We love journalling here. It’s something pretty new to my oldest son but he really enjoys it. And I find as he does his Bible Study and prayer/devotion time each day, this is a great way for him to keep thoughts and inspirations at hand. As reminders of what he is praying for, seeking after, what God is doing in his life and the lives of those around him even. So I was quite interested in having my son use the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens. This is a very special journal produced by the Spiritual Circle Journal, meant to help give kids a bit more direction and focus in their quiet time in only 15 minutes each day. This is a 94 page journal with approximately sixty-five pages solely for journaling; a page for each day of the year and them a couple extra. There are also summary pages in the back that can be used to record meaningful verses, lessons learned, inspirations, God stories or character pages. Regardless there is LOTS of room in this journal for kids to really get creative and be inspired by their quiet time.
It is so important to our family that our children grow up not just knowing about God but knowing Him for themselves. That relationship matters so much! So I was giddy to see that this was the inspiration for this journal as well. In fact, I admit I am determined to get a copy of the adult version because I struggle myself with quiet time (imagine that in a house with four kiddos from 10 to 18 months haha). This journal isn’t just about journalling the way so many think of it; this goes much deeper. This is a tool for our kids to use to help them hear and see God’s hand in their lives. Every day. Ultimately as we complete this journal each day, we ought to grow closer to God and find a deeper love for Him too.
My oldest son is 10 (soon to be eleven) and he was really excited to get the chance to use this. We spent the first few days together going over all of the different areas to ensure he understood the purpose of each of them; we then shared examples of each of them. Some were very simple and he had no trouble at all completing them like: Lyric/Verse, Prayer and Actions. Others were more of a challenge and he had to dig a bit deeper, spend a bit more time in prayer and in his Bible. These were some concepts that I admit even I struggle with now and then: Lesson Learned/Lightbulb Moment, God Moving, Confession, Message. In every case though it was so powerful sitting and talking with my son. Sharing our struggles and our joys; learning how to slow down and listen for His still small voice. Testifying of God’s goodness because truly even the little things like the breath in our body and our walking feet are things we ought to praise Him for all the time!
By the third day my son was using this independently; in fact this quickly became something he would go to whenever he was struggling during the day, whether with his brother or sister, feeling tired or sick, or singing about the house (he is loving being able to jot down song lyrics that come to him during the day). One of the things we have been newly using is a morning basket, which includes our Bible and songs and scripture verses for memory….As you can imagine this goes along so very well with that! A great start to our day and a great way to get things back on track too when the day isn’t going quite so great.
Now every day wasn’t perfect. I caught my son tearing up one page in the journal after he “made a mistake” in one of the picture bubbles. And I am so glad that we used this as a way to move into a character lesson. We talked a lot about what mistakes are; how everyone makes them. This led into a wonderful lesson on how some mistakes are truly beautiful and we just need to take a moment to see the beauty in them. We also enjoyed (anytime he struggled) the Toby Mac song, “Get Back up” that was actually recommended in this journal. I loved the suggestion about using this as a lesson in perseverance. We have been really working on character this year with my oldest because it really does matter.
It was encouraging, really, to see my son taking the time each day to complete a page of this journal. Sometimes as a momma, its what inspires us and helps us to see that lessons really are being learned. Since my oldest is what I call a “stuffer” I really appreciate the interest and dedication he seems to be taking with journalling. Since he isn’t one to talk a lot about how he feels or what he is thinking, its good to know that he an outlet where he is expressing himself. It’s his safe place to think and pray and confess those things he just doesn’t want to say (like how annoying he thinks his sister is and how he really wishes he wasn’t the oldest). He also writes his prayers here; prayers for healing for those who are sick, and prayers for the hearts of the lost to soften to God. He writes his joys (like Cecilia from Junior Camp) and how he knows that without God he would not be so blessed with talent in drumming and memorizing the Word of God (He knows hundreds of verses by memory – amazing – I pray for that kind of ability myself)!
In so many ways this is a great blessing to this momma and especially to my son. My creative, God loving by who so many call the “little preacher”. As long as I can remember the hand of God has been so powerful in his life; a little boy with such great faith. This journal is a tool that can only strengthen his relationship with God and help him to have a greater understanding of the Word and what it means for his life. It’s also a wonderful way to slow down my always moving, always noise making boy. I love how this encourages him to slow down; he chooses to slow down. To take the time to close his eyes and really see. This is something we could all truly use more in our lives. To see the hand of God; to be so sensitive to the Spirit moving about us.