In the old days, women used to keep diaries. They would write about the weather, and the crops, and the latest gossip in their neighborhoods. But then, back in those days, women also wrote letters to family and friends who lived long distances away. That was their only way to communicate, since they didn’t have telephones . . . or cell phones, or email, or fax, or Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or Pinterest. How boring that must have been!
But to read those old letters now is an amazing discovery of what life was like for women (and men) long before technology interrupted our slower, more intentional and necessary means of communication. We rarely write actual letters any more. My inbox is filled with short and sweet email messages from friends around the globe, announcements of this or that new product that tell me I just simply will not be able to survive without it, bills to be paid, and reminders of bills that I forgot to pay, and offers that just cannot be resisted. Very little real communication goes on in these cryptic messages now that we’ve all learned how to present our thoughts in 140 characters or less.
Some days don’t you want to slow down a bit, and take time to remember? Have you ever watched a child, or a teenager, or a young adult sit down with a scrapbook and slowly look at every picture and read every line that is written about them and their life? I think that we are missing so much these days as we rush from one event to the next (I know because I do it everyday with two teenagers that still need to be transported from one end of the county to the other, usually on the same day and at the same time, one going one way and the other one going a different way) – and I sometimes want to STOP. Just stop for a few minutes and remember.
I’ve kept journals for years (and years and years!) and I know how important it is to capture those moments of life that you are sure that you will remember – but if you don’t write them down or take a picture, I promise you . . . you will forget. Keeping a journal (or scrapbooks) is not only a good way to keep those memories in your heart, but it is also a gift to give to our children and their children. My journaling journey has not been without major bumps, interruptions, U-turns, and long-term wandering in the silence of heart break. So I stopped. For many years, I didn’t write anything because I was too afraid to see in black and white words on a page what I was really feeling, thinking, and experiencing. Those memories are mostly lost in the mists of time and in some cases that is a good thing.
But I also missed the good memories. The scrapbooks that I have kept over the years have helped with that, and now that it is so much easier to keep our personal thoughts and ideas in an online “journal,” our blogs and websites, I’m afraid we will miss part of the joy of journaling. There is something about looking back at one’s own handwriting (and then passing that on to our children) that is so much more personal and intimate than the words I write on my blogs. But there is a place for both, especially if you can type almost as fast as you can think instead of losing an idea because it takes too long to write it out by hand. We are truly blessed to have so many options for taking time to remember.
One of my goals in 2017 is not only to return to journaling, the handwritten kind along with my blogs, but to continue to create handcrafted journals that others can use in their adventure in journaling. I’ve also been updating my Etsy shops along with my blog, so I’ve been busy! I hope you aren’t as scatter-brained as I am about these things, but I have had my Etsy shops for just about the same length of time as I’ve been blogging, but somehow they got all tangled up between blogs, email addresses, and shops so this week I’m in the process of sorting all of that out, too.
Well, that’s enough about my journaling journey for today, so I’ll just leave you with a few images of the most recent journals I have created. They all have blank pages so they can be used as a daily diary type journal, or a prayer journal, or a journal for your kiddos, or grand-kiddos, or any other use that you might need for journaling. They will be available in my Etsy shop, Vintage Mama’s Cottage, very soon along with a few other things that I’ve been working on. Sometimes I just wish I could do it all, twice, yesterday . . . . but I must remind myself that I am not Wonder Woman, especially after I’ve been sick with the flu for over a week. I need to remind myself to slow down a bit and take time to remember. I hope you’ll join me!
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