Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Journal!

"Capture the Norm"
The last talk I gave was on Gratitude--not the typical talk on gratitude for our Heavenly Father and the Savior, but showing appreciation to everyone in our lives as a way of showing God and Jesus our gratitude to them.  After recording the talk with a little tape recorder, I listened daily to it at least twice while taking my walk before arriving home.  I was so familiar with my talk by the time I gave it (I started about a month in advance--they give us a lot of notice), that I didn't have to use my notes as much as usual.  Later, I found that whenever my spirits were low, I could listen to the talk and it would always perk me up.  

A story from President Eyring that I shared in my talk inspired me to keep a gratitude journal much like his own ("O Remember, Remember," Ensign, Oct. 2007, 67).  To me, my blog really is a (homemaking) journal that I am leaving to my children and posterity.  It will be printed into book form.  Not only is the present recorded, but also a collection of the past which has brought so much back to my remembrance.  

I have learned to  keep a file of all my family member's talks for many years, and have recorded the recent talk I gave, as well as a few old ones, as blog posts.  I love to go through them and rediscover the teachings therein.  Reading my son's first talk which was on Father's Day brings tears to my eyes--how quickly they grow up!

When teaching a family history class at church, I discovered so many great talks including President Spencer W. Kimball's (1895-1985) "The Angels May Quote from It," (New Era, Oct. 1975, 4-5).  So it was no surprise how much I enjoyed reading the March 2011 New Era's article, "Remember to Remember," which referred to both President Eyring's and President Kimball's talks, both of which I was very familiar and highly recommend.  Many quotes by people such as these are also recorded in my journals and blog.

Newspaper Clippings
The article's suggestions work especially well for those of us who love to scrapbook.  Scrapbooks can contain special letters (such as those you write to your future self), newspaper clippings (photo-copied onto acid-free paper), and travel pages with maps, tickets, and brochures.  My scrapbooks contain many "everyday" shots, which the article recommends--they are not just for portraits!  You want to remember what your home looked like, including the bedrooms, exterior, gardens, kitchen--even the phone.  My advice, (which is what I have done for the past thirty years since I got my first camera), has been to always include at least one person (or a pet) in all of the pictures.  Believe it or not, the photos are soooo much more interesting.  Once-in-a-while, there might be a beautiful scenic shot or a picture with nature as the subject (such as when a hummingbird landed on my husband's finger in the garage), but most family photo album photos should include people.  

Include People!

Missionary Album
I am currently working on a "hall of fame" much like my Grandma Jordan had in her spacious, old-fashioned hall that will have family portraits and such to make this boring spot a little brighter.  Included in this hall will be a 12 x 12 framed scrapbook page of my husband's mission, which includes the Oakland Temple from thirty years ago.  I also made a smaller scrapbook of his mission, (small because he had a lot of pictures of "scenes" that I didn't find particularly interesting). In family home evening, we recorded my husband describing these photos to us and the background information which jogged his memory, and then we heard some really interesting stories!  I used this information to journal in his little missionary scrapbook, and kept the recording for anytime I need a good laugh.

My own scriptures are really another form of journaling for me.  I have developed a particular way to mark my scriptures--some of what I learned in seminary and BYU and some of my own making.  One thing that I do that might be unusual is to mark scriptures that are probably the origins of a heap of "sayings."  My grandma and mother always used the most interesting sayings, and I noticed that in a lot of historical fiction such as Gone with the Wind and the Little House series, many of these sayings are also found in the Bible.  Very few people use this picturesque, old way of speaking, although it is still prevalent among the elder folks in the south.  Many young people today have no clue what many sayings mean and really cannot understand fine literature or the King James version of the Bible.  Rather than clue them in, educators are dumbing the writings down!  My scriptures are yet another way for me to journal not only spiritual things, but also a way of recording these old sayings for my posterity.

Sometimes writing in an old-fashioned journal leads to writers-block.  Journal writing prompts are a great way to get you writing when you can't think of anything worth writing about.  Scrapbooking found on the Pages tabs of this blog, (listed under the blog title), has many handouts that I used for teaching scrapbook classes.  Some of these handouts lists photo journaling prompts for scrapbooks that would also work well for a traditional journal.  Also a list of writing prompts is found in "Remember to Remember" on page 19.  Here's a family history journal jar (more for adults) found at http://www.christysclipart.com on the Relief Society Page, (Christy's Clipart is also on Facebook).

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...