A journal of one's own

The girls in the very small children's program at my very small church are keeping a journal of what we are learning this year. Standard composition books were transformed in a decorating session. First, we cut their choice of scrapbook paper to fit the front and back covers. Next, they glued this paper onto the books. Finally, they decorated the covers with ribbons and stickers and all kinds of designs. (Try it, it's fun!) One girl asked if they could take the journals home and write down things they thought about or that happened to them during the week. Yes, of course, I said. Their eyes got wide at this ownership of the recording of their lives.

Ernst Dimnet, author of The Art of Thinking (1930) wrote,

“A diary, a few old letters, a few sheets containing thoughts or meditations, may keep up the connection between us today and our better selves of the past. I was deeply impressed as a youth by the advice of a spiritual writer to read one’s own spiritual notes preferably to even famous works. All saints seem to have done so. The moment we realize that any thought, ours or borrowed, is pregnant enough not to be wasted, or original enough not to be likely to come back again, we must fix it on paper. Our manuscripts should mirror our reading, our meditations, our ideals, and our approach to it in our lives. Anybody who has early taken the habit to record himself in that way knows that the loss of his papers would also mean a loss to his thinking possibilities.”