Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 4 and 5: The Journal Challenge

The inevitable has happened: I had a day that 1)was boring and 2)left me with very little energy to write in my journal. I have the answer to this problem, but I did not use it. I was too tired. For future reference, I am going to attach a link that may be helpful for those of you who want to write but either don't know where to start, or just feel like life is not currently interesting enough to write about. I am right now assuming that a quick google search will get me what I'm assuming exists on the internet.

(Cross your fingers, here it goes!! Don't fail me, google!!!)

This one has some that are more geared toward creative writing, but also has many good ones.

This one is also pretty good

But really, I don't love either. I now commit to compiling my own list of journal topics and tips for keeping a good journal.

(Finally I have some idea of what the heck to write about with this Perfect Month!)

More to come.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 2 and 3: The Journal Challenge

On day two I wrote about Lillian's first and second days of day care. Today I spent the majority of my journaling time consolidating old typed entries into one file. My dad has a great word format that he's created for his journal and he sent me a copy of the format so I could use it. Funny how things like that make all the difference.

By the way, armed with this great method of journaling, I am decided. I am not ever going back to hand-writing my journal. This is just too much faster.

Always. And. Forever.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 1: The Journal Challenge

When I was five years old, my sister, Duz, scribed my first journal for me. She would ask me questions about my day and then write my answers down for me. I'm not sure how many full volumes of handwritten journals I have written since then, but there are lots.

So why am I doing journal writing as my third "Perfect Month?" Confession time. I have written a total of about seven journal entries in the last three years of my life. I guess getting married, graduating from college, having a baby, and moving across the country to Graduate school just didn't seem like worthwhile content. (Sigh).

I am seriously repentant about my lack of writing during these life-changing experiences. Coming back to keeping a journal after all those changes is a bit intimidating. I think that is what has continued to keep me from getting back into journal-keeping.

Want to know how I'm approaching it? Today I wrote about everything Lilly is doing now: the words she knows, her favorite things to do, her first day of day care, etc. I am making no attempt to catch up on three years of missed journaling. For me, this is the only way. It is far too overwhelming otherwise.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Month Three: The Journal Challenge

The Challenge:

Spend at least fifteen minutes writing in my journal every day for a month.

Although journaling has been on my mind for a long time (we're talking at least three years) I have managed to put it off over and over. This time, there is no escape for journaling. It's. Going. DOWN. Booyah.

The challenge starts tomorrow (August 6, 2012) and ends September 6, 2012. Anyone want to join me on this one?

Days 26-31: The Scripture Challenge

It's time for the wrap up, already!

This month was the "Perfect Month" of scripture study. I studied my scriptures for 30 minutes every day for a month and it was wonderful.

I learned a few important lessons through this process.

1. For me, 30 minutes of reading is not the same as 30 minutes of studying. Whenever I spent the entire 30 minutes reading, my study was inferior and I came away with fewer insights and less spiritual uplift. What seemed to work best for me was to read, pray, and ponder as the spirit prompted me. At times, this meant reading a line and spending the next ten minutes writing my thoughts. At other times, it meant praying to God about something that came to mind while I read, whether it seemed directly connected or not. Often I found that by following my thoughts wherever they took me, I learned what my Heavenly Father wanted me to.

2. Discussing what you study whether in a blog post or with my husband or friend served as a good way for me to review the points that stuck with me and try to gain a better understanding of why they stuck.

3. Paying attention to the big picture helps you see glimpses into God's plan for you. Having this blog as I went through the month made it easier for me to see the Lord's lesson plan. As I reviewed what I'd learned from beginning to end I watched the whole month's insights come full circle into a complete and beautiful lesson that the Lord prepared specifically for me and according to my current needs.

I'd like to share a bit of what I learned from point three. When I began this month  I felt like my faith was at a weak point so I began my study by focusing on the topic of faith. As I let the spirit guide my reading over the next few days I was led to study love. I learned that I am extremely selective about the people I choose for heroes and I learned that I need not be. People everywhere are worthy of the title "hero." It takes a heart full of love to discover in what way each person in your life deserves that title. 

I have always wondered why the scriptures often connect faith, hope, and charity. Faith and hope seem clearly related but I wondered what charity had to do with the other two. As the Lord has worked His miracles in my life this month, I found that learning to love as Christ does automatically builds hope and faith. My faith is no longer a concern to me and I finally understand the connection between the three. This is by far the greatest blessing and lesson that I have taken from this month.