The Power of Journaling Giveaway

journaling

I am a writer, so journaling has always come naturally for me. I have journaled since the 7th grade. I remember that being a particularly difficult year for me. It was difficult academically, it was a difficult “friend drama” year, it was difficult in sports…that year was basically one of the major turning points in my life and in my struggles, I discovered my love of journaling. My journal was my “best friend.” It was the one place I could go where I could share my thoughts and not be judged, and in many ways it still is. I have journaled through some super-difficult times in my life. It’s what kept me sane. It’s where I found my peace. It’s where I could speak my heart, even when I was angry or hurt, and not hurt others with my words. It has and always will be my safe place.

One thing I always hear from people when I discuss the topic of journaling is that many people don’t feel like they write adequately enough to journal. They didn’t like writing papers in school, so they don’t think they would enjoy journaling. Here’s the kicker; your journal isn’t for anyone else but you. So if you spell something wrong or forget a comma no one will care! It’s not the SATs, it’s just a journal. No one is grading you and the best thing is no one is judging you.

Another thing I love about journaling is that you aren’t restricted in how you can express yourself. If you are more musically inclined or you can relate better to songs than traditional “Dear Journal” type writing, simply write song lyrics. Maybe you aren’t so savvy with words but you’re an amazing artist; express yourself in drawings. Journaling has taken on a life of its own. If you go to a bookstore, you can find a whole section of different kinds of journals. Some are doodle journals, some have Bible quotes, some have “story starter” type writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. There are kid’s journals, teen journals, mom journals, religious journals, journals just for men…seriously, if you can think it up there’s a journal for it. There are even business journals! The company I work for has us journal every morning using a specific format that helps us get our day organized both personally and professionally. It helps us to be more efficient and productive with our work day.

doodle-journal

Here’s something really cool that I have done in the past with my journal entries. I have found this little “ceremony” to be one of the most freeing things I have ever done for myself. I’ll give you an example. When my brother Matt passed away, that was an incredibly, horribly, terribly painful time for me. I filled three journals in the year following his death, and those particular journals centered solely on my feelings about my brother and his passing. There wasn’t even any regular life stuff in there! When I had gotten to the point where I felt I was ready to let go of all of the pain and sorrow that I had written so eloquently about for the past year, I burned the journals. That’s right. I burned them. I built a fire and I tore the pages out and I cried a big ugly cry and I burned every word…and I let go.  I have done this same thing numerous times since as well. Sometimes if I’m just in a difficult situation I will grab a piece of paper and write out my thoughts, fold it up and burn it. For me, the symbolism of burning the negativity and sadness brings about a sense of freedom and release that then allows me to move past what is blocking my joy. Everybody has their thing…this is mine.

I am hoping that this post has inspired at least a few of you to pick up a pen and paper and start journaling. Right now I have 5 different journals going…I like to keep separate ones for different areas of my life. It helps me track my progress…or in some cases regression. Ah, gotta love it.

So in the spirit of this whole journaling thing, I am going to do something fun to get the ball rolling. I am giving away a journal and pen set to one lucky winner on Friday, November 4th. To enter, simply leave a comment below right here on my post. That’s it. A name will be randomly drawn from the list of comments. I would appreciate it if you could share this post on social media and, if you are interested, please check out my Facebook page: Teresa Warner.

Let’s have some fun with this! I can’t wait to read your comments and, on November 4th, choose the Journal Giveaway winner! Hope you have a safe and happy weekend and get journaling!

17 thoughts on “The Power of Journaling Giveaway

  1. Annabelle

    I completely agree! I have found that when I can’t explain something to a person, a journal or notebook is the best place to go. There is no one to judge what you write, so you can write exactly what you think and leave it in its simplest form.

    “We live and breath words. … It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave.”
    – Cassandra Clare

      1. Donna Halfwassen

        Wow – that brought tears to my eyes reading of how you struggled and let go after losing Matt; something I cannot even imagine!
        I have thought of journaling (real word??) my journey to (with?) Christ as it has been the most beautiful, confusing, loving, insightful, and scary road I have ever been led to.

