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Interview with Maisie Sparks

Is there a "write way" to pursue God? Journal writing, as a spiritual discipline, allows you to hear from God's heart and share your heart with Him. Best-selling Christian author Maisie Sparks shares how journal writing can become part of your relationship with God.

GGBC: When did you start journal writing?

MS: Actually, I've been journal writing since I was a child, but I didn't know that was what it was called. I'd write my thoughts on scraps of paper, sometimes in a diary and sometimes I wrote my thoughts in the form of poetry or short inspirational stories. I didn't know it then, but the two books I wrote were actually journals that used the journal writing technique, lists. After I wrote these books, I became more intentional about writing down what I was "hearing in my heart." About three years ago, I received a journal as a birthday gift and I started studying what this practice is all about.

GGBC: Is there a difference between using journal writing as a spiritual discipline and using it just to keep track of your life?

MS: There's a big difference. Lots of people journal to release anger, stress, to sort out thoughts, record important events and many other valid reasons. For me, however, journal writing is one way I communicate with God and He with me. It's like praying, but it's in written form. My mind doesn't wander when I write. Journal writing allows me to be more specific and honest with myself and to be accountable to God and myself about the things I write down. Writing helps me transform thoughts from idea to action.

GGBC: What does a person need to journal?

MS: A pen, some paper and a quiet place is basically all you need. To use journal writing as a spiritual discipline, however, you may also want to add a Bible, a songbook, and from time to time, some quality inspirational books and devotionals.

GGBC: How does a person get started?

MS: To quote a famous shoemaker, "just do it." Tomorrow morning, get up about 15 minutes earlier than you normally do. Read from your Bible, perhaps something from the Psalms. Pray. Listen to the thoughts that come to your heart. And, write them down.

If you miss a day or a week or a month, don't beat yourself up. Pick yourself up and start again. Believe me, once you start hearing from God, journal writing will not be a duty, but a delight! You'll look forward to communicating with God in this manner.

You may also want to read some books on journal writing and try various journal writing exercises to keep your writing fresh and exciting as well as open your mind to various ways of approaching the issues and concerns of your heart.

GGBC: I'm not a writer, is journal writing for me?

MS: Journal writing, as a spiritual discipline, is for anyone who wants to have a richer, more meaningful and more intimate walk with God. You do not need to know how to spell, how many parts of speech there are or even if what you are writing makes grammatical sense. Journal writing is about openness and honesty with yourself and with God. I'm finding that the more honest I can be in this quiet time with God, the more grace and love I'm able to apply to myself and others.

Throughout the Bible, God directs various people to write down His thoughts, His feelings, His plan for those He loves. When I journal, I feel I'm writing down God's plan, thoughts and passionate feelings for me. It's an awesome experience! I encourage you to practice it.

ON A LITERARY NOTE

Review: Emma Dash

Emma Dash
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