“He captures memories because if he forgets them, it’s as though they didn’t happen.”
― Donald Miller
My mother gave me Norman Rockwell’s “Diary for a Young Girl” when I was, well, a young girl. I would spend hours pouring over the drawings and placing myself into the lives they depicted. Unfortunately, I never spent much time writing about my own life in those pages. Compared to the everyday life of the girls in those drawings, my life was not even as exciting as “everyday.” Today, the illustrated portion of the book is dog-eared and worn, but the blank pages are still blank, the few I actually wrote on long destroyed lest anyone ever read the silly ramblings of an eight year old dreamer.
I didn’t own another journal until my daughter was born. Oh, but there was no way I was going to let that precious time and those precious memories go undocumented! No way, whatsoever! …ahem… I wrote in it when she was a few weeks old, when she was eight months old, and once more sometime in elementary school. All those things I said I would never forget…so many are forgotten. It’s enough to make my heart hurt!
Twelve years ago I bought 3 matching spiral notebooks to use as my prayer journals (because, of course, if they are pretty and matching, I will definitely use them!), but I am yet to finish the first one. I have, however, been more consistent with this one than any previous journaling attempt! Wowzers, twelve years and one notebook — oh, I am some kind of consistent! Read that with just a tad of sarcasm!
The thing is, I want to journal. I want to write. I want to remember.
I just don’t. I just didn’t. Last December as I was doing some last minute shopping at the Paper Source in Annapolis, I bought myself a present. (Yes, I do think that is perfectly permissible, don’t you??) Meet the One Line A Day Five Year Memory Book!
It is possible that even I can handle one line a day! This little book has a couple of features I really love. First, it only has space for a few short sentences per day. Secondly, each page is for one date, but has five entry blanks. Every year you start the book over, writing a new entry for the same date beneath the previous year’s entry. In the end you will have one page of entries for January 1, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. How cool to see what your one line was two, three, five years ago!
I absolutely still write in my other journal in a more or less sporadically consistent way — you do know what that means, don’t you? It means I’m getting more consistent all the time! 🙂 It is amazing to read old entries and see how God has worked! To be able to look back and trace the unfolding of events, some of which at the time seemed heart-rending, into a grace-filled story. To be able to start writing with a heavy heart or a confused mind, and feel God lift the burden and bring things into focus. To have an insight that I would surely have forgotten were it not written down. These are treasures. I would love to be able to fill in all the empty pages of the unused journals of my life — wouldn’t we all? Must be part of that “hindsight” thing! Nonetheless, I am thankful for the ones I do have, and I am very excited to be able to have a “five year at a glance” book of memories!
“Why Not?” make journaling a personal priority, whether it is a brief one line a day, or words spilling your dreams and anxieties over several pages? You won’t regret it! And if you do, don’t be like this little girl who shredded embarrassing pages on impulse — just put them aside for a few years and come back to them later; you may be surprised what you find!
Journaling is very personal and can take so many different forms! Are you a traditional writer, or does your journaling take a different shape? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
This post has been shared on: