What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just What is a Journal Anyway? - Updated and Recycled

This was originally posted 4/10/2012, but since we aren't doing our regular "Friday Foto Friends" today, I thought this would be a good time to revisit this particular "journal entry".

Original Post:

What is a journal anyway?  Several of us online blogging friends have started sharing random excerpts from our journals here on our blogs.  I am really excited about this adventure because not only has it caused me to go digging for those "gems" in my musty old journals, but I am also getting a glimpse of what others have written throughout their lives that have had meaning for them...and now for us as well. It is interesting to see how God has worked in each of our lives in similar ways...as applicable to our unique situations...but the underlying words of hope and encouragement are there for each of us.  God has spoken to us through His Word, the Bible, and through the people He has placed within our paths.  Some messages were spoken to us from personal friends, other thoughts were shared through quotations from books, letters from loved ones or friends, or through dreams and visions of what we hoped to become or do with our lives.
My First Real Journal was a "Bookshelf Scrapbook and Album"...a hardbound blank book with over 200 pages,
in which I hand -wrote every page over a span of five years...I've pictured it here on my
bed in my room, because that is where I usually
sat to write...normally in the evenings when everyone was settling down for the night and
I had a few minutes to myself to steal away quietly and write before I had to get to bed myself.

I was showing off a homemade apple pie to my youngest
son Scott, standing in front of the Hoosier Cupboard that
I had just restored. (Which belonged to my husband's Grandmother).
 This was one of those special moments in
my life that I wanted to record.

The picture above is of my first real journal..a blank book that I found somewhere and decided to start writing in it.  Over five years I wrote about personal dreams, daily journaling of life events, prayer requests and answers to prayers.  I included a description of some of my favorite things in my home...antique furnishings that came from loved ones...even added some pictures...(kind of like this blog...)

I wrote about our holiday visits home with our loved ones.  During these years we were living far away from family and the opportunities to go home for Christmas or Thanksgiving were few...so therefore very precious times together.
Sometimes I even got artistic and included drawings...this one was
entitled "Home for the Holidays"...no I'm not THAT old...we didn't
travel by stagecoach.  But I kind of liked that era and often wished
I could go back in time and live in such a place...

During these years we were serving the Lord in the ministry, and much of my journaling revolved around our church family, responsibilities, and the call to new places.  I also enclosed mementos of special events, such as when my husband finally finished his years of study and received his Doctorate...a dream come true after many years of hard work (for both of us!)   We had a lot of high hopes built around that achievement, and much of my writing recorded the rise and fall of those hopes as we didn't always attain the goals we had set for ourselves, but we saw how God had other plans for us that were, at least in His sight, even greater. It wasn't always easy for us to see that or accept it. Often it was a bitter pill to swallow when we had to acknowledge what God said in Isaiah 55:8-9 as being true for us:
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord.  'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" 

My Grandma Tedlie, Flora Sheets Tedlie,
circa 1903-04, possibly around the time
that this poem was written. She
would have been just 19 or 20 yrs.
old when Little Florence passed
away.  Another note,
my Grandparent's first child,
Harry B. Tedlie, was brain-injured at
birth by a forceps delivery, causing him to
 suffer brain damage.  He lived with the family
 for about 10 years and then had to be
institutionalized since families just weren't
equipped to care for children with
such needs back then.
 "Little Harry"(as he was always known)
 was just a year older
than "Little Florence". 
No wonder my Grandmother looks
 a bit pensive and sad in this picture. 
She had a lot to deal with at such a young age.
 She did, however, have five more healthy
and beautiful children, including my mother,
Dorothea May Tedlie, who was the next to the last child!
Stuck throughout the pages of this journal are many precious memories, genealogies, thoughts that transcend time and space.  My mother once gave me a copy of a handwritten poem, written by her mother, my Grandma Tedlie, upon the very sorrowful occasion of the death of one of her precious babies.  Little Florence passed away at the tender age of about 1 year 3 mos.,* following a kind of flu bug that probably would not have affected a baby so severely today. (*I just learned that Florence Belle Tedlie was born on March 21, 1903, and died on July 6, 1904).  But that was over one hundred years ago now, and babies often lost their lives after such a quick illness.  This little poem, with a snippet of her hair attached to it, is heartrending.  It gives me an insight to the tenderness of my grandmother, whom I barely got to know..but look forward to meeting again someday in heaven..along with Little Florence, "with a face like a tinted pearl."
This is what is says:
"Little Florence was my little girl,
With a face like a tinted pearl,
But Little Florence has wandered away,
And left me only a curl.
With a broken doll and a little dress
And a pair of shoes half worn.

