Dear Diary. that's how I began my day's entry for a couple of years while in junior high. Having a Diary (yes, with a capital D) felt very grown up, very cool.
It was a five-year diary, with a shiny brass lock and a tiny key that I kept safe, tucked inside my clothes. There was room for a small paragraph each day, or perhaps just a sentence or two if my handwriting was going through a particularly pouf-y stage.
It was filled with girl drama, boy drama, how much I adored Michael J. Fox.
I found it a few years ago, and I can't believe this, but I threw it away. After glancing through it, I felt silly and a little ridiculous and embarrassed and into the trash it went. It only took until the garbage truck had come and gone for me to totally regret it.
Luckily, I remember junior high very well. And if I forget, my BFF (2Friends 2Gether 4Ever!) from those years in England during sixth, seventh, and eighth grade really turned out to be a forever friend and I can call her if I forget something.
In early high school, I can't quite remember what I journaled in. (Notice that I was too cool for "Dear Diary" by then, I'd moved on to the more mature version--"Journaling.") It was more an off again, on again kind of a thing. And nothing lasted because I don't have any of it.
Truth be told, it probably was more off again because I was on the phone. All the time.
Any writing I did consisted of notes to my friends, folded into fun shapes like little arrows that opened to reveal what I was thinking about this teacher or that one, this boy or that one. And of course, I sent those notes down the line of desks to my friends, so I don't have them anymore.
At 16, Toben and I started dating and my notes were all written to him. Notes for a year or two, letters sent from family vacations in Hawaii and England, letters sent to and from Greeley, where he attended his freshman year of college while I finished high school.
Those, he has. And I have his. Every single one. Mine are mostly written in green felt tip pen, which was my signature thing for a year or two, until I moved on up to fountain pens. Bound in giant four-inch three-ring notebooks and stored in the basement in Denver.
Since then I've journaled on the computer (I dearly love to type), steno pads, in composition books. They're stored in stacks and I go back and read them now and then.
And I blog, for more than four years now.
But blogging isn't quite journaling. Sometimes it is. But sometimes it's not.
There's a lot I can blog about openly, struggles I can share, thoughts I'm thinking. But you read it. Which is part of the point of blogging. To share and be read.
Journaling. Well, that's sacred. Not secret, but private. What's in my journal is mine alone. It doesn't have to be articulate. Doesn't have to make sense. Doesn't have to be pretty or nice or rational or logical or anything but what it is.
And even then, there are some things I don't journal. Thoughts and fears and desires I still fear to put on paper because there's that thought in the back of my mind, What if someone reads it?
Those things fall under the category of prayer, I guess. Especially those kinds of prayers where words are elusive and few and the Spirit must intercede on our behalf as Paul writes in Romans 8:26-27.
I suspect that God keeps those safe, tucked away someplace secure.
What about you? Do you journal? Blog? Do both?
What's the difference for you--is there a difference for you?