Quick Start Journaling Styles in the Secret Place
If you have been following this series with us, and you have discovered which journaling type you are within the secret place, excellent! You are well on your way to going further with the Lord in intimacy with Him. If that is not you, all is not lost! Maybe you don’t know what your spiritual gifts are. Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t know where to begin until we try something and it works or it doesn’t. Today, I have two journaling types to get you started quickly. Regardless of whether you know what your journaling type is or not. They are easy journaling styles to get you started right away!
Guidance or No Guidance?
Oftentimes, we just don’t know what to say to God or even how to say it. I get it! It can be helpful to have something that keeps you focused and on a plan of sorts. Some need a little bit more freedom in their journaling, so look no further. Two other easy, quick-to-implement journaling styles are here to get you started today on your journaling adventure. Let’s not waste any more time. We are starting now!
What is Guided or Freestyle Journaling?
Guided and Freestyle journaling styles are two very different styles from one another. One is more focused, while the other is ‘anything goes.’ Many people like aspects of both styles and sprinkle them into their intimacy journals in their own ways. Mainly, because they are quick and require very little research to start. Anyone who is a Christian can work with these styles! Let’s go over what they are, so you can determine if it’s something you’d like to mix into your intimacy journaling.
Guided Journaling is journaling through various prompts. Whether that is a question, goal, or place to entertain in your mind to meet and know God. It gets your creative juices flowing, so that you can get your mind to think in a focused manner quickly and efficiently.
Freestyle journaling is quite different. It allows the writer to document everything they feel is important; even to include drawings and music lyrics. This journaling style provides very little guidance and is dependent upon the writer to determine what is documented in their time with the Lord for the day. It does have its benefits in its freedom in journaling.
How does God See My Journaling?
Journaling is sacred to God. As I said once before, it is creating a memorial for yourself and those who would come after you. Here is an example of God’s heart concerning it. Jeremiah 30:1-3 AMP says:
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you. 3 For behold (hear this), the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return them to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they will take possession of it.’”Jeremiah 30:1-3 AMP
In this passage, God tells Jeremiah to document everything He is saying to Him for the people. What was happening to them? They were in captivity! God had plans to save them, and He wanted the words He was giving Jeremiah to be prophetic words to encourage the people that He would save them out of their woes. How important is that to get out of? If you’ve ever been in a situation where you felt helpless to get out of by yourself, you know and understand! It was critical for the people to hold onto hope in their God. So He asked Jeremiah to record it for a remembrance. God was faithful and true to them!
How Can Guided & Freestyle Journaling Styles Help Me in the Secret Place?
The benefits of this type of journaling–or most any type–is honestly more than I can list here. There are some benefits that I can relate to you from these two types, specifically for the secret place. Both of them can help you express your thoughts and feelings in a manner that is non-threatening. Whether good or bad!
Be Honest. This Journal is for YOU.
Some feelings may be hard to express honestly in journaling, but it’s okay to be honest. In fact, the more honest you are, the more overall benefit you will see over time. It will ultimately bring you closer to the Lord. He can work with honesty. If you aren’t honest and humble in this process, you won’t see intimacy develop between you and God really at all. He knows if you are or not! Let’s face it, if intimacy does not develop, then we need to re-examine why we are journaling in the first place!
They Can Help You Identify Problems in Yourself & Your Attitudes
These two journaling styles can also help you identify problems in yourself, and help you identify any deficits. This in turn helps you know how to pray and take steps to change it. Another way they can help you is by assisting you in seeing a progression in your level of intimacy with the Lord. I personally love them because they help me keep a record of things to remember. Those things might be scriptures God points out to me and heart issues I need to address. Spotting strengths and weaknesses as you progress in journaling is what keeps you moving up and higher in your spiritual walk. This is the secret of journaling!
Other Benefits According to the Scriptures
According to Proverbs 20:5 AMP, it mentions other good things from journaling. Now, it may not mention journaling specifically, but it does mention an important thing that we can draw from when we do:
“A man of deep understanding will give good advice,
drawing it out from the well within.”Proverbs 20:5 AMP
This is EXACTLY what we are doing when we journal. We are pulling from the deep well of the Spirit within us! Documenting what our spirit man (and sometimes our soul) longs for. When guided by the Holy Spirit, which also lives within us, we can become this man of deep understanding, giving good advice! Why? Because the Holy Spirit bubbles up within us, just like Jesus is the Fount of Living water.
