About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Anna, thanks for raising your hand and identifying as an inveterate journal geek. I started a new one for 2018, and am still just a tiny bit swoony every time I open it with all its pristine pages and promise of words to come!

    Blessings to you as we begin again every day with brand new mercy.

    • I journal in fits and starts and rarely finish an entire journal! Somehow I let the busy-ness of life get in the way. I love the idea of February being the new January….why not?
      True confession…I do not use sharpie for journalling…obviously in the minority here! I prefer ink to gel ink or marker. And I appreciate pens that are a bit fatter than average as they don’t hurt my hand. Papermate has some nice ones.

  2. I love to journal….mostly scripture that speaks to me or prayers….I’d love to win one! Thanks!

  3. I journal mostly my prayers, but I use a different one for lists and notes. It’s like a record of my life and those I love and how God works in our lives.

  4. Anna,
    We share the same “perfect pen”!! The fine point, black sharpie pen is my go-to as well lol. February has become my January (I’m not quite sure where January went to? I think I was in recovery mode). I decided that Feb. 1, I was going to begin a read through the Bible in one year program. I did this once before and I admit it took longer than a year, but it’s been quite awhile and so I am endeavoring to do this again. Why? Because scripture is alive and it breathes new nuances every time I read it (even the same scripture for the umpteenth time). In my journals (I, too, start and don’t finish many), I like to write favorite scriptures. I’m a visual learner and so writing it out helps it stick in this vacuum of a brain. I jot breath prayers – short prayers that get to the heart of the matter. I write praises and things for which I’m grateful to create and attitude of gratitude. I journal my hurt and pain and offer that to God as well. Every day might look a little different….Thanks for the encouragement that His mercies are new EVERY morning and every day is a good day to start afresh.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  5. I love journaling. Reading this post made me think about how much I miss writing out my thoughts – to gain perspective, to feel and release emotions that have been penned up, and to ask God questions and hear his voice back to me. Writing is so soothing and such a great tool in our spiritual journeys. I definitely want to make some space to do some journaling this weekend.

  6. Loved the sentence – No matter what is overwhelming your heart today, you can face it with joy and confidence and grace. – I needed that this morning!
    I also loved the part where you talked about writing to do’s of the heart – I love it! I am writing down right now my heart to do’s – love it!

    Love the journal – I too have left a trail of them and keep loving them and starting them!!

  7. This is just what I needed this morning and oh how I love a beautiful journal!
    I use them for scripture and notes on how God is teaching me through His words!

    • Great idea, Allison. I’ve always wanted to have a dedicated prayer journal. I think it’s so powerful to track and remember all that the Lord has done and will yet do.

  8. WOW! …so much needed to read this TODAY!…”Father, Be – Just be – with her today”. Thank You!

  9. I have been planning on starting a prayer journal, but just haven’t done it yet. I would love this beautiful journal to write my prayers and to record God’s faithfulness in their answers.

  10. I am the same way about journals, and you will find many around my house that have not been completed…one or two are back from my college days, 40 years ago. I also agree that January seemed longer than 31 days! It was the month of both “Praise the Lord” moments and trying to “Praise the Lord, in the middle of the storm” moments. And I know that will continue over all the rest of my months and years, so a new journal, whether gifted through you or bought by me, is in my immediate future. Thank you for speaking to the fresh possibilities found in a new journal.

  11. As I sit here drinking my coffee, thinking of what my work day holds, knowing I will be busy and have co-workers all around me, but yet still feel all alone at times, I will say “Together, we’ve got this”! Yes, like everyone else, DO NOT KNOW where January went, had many blessings in January, and some dissapointments (mostly at my own hands)! I admit, I have never tried a journal, it sounds like a good idea to release stress and to communicate with the Lord as well! My Mother and Mother-in-law both kept one, with scriptures and notes to our dads that had passed on. They are all rejoicing in Heaven now and we have memories and journals!

