I'm going to be super honest here. As full time missionaries it is so easy to work with others to try to build up their relationship with the Lord that you sometimes neglect your own family. I can't tell you how many times that the Lord has bopped me on the head (figuratively of course) when I was praying for other kids and asked me how many times I prayed for my own kids that fervently.
One of the things that I so often do with other kids and then am convicted about my own kids is teaching them how to have a personal devotional time. So, I was super thrilled when I found out that I would be receiving the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens from the makers of the Spiritual Circle Journal. I had looked it over on their website and it looked like just what I needed for the kids that I work with, but, especially for my own boys.
The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens is a journal, but, then again, it's not a journal. It has all of the elements of a regular devotional journal, but it is ingeniously made in such a way that it doesn't seem tedious for kids. So many times, children and teenagers will look at a journal or look at ways to journal and think that there is no way that they can do it. Often it looks like too much writing for a child and even some teens to handle. I know that with my two youngest, there is absolutely no way that they can write a lot because of small motor problems and other learning difficulties. The Spiritual Circle Journal does require some writing but it is in small but concise doses.
The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens is based on the adult version called . . . well . . . the Spiritual Circle Journal. As you can see by the picture above, your "journaling" is divided into nine prayer areas:
- Journal Entry
- God Moving
- Lesson Learned Light-Bulb Moment
- Thank You/Adoration
I like everything about this concept, but here are a few things that I really like about the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens:
1. I really like that, in the instructions, the author and creator of The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens, Liz Lassa, really encourages us to teach the child about the nudging of the Holy Spirit in filling out these areas. To me that is very important. So many times we quickly process a sermon or devotional and make it fit how we are feeling instead of waiting for the Holy Spirit to teach us what He wants us to know. Our feelings are important to God and to our relationship with God, but that isn't the whole picture. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit as well.
2. I like that this method is super easy. For people that like to journal it is okay to write lines and lines of what God is teaching us, but for a beginner and for children, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think that is what we have to do. With the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens, a child is encouraged to just write one line for each area. In fact, if a child can't think of something for an area or if the Holy Spirit isn't nudging him in a specific area, they can leave it blank. Which brings me to the next area.
3. I like that it is super flexible. As I just mentioned you don't have to fill in every area. Or, you can fill in some areas today, pray and think about things, and then fill in other areas tomorrow. I like that it can be used once a week, a few times a week, or every day. The parent is encouraged to make it fun for the child. There is also a space above the journal page where a child can draw a picture, place stickers or pictures or whatever to help in his experience.
4. I like that in the instructions the parent is encouraged to be very pro active in his child's devotional/journaling experience. That is very important to me. I think that a parent needs to know what is going on in his child's life. Not necessarily to read his private journal, but to have a relationship where there is good communication.
I think it is very evident that I like the Spiritual Circle Journal method and the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens. I say "I", because I wanted to try this method out first before trying it out with my kids. My oldest regularly journals through the Bible but this is new to my two youngest. They are such different learners that I wanted to know what it was like before teaching it to them. I think they will love it. It may take some time, but I know my boys and I think this is just what they need.
To find out more about the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens just click on any one of the highlighted links above. To find what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought just click on the banner below. Happy Journaling!