Thursday, August 1, 2013

Diary Versus Journal

What is the difference between a diary and a journal?  Or is there a difference?  Questions wondering minds like mine want to know!!  For me, there is a difference between the two.  Before I proceed….I must say that I am not a writer.  I don’t like to write.  I have not been a good diary-er or a good journal-er or for that matter, a good blog-er!!  Keep all of that in mind as you read!!
When I was a teenager my mother gave me a diary….you have seen the kind….the one with the tab across the pages that you can lock so that little (or big) brothers or parents or sisters cannot read your deepest, darkest secrets.  She told me how important it was for me to keep a diary….after all she did and so should I!  I recently discovered that diary and flipping through the pages I read life changing entries like these:

February 11—Joe asked me to go to valentines dance

April 28—found out I didn’t make drill team

May 3—Brenda had a party.  I had a wonderful time.  Love mike!!!  Oh guess what?  Jerry asked Carol to go steady!!!

June 6—Ronda’s party was fun. Just a few girls. When we went to Dairy Queen I got in trouble.

July 8—At summer school David kissed me in the hall upstairs in the high school.  I like him so much!!

December 8—Paul asked me to go steady. Told him I’d think about it.  Think I should?  Yes!  OK! Ha!

December 24—broke up with Paul
Changed your life reading it didn’t it?  I am amazed at how focused I was on boys and how many teenage girls today are no different!! You can see that God was not a part of my life then, in fact, I knew nothing about Him at that time and so it is no surprise that there was nothing about desiring to marry a pastor!! 

Those entries were about what I did, who I did it with, and maybe just a little bit about how I felt—but not much.  Bottom line—it was all about me!!  Those few diaries that I wrote in during my teenage years were the last ones I wrote in.  Fast forward many years and I hear about journaling.  I had not done any journaling.  My diary experience haunted me and honestly wanted nothing to do with journaling.
Soon the Lord convicted me that I needed to write about Him….what He was teaching me, what I was learning.  It was to be a conversation with Him….prayers expressing my desires, dreams, pain—all of it. 

To me, a diary is about what I did, who I did it with, where I went and maybe how I felt about it.  A journal is about what God did and is doing, conversations with Him, and the journey with Him!  The diary is about me—the journal is about Him.
As I was going through my parents things this month, I found and read my mom’s diaries….I learned much about my childhood—some things I had no idea had happened.  Some brought sweet memories.  Some brought tears and regrets.  I am thankful she wrote them and I am still pondering whether or not I am glad that I read them.  However, my mom did not have a journal.  She did not have a God story.

What will you leave for those coming after you to read?  To be honest, the thought of anyone reading any of my journals gives me diarrhea!!  Part of me wants to instruct a really good friend to come and destroy every journal I have as soon as I die….part of me wants the good, the bad and the ugly of my life to live on.  What about you? 

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