Touch the Future: Journal!
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.”Psalm 145:4
My Journaling Story
Ever since childhood I’ve enjoyed jotting down random thoughts, emotions, experiences, and poetic attempts. One would think I’d have a fine collection of journals gracing my shelves by now. Regretfully, that is not the case, for while I love to write, I’m organizationally challenged and many of those special pieces of my life have been scattered and lost.
When my children made their grand appearances I knew I had to be more diligent to write down and keep EVERYTHING concerning their childhood, so I purchased three journals - one for each child. Eventually, I also I began a file folder of all the interesting stories and written “tid-bits” that blessed my life. Later, I felt convicted to keep a “Blessings Journal” of the miraculous ways God is at work in my family’s life. I’ve also accumulated a number of meaningful cards and letters over the years. Though I had good intentions, the upkeep of all those paper treasures was burdensome. Every time something monumental or meaningful happened I spent valuable time and energy searching for the correct journal to record it in. And though the “tid-bits” and meaningful correspondences were easily dumped in a file or box, it was too much trouble looking for them, so they and their joy stayed hidden away. Many inspirational thoughts, wonderful ideas, and meaningful happenings have been lost through the years simply because I was overwhelmed and couldn’t keep myself motivated.
A breakthrough occurred when our family went overseas on a two year mission adventure; I knew I needed to keep a record of that epic journey also, but weight and space limits made simplification a necessity. I purchased a thick, wire-bound notebook containing pockets to take with us. It wasn’t pretty, but it was functional. Everything I wanted to keep a written record of went in that one notebook. “Everything” included:
1. General happenings & special events
2. My thoughts and feelings on those general happenings & special events
3. Miraculous ways God blessed our family
4. Cute things the children said or did
5. Childhood milestones
6. Inspiring quotes from various sources including books read or speakers listened to
7. Sermon outlines with special meaning
8. Bible verses of particular significance
9. Prayers and answers to them
10. Poignant song lyrics
Each entry began with the date and some highlighted cue word as to who or what that particular entry was about. It was that simple. (Why didn’t I think of this before?) Instead of keeping up with multiple journals everything went into one, and though it took six years to fill that one book, I did fill it. (And can still find it!) Since that method worked so well I’ve recently bought an even thicker (and prettier) journal in which to record the special happenings of my life.
Dear Reader, You may be a more seasoned and better organized “journal-er” than I am. If so, I’d love to hear your ideas! If you don’t keep a journal I want to encourage you to do so and to offer some simple ways to organize all those “scraps” that comprise the fabric of your life.
(Stay tuned for "Why Journal?")