Dear Diary

“Then fill up your journal with words. Funny words. Enjoyable words. Stories. Poems. Jokes. Bible verses. Quotes from other writers. Things we’ve learned in sermons. Things we’ve learned from friends and family. Life is short. Write good words.”

Nancy Wilson, “Journal Keeping, Part 2” on the Femina blog

There’s a hint of autumn in the air and a lot of newness too. New curricula and books for students. New children in Sunday School. New plans for a new years of study and work. And, for some of us, new diaries too.

Maybe you write a “dear diary” sort of diary. It’s a record of your life: events, conversations, thoughts and feelings written day by day, the story of your life. Maybe it’s also a record of what God is doing in your heart and life. Maybe you fill the pages with verses from the Bible and quotes from the books you’re reading. Maybe what you write is for your eyes only or maybe it isn’t a big secret.

Or maybe you don’t have the desire and time to write a “dear diary” sort of diary. You want to create a record of your life, but there are so many other things to do — and so many others who do it better. Perhaps, like me, a beautiful book of paper is expensive and impractical because you need dates and times and a whole year in one book at one time. Last year I found a way to join “practical” and “pretty” and this is how.

Use a regular diary. Buy whatever diary meets your needs. For me, that’s a medium-sized and low-priced office diary that contains all the days of the year as well as lines and lots of space on each page. A plain diary offers more scope for the imagination.

Make it your own. This year I copied a pencil drawing and a handwritten quote and stuck them on the cover. I covered them with clear and sticky plastic. Pictures from magazines and copies of prints — pictures or words — look lovely too.

Use it day by day. Write your appointments and lists of things to do on the pages. Use your diary just like you always use your diary, but …

  • Take a moment — once a week or once a day — to stick a picture on each page. I use pictures of sea, countryside, gardens and homes cut from country living magazines. Along with pictures of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices cut from supermarket food magazines. I like my pictures to be cheerful, pretty and restful.
  • Choose a quote every week or every day and write it on each page. I choose a verse from the Bible that is speaking to my heart or a quote from a book or a blog that I’m reading. Write it as prettily as you can — or, if you don’t like “pretty”, write it as boldly as you can! Use a fancy handwriting and an interesting ink.
  • When you write your appointments, take a moment or two extra, to write in a nice handwriting or an interesting ink. Doodle a flower or a heart or a star instead of a regular bullet point. Underline important words with squiggles or surround them with stars.
  • In a corner of each page, write a list of your blessings as you count them, moment by moment.
  • In any free space…write a memory. Something funny. Something special. Did you notice the first of the spring flowers? Did a friend send you a note of encouragement? You only need a few moments and a few words. Record the memory and there it is…a little bit of the story of your life in the middle of a beautiful (if busy and messy) page of your life.

dear diary by @hopescribbles

11 Comments

  1. I love to read back over my old journals. Thanks for the encouragement to start at it again!

  2. Erica Faith says:

    I love to journal. I have been writing in a journal since I was fourteen and now have five completed journals. I also have a computer journal program, and I journal there too! Mostly, I write about how I am feeling about what is happening in my life. I write about the amazing, the mundane, and everything in between.

  3. Yay for journaling! I journal a lot of my ebenezer moments. Over the years, reading those has been an inspiration to keep trusting and proof of God’s amazing faithfulness and grace. I’m working on recording more little details about every day life this year. 🙂

  4. Love this. 🙂 I’m a huge journal-girl. And I’ve taught many a class on creative-journaling. 🙂

  5. I have struggles keeping a diary. This inspires me to try again, though! Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Esther
    (joyful-maiden.blogspot.com)

  6. I love journaling and this made my smile; all the creativity makes me want to jump back into it!
    Keeping a journal is such a good way of recording the goodness and faithfulness of God too. Looking back, it’s easier to see His hand in everything when I’ve recorded it or jotted down little prayers and their answers.
    I’ve recorded memories too that I someday want to pass down to my children (Lord willing).

  7. I can’t write pretty…. but I can make a pretty cover for a journal! I mostly write about God encounters (I have a lot of them) and some things I have been thinking about dearly. I like to look back and see how I have grown in the Lord, and how things I was struggling with worked out.

  8. I wrote very rarely in my journals growing up. I wrote the day of 9/11 cause I knew when I was older I would want to remember my thoughts. I wrote my thoughts down during the time my uncle died of cancer when I was 14. There are jumbled thoughts of the year where I watched my grandma slowly die and I struggled to understand the goodness of God.

    It was only when I went to college that I faithfully kept a journal and by graduation I had completed nearly four journals. I made a habit of writing down my thoughts nearly every day. In those pages you will find the perils and joys of college life. Frustration of liking a boy and trying to control my emotions, but being unsuccessful. Times where as I a RA I had to deal with more unpleasant things. There is a long entry from the day right before midterms that I found out my uncle was with his Savior and that same night my brother put a diamond ring on his sweetheart’s finger. Verses that encouraged me in my late night devotion time were carefully written onto paper.

    Sometimes I feel too tired to journal, but I know if I don’t write down the little things now they will never be remembered as big things later.

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