Last month, I joined clergy, staff and volunteers dedicated to Christian Formation for a conference at Kanuga.  The theme for the week was Faith Stories:  A Life in the Spirit.  The keynote speaker was Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso who addressed ways to use stories as tools for spiritual growth and reflection.

We all have stories to tell.  And, our stories can be holy.  I believe that each of us has been entrusted with certain truths about God’s creation and hopes for His world.  We have a responsibility to develop our stories of faith and share them with others.

How do we do that?

First, we need to hone our stories, to listen and refine God’s messages.  I love journal writing, because it helps develop, organize and crystalize our unique, God-given perspectives on life and faith.

There are many ways to start journal writing.  Like all spiritual disciplines, success requires a commitment to writing every day – even if only for 15 or 30 minutes.  A gratitude journal is an easy way to get in the habit of writing.  At the end of the day, list five to seven things/people/events from your day for which you are thankful.

Prayer journals are also great ways to begin the journal-writing habit.  You may write your own original prayers, or write your meditations on favorite prayers.  Over time, you can look for trends in your own spiritual growth, and ways that God has responded to your prayers.

You can also write psalms and poems, reflections on hymns and icons, a journal of blessings (received and given), and meditations on sacred art, music and scripture.  Journal writing will help you explore and deepen your faith message, and develop a foundation for the writing that you will want to share with others.

How can you share your message(s)?  That’s a blog topic for another day (coming soon).