The Lord was speaking to me to purposefully notice blessings in my day to help with the depression I was struggling with. I would do it, when I remembered, but more often than not, I forgot. This is when I read about Ann's Endless Gifts and her Gratitude Journals, I knew it was the Lord encouraging me to join in.
I was determined to not over think this and jump right in, very hard for me to do. ;-) I went to Hobby Lobby and Michael's to find the perfect journal. I'll share some thoughts with you that might help you.
1. You want at least 60lb paper, but 70lb would be better. I still have some ink bleed through with 60lb.
2. I usually always go for spiral bound journals, but in this case I went with a bound book. The reason is when I have the book open and want to enjoy the full spread, I didn't want the white or black binding to interrupt the space. Spiral bound is always easier to write in, I think, but as long as the book opens flat, I am happy with my choice.
3. I went for a full size journal as opposed to a 5 x 8 size, and I am glad I did. Many of the pictures I cut out of magazines would be too big for the smaller pages.
4. I jot ideas down to put in my journal all throughout the day on a sticky note. When I have some time at night I write them in the journal.
5. I only 'decorate' a few pages ahead. I don't know if my mood will change, or the season, so I didn't want to fill in too many.
I knew as soon as the kids saw what I was doing they would want to join me. Sure enough, sneaky mom wins again! I tend to have all these grand plans that we start and never finish and I didn't want this to be another one of those in their minds. They really wanted to do it. My 13 year old has really gotten the hang of it and has made a beautiful journal. She fills it with scripture, quotes, poems, as well as her 'thankful list'.
One day a week I sit down with the littles and we work on decorating their journal. I gently encourage them on placement and picture choice, ;-) (Hard for this type A mom to just have fun) Each day, as I remember, I ask them if they have anything they want me to write down for them. I'm gently teaching them to look for 'gifts' from their Father all throughout the day. I am hoping that they will catch on and not need gentle prompts from me.
I just love when something is His idea. He is the one that makes it happen, not me. I marvel how He has drawn my heart at the perfect time each time I have worked on it with the children. You also need to know that I don't 'naturally' sit down with my littles and do 'crafty' things! Don't you just love it when it's Him?
Here are some other links for 'visual journals' and Endless Gifts