Journals For Little Kids

Eight years ago I had the idea to sit my little kids down each week and talk to them about whatever was on their mind.  I would type what they said as they spoke, and that would be their journal.  It’s been a huge success.  I’ve started with each kid when they are two and can communicate in cogent sentences.  As the oldest two got to be about seven or eight years old, they started keeping their own journals, but these first, early journals have been priceless. 

Not many people can say they have journals going back to when they were two years old. 

My younger daughter loves it so much that she asks to write in her journal almost constantly.  She just turned five and already has 29 single spaced pages written. 

As they get older, sometimes the kids will ask why they should keep journals, and then I just pull up these files and we look up whatever they wrote around this time of year throughout their lives.  Two days ago, my oldest son went back and looked up his thoughts about a Jimmy Neutron costume he wore five years ago. 

It’s because of these journals that I know what my oldest daughter, now 12, was thinking about on Saturday, October 20, 2001, when we started doing this: “Today I don’t feel good.  My tummy hurts.  I love to go swimming.  I love my Ellie.”

Not With A Bang, But A Whimper…And Then A Hymn Of Praise

My Thanksgiving weekend, like much of my life, was a little soured by my tendency to obsess over those problems that often cause me grief.  I fretted further that November, perhaps my favorite month, was going to end with stains of stress on it.  But I hope that I’m learning a lesson to ameliorate that bad habit in the future.

Last night I went and looked up my journal entry for Sunday, April 11, 2004, which reads in part, “I’ve had two big moments of panic recently, both of which have confirmed that the Lord knows best and is watching out for me….Thank you, Lord, and help me to have more faith and trust, and less worry and sweat.”

The ellipses there explain what the two problems were.  I can remember how much they bothered me, and how relieved I was to find deliverance, but I still worry a lot about all the trials that come my way.  I wonder what I should have done differently, I blame myself, I imagine how much suffering lies ahead because of them. 

But I’ll try to remember the lessons of the past; as I once read, we almost always overreact to things, and nothing is as important as it first seems.  No doubt that when I look back on the present troubles, I’ll be surprised at the way in which a loving God brought me and my family through. 

If my journal hadn’t given details, I wouldn’t have been able to even remember what the terrifying tribulations had been in April 2004.  I suppose that, four years from now, those things that wrench my heart will also be just so much water under the bridge. 

I need to be grateful:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

Journal FAIL

dbjournal1Several years ago, I bought this binder at Deseret Book to hold pages for my journal.  If you can’t read the Bible verse on the cover, it’s Isaiah 30:8, which says, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.”  Seems like a pretty appropriate verse, right?

Then I actually read Isaiah chapter 30.  In context, that verse is the Lord telling Isaiah to keep a carefully detailed record of rebellious Israel’s sins, so that future generations might know that God was justified in destroying the wicked. 

And this is supposed to inspire us to want to keep a journal of what we do in our lives?