Thursday, February 20, 2014

Journal Circle: Family Stories

Welcome back to the monthly gathering of Journal Circle!

Last month, I kicked off this new feature discussing journaling in all its forms.  I was shocked, yet excited about the response that it received and I really enjoyed reading what others had to contribute.  Before we move on to this month's topic, I want to share with you the links from last month's contributors . . .

Thank you to Joy and Jenna for sharing!

This month, I want to talk about something that I have been writing about in my own personal journal:  family stories.  A few weeks ago, I found a little note that I received after my great grandmother passed away back in the late 90's.  I included it in my journal and found myself writing about this amazing woman.  This woman who was the youngest of many children and never expected to live beyond her toddler years.  She was a woman who defied all odds, outliving all of her siblings and living to an older age than any of her other siblings.  She stood only about half my height, but had the spunk of a giant.

It was so pleasant to remember this woman and write down a few of my favorite memories of her, both personal stories and my favorite stories shared with me by her children (i.e., my grandfather).  It spurred me to write more of these stories down, both of family members who are no longer with us and for those who I interact with on a regular basis today.  I found myself wanting to continue documenting these stories, maybe even to pass on to my own children someday.  Afterall, they have been asking more and more over the last couple of months about their own stories ... what they were like as babies, what were their first words, and my favorite memories of when they were younger.  I now have the desire to document these tales in my own journal instead of just sharing them verbally.  Here are a few stories that I have already worked on within my pages or intend to work on in the days to come . . .
  • The Day You Were Born
  • Playing Nertz Into the Daylight Hours
  • Favorite Memories of My Father
  • My Grandfather's Music
  • Road Trippin'

I also plan to share some family trees, either something I can print (like here or here) to insert in my journal or I may try my hand at drawing or doodling my own.  As I have previously mentioned, I do not consider myself to be artistic, but I have found myself using more color and drawings in my journal these days thanks to the inspiration of other's (like Jenna above!).

It has been pleasant to revisit these memories.  And, I recently read that there is even more benefits to sharing these family stories, particularly with your children.  It gives me even more reason to keep writing them down, both from my past and my present.

Please share your own links to blog posts about what you have been writing, pictures you have shared of your art journals, and books you have read on the subject below.

Next Journal Circle:  March 20, 2014

What have you been journaling this month?  Do you find yourself documenting your family stories?  What kind of tales do you preserve in your pages?


  1. This is a wonderful idea generally, and family stories are very important to me, as well. I have little family left, so I am the living repository of some stories that would disappear if I didn't record them somewhere.

    1. JNC ... You should definitely write them down! I've actually been contemplating a little project myself of more intense family stories. I just need to figure out the logistics since I currently live so far away from my family right now.

  2. I have a passion, a HUGE passion, for sharing family stories. We do talk to our kids a lot about stories, but I still feel it's not enough. Lately, I too have been feeling the need to write more stories down, from my own life, but it just gets put on the back burner, which is so frustrating.

    Love your list of stories! Yay for Nertz! We did the same thing. :) My list of stories to tell is really long. I'll ponder a blog post about it.

    I'd still like to share some of my life stories on my blog, but I feel a bit weird about it. I did a few, but then stopped. What do you think about it? Are those sorts of stories too personal? Or is it fun to share them and maybe get others to do the same?

    1. Suey ... I really want to do more family stories, especially considering that my grandmothers are not in the best of health these days. I regret not documenting more stories through my father before he passed. I want to be able to share these with my kids someday.

      I remember when you wrote some life stories on your blog and I really enjoyed reading them. Personally, I don't like to share some stuff online, but on the other hand, I love reading it! Is that weird?!? It helps to spur ideas and memories in my own past. Maybe there is a happy medium. I don't have the answer and I think a lot of it depends on how comfortable you feel in writing them publicly.

      Nertz is one of my all-time favorite games!!! I wish I knew more people who play now. I grew up playing it into the wee hours of the morning with my great grandmother and cousins. So many good memories!!

  3. I love the idea of journaling about family... it is something i certainly don't do near enough. I think that I am going to use your idea of a family tree to ease into journaling about my family & heritage!

    I'm also so flattered that you said my journal has inspired you! :) :) Thanks hun!!

    I will post my journal circle this weekend when I can get a few photos together of my journal... I want to share my January gratitude calendar now that it is finished!

    1. Jenna ... If you draw a family tree, I really want to see it!! I love your creativity in your drawing!! You truly do inspire me!!

      I can't wait to see your post! :)


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