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One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to practice writing skills is through the means of journaling.   When I was a young girl I received a special gift for my birthday of a green, leather bound diary.  It was equipped with a lock and key and oh, how grown up it made me feel to have a personal book to record my dreams as well as disappointments.

The concept of a personal diary has now become known as a journal and for me, has expanded to three.  I keep a journal for prayer, meaningful scriptures and quotes and for recording the messages of my heart to the Lord.

Journal writing is an effective and fulfilling form of self-expression that can be very healing and encouraging to our soul.

I encouraged my sons to start a journal when they were old enough to begin writing sentences.  It is a meaningful part of our devotional, or quiet time.  My oldest son is away at school and still journals.  It is a testament for his future wife, children and grandchildren chronicling his spiritual growth, dreams and expressions of gratefulness to the Lord.  My younger son isn't yet an avid writer, but the idea of writing his own thoughts down on paper without concern for spelling corrections or critiquing appeals to him.

Starting a journal is simple and inexpensive.  The journal itself can express your own personality, creativity and individual taste.  Remember, it is an extension of you.  I appreciate beauty and God's marvelous colors, creativity and design so my journals reflect what I like, encouraging me to use and enjoy them regularly.  But, a small, spiral bound notebook decorated with artwork or stickers on the outside can be just as inviting.

Next is a free-flowing pen to make writing a pleasure, enhancing the experience of putting your thoughts to paper.

Another consideration to effective journaling is the place for writing.  A private or quiet location free from distractions or interruptions will promote concentration.  A few ideas would be a quiet corner of a room, breakfast nook, backyard picnic table, or front porch in a comfy chair.  I find the woods, a beautiful park or public botanical garden, or quiet area of the local library to be suitable spots for reflection and inspiration.

Lastly, decide what you'd like to write about.  As an older student, consider documenting the monuments in your life as a testimony to the Lord's goodness and provision. This recording of significant events can be a legacy of your life for your future spouse, children and others.  I have a faith journal recording specific scriptures and words of encouragement others have spoken into my life.  I also have a thankfulness journal, recording answered prayer and blessings of favor from God extended to me and  my loved ones. Another journal is for specific prayer requests.  My personal thoughts journal chronicles my struggles, joys, hopes and dreams expressed from my heart to the Lord.

Younger children can begin a journal with the following questions which will get them thinking creatively and encourage their thoughts to flow more freely onto paper:

1)      Which people or things are you most grateful for?

2)      What are your favorite hobbies and activities?

3)      Describe your favorite day.

4)      How would you describe who you are as a person to a new acquaintance?

5)      If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?

6)      What is your favorite book and what did you most like about it?

7)      What is the nicest thing you could do for your mom, dad, sibling,
        grandparent,neighbor or friend?

8)      List three things you'd like to do this year.

9)      What have you learned about yourself in the last week or two?

10)  Why do you think the Lord created you as His special child?

Hopefully, these ideas on journaling will spark God inspired creativity and self-expression in you and your children.  Just think, if Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and others hadn't recorded the happenings of Jesus, we wouldn't have record of the gospel as read today.  Journaling is a useful, powerful and healing tool, which allows the Lord to not only teach our hearts but inspire the hearts of others as well.  Keeping a journal has encouraged my love for writing, which I pray will always be a gift used by the Lord to bless the lives of those who read what He inspires me to share.  The following scriptures remind us of the importance of recording the events of our lives as a testament to the Lord's faithfulness.

Malachi 3:16

    Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

Psalm 102:18

    This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.

May God bless you as you too, write creatively for His use and Glory.


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