Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Chronicles of....Me? :)

I have kept a journal for some time. Ever since I was 12 years old, actually. Recently I have not had time to write in it consistently, but I am determined to write when I can, for as Mama said, these are the important years in my life, and how amazing it will be to look back on the journal I kept as a lass of 18. :) I am sure I will appreciate the time I took to write in my journal.
However, I know that journals can get dull. Believe me! I used to keep a log-book style journal that absolutely put me to sleep when I went back to read it. :) Literally, the format was something like this:

Woke up, ate breakfast, had devotion. Did chores, did school. Went for a walk, did school, fixed and ate lunch, had free-time, played outside, made dinner, ate dinner, did chores, watched a movie, went to bed.

Disgusted? I was. I tired so quickly of my journals, versus the ones I had read of people in history. What was it that made their entries so captivating? Here is an excerpt from one book I adore. Sarah Morgan: the Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman.

"A new year has opened up to me while my thoughts are still wrapped up in the last; Heaven send it may be a happier one than 1861. And yet there were many pleasant days in that year, as well as many bitter ones. Remember the bright, sunny days of last winter; the guests at home, the visits abroad; the buggy rides, the walks, the dances every night; the merry, kind voices that came from laughing lips, the bright eyes that then sparkled with pleasure?"

Many other books came to mind. Excerpts from presidents' journals, and letters...all these things were so inspiring. What was wrong with my technique?
And then one day it hit me. I only wrote about schedule. I had no detail. I put none of my own personality and thoughts into my entries. My journal that far was simply a ship's log, chronicling the days of my life...monotonous indeed.

So I made a vow with myself that I would try my hand at writing something worthwhile in my journals. Perhaps that is where my writing began. I would include seemingly insignificant details like the expression on someone's face as I spoke with them, or even what was said in a conversation as best as I could remember it. My journal leaped to life and ever since I have possessed a chronicle that I know I will treasure, and that my children will treasure.
Never mind the fact that some of the entries I would not wish to show anyone until I've died. ;) I make it a point never to write my emotions for idle reasons. But if there is a good reason to write the way I feel about something, so that I may better follow God's gracious hand in my life, I will write it down and capture the moment. Some of those entries, I can tell, will be the most precious. :)
My goal in my journalling has been to write something worth reading. I hope that someday a person will stumble upon my journal and somehow benefit from the reading of it. Whether by amusement or a little wisdom. (I hope. :) Oops! Dinner! ~Rachel

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true! I've filled fourteen and a half (or so) journals, but not all of them are "interesting" to read. I did a lot of that "ship log" stuff, too. Maybe I should try journalling in a different way...