For 15 years of my adult life I had the same journal. That tells you how often I wrote it in. When I read the old entries from my early 20’s, and there aren’t that many, it’s obvious I was searching. Searching for purpose. Searching for answers to hard questions.
There was a 7-year gap between my last entry and the first one written somewhat recently in 2015. When I compare those two entries, the difference in myself is like night and day. I had faith in God back then, but it was still immature. Somewhere during those 7 years I moved from discontentment to being full of peace and confidence that God was truly with me. That first entry in 2015 was prompted by my time spent in El Salvador, which changed my life in a profound way. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Last fall I read a book that encouraged a daily habit of keeping a gratitude list. The intent was to cultivate a grateful heart and train your mind to seek out the positive in each day instead of dwelling on the negative. So each night, I began to write a list of just 3 things I was thankful for…specific things that happened that day or conversations that made me smile or just for the way I felt. 6 months later I can tell you I’m so glad I started a gratitude journal. As I intentionally look for the good that happens every day (and it does!), it not only makes me happier but it also softens the challenges in life. What’s truly important moves into focus and it’s easier to let the little things roll off my back. It’s an upward spiral.
I’ve been dreaming of the new direction for my artwork and asking questions like “What exactly am I going to DO with all these patterns I’ve been making?”. The answer hasn’t been super clear. There are lots of possibilities from fabric to gift wrap. But I don’t want to force it (I’ve been there and it doesn’t work). I want to go in the direction that’s best for me and best for my audience. And then last night as I was thinking about the day…it occurred to me that a journal just might be the answer.
So, I took a pattern that I recently made and added it to a beautifully styled photo.
I think there’s something there. If nothing else, it feels right.
What about you? Do you journal on a regular basis? And is this something you’d like to see come to life?
Let’s chat – you can leave a comment below. 🙂