Posted by: christinelaennec | April 7, 2013

New Every Morning

I’ve been using a new kind of journal recently.  I should explain that I’m one of these compulsive diary-keepers who likes to write down what happened (or what I thought happened, or what I’m worried might happen, etc.!) at the end of every day.  I can’t really account for this strange habit, and I often wonder why I do it.  But when I stop keeping my diary for any length of time I get jittery, and I feel like life is slipping away from me – so I’ve accepted that it’s something I need to do to keep on an even keel.  And in the past year or so, it’s been absolutely vital to me.

I took a chance and ordered a copy of Ellie Claire’s New Every Morning journal a while back.  I have to say I’ve really enjoyed using it.  As you can see, it has Christian quotes on the left hand page, and space to write on the right-hand page.

(If you want to read the quotes, you can click on the photo so it appears large on your screen.  I liked this page because it has a quote by Izaak Walton.  Michael and I had a memorable Christmas visit to the Izaak Walton Inn, in Glacier National Park, once.  The train stops nearby and people help you out into the snow and to the hotel.)

Every New Morning

New Every Morning

What I’ve found myself doing is, after I write about the events of the day, I turn the page and read the quotes for the next day, underlining any bits that I particularly like.  Then the next evening I am essentially re-reading the quotes on the left-hand side, which gives me a feeling of having had a bit more time to soak them up.

The challenge has been to limit myself to one page per day, but that’s also been a benefit insofar as it makes me think of what’s most important.  However, once I finish with this journal I think I’ll be glad to be released back into unlimited white pages.  I’ll miss the quotes though!  As an academic, I am a little bit bothered that the quotes are only accompanied by the author’s name and no more.  But in this day of the internet, if I wanted to pin one of them down, I probably could.

I’ve also found the title encouraging.  When the day has been really stressful or worrying, I’m reminded that tomorrow is a fresh start.  A dear friend said something to me that has been very helpful to remember:  “Every morning brings you closer to being settled in your new home.”  And this journal reminds me of that truth.

I realise that many people aren’t interested in Christian quotations, but this format could be a really good one for any kind of focus.  You could make up your own book!

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Responses

  1. I think that’s a wonderful way to focus your thoughts each day. I’ve tried keeping a diary several times but have never been able to keep it up for long. My dad’s a keen diarist and all the facts he records each day (typed up in Word, rather than hand written) are often very useful for referring back to, but I don’t think I could be so scientific in my approach. Do you keep your old diaries and re-read them ever? I think that might be my reason for not writing one, I don’t know what I’d do with it afterwards. It would be good writing practice, if nothing else, mind you.

  2. For years, I’ve had the best intentions of keeping a diary/journal. Sadly, I am possibly the worst note-taker, diarist in history. I admire anyone disciplined enough to keep regular records of their thoughts and observations. The closest I get, is blogging.

  3. Your journal looks wonderful! I like the idea of positive and encouraging quotes every day! My journal is a blank one, so I can write as much or as little as I like. I get jittery if I have one with pre-printed dates in it, as I feel like I ought to write in it every day. (silly eh?) xx

  4. I really like this journal, Christine – the way i lifts you for the next day, especially when difficulties occurred today. I need a journal like that – I tend to get “stuck” on a bad day, and have trouble moving on. ❤

  5. really lovely and timely for me. good reminders of what my focus should be today. it reminded me i just took a book out from the library that had Thomas Merton’s works in it … i haven’t made a start on it; maybe i will do that today. i also keep a journal but not in a true sense of it being daily but it’s more a random dose of outpourings on a page.

  6. New Every Morning, one of my favourite hymns. Like the first dawning. I kept a diary from the age of about 10 til – well I guess til I started blogging. My problem is what do I do with them – in a large box in the garage.I think I should burn them, my daughters say no. Hmmm. Do I really want them to know what I got up to!

  7. Very nice diary, and the quotes are almost like a meditation for the day.

    It’s interesting to learn how someone else approaches keeping a journal. I’ve tried, but just cringe when I read over past entries. I greatly enjoyed Samuel Pepys’ Diary, but then he had a very interesting position in place and time. It’s funny to think that you might be recording something valuable, but never know it in your lifetime!

  8. Your journal is lovely, Christine. The comments above interestingly reflect some of my thoughts and experiences with journaling as well. This year I am using the YouVersion on line note feature in the Life Journal Reading Plan. As I read through Scripture I try to type an observation, personal application, and prayer response to what I have read. I have a whole shelf full of journals from past years and like the feel of paper and pen…but my computer is much tidier 🙂
    Gracie

  9. I like your journal – nice to have inspired quotes as you journal. I keep a photo journal along with some written words.. If I could write as well as you I’d be more up to writing more… Glad you keep a journal one day grand kids will be enchanted and mesmerized by all your experiences.. Keep it up!
    Hugs

  10. I starte blogging and quit journaling. Really, though, blogging always has an audience in mind. Journaling is therapeutic in a very private sort of way.

    New very morning is an important thought to keep in front of us.

    Is your weather turning?

  11. Oh yes! I am a compulsive diary keeper too. 🙂 I always think I might stop and then I think what a shame since I have daily diaries back to when I was 11 years old! Recently I found out it runs in my family! my great-great grandfather, great grandfather and grandmother all kept daily diaries!

    I like your plan for reading and soaking in the quotes.

  12. It’s lovely to look back and see what the concerns and pleasures of the day were! A nice way to ‘grow’ and reflect. It’s always nice to have an inspirational quote to look forward to every day. It keeps the balance and focus on the positive aspects of life. So very important when dealing with challenges. I am not a daily journal writer, but I do get the urge occasionally and keep an ‘occasional’ journal. I like to re-read it now and again. xx

  13. Dear all,

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. It’s fascinating to read about how each person approaches journaling, especially now that we have so many different options for recording our lives.

    I generally don’t reread my old diaries, or if I do, not until at least 10 years have passed! It certainly is an exercise in compassion, even then. At the very same time, they have helped me to rediscover so much past happiness, jokes and laughter. I’ve wondered about what to do with them all (mine go back to age 8, so 44 years’ worth, yikes!). I wanted to throw most of them out when we last moved house, but Michael said “No! Then you won’t have an oeuvre complète!” which of course was extremely flattering. At this point I think I will leave the decision for another time in the future and just keep piling them up. Heather, perhaps our great-grandchildren will find something in them! (Or not!)

    I do really enjoy reading other people’s (published) diaries, and not just famous people who lived in interesting times but the diaries of ordinary people. I was SO disappointed when I realised that Margaret Forster’s Diary of An Ordinary Woman was fictional and not an actual diary. The edition that I read didn’t have the “A Novel” clue anywhere on it! I don’t know why it matters so much that it was made up by a talented writer, rather than being the real inner workings of an actual person – but it does to me.

  14. I too have had good intentions of journaling everyday only to fall short of my goal. Thank you for the inspiration.


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