The second "I" in optimization stands for "inscribe," which is another word for write. Yes, I'm talking about journaling. The fact of the matter is that some of the most successful and productive people on the planet use a journal. It's the truth! Well, I think that we, as Christians, ought to seek to be just as successful and productive in our daily walk with Christ, so journaling is a definite must.
I know what some of you are saying. "Sure, Dana, that's easy for you to say. You're a writer. I can't write. I don't like to write. My spelling and grammar are horrible!" I'm not talking about writing a book here, and it doesn't matter what your spelling and grammar are like because no one is going to read this but you. It's your private journal, and what it contains is between you and God.
So, the first thing you'll want to do is decide on a medium for your journal. You can use a plain spiral notebook, a fancy leather journal, or if you're more comfortable with a keyboard, you can set up a private blog for your morning thoughts. It doesn't matter. What is important is that you're happy with the setup. For me, I spend enough time at the computer as it is, so I have a lovely, leather journal with lined pages that suits me just fine.
Once you've chosen your journaling method, make a commitment to write/type something in it every single morning. So, what are you supposed to write during this time? Anything! You can write down the Bible verse that you read that morning or the thoughts you were meditating on. You can write out your worries and fears as a way of getting them out of your heart and mind and then commit them to God. Write down what you're feeling. Write down what God lays on your heart. Write down what you're thankful for.
It's entirely up to you, but there's something about journaling that helps clear the mind. It's actually a little weird how it works. I've found that if I write down the negative things I'm feeling, it gets it out of my system like I've poured them out onto the page. Then I don't feel the power of them anymore. But, when I write down something positive (like what I'm thankful for or my daily verse), the writing process reinforces that thought in my brain, making it easier to access throughout the day. Strange, huh? But, honestly, this is what I've discovered about journaling, so I urge you to give it a try.
If you're stumped at first and don't know what to write, try jotting down what you're thankful for or your daily verse. You may find that the words start spilling out from there. Another thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't matter how much you write each day as long as you write something. It can be a sentence, a paragraph, a page, or more. And what you write today doesn't have to be the same thing that you wrote yesterday. Perhaps yesterday you wrote down some thoughts that were weighing heavy on your mind. You don't have to do that again today if you don't want to. Today you could inscribe your meditations. There is so much freedom here, and it can be an enjoyable process if you'll allow it to be.
On Monday, we'll talk about another step in the process, and it, too, may be something you want to write about, so you see, the possibilities are endless. Before then, decide on your journaling method and pour your thoughts onto paper (or computer). Come on, give it a try!
My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. - Psalm 45:1