We all have stories. Whether we record those stories or not is up to us. I am a huge believer in writing down personal testimonies. I believe God values it. His Word reflects that. God knew it was vital that His Story be recorded so every generation would know Him. He also told His people to record their story. He told His people to remember all the things He had done. Why? Because He knows how easily we forget.
In the book of Joshua God parts the Jordan River so the Israelites can cross through it to the Promise Land. It’s a miracle. And when they got to the other side God told them to gather stones from the river and set them up as a monument to mark what He had just done for them. He wanted them to remember that miraculous moment because they were about face to some seemingly impossible trials of faith: battles, giants, being outnumbered, taking over a new land, establishing their nation. God knew they needed to remember that miracle to bolster their faith for the future.
The Bible is full of passages where God tells us “remember”, “write my Words”, “talk about my deeds with your children”, “do not forget”! Throughout my life I have set up many “Jordan Stones”. When I was in a terrible car accident, I kept a journal of my two-month recovery time. I wrote down how God sustained me. I wrote down how He miraculously grew my kidney back together, though it had been lacerated in two. When I battled with infertility before our first child, I wrote down the scriptures that comforted me. I wrote how God answered my persistent prayer to be pregnant. And years later, when I was worried or anxious or faced a trial, I went back to the journals and read them and remembered what God had done for me. And my faith was bolstered.
Are you married? Record your love story. Do you have children? Record your birth or adoption stories. Have you lost a loved one? Record their story. Have you traveled? Record your adventure stories.
Writing is not the only way to chronicle your story, or to remember life.
Art Journal: I’ve shared my art journal idea before (see May post) In it I record the seasons, holidays, Scripture, and meaningful quotes through fun doodles and calligraphy. At the end of the month, I write a quick one-page summary of highlights and lowlights of life.
Prayer Journal: This year I set out to record my prayers and God’s answers in journal form. Since I communicate/process best through writing, this method of praying has kept me focused, present, and intentional about my prayer life. And since I am forgetful, it’s exciting to read past prayers and see how God answered them.
Line-A-Day Diary: This little diary is set up for 5 years. At the end of the day, I record a line or two about life. I’m on year 3 now, so it’s really fun to read the past two years as I fill in each day. I’m surprised by how many things I’ve forgotten already, or how many little things have changed. I’m encouraged by how much God has been doing in my life and those I love. While I do record big exciting things, I try to record the little everyday things, like how my 3-yr old calls Chapstick “Chopstick” and says his lips are “so chopped!” Because one day he’ll just stop saying that and I’ll forget.
Book Diary: It’s fun to keep track of what I’m reading this year (especially since one of my 2018 goals was to get back to reading more.) I enjoy giving my own feedback and things I learned so I can go back and remember them. It also comes in handy when recommending books to people.
Sermon Notes: I find it very helpful to take sermon notes each Sunday. For one, it keeps me focused and keeps my mind from wandering to, say, story ideas! Later I’ll find a great Scripture or great quote from the sermon and record it in my art journal in a fun font. When I need to rehearse the Gospel, I can go back to my sermon notes and be strengthened.
Personal Planner: I actually am not sure what this genius thing is called! My sister-in-law called it my “brain on paper”. I found this at Michael’s Craft Store. You buy the cover, then you buy whichever insert booklets you want. They had tons: sermon notes, calendars, prayer requests, doodle pages, personal goals, etc. Then you insert the booklets into the cover via elastic bands. You can take them in and out, put them in different orders, etc. I have a calendar I use for this blog, sermon notes, and a blank notepad. Everything is all together and with me all the time.
I’ll end with a quote from my favorite current-day poet Tyler Knott Gregson:
Tell your story in the language that makes the most sense to you. Be it words, be it photographs, be it tattoos of ink. Tell your story, truthfully, and maybe they will listen.
Most importantly, record your story because it is just a little part of God’s bigger Story. Record it, lest you forget.