I've been so excited to share some ways I've been using my Growth Book lately and I hope it provides you with some awesome ideas and inspiration for yours!
I have been including a monthly recap in my journal. There can be many ways to do this, but the things I record are:
Reading: a quote from a book I read that month, a sermon I listened to, or an encouraging quote I read on Instagram
God’s Word: A verse that I was memorizing, meditating on, or just a verse that encouraged me that month
Worshipping: Writing out lyrics to a favorite song, or writing out a list of worship songs I listened to on repeat that month
Praising God: I look through my prayer journal and my growth roots journal for that month and pick a few of my gratitudes to record
Preaching to Myself: A truth I am remembering that month
Here’s an example from my journal from the past month:
Reading: “Your brokenness is real, but it is not your identity. It is not an excuse, and it is not your future” Stop Calling Me Beautiful, Phylicia Masonheimer
God’s Word: "John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.” John 5:35
Worshipping: The Blessing: Kari Jobe, I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever: Shane & Shane, Lean Back: Maverick City Music, Come Out of That Grave: Bethel Music
Praising God: My daughter going back to school, a healthy baby
Preaching to Myself: My place with Him is secure; I cannot be snatched out of his hands (John 10:28-29) & He is always faithful
Inductive Study Notes
Kay Arthur has an inductive study method that has you name your own theme as you are reading a book of the Bible. There is a chart included in her Bible study books - but I have started to recreate this chart in my journal. I just draw a box - and number it depending on how many chapters are in the book I am reading (Currently I am reading John - so I numbered my page 1-21, since there are 21 chapters in John). As I read, I go back to that page in my journal and record the themes. Here’s an example of a few chapters and the theme’s that stood out to me:
Who He is
The light has come
Jesus speaks truth
Notes from Phone
I think sometimes I think if I don’t have my journal with me, then I can’t record something - but lately I have been taking notes from my phone and re-recording them in my journal. Let me explain - I keep organized notes in my phone, from encouraging sayings I might read throughout the day, to ideas for me to hand letter, to sermon and podcast notes. I don’t have my journal with me at all times, but there are still certain topics I want recorded in my journal, because I like to have these important memories/notes in a physical copy.
I do sometimes bring my Growth Roots journal to church, but sometimes I forget as I’m trying to get the kids and myself ready for church. If I don’t bring my journal or Bible, I still take notes on my phone. Then when I get home, I either print them off and tape it into my journal, or I rewrite them. Rewriting them helps me better retain the information. But even taping the printed notes into my journal helps me keep a record of what sermons/church services I attended that year.
My friend Jennifer came up with the name “sweet moments” for sweet sayings from our children. I have been recording sweet or funny things my kids say for years in my phone, but I am now recording them in my journal as well. It has been amazing to look through my journal during the past few months and see how my kids have grown. The other day my daughter’s music teacher asked every kid to name their favorite song, my daughter just said “worship” - and it was such a sweet/beautiful moment, and I want to record that and remember for years to come.
I hope these few ideas encourage you to get creative in how you journal! I have been trying to think about what I will want to remember about this year a few years from now, or 5 years from now, and I love that I have it stored in one place.