""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A journal to be shared

In 2003 we moved from our home of 23 years and began life in a new home. With the first holiday season in this new home I started a holiday journal, a journal which now contains many pages of reflections on family holiday celebrations.  This isn't a private journal, but a journal to be shared.  In the first year, when we had a joyful houseful of guests for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I asked everyone who was willing to write something in the journal. There were 13 entries that year. In the years since, when we haven't had as many family members here to write directly in the journal, I've asked that others send me something to place in it - and so I've stapled e-mails and stationary in the pages. When Hal wrote columns about the holidays, I put those in the journal, too.  In 2007, the year we were blessed with three additional grandchildren, I included the photo from our Christmas card.

Each year at Thanksgiving I bring this journal out and re-read the entries from years past. I am reminded once again of the great gifts we have been given even as we've suffered the inevitable losses of living in this world.
We've rejoiced at the marriage of our son and my brother and at the births of six grandchildren. Twice we've woken the day after Christmas to find snow falling. We've gathered on Thanksgiving in five different homes, all of them warm and inviting and full of love. Family members have been diagnosed and treated for cancer, have undergone and healed from surgery, have graduated from high school and college. Our children have moved to new homes.  Our son graduated from law school, our son-in-law took the bold step of going back to school to become an orthodontist, our daughter will graduate in May with a Master of Library Science degree. We've grieved the loss of both of Hal's parents and my father.  We've made the decision to focus on the gift of presence rather than presents.  As the years have passed so swiftly, we have found comfort in our traditions while embracing new ones.  We have been strengthened and blessed by our love for one another.  We look forward with hope to what the new year will bring.
I only wish that I had started this journal many years ago.
Blessings to all of you in this new year!

6 comments:

Donna said...

lovely post and words...I love the journal and your blessing bowl...I have started to journal as a way to help heal my mind and body and it helps inspire my blog...blessings to you and your family...Happy New Yes=ar

Debra said...

What a beautiful and meaningful statement, “We've made the decision to focus on the gift of presence rather than presents.”
I’m with you on this one Ginny.

Wishing you all a blessed new year ahead, and more special holiday memories!

SJ said...

What a wonderful idea. I often pull together scrapbooks that depict particular moments in time but I never carry them on.

With more grandchildren, there will be even more memories to capture. It's my first time here but I look forward to reading more.

Hostel Tinktinkie, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita said...

I love the journal idea! This is really something to treasure! I am sure you will be adding a lot of new memories in this precious journal.

God bless!
Nelieta

Mary said...

I scrap book and have many from over the years, but an ongoing journal during a specific time of year, each year, is a spectacular idea. And what a wonderful tradition it could become to be shared with generations on end. Thank you so much!

Hanni said...

Wonderful idea. Someone I know did something similar - they had it set out almost like a guest book so anyone who entered their home could write down a gift of God they were thankful for.