Dear diary


I’ve been journaling this summer.

This is something I have attempted throughout my life. I usually make it two entries in. Two entries, and then it goes into a drawer or under a bed. Those journals were often selected for their interesting covers or fancy organic paper. So many pages left untouched…

But when I would feel that desire to journal again, I didn’t want to write in the old one with two feeble and uninspired entries and a cover that screamed whatever I was trying to project about myself the previous year. I just had to go get a new one– with a special cover to indicate my taste at the time, or at least the taste to which I aspired. Inevitably, the pattern would hold true and two entries later, our brief tryst was over.

So, this summer, I vowed to break the pattern.

My journal is plain black, free of decor, ornaments, or inspiring quotes. The pages are plain white– no lines or colors or pictures. It’s basic and beautiful in its simplicity. I am also writing in a different way. There is no account of the day, no he said-she said. I’m writing my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, and my prayers. And I’m making the writing time intentional– journeying somewhere to write. Coffee shops are good. Today I tried a pub– also good.

I’m really enjoying writing about Brian. Sometimes I see things more clearly when they’re written down. No faces or expressions or emotions– just the black text on the white page. But I tell my journal things I don’t tell Brian, and that’s not good. Sure, I will have private thoughts that I may never share, but I’m telling my journal things I should tell Brian. It’s helping me to see that I’m holding back and not being completely honest.

The solution is not for Brian to read my journal, though he’s free to. The solution is for me to be open and honest with my husband, even on the hard stuff. Even on the stuff that’s easier to put into writing than into conversation.

Note: A Spaten Franziskaner is a perfect pairing for an hour of journaling– thank you, Flying Saucer!

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. –Oscar Wilde

My wife, the editor

I appreciate my wife for so many reasons, I really couldn’t list them all. But tonight I appreciate my wife, the editor.

I have several writing projects I am working on, for the story team, our missional community, and a new creative project. She has been an incredible help.

She sees things I don’t see and has great insight on how to speak to a reader. When the subject is academic, she knows how to help me bring my tone down. When it’s a profile for the Austin Stone Story Team she knows how to keep the action moving and fit a narrative arc into the space requirements. Oh, and she is absolutely rock solid with her grammar.

I love my wife for many reasons, but in so many ways her skills with language and words move me deeply. And, like many other areas in my life, she makes me better.