  12. I could totally relate to the half-used journals! My favorite pen is a kuretak zig colored thin tip marker. 🙂 Thank you for this great post and excellent reminder.
    Blessings on your fresh start today,
    Elizabeth (also living in Minnesota-currently at -4)

  13. I love the idea of journaling. This story really spoke to me and I need to go out and buy a new journal. You are right we all plan goals and when they don’t work I have felt defeated and like is too late. Today I choose to start again and always remembering god is with me. The road can be difficult but is never to late to start again. Thank you for this message I really needed it today

  14. I just started prayer journaling last summer and I’m currently filling my 3rd journal! It is so freeing to write down what’s on your heart and give it to God. I would fill this journal with my blessings, my gratitude, my thanks, my dreams and desires for myself and my husband and children. Asking God for healing and blessing to all those on my prayer list and for His purpose to be fulfilled in my life. I love having a conversation with Him every morning to start my day and fill me with His love and new mercies!

  15. I have a journal that I started last year and then stopped. Not sure why I stopped but would love to start again this year. I feel I put pressure on myself – I tell myself that I should have started journaling at the beginning of 2018 but when I read what you wrote,”In fact, we can boldly declare that January’s got nothin’ on February, because with God we can always start over with confidence.” it gives me hope that I can start afresh in February! I have so many things going on that I end up feeling discouraged but reading your entry for today has helped me – this paragraph touched me and encouraged me: “We know you have goals and dreams and hopes, and maybe you just need a place to release them all and someone to say, “Girl, you got this.” No matter what is overwhelming your heart today, you can face it with joy and confidence and grace. Because together, we got this. So grab your favorite pen (and then tell me what that is, because I’ve gotta know) and start making your lists in this journal that speaks life and says, ‘You got this, girl.’ This is exactly what I needed today! Thank you!

  16. Fave page in my yearly journals – toward the back of every one will be a page titled ‘Homeless We’ve Helped’ and it’s a list of all the homeless folks I met that year and prayed with amd promised them I’d keep praying for them. My kiddos (9, 8, 5) amd I make homeless bags at home to keep in the car (dads old tshirts, cereal bar, small bible, flashlight, etc) and hand them out while driving around in Houston. great devotion!!! Thanks!!

  17. Journaling has been in my routine for many years, ever since I was a teenager. I’ve had a prayer wall/vision board before it became popular. In the journal I will write the blessed events that occur @ graduate school, the rise of the good grades that I get as a result of God getting me in there. Nuggets of wisdom from God will flow on the pages along with the way His wisdom that I impart on family, friends & strangers affect them in positive ways. This is what I would do being blessed with a journal.

  18. This journaling book is exactly what I can use to keep track of my daily progress of my word for my new January. Butterfly. I’ve been hiding in my safe cocoon of depression for a long time and it’s time for me to come out and spread my wings as a butterfly and see what God has planned for my life.

  19. I understand what you mean when you say January felt like forever. My best friend/cousin of over 40 years passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm and she was only 47 years old. My January couldn’t felt longer. My heart is broken. We had plans… Plans to grow old together, watch our kids get married and be there to support each other when our spouse is gone as statistic proves that women lives longer than men. That was what was suppose to happen. I am thankful she is no longer in pain but my selfish human heart cannot see living another 30 more years without her by my side. What will I do to survive my lifetime without her?

    • Father, Be especially close to Maylee as her heart breaks and she grieves the death of her cousin and friend… wrap her in Your healing arms of love… help her to feel Your presence, and may wonderful memories bring her comfort and peace… thank You, Father… in Jesus’ name…

    • Maylee, I am so sorry for your loss and the heartache you’re walking through right now. You are the friend I am praying for today, that Jesus would be – just sit, and BE – with you in your pain.

  20. I like to post little God-incidences, times when I have acted on a nudge to speak encouraging to a friend or stranger, or events that pop up and bring me a smile. Last night even though my friend backed out and I went to the concert alone in the rain, it was a blessing because of the joy and peace I received from the music. And several selections brought back happy memories from past years!
    My favorite pen is a Zebra z grip gel pen, medium point.

