I Just Have to Journal That

The writer in me has always loved the concept of journaling. Yet here I am, thirty years old, and nothing but a handful of half-filled journals to show for it.

Wait a minute. What am I saying? What about this journal?

As in, the very thing you’re reading. This simple, unique, unpopular site you stumbled upon. Yes, I journal here.

Why? Because here, I can write what God is teaching me about the Bible and through the Bible, and other people can read it.

I love the Bible. I love to write. And I love to make a difference. Hence, this blog.

And so Journey of the Word has become my public journal. When I want to recall God’s working in me, I’ll come back here. When I want to pass along to my children and grandchildren the lessons I’ve learned, I’ll send them here. And in the meantime, people like me who need daily reminders that the Word is the best thing ever can be reminded here.

Yes, this journal is a public promotion of this journal:

1 Peter

“What is that?” you ask.

That is a poor-quality photo of a poor-quality 3-ring-binder holding the greatest-quality journal a person could possibly possess.

That is a Bible.

That is me taking a passage and marking it up like crazy.

That is me journaling what God is teaching me as I study his Word.

Mark 6

Yes, it’s awesome.

Printed one-sided and taped together for thickness and visual clarity {no see-through}.

Wide margins. Double spacing. Large print.

Colored pencils. {But more content than color, as my “anti-Bible-journaling” position contends.}

Cross-references. Arrows. Question marks. Underlines. Bullet points.

Illustrations now and then.

My thoughts. My friends’ thoughts. Sermon notes.

It’s all here.

So, while I can see the potential value in typical “journaling” . . . for some reason, the problems {time constraints, writer’s block, potential low impact} have outweighed the rewards {memories, reflection, legacy} thus far in my overly analytic life.

This journal, on the other hand, is virtually problem-free! Except . . .

  1. I could never complete this journal if I had a million lifetimes.
  2. So much to write – so little time . . . and blank space . . . and sharpened pencils.
  3. The pencil lead will eventually fade. {Yet ink is out of the question for my incompetent handwriting skills and OCD tendencies.}
  4. I feel the urge to carry it with me everywhere I go. And I have a small heart attack if I think I’ve lost it . . .

I’m tellin’ ya, folks – this, my cheap, black notebook filled with pencil scratches, is a true treasure of a journal!

Because, when you’re spending weeks in a life-giving book {in a Book}, with millions of thoughts that you know you’ll soon forget?

When you’re reading along, and the craziest, most ridiculous idea of all time pops into your head, and you have to tell somebody?

When you’re discovering things worth more than gold?


There’s just something about that.

I just have to journal that.

 [image credit: journeyoftheword.com]

25 thoughts on “I Just Have to Journal That

  1. Love this. As a fellow “online journaler” at an unpopular blog, I agree with your feelings about why we put our thoughts out there! I also have a marked up Bible (I need bigger margins… maybe I’ll get myself a new Bible for Christmas and spend a few months rediscovering and re-writing all my old notes?)

    I also have a red journal, though- and that one is just between me and God. I don’t write in it every day, but it is a treasure to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I print my own! I go to biblegateway.com and copy the passage I need into a Word document. Then I adjust text size, font, spacing, and margins, and print it off. It works so nicely!


  2. What a great idea. I love journaling and often copy portions of the Bible to glue in my journal, but I really would like to try this. The sermon theme for the upcoming few months is the book of James. I think that I may do tthis for notetaking and my own personal study. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! So glad you’re gonna give it a try! I hope you love it! Glad you’re gonna try studying the sermon series passage. I wrote a post about that here: https://journeyoftheword.com/2015/12/07/how-to-love-sunday-sermon/. I have spent the past year in the book of Mark with several ladies from church as our pastor has been preaching through that book {and is only half way through!}. It’s a blast! Let me know how it goes for you!


  3. This is great!! I have been keeping a small 3 ring binder (actually on my second one) as I read through the Bible this year and I’ve been copying down passages that speak to me. I’m making notes for what I want to research further or messages that fit in the book I’m writing or that spark a blog post! It’s so amazing! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lydia, this really spoke to my heart. I’m like you. I have a few dozen unfinished journals. I, too, love the idea and who can resist those blank books, especially those beautiful leather journals! But I never end up feeling like it’s the best use of my writing time. Instead, I keep a prayer journal where I write out my prayers and verses, etc. as a Word document. I have a million notes in my Bible, but there’s only so much space. I like the idea of printing out the book I’m reading with wide margins as you suggested. I’m retiring from my full time job in a couple of weeks and I’m anxious to dig deeper into God’s Word, so the timing is perfect for your ideas. Blessings!


  5. I feel as if I have been shown someone’s own personal treasure map!
    Right now I’m leading a group of women through Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word, trying to help them see this very thing. I’m going to share your post to our FB page — OK?


  6. I love this idea, I revpcently started a Bible journal, but hadn’t thought to do a binder of scriptures with notes. I really like these Bibles that I have seen on Pinterest where you can write and color images to help you obtain scripture. This is a great idea, thanks for sharing. I’am a new visitor I found you on the link up from Strangers & Pilgrims . Nice to find and meet you, thanks for the inspirations with love Janice


  7. This is the best kind of journal! It is sharing those AHA moments that He is teaching you! Thank you for linking up with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. that’s so much more worthwhile than drawing pretty pictures about one verse or one word. Journalling should be about diving in deeper and you are certainly doing that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lydia – I feel like we are kindred spirits. I HAVE to write marginalia in order to think through what I am reading. I do that with all my non-fiction books/periodicals, whether Christian content or not. And I echo one of your motivating factors for starting and maintaining a public blog – to know what you know! My husband often quotes the latin – Scribitere est cogitare.
    How do I sign up for your blog to get it as an email? I’m bound to miss some of them just in wordpress reader.

    Maria in western NC who loves her bible. By the way, do you know the app for phones called Prayermate? I often turn a meaningful passage into a prayer and save it that way. Prayermate then feeds me X number of prayers a day across different categories. Google it. It’s free.


    1. Oh, wow neat! I’ve never heard of Prayermate. Thanks for the suggestion.
      As for getting my posts via email… If you go to your WordPress Reader, then click “manage” under “followed sites,” you should be able to choose whether or not you receive instant emails when a new article is posted. If that doesn’t work, let me know!

      Liked by 1 person

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