Earlier in the month I proposed that we should begin writing something good that happened during the day on a slip of paper and placing it into a gratitude jar. This way, on days that you may be feeling blue, you can take a few out of the jar and read to remind yourself of good times and just how blessed you truly are. It is also something wonderful to have all year long so that on New Year’s Eve you can take them all out and read back over the year that you had.
I soon realized that not everyone is going to want to have a big jar sitting around on their countertops some where, nor will they want to take the time to cut slips of paper to use for this well-meaning project.
Not wishing for this wonderful idea to be lost, I decided, instead, to take out a brand spanking new notebook with fresh, crisp, clean pages. THIS would be my gratitude journal! No, it’s not decorated all fancy with lace, ribbon, or flowers on the cover. But, that is okay. It does not lessen the meaning or value of this journal just because my words of appreciation will be placed in this ordinary, everyday notebook. Maybe it will be appreciated more because it does appear to be a plain notebook on the outside, but once you open the cover, you will soon discover the jewel that was lying underneath.
I decided to test this theory.
I had a few pages of notes written in it already – just a few things for each day that I’d like to remember or that marked something very special for me that I wanted to hold on tight to a little longer. This gratitude journal allows me to do just that. But, please know that this journal isn’t solely for me and me alone. In penning what I have and will write as we go through 2015, I am doing so just as much, if not more so, for my husband and children to have to reflect back on later should they desire to do so.
But back to testing my theory on the plain covered notebook.
When I got home from work, I placed this notebook on the counter with my daily devotional book on top. This is where I normally store my “stuff” such as my purse, keys, and jewelry when I get home. It’s a central location so I don’t have to go hunting and looking here or there for my belongings when I go to rush out of the door the next morning if I’m pushed for time.
Well, little did I know that after the supper dishes were done, homework was complete, and bath time was over with little ones tucked as snug as a bug in a rug … my husband wandered into the kitchen where curiosity got the best of him.
Now, did he freely admit he had gone through my notebook? Ohhhhhh noooooooo!
The next morning I bounced as cheerfully as I possibly could into the kitchen (which is hard for someone that is NOT a morning person – I freely admit!). I knew that I would find my husband in there, though, sipping on his coffee so that is why I tried so hard to put a smile on my face and greet him cheerfully with a hug and a kiss. I could have gone in there grumbling and griping about having to get up early for work, but I didn’t. I made a choice on what attitude I would take – yes, I have spoken a lot about choices, too, this month!
Anyway, back to my point.
We finished with our warm embrace and kissed each other about three or four times in a row (no, we cannot ever just kiss ONE time, it has to be several kisses right there together, which my youngest daughter hates … hahahahah!). Then I turned to him and asked if he saw my notebook.
He gave me this shy smile as he said, “You know, I did see it sitting there.”
I titled my head to the side as I analyzed him and determined by the look on his face that he had not only seen it “sitting there” but he had opened it up and started reading it!
Playfully I teased him, “You READ my journal!! Mr. Nosey Himself READ it!!! You couldn’t stand it, could you? You just HAD to read it!”
Finally, he smiled wider and said, “Well, it was just sitting there … ” as we both busted out laughing.
I am sitting here writing this with the biggest smile on my face as I remember that morning so well and the playful kidding around I was doing with him. I honestly did not care that he read my journal because … that is why I left it out just to see if curiosity would kill the cat. I wanted to see if he could resist this plain notebook, and as it was proven, he could not. 🙂
After the teasing, he admitted that yes, he read my journal, and he said he had tears in his eyes as he read the words I had written … words about him, our family, how much I love them and special highlights of our time together.
That is what I wanted to capture in this journal. Mission accomplished!
I want this journal to be something that brings my children and husband great comfort in the days ahead. If something should ever happen to me, and I pray to God that it doesn’t, they will have this journal to reflect back on. They will read the words of love that I have written in this journal and feel it … What a gift!
I actually started a journal years ago when my daughters were born. I have a journal specifically for my first born, and I have a journal specifically for my youngest daughter. These journals are more fancy than the simple little notebook that I’m writing in now, but these journals that I started for them way back when contain their “firsts.” The things that I want to preserve and hold on to – and when they are older, I will give these journals to them. I started writing these journals to them so that they would have something to hold on to and remember me by if God should take me home before they got a chance to know me, truly know me, and experience a relationship with me. Those journals for my girls are preserved within the walls of our fireproof safe now.
The gratitude journal that I started this year is now sitting in my living room on top of my laptop computer next to my chair. This is where I do all of my writing – from my blog posts – to words of love written on the pages of my journal.
Will you consider starting one today to capture moments you’d like to remember for the year 2015? Your loved ones will appreciate having this keepsake.
Here’s to long lives and many more memorable moments to come!