Part 1 of this series had us take another look at the importance of words on a page and how our personal histories are import to record. Part 2 was a compilation of different ways to keep a journal, attesting to the fact that even if you don’t enjoy writing there are many ways to be inspired to keep a record of your life. It is okay to “Journal Your Way“.
The start of a new year is such an exciting time! Everyone is filled with new hopes, goals, and dreams for what will come. Starting a new journal is a great way to illustrate those aspirations on paper and to see that this year hasn’t been written yet. There are many blank pages waiting to be filled!
As promised, this article is to focus on the way that I have been keeping what I call a Life Journal. Life journaling is keeping a notebook that is essentially for everything that happens day to day. It isn’t just a diary that is kept on the nightstand. It is a book that is carried to the kitchen and to town. It is a place to record not only to-do lists, but thoughts and inspirations as they come. In my life journal, there are two main sections: “Daily Life” and “Scripture Study”. Each section has one page in the beginning dedicated as the index page. This is the best tool that I have ever added to my journaling!
The “Daily Life” half of the notebook is designated to general list making, weekly plans, notes, quotes, and the like. It is really an “everything goes” section. As I have a need, the page is created and then I can give it some sort of title in order to list it in the index. For example: I am studying some books from the library about eating with the seasons. So on a page of notes for that, it is simply titled: “seasonal eating” and put down in the index. The next time I want to reference something I remembered writing down or I need to refresh my memory, I can look at my index to see what pages those notes are on. It is also likely that between the note pages on “seasonal eating” there will be a grocery list, a thought entry, or even a drawing from one of my kiddos.
Before using an index as a tool in journaling, I might have saved several pages together to go back and take notes under the same topic-and then one of two things would happen: a) there would be lots of riveting information to record,and not enough pages reserved. Or b) I was uninspired never again returning to those set aside pages resulting in wasted paper. The creation of an index page solves this problem. Try it!
Something worth expounding on is that I let my children draw in my journal. What a blessing this is! They are constantly making me pictures that are hung on the refrigerator or walls and eventually trampled under foot finishing their journey in the trash. How nice it is to be able to preserve their innocence in a place like my journal. Because I always have it with me, it is the easiest thing to hand to a child who needs entertained. Here is a picture of a fun art game I did with one of them in church one day:
I folded the page in half and drew half of the picture. Then instructed the child to complete my drawing. This is a favorite exercise they enjoy.
Every once in awhile there is one of those special gift drawings that are not already in the journal. In this case, I might tape it in. Such as this paper Angel one daughter made for me at Christmas. It now has a home on the inside front cover of my notebook. Always reminding me that I am loved-both by seen and unseen Angels.
As discussed in Part 2 of this series there is a multiple of ways to keep your journal and types of notebooks. The one I am liking best right now for my everyday Life Journal is a spiral notebook (made by Mead) found at my local grocery store. The spiral binding allows for me to fold it open which makes it easy to take notes during a study session. The front and back cover is made of a strong cardboard material that seems to hold up well with kitchen duty and being thrown in my purse. The other feature I like is that it is already divided in half. In the center of the notebook is a sturdy page with pockets on either side. This pocket is great for holding loose items I need to keep with me-such as a letter to mail or a check to cash.
The second half of my life journal is reserved for my personal devotional studies. Where I reflect on scriptures and other inspirational resources. This has truly blessed my life the most. I have before kept a separate notebook devoted to religious studies, and it was wonderful as well, but putting it in a place that I almost always have with me has greatly increased the ability to listen to the council given in Jude chapter one verse twenty one:
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
(By the way, the above verse did not just pop into my head. I wanted to reference a scripture or quote that described how I feel. So I opened up one of the journals I have stacked on the desk as I am typing this post, and on the front page of one of them this verse is written out. I don’t even remember writing it down or why I did-but it fit perfectly to what I needed today!)
With this notebook always within reach, it allows for constant referral to the things that God has inspired me to write down and learn from. In this way I can be reminded of the most important goals in my life, be uplifted when feeling low, and also share inspiration with others at the ease of opening a journal. For me, this is the best reason of all to keep a notebook with you always. Such blessing come when you are prepared to record the messages that God has for you.
Hopefully this series has renewed your goal to keep a journal, has refreshed your mind with the reasons behind it, and encouraged you that it doesn’t matter how you do it-just that you do.
Thanks for being a friend!
For more ideas and reasons to journal check out this article from Familysearch.org:
Define Your Dash: Start Writing Your Personal History with the #52Stories Project
To schedule a local Life Journaling Workshop send me an email: email@example.com or FB message.
Set some goals to learn or progress a traditional skill this year! If you are a local, you can have one-on-one or group instruction from me in: knitting, crocheting, bread baking, journaling or even an intro into natural fibers! Send me a message (links above) and we will get your workshop on the calendar!
Don’t forget to also check in at the sister-site www.twistednplied.com where I keep the farmstead blog, and offer raw fibers, handspun yarn, and custom handmade items for your needs.