The Daily Journal for Family Life was inspired by the work from the good people at Daily JO who introduced me to journaling. I took that framework and used it to create a resource that may be helpful to parents as they strive to implement the principles that we share during our family ministry events (Priorities, Family Prayer, Family Play, Love within the family, communities of faith and evangelization).
If you like daily journaling, or would like to give it a try, download the Daily Journal for Family Life:
- Booklet format (2 pages per 8.5×11 page, printed double sided – short side binding and stapled in the middle) If this sounds like too much work, see the next bullet point.
- I can print copies for you with the card stock cover and stapled down the middle with our long stapler if you wish. Our cost for printing a single book is about $1. The cost for shipping via USPS Media mail is $2. For a suggested donation of $8, I will send you 6 Journals, for $15, I will send you 12 (a full year’s worth). Contact me at 713-701-7007 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out the details.
- Full size 8.5×11 pages, can be printed double sided and put into a 3 ring binder – Full Size download
If you are list or task oriented, you may like the Checklist for Family Life – this resource contains a monthly/weekly checklist and also a 31 row daily checklist.
- A two page resource that you can print and then cutout to keep in a wallet or purse, in your daily planner or at your desk or bedside.
How To Guide
- Checklist on Page 3 – Use this checklist to begin to integrate God’s plan for family life into your own family. It will be a rare month when you will actually check off each item on this list. Family life is unpredictable and thus there are times when we just barely get by, this page is to help you reflect on the month as a whole and see where you have been and what you may need to adjust in the future.
- Daily Journal Pages
- Date – I would suggest that at the beginning of each month you fill out the journal with the dates for the whole month, that way you can accurately keep track of days where you succeeded and those days where you perhaps didn’t check any boxes or journal (this happens to me on a regular basis :^).
- The checklist on the upper right of the first page includes items that are very beneficial to the holiness of yourself and your family. There may be some items that are not applicable to you (daily mass, couple prayer), if that is the case, then just scratch them off or replace them with another daily activity that is more appropriate for you.
- “I am thankful for” It is good to recall the blessings each day. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just what God has put on your heart at that moment. Ideally, it shouldn’t be the same thing every day, there are many things we can be thankful for, not just our family and friends. Be specific, which family member, which friends, perhaps something kind that happened at work, or a special grace you experienced recently. The idea is to see things all around you that you have been blessed by and write them down so when you are feeling down, you can reflect back and see all the blessings you have received.
- “In the future I see” This is not some fortune telling exercise, it is more of a “where is God” leading me exercise. God is always speaking to us, sometimes we have a hard time listening. The answer this question is not right or wrong. Try to see what is in your future, many times this is more of a feeling than a plan to be carried out.
- “I offer up to God” What burdens in your life are too much for you to carry, offer those to God, he will help us carry our cross.
- “I choose” this is the second part of “I offer up to God”, this is where we write down what we will choose to do with this different approach to the current difficulty we are experiencing. If the burden is too heavy for us, what route do we take? Perhaps forgiveness, perhaps a different course of action to solve the same problem or pursue a different goal.
- “I forgive” Forgiveness is an essential part of family life and the Christian life in general “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. It is very therapeutic to write down the name of the person who has wronged us and that we need to forgive. Forgiveness is about setting us free from the harm that person has done to us. I have written the name of the same person many times in my journal, and with each time I write it, I get a little closer to really forgiving that person and releasing the anger and hurt that I have felt.
- “Today’s goal is” what do you really want to accomplish today, this is where you write it down. If you accomplish nothing else today, accomplish this task and you will win the day. Make this an achievable goal, that you can measure.
- “I resolve to do the following today” this is a task list that you wish to complete for the day. Ideally you would check off each item on the list, but if you don’t you may wish to carry it over to the next day.
- “Notes” I use this section to write down any thoughts that come to me during prayer, I have also used it to write down additional tasks or details relevant to a particular task.
- “Daily Review” It is a really good idea to complete a daily examination of conscience (just ask St. Josemaria Escriva or St. Ignatius of Loyola) at the end of each day. The inside front cover has a short guide to the daily examination, write down any notes in this area to help you see where you need to focus improvement or perhaps something that needs to be mentioned in confession.