, it does not scare me so much because if they ask me about something I wrote, I can just say, "Oh, well, that was a long time ago. Things have changed." You can, of course, buy some journals with locks on them. They even have the invisible pens now where the writing only shows up when you shine a certain light on it, but I like being able to see everything I have written.
If you have any other questions, I'd be glad to try to answer them.