Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gratitude Journal

Have you heard of Ann Voskamp's Endless Gifts and her Visual Journals? If not, you really should go check them out. I read about them and was so taken with them I just had to join in. Her journals are so beautiful and inspiring.

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


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Very cool! I kind of scrapbook like that. I have lots of prayers handwritten for my kids. I also journal my prayers and what God is teaching me in a spiral bound journal and also on my blog. It helps me really think about the good things in my life!

Nicole said...

I can remember when we moved here 8 years ago that my daughter (now 15) was very sad and having a hard time adjusting. I started doing a Gratitude Journal with her, and it was amazing to see how just focusing on the positive changed her perspective.

Now 8 years later her mama is going through a hard time. I used to journal in my quiet time every morning. Somehow blogging has taken it's place. But can we always be perfectly honest in our public blogs? I have been having such a hard time seeing the positives in my life, to the point that the tension is causing physical stresses on my body.

Wow, this visual journaling idea is an amazing one! I am going to pick up my journal today and get started!


Ellen said...

This is a wonderful idea! A combo of scrapping little moments with the magazines pics and sharing your heart...:)

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Wow! That is a beautiful journal!

Camille said...

I love it...thanks for sharing the "how"...I have been thinking of joining in on this for the last few just has to get "put into practice"...this is a great inspiration!