The Benefits of Journaling for the Young and Old
I’m amazed at the things I forget because I don’t write them down. I am not just talking about what I need to do on a particular day or week; I’m referring to beautiful things God has done in my life and the truth I have learned through spending time with Him. Thankfully, I have journaled over the years, and I’m able to go back through the pages and remind myself of the goodness of God. As I do this, my faith grows.
I find it easy to hear God speak as I write down what comes to my mind while doing my devotions and journal time, with no editing or censoring. When I go back and read what I have written, I often find insights and encouragement that could only come from Him.
Journaling is not only beneficial to our spiritual health, but it also has a positive impact on our mental and emotional health. It helps us: manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with grief and sadness. It also evokes mindfulness, improves communication skills, and sparks creativity.
Kids can experience the same benefits from journaling that adults can, especially as they go through the emotional ups and downs of the tween years.
That’s why I am teaching my kids to develop this practice that has been so helpful to me.
If you would like to help your kids get started with journaling, you can encourage them to:
- Write every day. Don’t wait for kids to find time to journal. It’s important to set aside a few minutes, at the same time every day, to write.
- Make it easy. Have a pen and paper handy at all times so they can jot down their thoughts. Older kids can keep a digital journal on their computer or phone.
- Don’t edit. Let your kids know they can write down whatever comes to mind. Encourage them not to worry about spelling mistakes or what other people may think.
A journal doesn’t need to follow any particular structure. Mine includes the areas I am struggling with as well as what I am grateful for. It also contains prayer requests, answered prayers, creative ideas, and dreams for my family and my future.
Even though it is simple to get started, it may feel intimidating to those who haven’t done it before. If this practice is new to your daughter, Melanie Shankle has an incredible resource for you.
Fearless Faith: 100 Devotions for Girls is an interactive book that provides journal prompts, fun activities, and Biblical truth for young readers. Each day includes a Scripture verse followed by encouraging message, and a corresponding question to reinforce the day’s takeaway such as: “What are three things that make you happy? What do you worry about? What do you think God wants for your life?” Readers will grow more confident in their faith while developing a discipline of journaling.
Journaling has been an excellent addition to my devotional life, and I know it will be for my kids too. Like most new things, it may take time for kids to become comfortable with writing down their thoughts and feelings. However, with practice, it will get easier.
Whether young or old, our faith will grow as we look back over the pages and remember the faithfulness of God in our life.
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