Do you journal about your day? Do you know what the benefits of journaling are?
Journaling has become something I really enjoy and am often encouraged with when I go back and read the entries. Multiple times in the Bible it says to remember all of God’s works, what He has done, and who He is. I have done bible journaling and prayer journaling, but regularly still struggle with a normal everyday journal. When I find myself discouraged, sometimes going over those writings, seeing what God has done, where He has brought me or changed me, can be all I need to persevere and continue running the Christian life.
Apparently for runners, journaling and keeping a running tally of how your runs go is also very important. It helps you to “see” what makes your runs good or bad and enables you to plan ahead for your next outings to make them better. I asked a running group I am part of if they use journals, and lots of them said that they did. They explained that it really helps keep track of their training plans, what works well, what doesn’t work well, and also encourages them to push forward.
Have you ever heard of the poem called Footprints in the Sand? Where the man is looking back over his life and wonders why during some of the hardest times in his life that God’s footprints disappeared. He was recalling happenings of his past and noticed a pattern. Though it turns out God was carrying the man during the rough times, which explained one set of footprints missing, lately that is not what stands out to me.
A few weeks ago, I went out for a run planning on just having fun and throwing in a couple training aspects here and there. On my way out I practiced cadence training, of which I will talk about in an upcoming post. On my way back, I stopped and looked at my footprints, which were neatly spread apart on the newly fallen snow. But with closer examination I noticed smudge marks between my left foots landings. As I stood there, I realized my suspicions over the last couple weeks of having a muscle imbalance, was in fact correct. I decided to take advantage of the snow. Running a few paces and then stopping to observe the footprints, I learned the left side of my body was definitely not as strong as my right.
As I continued my run-stop-observe exercise, I focused on using my left leg muscles more. Even though it was difficult for the rest of the run, after a mile I got the hang of activating certain muscles in order to gain a higher step, so that there was a smooth surface between each footfall. Between then and now I have been focusing on strengthening my left side more during strength training workouts. Next snowfall will show whether I have improved or not.
I have been learning we can apply this to our daily lives by journaling about our days. Prayer journaling specifically about the day has helped, but the days I do that is far and in between. My goal is to start journaling about the day, even if it is only a few quick jots, so I can look back and maybe see what went wrong and how I can “fix” it. In my memory I may be able to remember some things but it’s not to the same extent as if it were in writing – you know how much easier it is to remember the bad and not the good?!
Upon receiving a late Christmas present from a friend yesterday I feel like God answered one of my prayers. One of the items was a really cool journal of which I have already written in! I love it! The hard back cover reminds me of an old-fashioned book, with cream paper, ruffled edges, and a verse printed at the bottom of each page. For me, paper and gel pens are something I absolutely love. I could stand in those office supply aisles for hours scanning all the items, until I finally chose just the right one. I have noticed finding something we enjoy in each new habit we want to form is very helpful in reaching our goal. So for me, I think God may have given me the perfect journal to help.
If this is something you would like to start doing, I can give you the same advice God has been giving me. While trying to research how to do things, He is always reminding me, “Just Write, Just Pray, Just Run.” These three areas are what I have been praying about but feel like we could use it for everything in life. Just get up and do it!