- Personal journals are, of course, ways to document our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and ambitions – and a good way to sort through the ups and downs of life. Little doodles and illustrations here and there help to label our emotions and experiences.
- Prayer journals are another form of personal journals, with a little more focus. Entries help us to see where we’ve been, and how God has been working in our lives. Several times in the last 13 years I’ve returned to a particular journal entry in which I’d drawn a diagram of what I viewed all our parenting options to be next to a page of graffiti-like doodles exclaiming, “Kill my will!” It was that very evening that the door of my heart flew open when we were presented with the blessing of our first adoption. What an awesome way to be reminded of God’s answers to prayer!
- Poetry journals might not be everyone’s cup of tea – and yet I think we tend to underestimate our own abilities to write powerful poetry. If we try, we’ll find ourselves in good company. It was by the creative power of the Holy Spirit that David was able to pen the psalms. When the Spirit of the Creator is allowed to work in us, we might be amazed at the words that wend their way onto paper. Even if the poetry remains under lock and key in our journals, it is a powerful way of wrestling with words that give our thoughts and convictions shape and form.
- Record the stories of our children’s births or adoptions. I know my daughters especially have often pleaded, “Tell me the story of when I was born.” What a gift to offer them a written version for them to keep tucked away, perhaps to share with their own children one day. Photos or simple drawings would add to the memory bank, reminding the children of how they were and are cherished.