02 December 2011

On Journaling: Ashley's Story (plus a giveaway)

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Hello! I am Ashley and write over at Events By Ashley. Most people who know me are well aware of the fact that I am easily distracted and mildly forgetful! In my opinion, my forgetfulness is a blessing and yet a curse when I am already late and I can not find my cell phone or when I forget to look at my speedometer while belting out my favorite song and out of the corner of my eye, I see the dreaded red and blue lights flashing, growing brighter in my rear view mirror....oops. I decided at the age of 14, that journaling would be what would save my memory and literally, my life!


I was adopted when I was seven years old to a family who loved Jesus. My mother encouraged me to write down my thoughts and feelings in a spiral notebook, but it took me about 7 years before I realized the importance of sharing, rather than stuffing my thoughts and emotions. For me journaling became a place of safety. A place to sit and be still and hear from my Savior. I was not the kind of person that could say a prayer before I went to sleep as my mind would start wondering...."I wonder why the fan is shaking like that? or "Lets see, how many hours till mom comes in singing that annoying 'Give God the Glory, Glory Song?'" Oh brother, now I can not stop singing it....Distractions are huge in our lives, no matter how large or small. Writing forced me to focus on what I was doing or thinking.


My journals are filled with prayers of praise, pain, thanksgiving, anguish, thoughts and encouragement from friends and family, love notes to the boys I was dating, and now husband, frustrations, questions for our Lord, daily descriptions of  activities and trips. Some pages are dated, but I simply had no words so they became unwritten prayers or thoughts. There were times that I went months without opening the pages or writing a single letter, but journaling allowed me to see inside myself, to figure out who I was created to be....the good, the bad and the ugly.


As I look through the pages of each journal, I am in awe of the healing and growth that I have done over the span of 15 years. It brings me complete peace to see how I have been able to overcome some of the trials in my life and triumph joyfully after seeing how God faithfully prepared the way when I doubted He had the plans for my life in His hands perfectly layed out.....hmm mmm....without my help. What a great example we can show our kids, of how God truly does have a plan for our lives like Jeremiah 29:11 says. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Through Journaling, I have found so much peace and joy!
Don't know where to start? Well, I have to admit that I do not care for reading, and I am definitely that person who judges a book by it's cover. For me, I have found that the prettier, more unique; journals that have inspirational quotes or verses in them, are the ones I spend money on and the better I do at writing in it everyday! Sounds pretty superficial, but it is the way my little brain works. If you have a small budget, fill the front and back covers of a spiral notebook with your favorite pictures and put contact paper over them.

My newest journal from Anthropologie!
Don't like to write? Maybe you are the person who does not like to write, or simply, you do not have time. My encourgement to you is to start small. Put your journal in a place that is easy to grab and jot down a few words every other day. Pick something that is a praise and yep, one negative. Maybe it is about the lady who paid for the starbucks drink in line ahead of you in the drive through when you really didn't have the money to spend on it anyway, or your kids or something completely random. If you don't want to get a nasty bump on your knuckle from writing or just do not enjoy pen/pencil to paper contact, another suggestion would be to type it on your computer....this will also help with those of us who can not spell well. In fact, it could be a bonus, free spell check!!
Make a folder and keep all of your entries in there.


In conclusion, sometimes I am too tired to write or really, what it is for me is just laziness, but it is in those moments that I know I need to spend some time on my belly, writing my prayers, singing my praises, drying the tears off the smeared pages, as I spend time in silence with just me, my head, my heart, and most importantly, my Savior. Through my passion, I hope you are encouraged to draw closer to the heart of God through your thoughts and prayers as you write them and that you are inspired by those words for years to come.

I am giving away a new journal from Anthropologie to help get you started
or to encourage you to continue!

***

Want to win??

Leave a comment and tell us what you're going to write in it!

For extra entries:
- Hop on over to Ashley's blog and say "hi"
- Like Events by Ashley on Facebook
- Spread the word on your blog, twitter, or facebook

Giveaway will end Wednesday.

Thanks for sharing Ashley!