  21. I read this every morning but have never commented but last week my committed boyfriend and I broke up and my life has been devastated. Since then the only way I have been able to feel peace and contentment and like maybe I’ll be okay as I struggle with grieving is by writing my prayers. It’s an act of survival at this point it feels and I needed to hear this message as well as be encouraged to keep writing and keep praying.

  22. February, the new January. Today, the New yesterday. Yes! Thank you for that reminder and Thank you Jesus for a new page today in my journal.
    Blessings,
    Kim

  23. My mother has kept a journal for years; each page full, front and back, of her reflections from the day before or the truths she’s discovered in scripture that morning or the prayers she prays for family and friends or just pouring her heart out to the Lord. I’ve started many journals over the years, but not with the discipline of my mother. My journals have few pages filled because “life” got in the way. Like you, I chose a word for 2018, RENEW. Renew my heart, my relationships and my journey with the One who loves me more than any other. I’ve begun writing down scripture that really speaks to my heart, but on a sheet of 8 1/2 x11. I would love a fresh new journal to keep everything in one place and, at the end of the year, to look back and see how He kept His promise to renew.

  24. “Girl, we got this!” Anna, my friend, you made my day! I have felt so defeated, looking at my calendar turn to February and wondering what I’ve accomplished. I look at the clutter that has overtaken my office and home, my half-written journals, my Bible reading plan that hasn’t happened, and my heart sinks. But (I love that word, too) God has this!

    I’m dusting myself off, praising The Lord for a sunny Southern Friday morning, drinking my coffee and looking forward to my God – ordained “do-over!” YAY! I’m so thankful for this amazing community of friends! I’m giving each one of you a virtual hug! <

    I would absolutely love this journal! I think I would use it for prayer and Bible Study (memorizing Scripture) and downloading my thoughts to God.

    Have a blessed day, ladies! Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow! <

  25. I write letters to God. I write my prayers so much better than speaking them (either aloud or silently)! I’m one of those recovering perfectionists and, when speaking, I stumble over my words trying to make them sound just right. When I write prayers, I can take my time and make them exactly what I mean. As far as favorite pens go, it’s a definite issue. When I told my former boss that my pen had run out of ink, he said “OH NO!!! Do you need to go home?”

    He knew me pretty well!!

  26. First things first… I want to thank everyone at encourage for everything you have done in my life. Believe me that is alot. You are the first thing i read in the morning. Its like i cant wait to get out of bed and start my devotion time with God. You make it that exciting. I spend my time first tbing as it makes my day a breeze. Besides no one else is up yet and its quiet…I lost my mother a year and a half ago and i devoted every minute to her for anout 10 years taking care of her. After losinf her i made the decision to start taking care of me myself and i. As i wasnt doing so well at it before. I found a church and new years day of 2017 I accepted Jesus as my savior and got baptized. It was an amazing feeling. Ever since then my life is wonderful with a few issues but i always come through them. My life is Devoted to God in everything i do. Including my health and family and my community. So once again i want to thank all of you for guiding me every morning with reading and my pen and paper. God is so good…Amen

    • Praise the LORD!!!! Thanks for sharing your story!!! Keep up being fully devoted to Him! You are loved!!!

    • Valerie, what a testimony – both of His devotion to you and to the way you devoted yourself in love to your mother. Praise God for your soft heart, as you cared deeply for your mother and were also receptive to the still, small voice of God.

      • Thankyou…it was that small voice that kept me going from day to day. I had to have faith and patience as Alzheimers is a terrible disease that nobody understands. At least til you personally go through it.

  27. This has been a BLESSING to my heart. Every word. Thank you for such an amazing entry on beginning afresh and being ok with it. The value of understanding that it is ok is tremendous. You have given me New insight on the word of God and how important it is to Abide in his word. I am in the process of a healing journey. Journaling every challenge, setback, and victory is important. Knowing that he makes all things New is a special scripture. Be blessed in all your endeavors and thank you!!!!

