The Journal


I enjoy notebooks. Wait, that is an under-statement. I love notebooks! Most girls my age are into nail-polish, clothes, shoes and such (don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of that too), but when I go shopping, my eyes are searching for another notebook, just ask my family! I have more notebooks than the average family has books, and every one of them has a specific purpose.

The journal in the picture above is my very favorite. It is soft red leather, its beautiful pages have silver edges and a memory verse. It is very thick and when you first look at it, you think it to be a Bible. As I said, this is my favorite, but I haven’t even had it a month, not much time to fill it up, so why is it my favorite?

Well, I will tell you the story of how I got this journal, and I am pretty sure you will love it just as much as I. This is what I wrote in the beginning pages:

“I received this journal from Evelyn on the 21st day of September in the year 2013. This happened to be on a Saturday.

I had never before met Evelyn, for she was new to our home school group, but I know I will never forget her. The 20th of September was the day she and I met, at a home school youth event called Alive and On Fire.

She was either 12 or 13, I know not which, and was very quiet. I don’t think she knew many people there, but I knew most everyone, because I have been in the group since the beginning.

I did not pay much attention to her at all that first night, I was with my own team and conversed with my own friends. But multiple people mentioned that I was a writer and really wanted one of the two journals that were being held as prizes.

As the night went on, my name was not drawn to pick out one of the journals, but the beautiful baby blue one was chosen to go home with another little girl.

There were other prizes, yes, but my heart was set on this last journal. I never said out loud how much I would have liked to have that journal, but those who have known me a long time, knew that I wanted it.

The night finally came to an end and all of the girls walked down to our sleeping apartments, and still I had not spoken to Evelyn any more than a “hello”.

In our apartments, the older girls, age 14 and up, were put in a different room than the younger girls, whose age was under 14. So that again separated Evelyn and I.

All the girls in my room stayed up very late talking about all sorts of things,  but the new girls in the next room were never even mentioned.

After finally going to sleep and rising the next morning, we all walked back up to get ready for our morning Bible studies. I walked next to Evelyn and all the girls conversed as a group, but I saw her eyes light up when I spoke to her directly, of course I thought nothing about it at the time.

The morning progressed after our studies and the time came for the next drawing to see who would take home the next prize. There were 2 cds, a bookmark, and the red leather journal I wanted so badly, left.

All of the youth gave a loud drum-roll and the colored piece of paper that held who the winner was, was drawn from the bucket. The piece of paper said that Evelyn was the winner and we all clapped as we waited to see what she would choose.

On the inside I was hoping she would not pick up the notebook, but on the outside I was prepared to put on a smile if she took the beautiful book back to her seat. After all, it was just a notebook.

We all waited in silence as she carefully looked at each of the prizes and my heart lept as she picked up one of the cds. She took the cd back to her seat, looked at me and smiled. I smiled back, but I didn’t know the meaning of that smile.

We were all dismissed to a 10 minute break and left the living room to stampede the snacks in the kitchen. I hadn’t noticed, but Evelyn had stayed in the living room.

The kitchen was crowded with hungry teenagers who were being loud and trying to get first in line, that after I got my snack and found an empty seat, several minutes had passed. I was eating contently while listening to all the conversations going on when I noticed Evelyn walking into the kitchen holding the red journal and smiling.

My heart sank for a minute as I realized she had swapped her prize, but I smiled at her and was going to say “That is a good choice!”, until she handed me the desired journal and said with that contagious smile, “Here, I wanted you to have this.”

Evelyn taught me two important lessons that day: one; that when you think of others and give to them, you not only makes them happy, but it also makes the receiver want to go and do the same thing. At least it had that affect on me. Not to mention, you make a new friend:-):-)

And number two; you never know who you have looking up to you. Whether, they be one of your peers, a youngster you babysit, or someone who hardly knows you. The decisions you make on a day-to-day basis are always seen by someone who looks up to you, and the decisions you make can either hurt the people who are watching you, or they can uplift them and encourage them. Because, after all, they want to be like you.

I don’t know why Evelyn wanted to give me the journal, and it is not the journal that is so special to me, but I now know someone else is watching me and waiting for me to make the right decision, whether it be a decision to help clean up after hours, or to just say no about something that is wrong. My decision not only affects me and my life, but also the life of those who look up to and trust me. So, I am going to try hard to recognize those who look up to me, and also to make the right decision, even when no one is looking.


12 thoughts on “The Journal”

  1. I love that story. You wrote it very well. You are a beautiful person. I’m proud of who you are and I love you sweet daughter.

  2. How wonderful that not only were you blessed by such a sweet gift, but that the Lord spoke to your heart as well! Love you!

    Intentionally Pursuing Christ, Katie

    Twitter ♥ Intentional Pursuit ♥ FaceBook

  3. Rayleigh, i can not describe how proud i am that you are my big sister. You have always been such a blessing to me, even when we get into it, i wouldn’t do it if i didn’t love you! I hope that one day i can be a role model at least half as good at you, but I’m afraid I’m still going to fall short. I love you with all my heart, and i always will. Your little sis,

    1. MaKenzie,
      You will never fall short unless you stop being true to who YOU are! God will likely use you in different ways to reach different lives… But you are BEAUTIFUL inside and out just like your big sister! Love you!

  4. WOW! Raleigh, You had me in tears before I read the comments and now that I’ve read the comments they are back! You are absolutely beautiful Raleigh, inside and out!

    I’m embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I have seen that I could comment on your blogs… I’ve looked for a comment area every time and I’ve never seen the option for “comment” until today! Perfect timing I’d say! What an amazing entry to get to comment on! Love you sweet girl!

    1. Thank you so much Christi!

      I just changed my theme because the comment button was so tiny and I couldn’t make it bigger! You weren’t the only one unable to find it! Again thank you so much! Love you too!

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