J is for Journaling

Although I’m sure I kept some sort of journal in my high school years and earlier, I have none extant to show for it, and don’t remember it being a major focus. The earliest journal I still have is one I began when I went away to college at BYU right out of high school. It was a hardbound red volume and I tried to use it for my deep and cerebral “college” thoughts–haha!

Since then my journals have taken various forms:

  • A monthly newsletter called “The Park Herald” mostly documenting the amazing accomplishments of our children to inform their doting grandparents.
  • Four large hardbound journals I kept from 1984-2010, writing at least once a month.
  • From 20111-2014 I used an online journal called Oh, Life. They closed down in 2014, so I had to copy and migrate all my entries to a Google doc.
  • Since 2014 I’ve kept a daily running journal in a Google doc. It’s been a great resource to the whole family who invariably will ask me, “When did we….?” or “Where was that place we went….?”
  • I’ve kept a blog since 2009, which is somewhat like a journal. I started at Blogger.com, then moved to WordPress after a year. I kept a separate blog for the 14 months we were serving our mission.
  • I have several “special” journals that are for specific purposes:
    • A dream journal
    • A scripture journal
    • A favorite quotes journal

Total Investment: Time, and the cost of the journals, though many of them were gifts.

This is a “thing” I hope I can continue up to the end! It gives me an outlet for creativity, a sounding board, a place to blow off steam. It also is a memory keeper–Family members have forgotten some amazing experiences that they neglected to record, but because I recorded those events, the experience was not lost, and was brought back to them with a renewed impact.

The spiritual nature of many of those experiences has meant that the record of them has become a type of “scripture” to our family–a record of God’s tender mercies and dealings with our family. Reading them renews our faith and strengthens our testimony of the reality of God and his love for us.


About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Books, Family, Life Lessons, memories, Spirituality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to J is for Journaling

  1. Trudy says:

    Love your post! (Says one avid journalist to another.) What began as a mandatory assignment in my Ricks College English class (1975) continues to this day. I still handwrite my journals, but I use three-ring binders so I can include sheet protectors with memorabilia for some entries (funeral programs, ticket stubs, funny cards). When I travel, I keep journal entries on my laptop and then print them out when I get home and easily insert them into the binder.

    I make notes in the margins with an archive quality red pencil so I can find special entries, and include an index of events in the front of the journal. It certainly would be easier to search specific entries if I used a computer program, but my thoughts flow better with pen and paper. I would like to scan all the pages, though… someday.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Jelly

  2. Brandolyn Fillmore says:

    You should keep up your mission blog for your Washington mission experiences.

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