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Keeping A Spiritual Journal- March 2012

by Linda M. Bendorf

When was the last time you felt God's presence in your life?

Or heard God’s message of love and renewal? People experience God in many different ways: by praying, reading Scripture, singing hymns, walking labyrinths, doing service for others.

You can feel God’s presence more fully by keeping a spiritual journal. The tools are easy to come by: a sturdy notebook, a favorite pen, a quiet place. But you must also have a willingness to peel back the layers of your life and be open to God.

“God wants to surprise you with the beauty of your own life, growing and alive, filled with movement, light and shadow,” Helen Cepero writes in Journaling as a Spiritual Practice: Encountering God through Attentive Writing.

“But what if I can’t write?” you ask. “What if I don’t like to write? Or what if I feel blocked?” As a writing workshop facilitator, I’ve heard those words from hundreds of people over the years. These same people discover that personal writing invites them to be at home on the page. The healing and wholeness we gain from writing down our spiritual thoughts helps us embrace God’s gift of renewal. Connecting with God is free, but the competition—daily obligations, distractions, fears, even our own inner chatter—makes it tough.

Keeping a spiritual journal encourages writing with depth; the journaling process offers transformative powers. Our journals invite us to become more aware of, more receptive to, and more grateful for the hand of God at work in our lives. Lent would be an excellent time to take up the practice of keeping a spiritual journal.

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Linda M. Bendorf, director of Blue Sage Writing, offers private writing tutorials, workshops, and keynote presentations. She is a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Arlington heights, Ill.