After much thought, I decided upon the use for the pretty journal I made....this involved the use of two more journals, however :)
My plan is that we will use the pretty patterned journal as a 'gratitude journal'. A record of our thanks to God for His goodness. I hope to raise children who live in a real relationship with Christ, & this appears to be another way in which I can encourage this. I also know this will be a great spiritual discipline for myself...to focus on answered prayers & such.
The other two journals? Well, they have been put into service as I read this book:
The Gift Of Family Writing by Jill Novak
what an inspiring book! I would recommend everyone to read this book as soon as they can. Jill is wonderfully inspiring as to how to get your children to record their memories, their life stories. But this is so much more.
So, our new bed time routine involves, cuddling up on mummy & daddy;s bed & I write into the children's journals something they would like to remember from their day. They love this! They tell me the story, & I write it into their journals (they have one each) E has been drawing into her book too.
Then, we think back over the day & make an entry into our gratitude journal.
I cannot praise Jill enough for this wonderful book. Here is an article from her website www.giftoffamilywriting.com
Record Your Life Stories as They Happen!
By Jill Novak
Just think of all the experiences you and your children have shared together: everyday moments, special times, or life lessons tailor-made by God—irreplaceable stories that you thought you would never forget. Yet life rushes by like a reel of film on a movie projector, thousands of unique experiences in a blur. Precious few will be remembered unless they are viewed in slow motion. Family writing slows the motion.
Like the genealogies of the Bible, words beget words and stories beget stories. Before you know it, you’re recording the ordinary moments of your day, and something extraordinary happens—you and your children become writers! The gift of words and the means of expressing them flow from the heart of God to all of your children. When you teach them to capture their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions on paper, you enable them to remember; and in remembering your family members are bonded to each other and the Lord in a more profound way.
Families are constantly changing. Children grow up and leave childish things behind. As time goes by, the memory of your home life with them fades. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Your family's life stories and unique spiritual heritage can be preserved through The Gift of Family Writing.
Remembering the Past
Every family has at least one member who can remember—as if it were yesterday—events that happened in the family when he or she was a child. My husband Robert (the only boy among three sisters) is the storyteller in his family. Most of his accounts are about the family farm and fishing trips in Canada. Our children were raised on these stories and value them as part of their heritage. When our family moved to a farm in 1999, new “farm stories” began to take shape. I recorded them in a journal, knowing we would forget these experiences if I didn't write them down. My husband’s love of storytelling had rubbed off on me.
Gradually I was drawn to read books about recording your life stories and writing from the heart. Geared toward adults, these books focused on writing memoirs or life stories for your children and grandchildren. As I read, a thought arose in my mind: Why aren't we recording our children's life stories as they happen? We're with them all the time. What wouldn't any of us give to read—in our own words—the accounts of people, places, or things that mattered to us when we were young? How much easier it would be for our children to write their life stories now, while they're still fresh on their minds!
I began to really listen to my children. I was amazed to hear how many words they used to describe their experiences, and surprised at how naturally they expressed themselves. The younger ones only needed me to write their stories down. A bond formed that wasn’t there before; I was hearing the hearts of my children through the words of their experience.
Recording Your Life Stories
You may not have thought about recording your life stories together as a family. I know I hadn’t. I’m amazed that it never occurred to me to have my two oldest children narrate their daily experiences to me when they were younger. I didn’t realize that we could write about all the wonderful things we’ve done together as a family or that I could preserve my spiritual walk so my children and grandchildren would know the awesome God we serve. One thing I’ve learned, though, it’s never too late to journal your life stories. As long as you live and breathe there will be plenty of experiences to preserve on paper.