Throughout the year I use my journal to record events, to process thoughts, and to dialogue with God. Journaling helps me to remember these things which lends to a more accurate perspective of life. I tend to forget what God has done in my life, things that have happened (both good and bad), and thoughts, goals, and accomplishments.
In the moment when journaling, I benefit by processing my thoughts and staying focused in my prayer life. But if I never went back and read entries, I would lose all that perspective. So, at least during this time of year, I read back through my journal.
I am always surprised at how much I forget. And since I have a young son, I notice how quickly things change in the span of just one year.
Each year it reminds me about things overcome, goals set (some accomplished and some not) and yes, a few regrets.
Would you like to see what I pulled from this years journal? Here are 20 reflections from my 2015 journal:
- To begin 2015 I journaled a prayer that included:
- Guidance as a husband, father, friend, writer, and any role He placed me in.
- Anointing on our family.
- Favor on business decisions.
- I prayed more intentionally over my son when he was a foster child than now that he is my adopted son. Why do I let the sense of urgency change? I prayed this prayer—”Lord change me. I want to be a man of prayer and ridiculous faith. I want to be a loving husband and a kind father.
- Made this entry on 1/14/15 – “Played a lot of basketball this morning. Had good energy. I know one day I won’t be able to play anymore, so thank you God for the days you have given me.” I had surgery for a ruptured tendon on 9/23/15. Three month into recovery I don’t know yet if my basketball days are over.
Who I spend time with is important. I journaled a lot about different guys I hang out with and the influence they are in my life.
Focus is vital. I started a lot of different projects during the year, but finished only a couple. I attribute some of that to a lack of focus.
God’s plans are not always my plans. I began the year planning on moving some things off my plate so I could focus on some of those projects. God had other plans I guess. They are always better.
I get addicted to technology. I think this is a major struggle of our generation.
I prefer a simple model of church. This is what I mean by simple church:
- Less program driven and more community driven.
- Easier for authentic relationships.
- Mission focused rather than attendance focused.
- Higher percentage of funds going directly to the mission.
- I need to remember that my adopted son has an implicit sense of loss. So change affects him deeply. Remembering this gives me more patience when he exhibits bad behavior.
- I have a lot to learn about persistence. Persistence and focus. Good characteristics to pursue in 2016.
- When I write down my goals… Many years ago I learned how writing down goals affects my actions. I tend to think that I fall way short of my goals, but looking back at goals I wrote down at the beginning of the year, many have come to fruition.
- Time flies by. Don’t we all know this all too well.
- God heals. Journaling helps remind me of this.
- God responds to our cries. A lot of my journaling is crying out before God. For myself, for my family, for my friends, for His people. It’s good to read how He responds.
- God places people in our lives at the right time. Amen.
- God’s timing is perfect. Amen again!
- Where I am weak, He is strong. He continues to meet me in my weakness with His strength.
- Parenting a child from a hard place is a challenge.
- I still need to learn how to abide. I know intellectually that I can rest in Him, but I struggle with living that out.
- God is who holds things together. Thank You God. To You Be the Glory!
Looking back helps see the way forward.
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