“I don’t like James, He is mean! He is rude to me and teases me. Brother’s are mean!” That was the journal entry I read to my kids about my brother a few weeks ago while teaching about the importance of journal writing. I had written it when I was 6 and he was 8! I laughed out loud when I read it because James is one of my best friends now. He must have been really mean to me that day for me to write that! A few weeks after discovering this journal entry, I got this text from him. At first I didn’t know what it was, but he told me he was going through his journal and found this about me. We shared a bedroom when I was tiny and I guess I would sing to him! Ahh, see we didn’t hate each other! People love reading past journals. I love looking through my old journals! My mind forgets things too fast. Kind of like the movie Inside Out. If we don’t write them down our memories just get thrown out! It’s so fun to look though my journals and remember my fun childhood, and the memories come flooding back in. I also love looking through old journal written by my relatives. Its fun to see even the mundane everyday of their lives. It makes them more real to me!
As a parent I have tried very hard to instill in my children the importance of journal writing. I have a child who doesn’t like to write anything sad or if he is mad about something in his journal. He told me he “wants his kids to always think he was happy and never had a grumpy side” I told him that it’s okay to share of our frustrations in our journal writing. Of course we want our decedents to not only see the hard times, but also the good times. I think some people are opposite of my son and only participate in journal writing when life is hard. I would encourage you to do both! I saw this quote by President Kimball that I love…
How do I do teach my kids the importance of journal writing?
My one opinion is to start teaching journal writing at a young age. At age 3 I have them start telling me what to write for them in a journal and then they draw a pictures. They love this! Some of their entries are really silly, but they at least say something about what is going on in their life!
I have a son who I have to help with his journal. I write it for him, then he copies. He likes to be funny and writes stuff like “I am soooooooooooo bored!” or “It was awesome” to describe every event!
I have another son who writes every single day. He loves it. He even takes it on vacation with us so that he can remember it all. He’s like me. He knows he will forget it if he doesn’t write it down. He has a lot of journals that he has filled!
My next piece of advice about journal writing is, whether you are 5 or 50 or older start writing now. Your decedents want to know you. They will love getting to know you through your journals. If that thought scares you, read this quote…
“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? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.
“Get a notebook, … a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. (Spencer W. Kimball, “The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, 1975, 5).
A Journal today can be kept in so many different ways. It can be kept in a notebook or special diary. You can use your smartphone or computer apps. I use a personal blog and print it out yearly. Do what works best for you, but do it! You won’t regret it! Don’t think you have to do it ever day. There are days when I don’t find time to write. In-fact I have stared to just do it weekly. Sunday is a great day to record what happened during the week. Sometimes I just turn on my notes on my phone and TALK TEXT it to my self and email it over to me and put it on my personal blog! It’s fast and easy.
When you are done writing in a journal find a safe place to put it. A great way you can store your journals is through FamilySearch.org. They has the ability to save the electronic files of your journal, digital copies of your printed journals, or even audio files..
So what are you waiting for! Go get a notebook, download an app or open up a word document and start writing now!!
This post is part of the #MyForeverFamily Challenge. Click here to find tons of amazing resources to help your family focus on Christ and building a forever family this Easter season. You can follow along by searching for #MyForeverFamily on social media.