Journal-ism: A Fresh Start

When I study the Bible, I like to write down any observations; words I need to take to heart; or cool insights I gain. I use a spiral-type journal, preferably one thick enough for me to clip a comfort-grip pen inside the wire spiral.

So, this happened yesterday… I’d wrestled with the truth for days, but finally had to face facts:

I couldn’t squeeze any more notes into the journal I’d been using since April. So I fished out the new, blank journal from my stash and opened it up.

It’s probably silly, but starting a new journal usually gives me a feeling of “New Year” significance. I don’t just put the old journal aside and grab the new one, thinking “Next…” No, I write my name on the first page with a flourish and think about how I want to tweak the way I use the pages. In fact, any time I get a new item–car, appliance, house, shoes, replacement for a favorite-but-stained shirt–I greet it with a “This time it’ll be different” attitude. I’ll keep this house cleaner, wear an apron to protect this shirt, etc. Journals have always been like that, too–I’ll organize this one better, write more consistently… again and again.

Until now.

Yesterday felt different. I still wrote my name in the front with a flourish. But when it came to tweaking, it dawned on me that I’ve finally landed on a “system” that works well for me. Study notes on the left-hand page (because I’m left-handed and it’s just easier), Scripture memory practice on the right, with that space also available for memos to self, other verses to look up, and other miscellaneous stuff.

I’ve even grown more consistent, doing a bit of studying almost every day. Not that I’m the Organization Queen or anything. No, it’s mostly because I tend to wake up for no reason at some ridiculously early hour. Whatever works, right?

Tweaking is fine and necessary, and something new can give me a fresh start. On the other hand, settling into a routine that fits makes it easier for me to practice the disciplines that are important to me. As near as I can figure, forming those positive habits means I’ll need that “fresh start” less often.

I welcome your comments! Have you cemented any positive habits? Need to form a new one? Join the conversation by using the “Your Turn” box waaaay down at the bottom of this post.

Thanks for reading,


About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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