Guided Journaling How-To’s
Guided journaling consists of prompts. Lots of different prompts. There can be many different styles of prompts and many sources to find them! Click here to get your own guided journaling prompts as you journal with Jesus! There are many types of guided journals, but here’s some of the major ones:
- Spiritual Goal-oriented Questions-These questions usually involve open-ended goals and allow you to expound on the subject. They push you to accomplishment. Some examples are:
- Spiritual Goal Oriented Questions
- Example: What are three ways I want God to transform me?
- Intimacy with God Questions
- Example: Are there any walls in my life that I have built between me and God? What are they?
- Prayer questions/prayers journaled to God
- Example: This is simply writing a prayer in question form and listening for God to answer
- Situational (Place) ideas for meeting with God
- Example: Today, you meet Jesus at the Sea of Galilee. It’s windy, but the sun is shining down all around you, and the water is crystal clear blue. A boat is prepped and made ready for you to board at the dock ahead. You look up just in time to see Jesus beyond where you are, looking at you with a smile. You jump up to greet Him, because there was something you needed to ask Him…
- Spiritual Goal Oriented Questions
- Scripture Study/Memory- This style of guided journaling helps you meditate on the scriptures to dig out any meaning that the Holy Spirit wants you to understand. You can use a single scripture to do this, by writing out the verse and what it is saying to you. After writing your part, pause and allow the Holy Spirit to speak His revelation as well. Journal everything you hear. You can also journal entire books of the Bible, which is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and really makes the scriptures come alive! Another fun option here is to use printable scripture pictures that you color and include in your study of that scripture.
Remembrance & Documentation Bring You closer to God’s Heart
Here’s yet another reason from the scriptures to get you journaling. In Malachi 3:16-17 AMP it says:
16 “Then those who feared the Lord [with awe-filled reverence] spoke to one another; and the Lord paid attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who fear the Lord [with an attitude of reverence and respect] and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on that day when I publicly recognize them and openly declare them to be My own possession [that is, My very special treasure]. And I will have compassion on them and spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”Malachi 3:16-17 AMP
My friends, does this pull at your heart strings like it does mine? Careful documentation was made because God wanted those who revered His Name to be His treasured possession. He wanted to make a note to remember them…Are you starting to see a pattern now?
What does Freestyle Journaling Include?
Freestyle journaling is basically “anything goes.” While this is the case, it does need to have the basic goal to commune and know your Savior. When done for intimacy purposes, it must have this structure at the bare minimum. Other than that, where you go is up to you and the Holy Spirit! Doodling, drawing, poetry, songs, and creative ideas flow from this. Creative writing can also blossom here. Like we mentioned above, you may want to imagine you are somewhere you love with Jesus and write an encounter from that perspective.
It Can Foster Creativity, but Organization is Key
I assure you that as you pray, study the Word, speak in your heavenly prayer language (if you have one), this will inspire and ignite your eyes and imagination. The Lord will meet you as your heart has the intention to seek and find Him. I can personally testify within this type of journaling. This type is so unlimited that without some organization, it can get a little messy. I use this type myself and use an electronic journal for it. When I want to use the other types, I tend to use another journal for that type of thing, such as painting.
Options to Use in Freestyle Journaling
Diary format: This format is very much like a diary, including happenings from your day, what was noteworthy, and what God showed you. Maybe it was something someone said to you that resonated with you from what God told you last night. Thoughts, hopes, and dreams can be documented as well, though making them visual is a key factor here. Star things, highlight, or use stickers, and or tabs should be used. Something visual needs to be added, so that you can keep track of these precious gems as your journaling goes past these dates. You will no doubt want to revisit them. Without the structure of the guided journal, this can easily become mounds of writing, so get good at visually marking things to help yourself refer to them later.
Other Components of the Diary Format
- Drawing/painting/writing music lyrics/poetry/creative writing/creative flow of ideas-This type is really just a component of the diary format above. Sort of an add-on unless you make it another journal entirely. While any of these things can be done, you will always want to journal your secret place time too. Writing and painting may get tricky in the same book, so consider that as well. Otherwise, doodling, drawing, and writing poetry can all be written freely together. As you meet the Lord and His Presence begins to join you in your times with Him, this is the perfect time to express what He’s put upon your heart. Having your journal ready to draw or write out these creative ideas (that sometimes turn into more than you can even imagine!) is extremely convenient! If this is your journaling style, you may also be one to decorate your journal and possibly use decorative parchment or decorative pages. With so many ideas out there, the possibilities are literally endless. Your journal should be YOU on pages. Your heart mixed with the Holy Spirit’s infilling put upon paper.
- Experiences/Interpretations/Dreams-This is also another component of the diary type and just another add-on, not our main focus. Remember, our main focus is to know Him! Each of these things just enhances our knowledge of Him, but in and of themselves shouldn’t be the focus or goal. He always is! This type may also need to be another journal on its own, so that you can return to different places later. It helps to have an electronic journal here with this type, so things can be tagged to help you in that process. Learning dream interpretation and experiences requires re-visitation to grow in understanding, wisdom, and discernment. So keeping them tagged for future location is essential if this is something God allows you to experience frequently enough to keep a record of it.
- Lessons learned/What God is telling you/Scriptures- This is a hallmark of journaling, and we thrive on this! It is yet another component of the diary type and has no specific structure in this type. Handy visual reminders should be used to refer to later. There is no better reward for yourself now than when you are going through a trial and remember something the Lord taught you previously. When that thing is beautifully and completely recorded, you use it in your current trial and are victorious. That is priceless! You are making your own precious treasure trove of wisdom, by God’s grace and by His very words. See how your own creativity can bless you and be a blessing for others? You are making a memorial for yourself and others, whether you see that now or not. It can and will inspire and bless others!
You Are Writing Your Own Instruction Manual by the Spirit of God
When you journal, you are writing an instruction manual for those coming after you. God told the Prophet Habakkuk in Habakkuk 2:2 AMP:
“Then the Lord answered me and said,Habakkuk 2:2 AMP
“Write the vision
And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets
So that the one who reads it will run.”
He wants us to run with whatever message He gives us, so that we can move with it! Writing, expressing, and meditating on all He gives us, gets it out of our heads and onto a place where others can benefit. No, they don’t have to search through it and figure out the meaning, No! He wants them to run with it! Glance and go! May we be so thorough in our journaling that others (and ourselves) may glance and go with it. We have already done the hard work, we are laying down the framework for others to benefit from. What a worthy calling it is that God would give us this task for future and present believers to benefit from our mistakes and victories! Psalm 102:18 AMP further explains God’s heart for journaling:
“Write all this down for the coming generation. so re-created people will praise the Lord!”Psalm 102:18 AMP
Faithfulness in Journaling Whether Guided or Freestyle
Guided and freestyle journaling, while vastly different, are so easy to implement. Anyone who is a Christian can jump in and start today. As you are consistent in whichever you decide to use, you will start to see transformation in your mind, heart, emotions, and behavior. Not to mention mind renewal. Faithfulness and diligence will pay for itself as you start to see a baseline of God’s heart for you, His characteristics, His faithfulness to you, His purposes, and so much begin to take shape in your mind. Faithfulness and diligence are key, not perfectionism or legalism. Just journal something daily, even if it’s just a few sentences. It shouldn’t be something that feels like an obligation or an irritation, but should be something you are drawn to do out of love for your Beloved Savior.
Will You Be a Faithful one in Journaling?
The Lord wants to see who is faithful to find Him. He wants to see who it is that cares about what He imparts, loves it enough–and Him–to document it for a remembrance? Who cherishes Him in their hearts? It’s not just a good thing to do, my friends. It’s His heart. Finding His heart is finding intimacy. His heart is where it all flows from. He treasures you enough to share something with you. He is extending intimacy to you.
We are a people who forget. Can you relate to that? I sure can. Treasure Him by how you treasure what He shows you. You are proving to the God of the Universe that you care for Him enough to do what it takes to treasure His words. It doesn’t matter whether that is scripture or what He imparts to you. When He finds faithfulness and diligence, He sees one who truly loves Him. God bless you on your journaling adventure. May you find a loving friend that fills you with delights beyond your wildest imagination. Be sure to check out our free downloadable guided journaling pages to quick start your journal today. Your King loves you and cannot wait to encounter YOU too!
“You’ve kept track of all my wandering and my weeping. You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle—not one will be lost. For they are all recorded in your book of remembrance.”Psalm 56:8 AMP