    • You are not alone in your healing journey. I totally understand. Remember God is with you all the time. Talk to him. Also i am always available if you need me for encouragement.Everyone needs a friend. Have faith. Your friend in christ Valerie

  28. Oops i put encourage instead of incourage at beginning. I guess that shows you are full of encouragement.

  29. I have started 2 thankful journals and am coming to the end of my second one. I love a fresh new pave to remind me that each morni g is new and full of possibilities! Keep at it!

  30. “To-do’s of the heart” – what a great concept, and writing them down is a good idea! ✅ ✅✅ Too bad I live in Canada!

  31. Thank you for this reminder. I would use this journal to help free up some much needed mental space and hopefully allow myself to just soak up all the little moments of joy that are passed by because of being too overwhelmed!

  32. I love you blog!! My daughter put me on to it! I do have a trail of journals. But my favorite pen,it’s the closest pen I can get my hands on!! Praying for you today!

  33. My heart was losing its clench as I read this morning…thank you! In January, my inside-Amaryllis plant was still not blooming and I almost tossed it out. Here as February begins, a little green shoot. His mercies are new every morning, and I have got to get back to journaling. I need a new pen and a clean sheet of paper, and a latte sounds perfect. Thanks for the encouragement. Blessings on your new-January!

  34. I’ve always loved to journal. Sometimes I write about whats gone on in my life, and sometimes I use them for prayers. Would love to win this.

  35. I would keep track of all the everyday things I’m grateful for. All my dreams, hopes,prayers, lessons learned in life and the daily moments that are taking place. It would be filled with the struggles, the joys and everything in between!

  36. Wonderful and Inspiring words today, thank you!!!
    Began January 1st with the flu, ugh!!! Yes, it has been a long dreary and cold month, but now onto a better February!!!
    I have journaled off and on for years, still do a “to do” list every single day. I am going to add a “who can I encourage” list now! Recently started using a gel pen in cool colors that my darling granddaughter insisted that I needed!!! She was right!!

  37. Thanks for helping to remind me of freed brain space. All the worries and ” to dos ” gain order when we write them down. And i love how after clearing that space our souls are lighter to pray. Thanks so much! My dear sister sent me the link to your blog. She knows me and always offers her encouragement creatively.

  38. I’m not used to speaking in front of people. Tomorrow is going to be my first time. I shared my Bible journaling with my bible study group and the leaders asked me to lead a journaling class. Fourteen women have signed up for it…gulp. Overwhelmed?…yes! Scared?…yes! Even more than that, God has put it on my heart that before I begin to open the class with prayer…(but. God…I don’t pray in front of groups….it makes me nervous..I’ll be with you He whispered in my ear). So, I pulled out a piece of paper and thought I’d write down all my goals for this class, and my hopes, and my ideas…and then I read this article…and I thought WOW! Could I use this journal! I could write down ideas for this class..and keep a log of how it’s progressing so I can look back months down the road to see how far we have come. I’m excited. I would love to win this journal, but even if I don’t, this article has moved me to keep a “diary” of how God is going to move me out of my comfort zone and unite my lady friends to a more intimate relationship with him.

    • Praying for tomorrow that you’d be a special blessing and not feel too nervous!! Can totally relate! He loves you and will be by your side!

      • Thank you for you words of encouragement! After my nerves calmed down it went very well…I am so thankful God has given me this opportunity to serve him. Everyone is so excited about journaling. I’m thankful for Dayspring and all the tools they have to equip us. God bless you, Little Mary. (how cute)

      • Anna, your article was so inspiring and came right when I needed it! Thank you, also, for encouraging me. I am grateful that I am able to share my love for journaling with others who are so excited to start. Many thanks to all of you at Dayspring. This ministry has blessed me countless times. I love you all.

  39. My favorite pen is a purple one that I also use for my word search puzzles. Its funny but the journal I bought says “You Got This” which I have to tell myself everyday when I’m doubting or worrying about so many things. When I look at it I’m reminded that I do with God by my side. I start off with writing my thoughts for the day and end with a prayer but I’ve yet to complete an entire journal. Thanks for sharing.

