Sometimes I think we get so caught up in learning about our ancestors that we forget to tell our own stories for generations to come. Keeping a journal is a great way to preserve your memories, without time and years to blur the details. Not only will they become precious treasures for our descendants, but they can be so for us. As we look back on our lives days, weeks, months, and years later, we can see how we've changed and progressed. We can see the things we've mastered, the things we enjoyed, the trials we've come through. We can see how our faith in Jesus Christ and our trust in and love for our Heavenly Father have brought us through the struggles, the hard things. We can see the miracles, big and small, that God has given us, which oftentimes we didn't notice as they were happening.
Think about an ancestor you wish you could talk to, or a friend that you wish you had more time with. Now think about how much a you would enjoy learning from their journal. Learning more about their life in their own words as they experienced it. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Well, one day you will be that person to somebody else. Your children, future spouse, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren would miss so much if they couldn't learn from your experiences. And journalling doesn't have to be done in just one way. You don't have to write nightly or weekly or monthly. You don't need a set schedule. And it doesn't have to include everything you did that day, from brushing your teeth to tying your shoes. There are lots of ways to keep a record of yourself. Here are a few ideas.
-Make a scrapbook. I have a Sunday School teacher who told me and my class about how she kept a journal as a girl and showed us one of them. It was an old ruled notebook filled with pictures, drawing, magazine clippings, doodles, and thoughts. There was no specific arrangement or set order to it all; it was just a collage of favorite things, and my teacher still treasures it.
-Family journal or newsletter. This method is great when you want the whole family to be involved. I know some families that will write about what's going on in their lives once a week, month, or year. Personally, my extended family puts together a yearly newsletter for all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to read. There are so many ways to do this, so get creative! If you like to type, you could write up a snippet about your family periodically. When you get to the end of a year, you could print it out and make a book.
-Nightly thought/One line a day. I like this method because it's fast and easy, and I can quickly get the most important part of my day on paper before I go to bed. You may be familiar with little books called "One Line a Day" journals. Those I've seen last for five years. There's just enough space to write one or two little sentences every day. You could choose a theme to write about, like how you saw God's hand in your life that day, one fun thing you did, or something you learned.
Always remember that you don't have to be perfect. You could write daily or weekly, or you could just go on a whim or when something important happens. It doesn't matter; just write! Do it the way you want to- it makes it all the more personal.
What are your favorite ways to document your life? Leave a comment!