By Angela Meer
Like most women, I could barely squeak in the time for a shower, let alone a consistent self-care routine.
Rushing through the daily grind, I was far from creating sustaining habits that would infuse my body and mind with health and hope.
In the madness of my go-go-go without any rest-rest-rest lifestyle, my spiritual health suffered the most.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
I was in denial for the first few months, despite my increasingly intimate relationship with my Zoom account.
As my busy schedule cleared of what I thought were “essential’ activities, I came to terms with the life I had built for myself.
In startling clarity, I realized where I built my own empire rather than seeking the kingdom of God, and the righteousness that goes with it (Mt 6:33).
In response to these revelations, I set out to develop new spiritual habits that would sustain me even after the pandemic passed.
First, I tried to use a giant refrigerator calendar. Then, I digital-dumped my thoughts into an app.
Finally, by the grace of God, I discovered bullet journaling—a technique I never knew I always needed.In the madness of my go-go-go without any rest-rest-rest lifestyle, my spiritual health suffered the most.
Bullet journaling combines a daily planner, to-do lists, journaling, self-care, and wellness into one powerful tool.
Each bullet journal is personalized and designed to help organize the various tasks that keep us centered in a place of God’s grace and rest.
At first, I was skeptical about the rave reviews and copious bullet journaling tutorials I discovered online.
Many techniques to improve my rest, self-care, healing, and devotional life had failed in the past.
But a shiny and brand-new bullet journal awaited me, and I was eager to try again.
The Spiritual Benefits of Bullet Journaling
I started by creating a mini-habit of simply making a cup of hot tea that I carried to my bedside fifteen minutes before lights out.
I told myself that these fifteen minutes were necessary for my walk with God, and they would help me learn to love myself in a way that would please Him.
I had a few stickers and glitter gel pens spread out in front of me. I whispered a little prayer of desperation—I really needed this to work.
I took it easy on myself, building my bullet journaling habit in fifteen-minute increments most evenings.
I wasn’t perfect, nor was I striving for perfection.
I was simply trying to find the place in my life to balance my priorities, reclaim my walk with God, and discover the rest God had for me.Bullet journaling gives me a place to balance my priorities, reclaim my walk with God, and discover the rest God has for me.
Sometimes, I could barely write out what I needed to do the next day.
Other times, I filled up whole pages, journaling the things God said to me or memories that I cherished from the day.
As my practice continued, I discovered even greater benefits:
- Bullet journaling helped me recognize and connect with previously untended emotions.
- Bullet journaling helped me develop a more disciplined and rewarding devotional experience.
- Bullet journaling gave me space to write out and mediate on Scripture several times a week.
- Bullet journaling gave me an opportunity to acknowledge the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
After only a few weeks, these results nearly knocked my socks off.
Long having wrestled with perfectionism and religious duty, it was like scales had fallen off my eyes.
I found my walk with God growing in peace, and particularly, joy!
Within a month, I felt like I had returned to my first love with Jesus (Rv 2:4).
The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Bullet Journaling
Through the practice of bullet journaling, my self-care routine blossomed as well.
I began exercising more frequently, remembering water and healthy packed lunches, and taking time to notice nature.
I added art into my bullet journal technique by changing the color of my pen, adding stickers, drawing doodles, or any other thing that generally interested me.
I wasn’t worried if it was good art because I knew the journal was simply a place of personal reflection and rest.
My pages began to fill with colorful images that reflected the magnificent changes occurring inside me.
Then one night, a thought occurred to me: What if I wrote down all the things God is saying to encourage me in that day?
I couldn’t believe the numerous truths God wove into His Word to encourage me, strengthen me, and give me hope.
I was astounded by how often the Holy Spirit would bring a promise to my mind right when I needed it.
As I integrated this new idea into my bullet journaling, I leaned into a greater love than I had ever experienced in my Christian walk before.
Within a few days of this practice, the old lie that I served an angry God melted away.
Because I use bullet journaling to remind myself of God’s character, I have no space in my life for the enemy’s lies.Because I use bullet journaling to remind myself of God’s character, I have no space in my life for the enemy's lies.
Here are just a few powerful promises from Scripture to encourage you:
- “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- “For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4
- “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
- “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29
- “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:24
- “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
3 Things to Remember as You Begin Bullet Journaling
I began sharing my passion for bullet journaling with others in similar positions, and the testimonies of transformation poured in.
Like Habakkuk, it’s in the writing of the vision that God makes His plan toward us clear (Hab 2:2).
I always tell people who want to begin bullet journaling three things:
- Set aside fifteen minutes in the morning or evening. Find what time of day works best for you.
- Don’t aim for perfection; aim for rest and peace.
- Let spontaneity guide you rather than the to-dos of every day.
Every person utilizes bullet journaling in diverse ways, and the goal is always to find what works for you.Every person utilizes bullet journaling in diverse ways, and the goal is always to find what works for you.
It’s always fun to repurpose a page with art or customize trackers to suit your needs.
There are plenty of examples online to spur your creativity.
Here are a few bullet journal pages that particularly help me:
- Vitamin habit tracker
- Weekly memory verse
- Relax and unwind coloring pages
- Gratefulness logs
- Declarations of prayer and faith
I see my bullet journaling habit as ongoing and changing. I play with new pages, trackers, and art techniques.
I hope my practice constantly evolves and continually reflects what God is doing within me.
I am grateful that I now have a shelf dedicated to the bullet journals that hold my transformation before God.
Action Taker! You don’t need a bullet journal to start today! Grab a notebook and write the response to this journal prompt: What is one way I have learned to be patient this month?
Angela Meer is the founder of Daily Grow, a monthly bullet journal subscription box for Christian women. Utilizing a daily devotional, guided journaling, and daily planners, Daily Grow gives you the tools to create spiritual and mental habits that take you deep into the heart of God’s will for your life. Angela and her husband also run a ministry in southern Oregon, with a satellite hub in Patmos, Greece. Connect with Angela on Instagram and Facebook.