43 comments:

  1. If I won I think I would write notes to my grandchildren. Just things I want them to know someday when I'm not around.

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  2. I've been looking for a journal to just write the little thoughts or quotes that come to mind during the day. this would be perfect!

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  3. also liked Events by Ashley on Facebook!

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  4. If I won I would write to my Grandmother who has passed. I miss her so much and she helped me throughout so much. I still hold a lot of anger at her death and this would be my way of working through it.

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  5. If I won I would write about my husband and I's battle with infertility. I would write about what God is teaching us through it, how He is making us more like Himself because of it, and our journey towards adoption. I would want it on paper, so that I could look back someday and be amazed at what God did. I'm pretty forgetful too. :)

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  6. I will write about all my juicy adventures. :)

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  7. I love to make lists of things I'm thankful for in everyday life. <3

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  8. What a beautiful journal! I'm about to finish my current one and would love to add this one to my growing collection. I would love to write about life, love, and laughter.

    kerryecogan@yahoo.com

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  9. i would love to write about my my journey with my Faith. love this giveaway! camille.yanair@yahoo.com

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  10. If I won I would probably use the notebook as a journal. :)

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  11. I would journal about my next year in South Korea - adventure and healing =)

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  12. i love my bff ash and think she did a great job. i would jornal about parenting questions/prayers.

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  13. I recently moved and if I win I would write about my drastically new season of life.

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  14. Tweeted about the giveaway :)

    http://twitter.com/#!/Etsify/status/142739647670390786

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  15. Liked Events by Ashley on Facebook

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  16. general notes
    jessicawedwards@gmail.com

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  17. If I won I would use this as a journal to write what I'm thankful for every day!

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  18. i'll probably write prayers, poems, songs, and the like.

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  19. i said hi to ashley! such a wonderful blog :)

    ♥simplybeautifulthoughts.com

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  20. I would again love to start journaling on real paper. The computer is easy but to fast, like you I like to see my writing, the changes, the doodles. My children are grown and I would love to journal about how God gave them to us and the stories of my day and their lives.

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  21. I love your post, it is hard to find other believers!

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  22. Great post! Makes me want to go write something. I have a prego journal write now but Im due in 2 weeks so I am going to need a new one! Thanks for the giveaway. mamatkins@hotmail.com

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  23. facebooked it http://www.iamalongfortheride.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-journaling-ashleys-story-plus.html

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  24. I would give this to my daughter! She loves to journal!

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  25. Pretty! I'd try to fill it with positive affirmations. Or recipes :P

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  26. Tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/coniecone/status/142841106751692800

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  27. I make a zillion lists so I love journals. Everything else I do online. ^^

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  28. http://twitter.com/#!/theotherpocket/status/142849605887983617

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  29. I popped over to Ashley's blog and said Hi!

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  30. I just found out I am pregnant and I want to keep a journal about this new adventure :)

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  31. I like Events By Ashley on facebook

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  32. Actually it is not for me, it's for my hubby who is keeping a journal and currently using a foolscap pad and I wanted to get him a special one.

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  33. I did visit Ashley's blog and spent some love there!!

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  34. I tweeted this giveaway too!https://twitter.com/#!/poppyinpink/status/143076097809068033

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  35. I absolutely love Ashley's guest post! I've always been an "on and off" journaler. One who wanted to be great at it but could never stick to it. Maybe I will start a habit tonight...I would write my favorite verses to memorize in it. As well as meal plans, doodles, and daily happenings. Always prayers to God. Generally whatever I can think of and is seemingly huge in my mind at the moment.

    dailydealsjc@gmail.com

    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com/2011/11/turkey-bowl-christmas-decorating-and.html

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  36. I said hi on Ashley's blog! On DIY Mondays post. :)

    dailydealsjc@gmail.com

    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com/2011/11/turkey-bowl-christmas-decorating-and.html

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  37. I would want to write all my plans down and lists, can't forget lists! Oh, and notes about my day...the good stuff, the stuff i learned...

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  38. I would continue journaling, of course! :) I love journaling. Thanks for the opportunity!

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Thank you for coming along for the ride with me. Your comments make my day!