I was texting a nice mama friend of mine the other night. I STILL haven’t met her in person, but something has always compelled me to reach out to her. Something about her to me is very genuine. I can tell we are very different in a lot of ways but in matters of the heart, I see her being very similar to me. She writes things to me that I was literally SAYING to my husband a couple years ago. I get her, and even though I’m not where she is in life right now, I understand her stress and life worries, and something, maybe God? Something always tells me to reach out to her randomly.

She told me something that may seem so small to some of you guys– but some of you mamas are gonna hear this and say BINGO. That’s it. It’s so true! Here it is. — “I don’t have time to __________” … or “I haven’t _______ in years, since the kids were born.” Hers was READ.

What did YOU stop doing when you had kids? Here’s what my friend texting me said.

She never reads anymore, she doesn’t have the time. Oh sister, I get it. I painfully understood that sentence. Last year, going to BVI to shoot beautiful Brittany and handsome Kris’s wedding, I started the first book I had bought (besides pregnancy ones) in years. I read furiously..and yes, I was thousands of miles away from my kids, but that sparked something in me! I REALLY ENJOYED READING!!!! Like, A TON! It was quiet time! And oh– it was NON-PHONE time which I loved! I felt so clear headed! And I want to blog further on this soon; there will definitely be a series highlighting amazing life changing books I’ve had my hands on this past year. I will..but today is about starting with something slightly easier (in my opinion) — journaling.

Let’s rally up those on the same page today and work through this one together. MAKING TIME TO READ….MAKING TIME TO JOURNAL. It’s something most new mamas haven’t done in a lonnnnng time. Some of you may not like journaling at all, but, what if you tried it? Just try it! This could being a breathe of FRESH salt air and tons of sunshine into your life — it’s WORTH a shot! Write letters to your baby! To your husband/wife! Tell your babies what they did today. Tell them how funny they are, or how bad they were haha! Or, just write about your own life! Here’s what’s helping me by journaling:

1. I am having to take time to intentionally think what I want to put on paper, what I want to spend my physical energy writing with my own hands. Not just typing fast, I have to think about this process more deeply. And when you are using your physical energy to write down thoughts and feelings, you certainly want to make the best of it.

2. I am choosing to be honest, but to focus on the positive. I had a horrible time at the beginning of this year with someone I loved so much and I journaled through it. Instead of being angry and writing mad things, I wrote honestly and therapeutically and it helped me through instead of just getting upset and crying about it.

3. I am corresponding memories with the Instagrams I post for the girls. So, some days, when I get time– they will get more than a caption under a picture, they’ll get a story in their journal about it. “I posted a picture of you hugging your sister and then you punched her in the mouth immediately after” hahah!

4. I’m getting better with blogging because of it! It helps me write more efficiently!

5. I’m forcing myself to have 30 min-1 hour a day either to read or journal, and that’s giving me a mama break. And you NEED a mama break.

6. Sounds weird, but I definitely journal from the bath tub. ALL the time. I love it! It’s really nice to get that time away and lock myself in that room! I’m weird about lighting too, so I have a lamp in my bathroom and it’s a nice quiet and non-distracting environment to have. Like a mini mom vacation getaway!

7. I have four journals — one for letters to Ellie, one for letters to Cammy, one for just LIFE blurting out and one that I am really loving, kind of like a study journal for my devotionals and my Bible study! I’m doing a lot of that on my own right now and it’s SO awesome to take time to study His word!!!!! Like a vacation every single day!

8. This is just an idea, a REFRESHER that you may not have thought of but could potentially help you and give you a GREAT hobby instead of looking at your phone all day!!! :):) This is my version of fresh air (salt air, of course) and sunshine when I’m stuck inside on cold days, rainy days, etc. I love sitting in the window and just writing away!

This may seem like “another thing to add to the to do list” — but if you’re using it the way I’m suggesting, it should feel like the opposite. It should feel like a mini vacation and break from all of the fast paced technology, beeps, notifications and the lack of simple writing by hand. I hope this can help someone!! 🙂

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Love my cute pencils from Valerie Demo! 🙂
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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

Hey there! We're a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.

2 replies on “Unexpected Joy in Journaling | Salt & Sunshine Series

  1. I have a lamp in my bathroom too; it has completely changed the ambience of the room to be such a calming environment! Best $7 I ever spent, and sometimes I walk into my bathroom just to soak up the peaceful feeling in there. <3

  2. I used to journal all the time when I was younger and looking back on them now brings a lot of laughs for me and my husband. I recently started journaling again and my brain just feels so much less muddy when I journal, even if it’s just about what happened during the day or my dreams for the future. It’s less rent that my brain is having to pay. I also have a journal for my own personal bible study! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

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