  40. I, too, love to journal. In fact, I have at least 3 going at once. My go to pen is a purple gel pen. I admit I love the color purple and use it as much as possible. It makes me happy. I understand about a cold, frigid, frosty January. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we are going pretty much the same frigid season as you. I am retired now and I love to use my journal to think “outside of the box” on what I would like to do in retirement and never had the time for. It’s also a great way to track my retirement bucket list.

  41. This was a great wake up call for me. I was feeling like I was the only one getting more and more behind. I still have Christmas to put away and feel like I lost the month of January!

    I have never tried journaling but it sounds like a terrific way to remove the “I should haves” and start fresh!

    Thank you for the reminder that God is never done with us.

    Blessings!

  42. I felt God speaking to me thru you today. My depression has been so bad this week and I woke up again this morning trying to find a reason to go on living. I haven’t journaled for a long time and need to. I needed exactly what you expressed in your devotion. Thank you

    • Hi Regina,
      I am so glad that God gave you the courage and encouragement to post a comment on this Devotional site. This probably was not easy to do and took a lot of strength. Like you, I too, have suffered from deep depression. I get it! Not Fun! I’m not sure if you already have a source of support or not. Either way, I would love to connect with you further when you’re ready and walk through this with you. It was a real blessing when someone did that with me. I would like to be a blessing to you. My name is Ginny Randle and my e-mail address is: rescue.ginny@gmail.com. Praying for you.

      • Regina, thank you for being brave and showing up for another day. I’m so glad you have found encouragement here. I am praying for you now, that you would have assurance of God’s nearness and His deep love for you.

        Ginny, your response to Regina brought tears to my eyes. This is the body of Christ. Thank you for reaching your hand and heart out to another sister.

        Blessings to you both. xoxo

    • Oh Regina, my heart is both aching for yours, and proud of you for taking the risk to share here. I pray that God’s peace floods and overflows the cracks and crevices of your heart, and that you will be able to begin or continue on the path of healing.

      Sweet Regina, I also encourage you to seek counsel from a caring professional in your area to help you process those emotions. If that’s (understandably) overwhelming or scary, you can start at http://ecounseling.com/ – they can provide service right over the internet.

      Blessings and peace to you today, Regina. Thank you for being here.

  43. Hi Anna,
    Like you, I leave trails of unfinished journals behind me and you’re right: there’s nothing that soothes my frayed edges when I’m crabby and overwhelmed like starting a new journal. Like this morning, I woke up thinking that it was Saturday when it’s actually Friday. So, time is just soaring right on by and my brain is fried just trying to keep track of everything. I’ve been trying to contain my “to do lists” in my daily planner but they go off the page. I started reading through the Bible in a year in January and am doing pretty good keeping up with that.

    Our Pastor’s wife once lead a Bible study on the book, “What Do I Know About My God” and I’ve been writing out the attributes of God and the Scripture verses associated with each attribute along with my prayer requests and prayers. I am also married to a very busy truck driver and have 2 fur babies. In addition to all of that: I work full-time in the front office at a busy public middle school where I mentor 2 students and take care of a newly diagnosed diabetic student; volunteer after hours on a private non-profit rescue squad; disciple a new believer at our church as well as teach her flute; and she and I both play in our church ensemble. Our Pastor recently challenged us with something that he learned while in Seminary: “My encouragement is my responsibility.” Basically, turn to God for encouragement and look at Scripture for examples of how He encouraged those in the past. Don’t rely on or expect others to be responsible for my encouragement.
    Writing down Bible verses in this area has certainly helped.

    Unfortunately, my favorite pen is not a Sharpie BUT I’m willing to learn. Mine is actually a Frixion Fine Line Purple Pen. Let’s make a deal: I’ll trade a set of Frixion Pens for a Journal 🙂 Have a great day and thank you so much for your post! Good to know that I’m not alone.

  44. I’d keep track of the people that need prayers in my life, people that need encouragement and favorite Bible verses. I think it’s a good idea to free your brain from all the stuff you need to do so you can let go a little.

