We were so thrilled to see the response to our exciting news about blessing journals last week! More than thirty of you have joined Spring’s Blessing Journal Facebook group to encourage each other and share ideas through 2013!!! You are awesome!!! If you want to start your own Blessing Journal group we would be thrilled to add you to our Blessing Journal Leaders Facebook Group to encourage you and give you ideas to help you throughout the year! Just send me a message in Facebook through Unwrapping His Grace Facebook page or leave a comment here and we’ll get you set up.
But you don’t have to be in a group in order to enjoy and use Blessing Journal Fridays here at Unwrapping His Grace. You and your family can follow along on your own…whatever works! Or it might be a special activity to do with your homeschool group…whatever works for you! There’s lots of flexibility! It is about what works for you or/and your family or/and husband!
Many of you have asked me to help you get started with your journals in this first week’s article. So this one is longer than the rest of the articles will be, but I hope that you find the information here helpful. If you have already made your journal, feel free to scroll to the end of the article where I share the reflection questions/idea for blessing others for this week.Here’s the secret to creating a Blessing Journal…it doesn’t have to be difficult. The secret is to keep it simple! Everyone has different gifts!
WHAT KIND OF JOURNAL YOU WANT TO USE
I chose to use a painting sketch book for my Blessing Journal. I have been wanting to get back into using creative ways of expressing myself…painting, color, paper art, just relax and get creative. My husband, before passing onto heaven, surprised me by purchasing some wonderful art supplies and art papers to convince me to get back into my art. So I thought this would be a good place to start.
But you don’t have to use art in your Blessing Journal! If you prefer to express your thoughts and ideas using words, then you might prefer to keep it even more simple and use something like my sons are and use a lined notebook.
What’s important isn’t what kind of journal you use. What’s important is that it works for YOU!
HOW I DECIDED WHAT TO PUT ON THE COVER OF MY BLESSING JOURNAL
Many of you have asked me how I decided what to put on the cover of my Blessing Journal, so I thought I would take a moment to give some helpful hints if you want to create one that is meaning for you.
- I used scrapbooking paper and chose one of my favorite colors as the background and I glued it onto the cover of my sketchbook using a glue stick.
- Then I used different colors of scrapbook paper and cut out the letters in Blessing Journal and placed them on in a way that I liked. If you aren’t sure how to do that, you can use letters from the craft aisle at your favorite discount store and use them or trace them on your favorite papers and cut them out. What is important is that you like it that it makes you smile and want to use your journal. This isn’t a contest!!! It is what works for YOU!
- The words and phrases that I glued to the front are things that inspire me or are blessings to me. I just used old magazines and looked for things that inspired me and cut out the words and attached them to the cover using my favorite glue stick! You can use pictures or whatever you want! Remember…this is YOUR journal!
- The Bible passage reference I wrote on the cover is the passage that is one that I am looking to for inspiration and encouragement this year. I am determined to memorize this one and others but this one has special meaning for me. Do you have a favorite passage that inspires you and helps you to see the blessings in your life and inspires and encourages you as you step out of your comfort zone to be a blessing to others? Then that is the passage reference to put on your own. Remember this is something that should be meaning to you. It is your journal!
WHAT DO I PUT INSIDE OF MY BLESSING JOURNAL?
I made a special section at the beginning of my Blessing Journal to help me stay on track with my focus of Blessing for 2013. If you want to see what I put in that section, please check out the article I published on January first entitled “Focus on Blessing in 2013″.
- I printed out a copy of what I call my “Life Verse for 2013″, my focus Scripture passage for 2013 and put it on one page. (Isaiah 43:16-20)
- I printed out a copy of the focus Scripture passage that speaks to my heart about why we need to always remember to reach out and bless and serve others. (Matthew 25:31-40) When we bless and serve the least of the people in this world we are doing it for CHRIST! Those are from Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of Matthew!
- And it really inspired me and my family to start stepping out of our comfort zones and reaching out to bless others just as God has blessed us. And it is amazing how doing that helps us feel better in our time of grieving. So this next page is a list of some ideas for ways we, as a family, and how I as Mom, can reach out and bless others in our family, our neighborhood, our town, country and the world. Remember…every little bit helps! And I want our children to grow up with a passion for serving others and in that serving God! So once a week, we will have one project to work on this kind of blessing.
- The next two pages are where I wrote my goals for keeping my focus and my family’s focus on how God is blessing us and how I will record the ways we are working on serving others for God…even on the toughest days. This was very important for us with it being the year following my Will/husband/Daddy going to heaven and us surviving a tragic car accident. Keeping our focus on the ways God is taking care of us and blessing us helps me to grieve without getting stuck in a deep depression. But for you your goals might look a little different. Remember they are your goals.
I hope that helps you see ONE way of setting up your Blessing Journal. You may decide to make yours a little different. And that is OK. I have a separate prayer journal to keep track of prayer requests and answers. This journal is completely focused on BLESSING and thanking God for all He is doing.
FIRST WEEK OF REFLECTION QUESTIONS AND IDEAS TO BLESS OTHERS
Each Friday I will share five reflection questions and ideas for one project to bless others. You and your family decide what days you journal.
This week’s reflection ideas/questions for adults and kids:
Day 1 Write or create or collage: A Bible verse or passage that helps you to remember the blessing that God is with you and will never leave you or forsake you. And write how it helps you feel loved.
Day 2 Write about or attach pictures of your husband or, if you aren’t married or are a child, a special friend and write some of the ways they blessed you in the last three days.
Day 3 Write about or attach pictures of one of your children or a child you love, if you don’t have children, who reminds you to see joy in the little things. Share one of the things they helped you to see joy in. If you are a child, write about a friend who helps you to remember the blessings in your life when you are having a bad day and one blessing they helped you to see.
Day 4 Write about or create something that reminds you of a blessing you received today that was in the midst of something that was hard for you. It could be a lesson you learned or something you learned about yourself through it or how you felt God carry you through it or how it helped you lean more on God because of all you went through during that trial.
Day 5 Blessing others Today let’s find ways to do something to bless someone in your family. It might be to give them a day off from doing a chore they would normally do but doing it for them to surprise them (but don’t tell them you did it). It might be to make their favorite meal or dessert. It might be to sit and listen to them talk about their day without interrupting. For our single women readers…don’t forget about extended family or your parents or siblings if they live around you. If they don’t live around you, you could do something for a co-worker that would bless them at work or for someone in your church. I hope that helps too. Write or create a picture that expresses what you did to bless them and who you blessed…and what happened.
I look forward to using these myself and with my boys this week. I hope you find them helpful, too. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts or see your pictures of your Blessing Journal. We invite you to share pictures of your journals in the Blessing Journal Facebook Group or on the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook page if you aren’t in a group.
Be sure to come back next Friday for a short Devotional on Blessing and five more days of Reflection questions/ideas to bless others.
I would love to hear how it goes in the comments below after you try this approach. If you have suggestions or ideas be sure to share those too so we can all encourage each other!
I would so love to hear your thoughts! Please share your comments below! I treasure each one as a gift and pray for each person who takes the time to share their thoughts and heart with me in this space…
Be sure to come back for Marriage Mondays for some encouragement in your marriage from Gina Marie…
Don’t miss a single post! Take a moment to sign up for the free updates through your E-Reader or in your email. And be sure to join the Unwrapping His Grace Facebook Community where you will find daily updates, Scripture, encouragement and opportunities to share prayer requests or follow us on Twitter!
Dancing at the foot of the Cross,