Hey guys! I hope you had a lovely week and are enjoying the warmer weather these days. It's been awhile since I've been here... but I'm glad to be back! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter season and feel refreshed and renewed :).
So today I want to talk about this topic of remembering..... the good. I was going through some old journals and realized that in many of them, I'm either complaining or just focusing on myself in general. And I thought to myself, Where are all the happy moments?? This can't be all that was going on in my life... It's so easy to focus on the negative. But that's not how I want to remember my one and only short life!
Recently, I started a few new practices that have changed the way I look back at my life in retrospect. Some of these I just started, some of these I have been doing for awhile now. But all of them have been making me feel immensely more grateful; they are easy and fun ways I can document the good so that later on I can look at my life with a sweet aftertaste...
When we go through the struggle of every day life, it can be easy to focus on the hardships-- and forget the good things God is blessing us with. One Pagers are one way to highlight the blessings. Over time, you will look back at all the blessings and see how wonderful your life really is, and the hard things will pale in comparison.
Each night or so, I sit down and think of something wonderful that happened that day/week that I want to remember. I think of a title I want to represent that day and punch it into my label maker, and then I write a short snippet of that memory below, no longer than 1 page.
I bought this little book from Anthropologie (everything is on sale now... snagged it for $5!). And a retro label maker (only $10 from Target).
Now, when I flip back through my journal, I have pages and pages of wonderful memories. When we remember our life, we don't remember whole days but tiny instances from our days... this is what I'm capturing in all of my one-pagers.
What I love about this practice is that the pages are so small, requiring such minimal effort.... yet it gives back so much. It maybe takes me 10 minutes to write a page.
Make this part of your evening routine! Wind down with a tea and write a memory... you won't regret it!
2) The Art of Being Answered
The Art of Being Answered is a practice that I reallllly love because it allows you to spend time looking back on your life and all the ways God has answered you. I do this one maybe once every few months, and it gives me a taste of all the good moments happening in my life during that season. And it only requires writing one word or phrase... perfect for those of you who don't like to write but like to remember :).
This is the handmade journal I'm currently using for this practice (email me if you'd like me to make one for you as well: firstname.lastname@example.org).
So how to practice the Art of Being Answered:
Get an art journal (I recommend keeping this separate from your one-pager journal to allow for drawing room). Open to the first page and draw some repeating patterns/shapes with a thin sharpie or pen. They don't have to be perfect or pretty. The colors will help with that :).
Now come the water colors. Put on some music, have some tea, and paint in the shapes. Pick 2-3 colors only (so that the page has a color theme). As you paint, you can use this time to clear your mind and call the Holy Spirit to show your heart what God has done for you.
As your paint starts to dry, go ahead and start to label each shape with one word/phrase that represents one way God has answered your prayers. This can be gifts God has given you that you didn't even know you needed, or things you've prayed for for a long time. Be sure to date and title the page once you're done!
What I love about the Art of Being Answered is that you don't have to be an artist for this to be magical every time! Each time I revisit my paintings, I get this warm feeling of all the good things God has given me. I remember specific seasons in my life better because instead of having memories divided between pages, all those moments are all on one page for me to gaze on and take in...
3) Make a Photo Book
Ever feel like you have a million pictures in your phone but never really go back and enjoy any them? You're not alone. I have thousands of photos in my phone and barely every "enjoy" them. Scrolling through on accident to retrieve something else in the past photos does not count.
We simply were not made to stare at screens, and this next tip will help you get intentional about the memories you want to remember.
How to make a photo book:
Every year or two, go through your phone and pick about 50 moments that you want to remember. I know, 50 is not a big number and you have thousands of photos. This is going to force you to be intentional about the memories you choose. But trust me. Less is more. Instead of having 3 pictures of the same event, you will choose just 1. This will allow you to learn discipline, intentionality, and in the end, enable you to truly enjoy and cherish the photos you do choose.
The photo book:
This part's up to you. You can either buy a book and paste the photos there or order one online such as Shutterfly. I personally like to physically paste my photos in a book and write a note below each photo since it's more tangible and helps me to connect with those moments better.
Sometimes I close the book with a letter to myself about the lessons I learned, things I want to remember the most during that time. It's always so satisfying to go back and receive some thoughtful words from my past self addressed to my present self...
And there you have it! Three ways that will help you look back on your life and realize what a gift your life truly is ✨✨✨.
One of my favorite things to do when I am having a bad day is look through my old journals and photo books. It is something so comforting and therapeutic... each book reminds me that God has given me so much!
I hope this post gave you some ideas to help you live your life with more gratitude and joy, and to find ways to magnify the good in your life... 💖
Lots of love,