I haven’t had this urgency to spill out my thoughts in written form in quite some time. Perhaps it’s because I read that it’s National Dear Diary Day. I remember my first diary. My grandmother gave it to me when I was eight or nine years old. I don’t recall if it was for any particular reason, but I do remember her telling me that I may like to keep a diary, just to have a place to write down whatever was happening in my life. My first diary was orange and it had a lock and tiny key to keep others from being able to read what I wrote inside it. I didn’t write in it every day, but I did write in it occasionally. It was usually when I had some kind of confession to make, like whatever boy I secretly held hands with or was crushing on. I used various writing utensils to scribble these confessions, including crayon. After my orange diary was exhausted from the bad scribbling and elementary aged confessions, my grandmother bought me another diary. This one was bright blue with a girl holding a bouquet of flowers, embossed on the cover. This diary helped me talk about those things that were bothering me. My parents had just divorced; I started a new school, and I was having all those preteen emotions that accompany that age.
My teen years, I moved to journaling in spiral notebooks. The outside covers of the notebooks were decorated with my personal threats for anyone who dared to nose into them. These entries were sometimes written in code for only me to understand, in case my Mom or sisters ignored the warnings. The words that filled those notebooks included all the things most teenagers deal with…..rebellion, sibling rivalry, hormones, boys and lots of talk about parents being out of touch.
In college, I continued to journal in notebooks. Those pages were filled with me looking toward the future. Would I find the right career for myself? Would I ever find a guy that would truly love me? I talked about hopes and dreams. I sought spiritual direction but at the same time questioned God.
I continued journaling off and on throughout my adult life. I reflected on pregnancy, motherhood, failures, aggravations, finances, God, and all the things life throws at you. I joined the digital revolution a few years back and started blogging on this page. Just like my diaries and journals, after a while the entries become sporadic. Life starts getting too busy or you just neglect taking the time to just sit and pour out the words that are running through your mind.
Journaling for me is a source of communication or prayer to God. It’s always been easier for me to say what I think with a pen than with my mouth. Prayer doesn’t have to look like you think it does. Prayer is simply talking to God. I think we make prayer more complicated than it needs to be. When I journal, I’m able to be completely raw with my emotions. When I’m angry, the words slam against the pages and fall over and under the lines. When I’m sad, the words dance around slowly trying to find the right beat. When I’m happy, the words float and bounce from side to side. When I’m scared, the words sway and scratch trying to find the connection to the paper.
God knows my handwriting. He’s received piles of letters from me. He is my greatest love and understands me more than anyone. He gave me the desire to write, if only for Him.