Little Florence was my little girl,
And to think that I did not know
That Little Florence was the world to me.
Some lessons are learned so slow.
And while I pondered, she crept away,
And left our home so still.
And I cannot work, and I cannot pray;
You may chide me if you will.
And say at the least my faith is weak;
Some lessons are learned so slow,
But if this one portion was mine again
I never would slight it so.
For what is the praise of women and men,
To a face like a tinted pearl,
But Little Florence has gone away,
And left me only a curl.

In a lily boat, she is safe afloat
On the waves of the Jasper Sea,
But, Little Florence, I'm missing you so
That I'm calling you back to me,
To the broken doll, and the little dress-
Some blessings are hard to see,
And what can I do with the box of clothes so dear,
And the curl that you left to me.

This is a picture of my Grandmother, Flora Sheets, (Tedlie)
at age 6 or 7 yrs., around 1890.  If she was this adorable,
you can imagine how beautiful her "Little Florence" must
have been. 
(Written by Flora Sheets Tedlie, sometime after July 6, 1904, which I have just learned is the date of
 little Florence Belle Tedlie's death)

Image may contain: 1 person
My beautiful Grandmother

I don't mean to end on a sad note...but this what journaling is all about.  This little poem was probably a page from my grandmother's journal, if she kept one...and has been preserved for me and my future generations to read and ponder.  Had it not been saved, we may have never known about "Little Florence", and I think she needed to be known.

Yes, journaling is a way of preserving family history, providing insights into the ways God has provided for us and taught us thoughout our life's journey.  I only wish I had been more diligent to keep a journal every year of my life.  I've missed a lot of memories...but perhaps that is all a part of God's way of keeping the important stuff and weeding out the "junk"...I don't know, but it is my hope that this will inspire others to take up the pen (or computer keyboard) and start writing. You don't have to be a great writer...just be real. That is what it is all about.  Good night Friends.  Time for me to get to bed...everyone else has settled down...


  1. I wish I would have started a journal a long time ago. It would be so nice to have those forgotten memories in writing! I guess it is never too late to start!!!

  2. WOW! What a blessing, that poem is beautiful! I love this post and all the pictures you so lovingly shared. Thank you so much for participating and for opening up in this way. I am blessed, excited and inspired. You and each of the others bless me by letting me see the hidden joys, pains and memories from your journey! Yes! Thanks also o for sharing that precious poem. What a gifted writer...it has been handed down through generations!

  3. Thanks Pam---I,too, wish I had started journaling years ago---but like Debbie said, it's not too late to start. I used to keep a diary when I was in high school, but that got burned!!ha!
    I had forgotten about that little poem that Grandma Tedlie wrote. Oh, the pain she must have felt! Thank you for sharing this.
    Love you!

  4. Thank you all for your comments. Doris, I believe you may have the original of this poem, with the hair still attached....it was in the things that were in Mama's dresser drawers. I hope you can find it. It's a keeper!! Love, Pam

  5. To Debbie at "The Craft Shack"...no, it is never too late to start writing. I was in my 30's when I started this particular journal depicted in this blog. Now my problem is, I write this blog and don't write a journal...and I have to remember to save these posts to another place in case the blogger.com program goes defunct and loses my blog! I'm a bit behind in saving them, so I need to get caught up before I lose something worth keeping!

