One of the coolest benefits of journaling (in my opinion) is it’s ability to connect us with the people we love in so many different ways! From marital relationships, to friendships, to parent-child relationships; journaling can aid in communicating, sharing special memories and creating a time-capsule filled with written treasures that your family will be able to experience for generations to come.
Now, you may be wondering… how on earth does journaling help me communicate or connect with other people?! Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve broken down a few different ways that YOU can use journaling, right now, to connect with those who mean most to you. Let’s dive in!
Connecting in Marriage:
In today’s culture it can feel nearly impossible to slow down with the jobs, the schedules, the activities, the responsibilities—nearly every couple I meet with in therapy is struggling to find time to connect, and we NEED desperately to connect. If you’re old fashioned like me, then the thought of writing out your undying love for one another sounds pretty dreamy…amirite?! Here are a few ideas of how you could use a journal to connect more with your spouse:
- Love Letter Journal: In a love letter journal, you do exactly what it sounds like you would do: write love letters to one another. You can use a plain journal and just take turns writing love notes. A schedule would be something agreed upon as well as where the journal would be kept. These would be fun to look back on through the years—a true testament to your love for one another.
- Conflict Resolution Journal: If you and your spouse are in a rut, have been super nit picky at each other and haven’t been able to communicate well, then maybe a Conflict Resolution Journal would be a good route! Grab two journals—one for each spouse— and when you start getting into a little spat, each of you take some time to sit down and write out your thoughts and emotions in each of your conflict resolution journals. Take as much time as you both need and then swap journals, discuss, and hopefully you’ll come to a resolution. Sometimes all we need is a little time to clarify our thoughts and settle our emotions. Things can get a little snippy when we we’re in the heat of the moment. Try this out and see what happens!
- Couple’s Prayer Journal: If you and your spouse haven’t yet gotten into the habit of praying together, this could be a great way to begin that discipline! This can look lots of different ways. You could both sit down and verbalize prayer requests while one person writes them down and then you could pray over them together; or you could each keep separate prayer journals where you pray specifically over your spouse and then when the journals are filled, you can swap them and read how your spouse has been praying over you the past several months. What a special journal that would be!
- What I love about you Journal: If you love words of affirmation, then this journal is going to be your JAM! You can buy a joint journal or separate (I would suggest separate) and then begin writing in it daily, each day writing out the things you love about your spouse. It can be something you love that they did that day, something they did in the past that you loved or just something about their character that you absolutely adore. If you keep separate journals, I would recommend waiting to share the journals until they are complete; that way you have an entire book of affirmations from your spouse at your disposal. However, I totally get the desire to share them daily also! It’s ultimately up to you and your spouse!
There are obviously a myriad of other ways that you could use journals within your marital relationship, but I hope this list inspired and encouraged you to give one of them a try!
Connecting in Friendships:
Friendships, especially healthy ones, are so good for the soul, and I have some fun ideas for how you and your friends can use journaling to connect and grow a deeper friendship!
- Sisterhood of the traveling journal: If you’ve ever seen “Sisterhood of the traveling pants” then you probably have a pretty good idea of how this journal might work—and it’s flippin’ awesome! Fiercely Penned will be coming out with a “Sisterhood” journal in 2024 that will provide an outline and fun optional prompts that will make journaling with your friends an epic experience! Until then, though, a plain journal will do just fine. This can really look however you want it to and the exchanges might be different depending on schedules, where you each reside and other variables. Grab a journal, grab some washi tape, some scrapbook paper and whatever else your crafty heart desires. Determine a time frame that works for both you and your friend(s) on how long each friend will have the journal and when the exchanges will take place. The next part depends on you and your friends! You can share the day to day of what happened to you over the course of your time with the journal; you can share emotions, thoughts, prayer requests, favorite scriptures, add movie tickets, pictures, whatever you want! Such a fun way to catch up with friends and create a friendship time-capsule!
- Friendship Prayer Journal: This is identical to the Couple’s prayer journal that I discussed in the section above, but obviously the friend version! Such a sweet experience to share with your Christian bestie!
- “Most likely to” Journal: This would be such a fun journal to pass around in order to understand how your friends see you and vise versa! Each friend writes “most likely to” statements about their other friends and then you pass it around and keep the trend going. Here’s an example: “Tiffany is most like to go on a reality TV show” or “Beth is most likely to survive in a zombie apocalypse”. You could really get creative with this one!
Connecting with your children:
As a mom to three beautiful children, I am extremely passionate about making meaningful and impactful relationships with my children. Let’s talk about how you can do that through the tool of journaling!
- Intention mom journal: Fiercely Penned has a prompted journal called the “Intentional Mom Journal” that includes approximately 22 prompts that are geared toward helping you be intentional with your kids and help you reflect on your motherhood experience. If you constantly feel like you are losing your patience with your kiddos, feeling stressed out, feeling at the end of your rope…this is the one for you! Several of the prompts directly involve your children, so it’s the perfect way to connect!
- Letters to you Journal: I love love love “letters to you” journals because they feel so timeless and intentional. Imagine your child graduates high school and they receive a box full of journals with pages that are filled with letters from you over the course of their childhood! I’m crying just thinking about it! What a special gift—a gift that never ends. They can read those journals over and over. They are basically personalized books just for them!
- Memory Keeping Journal: I need to start on these for my kids, pronto! They’re all at ages where they are saying the most hysterically cute things and I don’t want to forget a single one of them. Even if your kids are older, there are things I’m sure you want to remember; so you really can’t go wrong with a memory keeping journal! And every year, you can read the memories from the previous year with your kiddos and get a good laugh or cry out of the experience!
- My life story Journal: This one is a personal favorite, because I just so happened to get a journal of my great-grandma’s life that she gave to me before she died that I have been typing into a book! It’s been fascinating to hear her life story, the things she went through and what life was like when she was a child. I imagine it would be just as cool for your children to be able to read your life story as well—the coolest “book” they’ll ever read (besides the Bible, of course! Lol).
Journaling doesn’t just have to be for yourself; it can be for your relationships too! I hope this blog helped you open your mind to the possibilities of journaling with and for others. Comment below your favorite idea and the one you want to try; or any brilliant ideas that you would like to add to the list!
Happy Journaling and God Bless!