I’ve kept a journal for most of my life. It has been a great source of calm and great therapy for me. It is helpful for me to write down and process things that are going on in my life. Going back through my journals helps me to remember the good times and how I overcame the bad. Journals are a great way to really think about your life. You can ponder and meditate on things that are happening. It can help with creative expression, improve your memory, help you have more gratitude, help you process emotions, see the bigger picture, or focus on your goals, etc.
What should you use for a journal? There are so many great options for what to use for a journal. Just about anything will work. You can use something cheaper like spiral notebooks or composition notebooks, or try a nicer journal. Anything notebook will work for writing down your thoughts. There are also so many electronic options. You could start a blog or use social media, record thoughts on an audio recorder or app like the Memories app, or get an app like Day One so you can have a journal on your phone to use anywhere you go.
When to write? Think of a time that will work for you. Daily, weekly, Monthly-give it a try? Don’t let it overwhelm you. It can be as short as a few minutes to jot something down. Set a schedule and try to stick to it. For me, I am most alert in the mornings so I try to remember to do it then. When do you have a few minutes? Start there.
What should you write? Start with today’s date. Focus on meaningful experiences that affect you life. Try to focus on the good things in your life or what you have learned from the bad. Write about how you feel, what you have learned, or what you are thinking about. Set goals or write dreams for the future. You could keep a gratitude journal or a photo journal, complete with captions. What would you like to remember about your life? When I was younger, I only wrote about boys. Now I laugh when I read about all the cute boys I passed in the halls at school. I wish I had written more about my ambitions and dreams. Funny!
Can you recognize God’s blessings in your life? One of the best ways to recognize Him is to write about spiritual experiences. The more that you notice God’s hand in your life, the more you will see evidence of Him in it. I love Henry B. Eyring’s example of remembering God while writing in his journal over the years.
He said, “I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.”
Teach your kids to write in a journal. Growing up my mom would spend one-on-one time with me once a month to write in my journal. I have fond memories of talking with my mom and writing in my journal. I started my kids on journals when my oldest was 6. At first, I wrote most of it and then she would draw a picture. Then I let them tell me what to write. My oldest are now writing in her own journal. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with your kids. My kids get a kick out of reading their past entries.
Take time for a journal. You won’t regret it. You and your kids are living and experiencing so much! Write it down! Leave a legacy for your posterity to remember you and the amazing life you lived. Not only will you bless your family but future generations as well.
What Could You Do Better?Spencer W. Kimball
“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?”
Things that inspired me:
- 83 Benefits of Journaling for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
- Journal FHE Lesson
- Keeping a Journal Your Way
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