Often I longed to…
write down that cute something a child said…
trace around a pudgy little hand…
mark a special triumph or…
give thanks for a provision dropped in our laps.
I also knew I should confess that ugliness. Ask forgiveness for being so wrapped up and not noticing. And daily I need His word to hang on to.
Yet I struggled to find an easy way to do this. That spiral notebook I kept on my nightstand only had a few, lone entries. So often I’d rather give in to my weariness and simply crawl into bed.
Quite unexpectedly, the Lord answered in a delightfully easy way. One June morning, I read about a family journaling practice. I knew it was the answer I had been seeking. What I hear the children say confirms it.
“The Psalms are wonderful.”
“Look, Mama, I drew a picture about what we did in drama club today!”
“Oh, that’s the verse I’m going to pick.”
“Can I read tonight?”
Family journaling is now our after-supper habit. Opening the Bible together has opened our hearts. Caused us to count blessings. Given us the opportunity to confess our oh-so-human failings.
We’ve learned patience with little ones roaming to grab a paused pen. And, after several times, the baby and the three-year-old learned the joy of journaling too. I can tell by their happy scribbles and bits of frustration at learning how to draw a star. The baby also likes to look at the pictures in the Early Reader’s Bible.
It takes about 10 minutes, maybe more. Sometimes the dishes are all cleaned and stacked. Most nights there are still crumbs to sweep. Other times we plop down after children are all freshly bathed and sweet smelling. Maybe we don’t do it every night but we miss it when we don’t.
We each one write.
“Just three sentence…. more if so led.
- I confess… (repentances)
- I count… (blessings)
- I claim … (a verse from Scripture reading as my own for the day)”
Not long after that June morning, I sought out journals. We used our own Bibles for a while. But I saw the benefit of all having the same translation and being able to say, “page 377.” A birthday gift card allowed us to get trimline Bibles for every one, different colors but all the same.
Right now our journals and Bibles are housed in the middle of everything. All nestled in a cubbie by the fireplace – so we can easily pull them out onto the family fun room floor.
Through the years we’ve tried several different types of family devotion habits. This is one we look forward to. A habit that has so easily made its way into our routine, it seems it just has always been.
We’ve tailored it. It’s a worship rhythm individual to the seven of us. I invite you to click the link below and read the beautiful post that inspired me. Use her model and see what works for your family too.
Confess. Count. Claim.
Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline: Writing and Family Worship
What a great idea. Thanks for sharing! We’ve attempted journaling before, but never as a family. I think this one has definite potential.
Same here – I am semi-consistent with my own journaling. I read her post, too and loved the idea. Now hearing that it is doable from a friend, I am inspired to give it a go. I am adding trimlines to our Christmas list!
Cassandra Frear says
This is a fascinating family tradition. I’ve not seen anything quite like it.
I already knew you were doing this but it was wonderful to read the whole story =)! I am so glad that it has worked and is a blessing for you and yours! I plan/hope to start it soon!! God Bless, Angie
Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers says
What a great idea. I love the simplicity of it — a simplicity that belies the strong spiritual foundation that is being built.
I love this and could definitely see us doing it more as the boys get older. What a wonderful way to peer into their hearts!