Why I Journal (and a Peek into my Art Journal)
A couple of nights ago I stumbled upon a journal I had forgotten all about. I saw it up high on the shelf in my closet and didn’t recognize the cover or have any memories associated with it at all. I pulled the journal down, dusted it off and began flipping through.
The journal automatically opened to a page toward the back. It contained a poem my mom had written for us when an adoption fell through. Immediately tears sprang to my eyes. I remembered clearly those dark days. Our adoption journey was long, our hearts were heavy and we had little hope left.
I flipped more pages and read about the generosity and support of our families. Details I had forgotten, like the flowers they sent and the kind words of encouragement we received via text, email and phone calls. They were outlandishly generous, in some cases.
Tangent: I’m going to make a bold statement here: if someone you love is on the path of infertility/adoption, I can almost guarantee that finances are their number one stressor. Infertility treatments are very expensive. Adoption is very expensive –not always, but usually–. If you are feeling helpless, but want to offer your love and assistance in their time of need, and if you are able, a financial donation to their adoption/medical expenses is the absolute best thing you can give them. Please excuse me if it seems tacky to talk about this; I know finances are such a private and taboo subject.
The stress of paying for an adoption was crippling to us. It took literally every penny we had saved and then some. At a time in our lives when we were already feeling broken and heartsick, having to stress about coming up with money only compounded the fear and anxiety we were feeling constantly. We were blessed to receive some generous gifts that overwhelmed and humbled us. Looking back, it feels miraculous as we see exactly what point in our journey these financial blessings came. They came right when we were at our lowest, a gift from a loving Heavenly Father given through beautiful people in touch with the spirit. An absolute answer to our prayers.
End Tangent. 🙂
I stayed up way too late that night, turning pages in that forgotten journal. I read about funny things the kids had done, a trip we’d taken that I hardly remember because I was so focused on being out of service when we received a phone call for a potential adoptive placement. I remember pacing on a beach, praying the connection would hold, while I answered question after question for the caseworker.
Page after page of miracles, details I’d forgotten, descriptions of our lives. I read passage after passage to Jason and we reminisced together. This is why I journal. Because now, looking back, I see God’s hand in every one of those recorded memories. In the generosity we received, in the fact that we even had cell phone coverage on that tiny section of beach where I was pacing, in the highlights and sweet every day moments I had forgotten about.
How my journal looks has changed over the years. I spend more time expressing myself through art now than I did back then, but writing down blessings is still a major part of my journal. It helps me focus on the positive in the moment, as I look for happy things to write about each day. But it also serves as a record of the miracles in process, as I write the details over the years and I can see how long ago prayers were answered. Maybe not in my timeline, but definitely according to God’s plan for me.
These photos are from my current journal, and contain a few pages with my latest obsession (stamp carving! So fun!)