Welcome to Random Journal Day! This month we kick off a new monthly feature: Our Featured Journal Keeper. Get ready to hear the heart of our community through the voices of those who share regularly here. Each month the featured writer will guest post for RJD, sharing tips, thoughts and anything related to their personal journal keeping journey. Be ready to be inspired, and get to know one another. Oh, and if you are a regular contributor here, new or old, be ready to share. I’ll be contacting you! Our first featured Journal Keeper is Pamela Steiner. Pam blogs at Closed, Doors, Open Windows and has linked up since the beginning of our Random Journal Day gatherings. Without further adieu, here’s Pam!
My first real journal was a thick blank book that I found somewhere and decided to start writing in it. Over the course of several years I kept a journal of life events, prayer requests and answers to prayers. I included a description of some of my favorite things in my home…antique furnishings that came from loved ones…even added some pictures for future reference.
During these particular years my husband and I were serving the Lord in the ministry, living far away from family. The opportunities to go home for holidays were few, but very precious times together. Thankfully I preserved many happy memories of such times throughout this journal.
Much of my journaling over the years revolved around our family and ministry responsibilities, and the call to new places. I often enclosed mementos of special events, such as when my husband finally finished his years of study and received his Doctorate…a dream come true after many years of hard work (for both of us!) We had a lot of high hopes built around that achievement, and much of my writing recorded the rise and fall of those hopes as we didn’t always attain the goals we had set for ourselves, but we saw how God had other plans for us that were, at least in His sight, even greater. It wasn’t always easy for us to see that or accept it. Often it was a bitter pill to swallow when we had to acknowledge what God said in Isaiah 55:8-9 as being true for us:
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'”
Stuck throughout the pages of my journal are thoughts that transcend time and space. My mother once gave me a copy of a handwritten poem, written by her mother over one hundred years ago, upon the very sorrowful occasion of the death of one of her precious babies. This little poem, along with a snippet of “Little Florence’s” hair attached, is heartrending. It gave me an insight to the tenderness of my grandmother, whom I barely got to know…but look forward to meeting again someday in heaven…along with Little Florence, “with a face like a tinted pearl.”*
That little poem was possibly a page from my grandmother’s journal, if she kept one…and has been preserved for me and future generations to read and ponder. Had it not been saved, we may have never known about “Little Florence”, and I think she needed to be known.
Yes, journaling is a way of preserving family history, providing insights into the ways God has provided for and taught us throughout our life’s journey. I only wish I had been more diligent to keep a journal every year of my life. I’ve missed a lot of memories that I now have to rely on my faulty memory to recall.
It is my hope that this will inspire others to take up the pen (or computer keyboard) and start writing. You don’t have to be a great writer…just be real. Someday you (or your future generations) will look back at what you’ve written and be amazed.
*(For a closer look at this particular journal and the poem about “Little Florence”, Click HERE.
Well, thank you, Pam for stepping up and starting off this new monthly feature. So grateful for you and the rest of our creative journal keepers. Now let’s link up.
Link goes live at 12:05 AM Friday. Sorry for the mix-up link is live NOW (6:43 AM eastern time) – I messed up on the auto scheduling feature at inLinks. Sorry for the inconvenience!