When I was seven-years-old, my parents gave me a treasure: a pale pink diary. Shiny, dark pink daisies adorned the cover and surrounded the words, “My Daily Journal.” Even the pages were pink! There was one more detail–and probably my favorite feature–it had a lock. I was ecstatic and I wrote in it the very next day.
December 26, 1977
7:30 in the morning we left for Utah in an airplane. When we got to the cabin we got stuck. But we got out so everybody had fun in the snow.
p.s. the plane had good food.
That began my habit of journaling. It has changed a lot since 1977. My earliest entries catalogued daily events and often included details like “tonight I watched ‘Diff’rent Strokes and we had pizza for dinner.” I also have one entire journal where each entry is a slight variation of, “Today was nice. I can’t wait until tomorrow.” And I can’t forget the many entries that mention which 7th grade boys were cute. Fascinating, no? As I got older, my entries became less about listing details and more about how I felt.
I know keeping a journal can bless our posterity (although I’m not sure anyone will really care that on Saturday, February 7, 1981, “Love Boat” was really good). The significance of writing is stressed throughout the Book of Mormon–prophets and the Lord’s people are commanded to record. Even though records are kept in heaven, we keep them on earth to bless future generations–and ourselves. This was my little discovery.
I have always enjoyed browsing through my old journals and remembering, but a couple of years ago, I sat reading through past entries and realized something. The Lord’s hand has been in my life. Something about reading my life in synopsis form made it so clear to me. I am being watched over, protected, and taught. It wasn’t really a new revelation, but reading about my life, in my own words, made it sink deeper into my heart. I looked at my journal differently, and began to see it more like personal scripture–my own record of God’s dealings with me.
I’ve started another kind of journal recently when I began to blog and I notice that I write in my journal less. It is fun, but different in one critical way–I am aware of an audience. My writing is affected by the fact that people may read it. Also, it is not as personal or as revealing because it is public. My blog serves a purpose, I suppose, but I do not want it to replace journaling. In our recent General Conference, when President Eyring spoke about recognizing and remembering the Lord’s kindness by writing about it daily, I felt I should re-commit myself to my personal journal and try to do what he had done. I want to remember–not just what I ate and watched or who I liked–but how the Lord has blessed me. I want to write and remember.
Do you keep a journal? Do you enjoy it? How would you consider it a blessing?
Do you blog? If you do, has it affected your journaling? Let’s talk about it.