  45. Good Morning!
    I would love to journal the lessons I’m learning from God -to review for encouragement as well as reminding and reinforcing. I hope I ‘win’ this nice journal! ☺️

  46. I would use this journal to keep track of my daily bible verse(s), my devotional and notes about it, prayers, and then something I’m thankful for or a happy event for the day. My regular (illustrated faith) planner is just too full of planning and lists for everyday life that I need more room for my faith work. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  47. I started using journals when I accepted God’s salvation and started loving him more than myself. This year a friend gave me a small pretty journal and I began with my word and why I chose that word and my prayer and praise list. Then I started a section for God’s promises. I don’t usually finish a journal but this year I might!!!

  48. Funny how I JUST dug out an old tote from the basement and found a dozen or so half-used journals! These are old ones too, so it’s really neat to see how God has changed me over the years. (Thank you, Lord!) My favorite pen? I LOVE the cheap Bic pens, blue only. I have them everywhere in the house, so no matter what room I’m in or what’s going on, I’ve got one of my buddies close by to jot down an idea or quick to-do list so I can free that brain space! 🙂

    And Anna, I love how you wrote, “…we can boldly declare that January’s got nothin’ on February, because with God we can always start over with confidence.” Thanks for that boost!!

  49. I love journaling. Somehow, I rarely make time for it, though. As a former staff writer at a newspaper, I am learning I want to write all over again. It was quite a painful situation in all honesty and a dream coach for the month of January helped me realize I can write and go after my dreams. I just like to write. Write lists. I’m learning to dream again and vocalize those dreams. Thanks for a wonderful post and an opportunity to win!

  50. Journaling is my security blanket! My favorite pen- a simple Blue Bic! Oh if I only had a new blank journal- it would help me to remind myself that ” I am perfect in God’s sight.” After undergoing a bilateral mastectomy due to b cancer- it’s still hard to look in the mirror somedays. But I read God’s word and know ” with God all things are possible.”

  51. I would use it to journal my prayers and also a few years ago I came across some daily journal prompts that MaryBeth Whalen had on her blog. I don’t use the prompts every day but I try to use them periodically. It’s fun to look back and see what was happening a few months and even years ago!

  52. What is it about February that gives us some relief – maybe looking at “Spring ahead?” I am retiring this summer, and I am a person of ‘lists…’ I have to get things down on lists to clear out my brain for more important things. A new time of life and maybe, some time to do some of those things, little things that I never get around to because they are too far down the list. So, with all the prep and planning that comes with a new stage, fear & excitement about what the future may hold, and releasing ALL of this to God, I’m ready to try something new and in His strength! Maybe start writing that book that I’ve been working on for years….

  53. If it travels down my arm, through my fingers and onto a page it might just get to my heart… or someone elses. Journaling brought me through the drama of my teens, the seeking of my twenties and delivered me to the doorstep of my marriage… that was 14 years ago and I’m crawling back to it through a writers group…hoping to get that flow going again!

  54. Anna, I love the way the writing in your journals is so community-focused. It’s obvious you have a big heart. 🙂 That would be a great little journal to give as gifts to a women’s group. Hmmm…I think a seed’s been planted in my mind… 🙂 — And, I too love the “but God” statement. Such redemption on those two little words. ♥

  55. My sister and I are together as she is recovering from shoulder surgery. She follows your blog. We read it today. I am typing to save her “good” shoulder. We love what you write. You seem to be a sister in spirit. We both struggle with winter and having too much to do. Thank you for your inspiring words. May God bless you and your day!

  56. My word for 2018 is BRAVE. I was discharged from the hospital yesterday after being admitted with chest pain. I already have have had a heart attack and received 8 cardiac stents in the past 10 years and I’m only 52. They could place stents where my new blockages are. So they put me on another heart medication to manage the symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath. So, I will bravely continue to carry on and will place my faith in my Lord to guide me and give me strength to continue on and fulfill my calling. Which I’m still trying to figure out. I need to start journaling to relieve strew, be still, and determine my calling.