  6. What a great treasure of your family's history--I love the pictures of your grandmother, makes me wonder if there are any around of my grandparents like that...

    1. Thank you for visiting here today, Dawn. I know sometimes we overlook pictures of our ancestors never stopping to think about the fact that part of our own DNA came from that very person...I find myself wishing I could go back and sit down with my grandmother when she was that young, sad mother, and show her how her life blessed so many others in the future. But perhaps she is aware already. Someday I will have that conversation with her in heaven. Welcome to "Random Journal Day"! Blessings to you!

  7. Pam: I don't know how I missed this back in 2012. This is beautiful. I love the pictures of your grandmother. In her adult picture she appears to look tired. I love the 6-year-old girl in the child-picture. She looks as if she is ready to go to church or to a birthday party.

    1. Thank you for coming here today..maybe we didn't know each other in 2012...that seems so long ago...and yet only like yesterday. Yes, my Grandmother does look tired in that picture, but if you read the caption under it I think that explains why. I can't even begin to imagine the sorrow and pain she was experiencing at the time. And yet I know she was a woman of great faith and love...I only wish I had gotten to know her better. She died when I was about 15, but we lived far away and didn't get to see her very often. I am looking forward to a great reunion someday. Won't it be wonderful there??? (That's a good old Gospel song!) Thank you for saying hello today. I am so far behind in my reading...I hope to get caught up soon.

  8. Oh my goodness...yes "heartrending" is THE word for this poem. I can imagine her baring her heart in these written words, poor thing. And you are so right about the value of journals so that this was saved by your family and you through the years and little Florence is not forgotten. Very sobering thought my friend. I love you Pam and I am so thankful know you!

    1. Oh, thank you sweet Susie. I am so thankful that I know YOU too! And if it weren't for our "journals", we would never have had the opportunity to know each other. Even though our "blog-journals" are online, they are still a kind of a "sacred trust" to pass on from one generation to another...what an awesome opportunity we have in this day and age. These are "sobering thoughts" indeed. I Love you too!!!!!!

  9. What a touching poem. I was in tears. I can't imagine losing a little one. Your grandmother must have been an extraordinary lady. I've tried several times to do a journal and just wasn't disciplined enough. Maybe I'll try again. Have a blessed day.

  10. The poem was so sweet, so moving. How sad for a mother to have to give up a precious child. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the photos. I have been journaling for the past 27 years or so and off and on since I was a teen. My journals have been private and personal and my blogging has been mostly to preserve memories and photos of the kids and other events. I wonder sometimes what will become of my handwritten journals after I am gone.

  11. Your grandmother must have been a lovely lady, sad at times, but strong at others. The poem says so much and is beautiful. I do not journal, but do my daily writing based on Scripture listed on this sight: www.swtblessings.com I pray your weekend is blessed in a special way.

  12. Such a beautiful post. My great-grandma lost two babies to childhood diseases that are unheard of today. It's so sad to think of all those lost who could have been saved in this day and age. Your grandmother was indeed beautiful, and had to be strong! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Oh, Pamela, your grandmother's poem brought tears to my eyes! She was, indeed, a sensitive, loving and caring person, and I know your were blessed beyond measure to have her in your life. Thank you for sharing such precious memories here, my friend.

  14. Pam, This post is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it again. Writing is wonderful therapy. My grandma lost two children (prior to having my mom and my uncle): her son (Carl) was 12.5 or 13.5 when he passed away due to an abscess on the brain (keep in mind this would have been the late 1920s-early 1930a) and had a still born baby girl. Losses like that do change things. I was blessed with a loving grandma too!


  15. That is a precious poem, it really touched my heart. I love to journal and have several that I write in often.

  16. Hi Pamela, I enjoyed my visit here today and was touched by the poem. I have started many journals but did not finish. I do have little calendars that I have notes and scrap journals. I need to print out my blog entries. I have had my website since 2000, and have blogged since 2003. So if I don't get it all saved, I will have to renew my blog another year! How cool that you can draw. I bet you would be good at Bible journaling!


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.