I used to be a journaling dropout.
I would get on a kick to write something every day or would take a challenge to journal during my quiet time every day.
Then life would happen and I would miss a day, and another… and frustration would set in as I tried to catch up. And then the notebook would get tucked away so it wasn’t sitting there reminding me how I had failed at journaling.
This was all before I discovered that journaling is not about rules and deadlines, but about discovery and learning and remembering.
Once I put aside the rigid guidelines I gave myself for journaling, I found myself connecting with God so intimately as I wrote whatever it was that He impressed upon my heart that day. If I missed a day, I missed those quiet moments with pen on paper, but I didn’t find myself feeling guilty or discouraged.
Our older two boys have their own private Bible time each morning. They both enjoy writing and drawing very much, so I bought them both notebooks this year to use as their quiet time journals. I had all these “rules” in mind about what they could and could not write in these notebooks, but the morning I was going to give them the journals, God brought to mind my own struggles with the rules of journaling.
So I gave them just two guidelines:
1. These notebooks were for God-stuff only. They could be used at any time, but not for games or school or anything else.
2. Write words, copy verses, draw pictures – just do whatever you want to help you remember what God taught or told you that day!
I don’t know about your kids, but when mine are given too many rules for a creative project, they get frustrated; to me, journaling is a creative project between us and God. Journaling doesn’t need rules, it needs life! Each journal and what fills its pages will be as unique as each one of us. I believe God loves it when we communicate with and worship Him using the giftings He has given us.
With the New Year upon us, I couldn’t think of a better time to buy a new journal for each of your kids – like the Joy, Love, Faith, and Peace notebooks – and start the creative and worshipful habit of journaling during quiet time each day!
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Do your kids do any journaling? What methods work best for you or your kids?