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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)

TITLE: My First Journal
By Annette Agnello


Many of us are encouraged to keep a journal for various classes, at school or perhaps a church class. Some of us just have a natural need to write simply because of our natural make up. I guess I was one of those drawn to journaling without even realizing it.

I was in high school and for spending money I made handcrafts and sold them in the local craft shop. I made a lot of cute little things out of odds and ends. For instance I made little turtles from green thread, small black beads, and bottle caps. I made toy bunnies out of a washcloth, ribbon and small pom-poms for eyes. I liked making things, whenever I saw a pattern that could be worked up inexpensively I would make it. Finally one day I saw an article on bookbinding. It seemed easy enough to make so I took a steno pad and tried bookbinding a little book for my own use. It looked pitiful. I normally sold everything I made but this misshapen lopsided little thing was unacceptable to try to sell.

So here I had this little book, which was so un-presentable, I had done a lot of work on it so I couldn’t toss it. That ugly little thing was the first book I tried writing in, but it was so un-lovely it soon became scrap paper and I made a second attempt at bookbinding.

I used brown corduroy with tiny white flowers this became the cover for a mid sized notebook. Instead of folding and sewing the pages into “staves” like the article had said I removed the wire from a small spiral bound notebook. Which became my very first journal.

In it I floundered at first trying to make the journal both a record of everything and something far more general at the same time. Through that first journal I learned to forgive my alcoholic roommate for the times she was drunk and difficult to live with. I was very upset with her when I moved out because I couldn’t put up with it any more. The memories of the good days helped the bad ones fade away.

While I was keeping that first journal I met the Lord. It is still there twenty years later. I had the journal with me in the field of daffodils when I read Joyce’s letter that led to my finding the Lord. I guess it figures someone who writes would meet Jesus through a letter. It also stood to reason they would be accompanied by their first journal as they begin to get acquainted with Him. I also found the Lord’s comfort through the pages of the journal and still those early writings though in a different form now. As I filled up one journal after another they filled up a shelf then finally got typed and later transcribed into the computer. A shelf full of handmade bound books, became a handful of floppies. But no matter how many volumes all journals stem from that first one.

That first journal was where I learned the rules didn’t apply. You were the only one who would see it so bad spelling, imperfect sentences, paragraphs that went nowhere were all right. I could voice my feelings, or do a detailed recording of a thunderstorm in the middle of winter.

The deer stealing pears from the tree in the yard will always be trapped in those pages even though I live far away from that house, that tree, that part of my life. Journals are things to treasure.

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This article has been read 898 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/17/05
Nice entry and a great memory!
Sally Hanan01/17/05
It was enjoyable writing, but some of the sentences were badly put together, missing commas or periods. The end felt unfinished.
Tesiri Moweta01/18/05
Thanks for sharing how journals can actually cause great changes. I like to keep things too like journals, letters, cards e.t.c. It's a wonderful experience when you go through them over and over again. You have done a great job exprerssing this truth. Thanks for writing. Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Debbie OConnor01/19/05
Very nice work. I understand about the journaling. Your craft work sounds very interesting too.
Deborah Anderson01/22/05
Our first journals really are special. You brought back some good memories for me with your story. God bless you.
L.M. Lee01/23/05
brought back my own memories of journaling