  57. Hi Anna,
    Thank-you so much for the offer. Although I won’t qualify to win a journal I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this. I’m also a keeper of journal (s) that my husband thoughtfully bought for me. It’s helped me to keep track of thoughts, psalms, and anything inspirational. Sometimes I like to doodle something that goes along with what I’ve written, and for that I use fine tip markers. My favorite go to pen (s) are also fine point black Sharpies, and the Uni ball. I think that they both work equally well, again gifts from my husband.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  58. My tree is still up and it is Ground Hog day. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. The flu went through our family throughout January (yes, we were vaccinated) and no one has had the strength or interest in taking it down. 🙂 Hoping this weekend to get it down – if not – will continue to enjoy the twinkling lights. 🙂

    Journaling sounds like a way to unload my racing mind. I will try it. THANK YOU for this post!

  59. Ah Anna, such a huge me too. I messed up my back just before Christmas, and my entire January is a medicated, unmoving blur. It feels like an alternate universe. (Yes, I do watch too much Dr. Who.) I LOVE to get a new planner, make goals, dream big. And I did none of that. But you are so right–it’s a new month. Anytime is a new time to start.

  60. I love opening a fresh journal. It’s got such a “clean slate” feel bringing hope that all can be resolved by writing it down (and praying about it). I am just starting my Bible journalling journey. Thanks for the opportunity and for your insightful words!

  61. I would keep track of my Blessings and my Prayer requests. This year has started out already with many challenges and I want to keep track of my Blessings, not just what I pray for, but what I’m grateful for all year long. At the end of the year I can go back and see how God has blessed me and answered my prayers!

  62. I used to journal all of the time, starting with a prayer journal when I was 6 years old but now, in my late 20s, I’ve gotten out of that habit. I would love to start2
    again! If I were to win a journal, Id fill it with stories of my life as a new mom, as I am pregnant with my first child and due next month!!!

  63. I’d keep track of my 1000 gifts! Keeping track of all that I’m thankful for is a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness, grace,provision and love! God’s blessings to you all♡

  64. What a lovely journal! I am just getting back into my bullet journal, so will plan to keep most of my stuff there for now, but I’m almost out of space in my gratitude journal, so that’s what I’d do with this pretty and encouraging journal.

  65. Thanks for this encouragement!
    My word for the year is nurture, and I have a specific goal about how many people to encourage with handwritten words each week. A new journal would be a great place to keep track of that!

  66. I don’t really have any friends or family to talk to about what’s going on in my life right now. So, the only thing I can do is write my feelings in a journal. I don’t currently keep one, but I know it’s a great way to heal & feel some peace.

  67. I love the mindset of allowing February to become the new January. Such relief and grace found there. I journal my chats with God everyday (mostly). I have many journals filled with praises, requests, questions, battles, and tears. I don’t have a favorite pen, but I love mechanical pencils 🙂

  68. I love that you chose a word for the year! I feel when I do that at the beginning of the year it has me stay grounded throughout the year during the good times and the bad! And keeping track of it all in a journal is a good way to look back and remind ourselves of Gods goodness through everything

  69. I would use a new journal to dedicate as prayer letters to god. right now my journal is me getting things off my chest with a few realizations that it could be worse and i have my family and friends to be thankful for. a fresh start and fresh journal could help form some new habits.

  70. I’ve Got this! Is not how I feel at all! Believe it or not God told me in 2004 to write my story! I have attempted in fits and spirts to do so and have recently been told “it’s important and I’m now living the last chapter but still have not/ cannot? Not sure if a new journal would help but open to any help at this point?!!

