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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The 'write way' to discernment

Make journaling part of your spiritual and emotional care routine

A picture is often thought to be worth a thousand words. When it comes to discerning where God is leading, it can be equally true that words in a journal help paint the picture of what path to follow next.

Some people dread writing in a journal because it dredges up painful memories of an exacting high-school teacher covering their work with red ink. Others compare themselves to professional authors and find themselves seriously wanting in the prose department. Slowly writing longhand word by word strikes some as Stone Age technology in an electronic age of text messaging, blogs and e-mail.

DesignpicsNonetheless, there is power, potential healing and increased clarity available to those willing to write out longhand the thoughts swirling around in the conscious and subconscious mind.

Try the journal-writing habit for 90 days. If you don't find your thoughts getting clearer, your feelings calmer and your ideas brighter — you can always let go of the journal habit.

Reasons to consider making journaling part of your overall spiritual and emotional care routine include:


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