“So often I have found strength in turning over the back pages of my life,” wrote Beatrix Potter in her diary.

Going through the pages of an 1989 journal, I am reminded of the remarkable rewards of journal keeping.

Early in my Christian life a dear friend and mentor taught me the joys of private conversation with the Lord in written form.  In the accumulated volumes, turning over the back pages of my life, I too find strength, and so much more. For years I have turned to my private volumes for solace. Within the pages there is proof of God’s grace and mercy toward me.  Me personally!

I can look back at who I was and compare me then to who I am today…the new creation his love has made me.

Self exploration is not a bad thing, when done in the correct way!

The journals/diaries of many great writers are available to us from libraries and bookstores; Anne FrankCorrie ten BoomVirginal Woolf,  George Eliot, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and George Lucas to name only a few.  Insights into the private life of such writers inspire us to daily diary writing of our own – Christian or not.

In 2012 we live in an electronic world where journals and diaries are referred to as blogs! In today’s media-centric world bloggers abound. If you’re reading this, you already know a part of my journal keeping is also done as a blogger. 😘 That’s not what I’m talking about here.

This post is about the real writing done in the middle of the night, when the heart is sore and faith is on a par with “below no faith.” Today I’m talking about the Anne Frank, Corrie ten Boom, style of writing – done in terrible jeopardy and filled with honest anxiety.

Beatrix Potter began her diary in code, fearing her parents’ prying eyes. I wonder what her privileged Unitarian family thought of Peter Rabbit and friends?

Interestingly Virginia Woolf began her diary-keeping in 1919 as a young girl. We are told she fashioned her own blank book by pasting sheets of paper over the pages of “The Right Use of Reason,” borrowed from her family’s library. That little book was the first of 33 volumes, her solace for 45 years.

These writers show us how women have thrived on diary-writing through the centuries.

Here, on my blog, you’ll find the highlights of my days; motivational thoughts for you (and for me), interests and hobbies.  In my real journal, you might find another, more uneasy, less positive person – a private introvert – sure of only one thing: Jesus loves me – this I know, for my Bible tells me so.

If you have not yet begun your journal / diary – the real one – I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.  From experience I can assure you: in journaling you can recover from any loss, celebrate any victory or express righteous indignation without fear of reprisal. Nothing I’ve found can prosper the soul as surely as the pages of a quiet, contemplative journal, written just for yourself in communication with your Lord.