  71. I would keep my prayers and thoughts and revelations and gratitude in it. It’s beautiful!

  72. I’m a writer in every sense of the word – I write to-do lists and prayers and letters to friends and anything else you can think of. My journals, though, are some of my most prized possessions. In my journal, I write to pray, to give thanks, to process the joyful things, the hard things, and everything in between. I also take detailed notes on every sermon, class, talk, or lesson that I sit in on. As soon as the pastor starts preaching on Sunday mornings, my nose is buried in my journal and my hand is scribbling furiously trying to get on paper all of the Scripture references and details of the life-changing message of the gospel that I will never stop unfolding. Last week, an elderly man sitting next to me nudged me with his elbow and remarked with a wink, “How many of those do you go through in a year? You’re going to need a new one in a week with the way you’re writing!”
    Oh, and I love the Staedtler pens!

  73. Anna,

    Favorite pen-yes. I like click top medium point pens. I’m a visual learner and list maker. Continually take notes in church & write down prayer requests. Never thought about writing down my heart to-dos.

    January-where did it go? Time keeps moving quickly-it seems. From Thanksgiving week till now I’ve had a rough time. Both my in-laws were in the hospital & then I got a really bad cold. They were both sick in December & back in hospital in January. What is weighting heavy on my heart? I have a good friend & ex-co-worker-newly diagnosed with breast cancer is having surgery Wednesday. Also my father-in-law is going to see an oncologist Wednesday for his newly diagnosed stage III bladder cancer. Yes this year has started out rough. February is my new January.

    Praise God his mercies are new every day.

    Blessings 🙂

  74. My other journals are begging for this one to join them in my loving basket of joy. It would be among good company with fru fru pens and loving devotionals. It will be cared for and filled up with God’s word, earnest-and sometimes desperate prayers. Hopes and sadly probably some fears. Thank you for not letting me be the only one that thought January was supernaturally long!!
    – Tonya

  75. I began journaling a few years ago when I went through a very difficult time. It helped to pour out my feelings and heart ache. I have continued the habit as it does seem to give me a release for my emotions in a safe place. I like to record scriptures that speak to my heart and meaningful quotes along with my prayers. This is the longest I’ve ever kept up with journaling but am so glad I have as it’s helpful to read back and see how far I’ve come with God’s gracious hand.

  76. I would keep track of prayers and dreams. Things I would like to do around the house. Places to go and books to read. Movies to watch.

  77. My sharpie pens are my favorite too. I tend to use purple or pink.

    I’ve been thinking I need to take more time to journal recently but I want a new journal. I don’t need a new one. The struggle is real!

  78. I’m always writing little notes that I might blog about or a few poetry lines. No matter how overwhelmed I am, now that I have my word ” rest “, I rely on Him and things do get done. Thanks for the cold blast down here in Ga. we had a few days of Arctic air, ready for 65-70. Shorts.

  79. Love this idea of a fresh start in a new journal! I love journals and have so many lying around, I would love this one to do general journaling in for this year. I’ve set some goals for myself to reach by my next birthday which isn’t until January of next year and would love to jot down my feelings, progress and prayers in this journal.

  80. My favorite type of pen is extra fine point. Id like to win a journal so I could write down prayer request and then praises when they are answered. Just to thank the Lord for all he does. God blezs.

  81. I am about to embrace the single mom season of being alone. My only child is leaving home. What am I to do? I do know God has a plan. I want to write my journey down to help others of how God has rich blessings for you, when the nest is empty, REALLY empty. It is bittersweet, and that is OK.

  82. Definitely I’d write everything! A gratitude list first. Then thoughts of the day after my morning quiet time with God.

  83. This is such a timely post for me; I am sitting in an airport (as usual) scrolling through my phone with pen in hand, planner open, thinking about all I must get done today! The journal you have is beautiful and I would use it to keep track of my writing goals for the year — all while using my Bic Round Stic pen, blue ink!

  84. I need to get back to journaling desperately. It is so good for the soul. I have been sick for most of January and it has been very depressing and overwhelming. I decided this morning as I was driving to work that I was not going to let the devil get me down and I was going to choose an attitude of good health and rely on my God to strengthen me thru today and each day to come. Reading your blog just reinforced my need to get myself back on the positive track of starting my day off with my savior and putting my prayers to paper along with my praises. Thank you for you encouraging words!