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The Power of Journal Writing

Have you ever kept a diary or journal?  I have through different phases of my life.

When I was a teenager, I kept a diary of dreams.  Every time I woke up and remembered what I was dreaming - even in the middle of the night - I wrote a detailed account of it.  To this day, 20 years later, I can still read those dreams and they develop just as clearly in my head as if it were a fresh new dream. 

I've written songs in my dreams, I've played anything on the piano that I felt like in my dreams, I've had great ideas in my dreams.  I don't write all my dreams down anymore, but I do write down ideas that I have in the middle of the night; because if I don't, they're gone in the morning.

It's amazing how just writing something down in a journal can trigger something in your mind that you'd otherwise have forgotten.

I've also kept a prayer journal.  I made a list of things to be thankful for, a list of requests, the date I started praying for them, and the answer I got:  yes, no, waiting.  I started that as a teen too.  I've done that off and on through the years.  Each time I expect there to be a big column of "no's"; but instead, it's always a big column of "yes".  It's an awesome visual demonstration of how many prayer requests do get answered, and how I'd never have realized it if I hadn't of kept the diary.

Journal writing is a powerful way to reveal things we wouldn't have realized otherwise.

I also faithfully kept a journal the first three years were were married.  I can go back and read those pages and still feel the excitement, fright, happiness, and sadness of different events we experienced during those three years.  Adventures in the Philippines that you'd never imagine - including surviving the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

Journal writing is a powerful way to remember lessons we've learned in life.

And journals are not only valuable to us.  They are valuable to those who survive us.

Did you know that President Ronald Reagan kept a journal?  The man you'd imagine to be the busiest in the United States, the man who worked until 2 a.m. - he kept a journal. 

And a lot of the documentaries that were playing after his death included excerpts from his journal that revealed valuable information about his thinking.

Why?  I think he knew the power of written words.  Their ability to motivate, to encourage, to clarify, to relax, and to focus.

At the beginning of this week, start a diary.  Choose something that's important to you right now.  Do it alone, or do it as a family.  You'll learn and get more out of it than you'd ever imagine.

Now, to switch gears:

From the response from yesterday's question about books to read to preschooler's, I've made a new page that is a Preschool Reading List.  Click here to see the list:

I hope that will be of assistance to you!


Laura Bankston

P.S.  Ronald Reagan kept a journal because he knew the power of the written word.  Do you?

P.P.S.  See the new preschool reading list


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Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum:  ï¿œHomeschool Cooking in a Boxï¿œ and the ï¿œHomeschool Cookbookï¿œ.  She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business.  For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit


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