        1. Teresa Warner Post author

          What a beautiful post, Donna! I find my journey with Christ to be exactly as you have described it as well. Good to know our God is all-loving, all the time! Thanks for your comment, friend!

  2. Khanh

    Your post could not have come at a better time in my life. I journaled all through college and up until a couple years after I had my first daughter. Then, somehow life started moving so fast and journaling fell to the waist side. I completely agree with you on the benefits of journaling. It isn’t just a chronological story of one’s life. It’s more than that… to me, it was quite therapeutic. My journal was my safe place… where I could escape, express my truest, deepest thoughts and feelings in the most raw form. I’ve recently been feeling the need to cultivate that type of safe space again. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old and nostalgic, or maybe life is moving in so many directions that I need to put on the “brakes” to let my thoughts run wild again… through journaling. Thank you for the post my friend! I think God had you write that post for me. 😉Btw- I don’t need a journal. You’ve inspired me to go spend some “me time” picking one out.

    1. Teresa Warner Post author

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Khanh! Best of luck with your journaling and finding the time to find yourself again. It’s so incredibly important, especially for us moms, to have that safe place and carve out that little bit of time to just clear our minds. Let me know how it goes! <3

  3. Erica Harris

    Journaling is Like poetry: an art I have tried to start over and over again, but have yet to master. This blog lets me see the true benefits of journaling so sign me up 😉 Love you Mrs. Teresa!!!

  4. Mandy

    Journaling is such a great way to destress. It’s so healthy and important to me. I loved your blog. It’s just a reminder that I need to set time aside (daily) to put my thoughts on paper. Thanks for the reminder

  5. Jenny Keep

    Journaling has been something that I only picked up in the last 5 years or so. I was struggling terribly with anxiety and panic attacks and I had no idea why. It seemed to come out of nowhere. My doctor suggested I journal as a way for her to be able to help solve this mysterious anxiety problem that was rapidly destroying my life. I’ll be honest I was not excited about it, but I did it. What I found was that journaling was extremely therapeutic for me . I was not only be able to deal with the anxieties that I was feeling I was also able to deal with a lot of issues about things that it happened in my childhood that I never fully dealt with . Last year when I was going through my divorce I thought my world was crashing down around me and I wasn’t sure how I going to get through . I once again begin journaling and I found myself day by day getting stronger . I was able to write in my journal and get out my frustration , anger and confusion . While I had plenty of friends and family that were willing to listen no one was able to truly understand my situation because they weren’t living it . Journaling helped me to explain my thoughts it was as if I had a best friend who just listened, without judgment or opinion . I don’t journal every day but it is the first thing I go to when I’m feeling frustrated confused or unable to express my emotions .

  6. Barbara Leger

    I like to use journaling as a prayer. I sometimes use it to “write to God” what I might be forgetting to pray. Sometimes, I tend to be too formal in my prayer life, and journaling helps me to have a heartfelt conversation. I have always been more inclined to pour out my feelings in written word.

  7. Heidi

    Wow never thought about journaling in this way! Your writing inspires me, I have never journaled in my entire life, I tried a few times, but failed miserably. I guess my problem is taking the time for myself to actually sit down and writing something ! Maybe one day when my life slows down. I admire how you can do all this 😘

  8. Michelle

    I have not been a journal”er” at any point in my life. However, I am a poet and writer at heart. Expression of one’s self is personal, and I love the idea of journaling to NO ONE. As each birthday comes and goes, the need for quiet reflection increases with the fire hazard. Accountability, humility, trust…each of these is where I see journaling as a place of growth. The honesty that can pour forth without even thinking offers a window to my soul with no fear of judgment or consequence.
    At my Confirmation Retreat (eons ago), I remember the simple task of placing my “gray” sins in black ink on a white paper…but the paradox of black and white. The vulnerable state I experienced where I could no longer blurr the lines of what God was calling me to do, become a saint, was burned on my heart and in my mind. However, the mercy I received when I was instructed not to share these, but to be offered mercy by burning them, is how I feel each time I go to Confession. Still to this day, this is the image in my mind when preparing myself for the Sacrament.
    Thank you for sharing this. And reminding us all who may have not seen the writing on the…page:)

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