How to Keep a Dream Journal (and Why You Should Keep One)

dream journal

Have you ever heard of a dream journal? No? Well…IT IS ONLY THE BEST THING EVER!

I have a dream journal and have had it for several years now. To be honest, I can’t remember where I got the idea from but I LOVE IT and wanted to share the idea with you just in case you’re interested! If you’re not, no biggy. It’s not for everybody! However, I will say this…

My dream journal has been a HUGE blessing in my life and has given me a tangible way of looking back and seeing all the ways God has moved in my life thus far!

I went to Target, picked out a “Dream Journal” (with an inspirational quote sketched across the front cover, of course), and went to work.

Throughout the past few years, I’ve written down my thoughts, fears, dreams, prayer requests, experiences, inspirational quotes, and Bible verses. Bits and pieces of my journey fill the pages. It’s a cluster of happy times, sad times, encouraging times, discouraging times, frustrating times, doubtful times, and everything in between.

I write down different experiences I’ve had (i.e. with The Ellen DeGenerous Show, trying new things + making my first vlog, trademarking my catchphrase, etc.), as well as conversations I’ve had with different people (i.e. strangers, friends, family, etc.).

I want to be able to look back and see when/how God used people/circumstances to prepare me for what lies ahead and reaffirm the direction my life is going.

My dream journal has become my way of praying circles around my biggest dreams. I am able to see God’s hand at work in my life in these pages. It’s a tangible record of my journey…blessings I can hold in my hands!

I write down Bible verses and inspirational/encouraging quotes. I also tape notes/letters I’ve received from my closest friends and family randomly throughout the pages…reminding me that, no matter what, there are people who love me, believe in me, and support me. They see things in me I don’t always see in myself and they remind me of things I tend to forget on occasion.

Some days I write and write.

Some days I just read.

My dreams have changed slightly and I’ve written that down, too! Every important step or redirection is noted. Anytime something happens that has God’s provision written all over it, I write it down.

I believe the dreams and desires we have in our hearts are there for a reason. I’m confident, one day, I’ll be able to recall how God divinely organized my path.

I’m not sure if my dream is going to look the way I imagine it looking, and that’s 100% okay! My dream journal is between me and God. It’s about our relationship and the journey we’re walking, together…my hand placed snuggly in His.

I don’t know where you’re at in life, but I know you have dreams, too. There are certain things in life you are passionate about that set your soul on fire, things that you go to sleep thinking about and hoping for every single night.

You are passionate about certain things for a reason! Find the courage to speak those dreams out loud, whatever they may be.

keep a dream journal

In The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says:

“God isn’t offended by big dreams; He’s offended by anything less. Your dreams may start out small, and God will honor those humble dreams, but as your faith grows so do your dreams until you dare to dream thirty-, sixty-, hundredfold dreams. And when you draw those God-sized circles, it gives the Omnipresent One room to work…if you have the courage to circle the dream in prayer, you can’t never always sometimes tell…take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision.

 

And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job. Your job is drawing a circle around the God-given dream…it’s not our man-made plans that move the Almighty; the Almighty is moved by big dreams and bold prayers.”

A dream journal is a simple way of keeping track of your journey so you can look back and see all the ways God has provided. 

So, if you’re interested, here’s how to keep a dream journal:

1. Buy a journal.

W O A H.

I’M A GENIUS, I know.

It doesn’t have to be anything special. I didn’t choose a regular spiral simply because I write in those often and I wanted my dream journal to be unique and different! The outside doesn’t actually matter, though. It’s what’s on the INSIDE that counts (corny pickup line alert).

You can hit up Wally World or Target or find a legit journal on Amazon! Personally, I’d recommend buying one with lined paper because my paragraphs look like roaring tidal waves in the deep blue sea without them.

2. Start writing.

It’s safe to assume if you bought a dream journal, you already have a dream in your heart. Put that dream on paper. Write it all out. Share every emotion and fear and worry you have. Talk about your passions.

I don’t care how big or unattainable your dreams may seem to the public eye, WRITE THEM DOWN. Be bold and physically put them on paper. Writing your dreams down and speaking them out loud makes them real and tangible.

3. Surrender.

The dream in your heart was God’s first, so let Him have it. Part of growing in your faith and walking with Jesus means surrendering EVERYTHING, even the things we want most! Why? Because, ultimately, God longs for us to find our ultimate satisfaction in Him, not earthly treasures. The only way for us to do that is to hand everything we’ve been given back to Him and say, “Take it and do with it what You will. I trust You and I will follow You whether this comes into fruition or not. I want what You want for me. Not my will, but Yours, be done.” 

JUST A HEADS UP, surrendering is actually not as easy as it sounds, HAHAHAHAHA. And, you’ll probably pick it up and lay it down and pick it up and lay it down 18 times (#guilty).

As Christians, we want our hearts to align with His because that’s when we come to find He is what ultimately fulfills us. Not money or fame or becoming this or that or marriage. These things cannot satisfy us the way Jesus can. The hole in our hearts is one ONLY HE CAN FILL.

4. Pray

Be prayerful about everything. Talk to God about what you’re feeling. Are you frustrated? Discouraged? Confused? Unsure? Angry? Upset? Although God is aware of your thoughts and feelings, He longs for you to express them out loud to Him! Tell Him what’s on your heart and share your vision and hopes and dreams and wishes.

Pray hard and pray boldly.

Doing so helps you keep your mind and heart where they need to be. Remember, our two main goals in EVERYTHING we do should be to glorify God and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

5. Reflect

DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS STEP! I get so stinkin’ confused at times, and unsure. Yes, even now…after I’ve been traveling down this path for two years. There are times I get upset and angry and I DOUBT AND QUESTION EVERYTHING.

Is this right?

Am I doing what God wants me to do?

Will I ever see the light of day?

Why is everything so hard?

God, are you near? 

During the low times, I pull out my dream journal and reflect on everything God has done. Reading what has happened in the past and physically seeing how things have DIVINELY unfolded helps in more ways than you could ever imagine. I PROMISE YOU, if you are walking the path God is calling you down, you will see His fingerprints all over the place. They’re unavoidable.

Reflect on His goodness and take the time to look back on all the ways God proved faithful.

This dream journal is not about you and it’s not about me. The purpose of keeping a dream journal, at least the type we’re talking about about, is to point you directly back to the Giver of your dreams.

Yes, it helps you set goals and stay on track.

But ultimately, a dream journal is meant to encourage you on your walk with the Lord as you discover His purpose for your life!

As Batterson reminds us, “getting what [we] want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for [us].”

Get a journal, grab a pen, and dare to dream big with God.

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