One day while my daughters were at school doing what fourth graders do, I got this great idea to put a journal and pen on the counter of their woodland themed bathroom.
It would be their sisters’ journal. They could write notes back and forth to each other. It would become a tool they can use to communicate better and love each other more deeply.
The pen has a pretty sunflower attached to the top. This would be a beautiful plan — if it worked. As a mom of two tween girls, I’m always in motion for something that will help us all connect and bring a smile.
I started things off in the journal with a little note to ease them into this idea and spark their interest.
You are so beautiful – inside and out. xoxo Mama
When they got home from school I showed them the journal and pen and they loved the idea.
Later that night, their first entry showed up in the journal:
Love you, J! A note from one twin sister to the other.
Then, the next morning, another:
Be quick in your lovely hot shower. I love you! Sissy
The thing is, though, since that day more than two months ago the journal has become so much more than a back-and-forth between two sisters.
It has become a source of strength for all of us as it’s molded into a family journal of connection, inspiration and wisdom.
Now, we all write notes to empower each other and offer loving words as well as gratitude. I find that I use it more as a tool to give strong messages that we do hard things. We can push ourselves and do really hard things.
This is the message we’ve been driving home day after day in our home of girls who straddle the line between extreme bravery and fear.
I see anxiety forming in both of my girls – sweetly passed down from one generation to another in our family of women – and I want to help them cope with it NOW before they are grown up and on their own.
“Done is better than perfect,” I write in the journal one day.
They, too, find comfort in words: Stories. Quotes. Song lyrics. Witty sayings.
The journal is creating that passageway between the words we speak and the heart. I see their view of the world through their entries in this random, bathroom journal.
If you want peace then have it first. One wrote.
Peace does not come from trees. It comes from you. You make it and the people around you by growing it. The other one wrote next.
And it’s also opened my eyes to one of my daughter’s love language: acts of service. No matter how much we write, it’s never enough for her. She craves our attention through action. She wants us to write in that journal no matter what and when we do not, she makes it clear she’s upset about it.
“I enjoy doing this by myself,” she wrote one day, the MY bolded by the blue ink of the pen many times.
And the bathroom journal has also opened my eyes to their own grateful hearts.
Thank you for taking care of the sink. xoxo
I love my whole family!
But, perhaps the best gift this journal has offered has been the most recent entries inspired after a long conversation we had just the night before about doing hard things and how hard work — in this case practicing a musical instrument — really does pay off if you push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Because that’s when this gem showed up in the bathroom journal:
Push myself to do things. (Be Brave). Miss Fink
Followed by her sister’s response:
I have pushed myself in a lot of things already this week.
That crazy idea I had one day while my daughters were in school — a tool I thought would help them create a lifetime of beautiful sisterhood — turned out to be a tool to help me see where I need to put my energy, to be grateful for what’s hidden deep inside their hearts and minds and to realize that my words matter to them.
The true power here is that I’ve realized that everything I say is sticking. It is making a difference. It is getting through.
The journal tells me so.