I'm so grateful that modern day prophets encourage us to keep journals.
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) described that process of inspired writing: “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.”
Sometimes my journal has been electronic, sometimes paper, sometimes both. It seems though that it only serves the purpose of keeping me close to God, when paper is involved. While I don't think my posterity will care too much about my life, the act of writing slows me down and helps me count my blessings. Paper journaling benefits me spiritually.
Lately, I've tried to develop a new habit. Yes, I've preached and practiced morning devotionals for years and tried evening rituals on and off. Now, I want the evening practice to be as strong as the morning but different. Because I see the benefits quite clearly, I'm going to make it work this time. It seems as one ages, sleep isn't as forthcoming as it was in youth. When I engage in a winding down evening ritual, sleep comes easier and brings more peace. Additionally, life doesn't go so well, if I don't pray always, count my blessings, read my scriptures, or get enough sleep.
So here it is. About an hour before retiring, I prepare a pot of my sleepytime infusion. While it is steeping, I bathe and brush. Lavender is part of this. After I pour and cool my infusion (only warm drinks for me), I write in my paper journal: what went well, what could have gone better, and at least three ways God blessed me or those I love that day (Psalm 100). Next, I read a bit of scripture with my hubby. By then calm is ready to claim me, and I retire with a prayer of gratitude (Doctrine and Covenants 10:5) and my sleepytime eye pillow.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).