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  • Chris Crosby

A Spiritual Scrapbook

Creating piles, I stacked the photographs according to age as I sorted through pictures handed down from my grandmother and mom. Then I placed them in the scrapbook and made notes on names, ages, and places. The process evoked a flood of memories long forgotten.

Thankful for the pictures that captured events from my past, I pondered the things photos couldn’t show – how I had grown on the inside. The physical scrapbook prompted a wish for a spiritual one. Wishing I had kept a journal through my young years as a Christian, it prompted the reminder that journaling can start now. I could begin creating my spiritual scrapbook today, documenting growth and lessons learned.

Journaling attempts in the past produced several small books filled with a few pages at the beginning and many unfilled pages following. Even on the filled pages, long spans of time lie between entries. What I do read reminds me of how much God has taught me in those years. He produced so much fruit despite my human frailties. Those reminders offer hope.

Several entries record hard situations He directed me through and how faithful He remains to the promises of His Word. But how many other stories that could encourage remain hidden behind a foggy memory? The desire to start afresh convicts me to pull out one of the journals and continue filling the pages.

Perhaps I start by writing a prayer; a verse I read that offers encouragement or conviction. The entries don’t have to be long. A glimpse. Snapshot. A window into what God teaches me in that moment.

Just as I desire to create a photo album filled with memories, I long to leave a spiritual scrapbook that demonstrates God’s ability to take a weak vessel and use her for His glory. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful legacy to leave for a child, grandchild, or friend - the gift of a testimony to God’s faithfulness? The Bible is filled with stories of people He used despite their mistakes and He continues today to use frail people to advance His kingdom.

When my children were born, I started a mother’s journal for each one. Every year on their birthday, I would write a letter documenting their interests, friends, spiritual growth, and events throughout that year. I included the day they accepted Christ as their Savior, wanting them to have a reminder of that special event. I gave them their journals on their 18th birthdays, praying they would see how God moved in their young lives.

As I look forward, I long to create a beautiful spiritual scrapbook so I, too, can look back at some point in the future and see how God continues to work in my life. Perhaps it will offer hope, encouragement, inspiration, and even conviction. The only way for that to happen is for me to pick up the pen and that blank book today.

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