When you hear the word “journal” what thoughts come to mind? Just another thing you don’t have time to do? Or do you find it be a comfort, a place of solace to turn to?
Although I have always been a journaler (not sure that’s really a word), my writing focused on what was happening in my life. Sometimes I would write about what I did, other times it would be a way of expressing my fears, anger or worries. And then other times I would journal scripture verses that were speaking to me.
But several years ago (2004 to be exact), I started keeping a journal for each of my children. At first I wrote in it faithfully but with time, it became more sporadic.
After cleaning out a cabinet, I ran across those journals (which are really just spiral notebooks). I opened up the one for my oldest son, who is now stationed in Turkey with the Air Force.
He was 10 years old when I began his journal. It started with sections that I titled, “My Thoughts about the Person You Are,” “The Things You Like,” “Some Things to Be Worked On,” and “Your Spiritual Journey.”
Funny how under “Things You Like,” I wrote, “history, (WW II in particular), the military, aircraft and patriotism.” Now he’s in the military.
Then I peeked into my daughter’s journal. She was just 7 when I started writing in her notebook (and will be 16 in a couple of months).
Some of the things I wrote under, “Some Things to Be Worked On” continue to be things that could be worked on. I say that with laughter because if she were sitting next to me, she would agree. Funny how some things don’t change with time.
Finally I looked at my youngest son’s journal, who was 5 years old when I started his (and is just over a month away from turning 14). One of the words I used to describe him is “JOY” because of his humorous ways. That remains true to this day.
Although there are similarities between then and now, there are also many things that have changed. And I’m so grateful it’s all written down for my children to one day enjoy.
I encourage you, mom—even if you don’t normally like to journal—to begin writing down things about your children that can someday be passed on. Imagine how much you would treasure receiving a gift like that from your mother.
These moments pass so fast. Why not try and remember all that you can?
© 2012, Stephanie Romero