Important Suggestion to my fellow Journalers

If these posts are too long for you to complete, I suggest that you print off the prompt that is of current interest to you and then tape it into your journal for future reference. The prompts are such that you can do it in one sitting or you can break each idea down and use them as separate prompts. There is no set rule on how to use these prompts. They can be used as lessons for your auxiliaries too. Hope you enjoy them and may they glorify the Lord in all the ways you use them. God bless your writing experiences.

Important Note:

Most of these prompts will come from my own thoughts, but there may some that I have found from other people and want to share with you. Some of the prompts may be repeats to some of you who are members of the same online groups I am in, but I will include them for the new journalers out there reading this blog. And sometimes prompts are so good they are worth repeating. You may use a prompt over and over again and reply to it differently each time. I will give credit to prompts I find when I know the person who submitted the prompt or gave it to me by other means. If I find a journaling site that has prompts I will include them too. Thank you for your understanding.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A to Z of Gifts, Presents, and Surprises

I did this topic as a lesson plan for my preschool children one year.  It was so much fun.  We discussed the meanings of each word and then we discussed when we would receive or give them.  I wrapped boxes and have different activities inside for them to do. It was fun unwrapping the boxes.  Well, I was able to turn this topic into a prompt for us to do as a writing assignment.  It is more detailed than my preschoolers was, but will be just as fun while participating in it. 

Here is a sentence I wrote using all three words:  I am surprised at the gift that was presented to me.  The words are similar in meaning, but also different at the same time.  Let's do some writing using these words.

A.  Write the definition of each word.
B.  Write why we interchange them in our conversations.  (Some times we say "My friend gave me a gift."  "My friend gave me a present."  "My friend gave me a surprise.")
C.  Here is a list the different times, activities, or events that would be for exchanging of gifts, presents, and surprises: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, congratulations, housewarmings, welcoming to the community or club, etc., secret sisters, friend exchanges, just because, milestones, missing you, thinking of you and salvation/baptisms.  Can you think of other times we would give or receive a gift, present, or surprise?  Use the different words to write a memory you recall when you either received or gave someone something during that particular time.

My example:  I had never had a surprise birthday party before and when my daughter was in first grade she told her teacher this and they managed to give me a surprise party.  Her best friend was my best friend's daughter and between the girls, the teacher, and my friend they arranged it.  I showed up at my friend's house to pick up my daughter and there they sat with balloons, cake, and party favors.  I started crying because it was a wonderful surprise.  They had a gift for me.  And well it was just a great time.  Now the one part that was difficult is the teacher made the cake and it was chocolate.  I can't eat chocolate.  My daughter did not even think to tell the teacher.  So, I took my piece and ate one bite and then talked and opened the gift and I think they did not realize I did not finish my piece.  I did not want to be rude and I did not want to upset my daughter.  It is one of the best memories I have with my daughter. 

Another example:  One year my secret sister gave me two of the most unique gifts.  For Groundhog Day she left me a note on the pew that said my present was in the fridge.  It was a pound roll of breakfast sausage - ground hog.  And for Martin Luther King Jr's birthday she gave me a pillow so I could have my own dreams. Those were some of my most memorable presents from secret sisters.

D.  There are special ways in which we can give people the gifts, presents, and surprises: through the postal system, a delivery company, a floral shop delivery, in person, and secretively.  Write of a memory that each way brings to mind. 
E.  Fill in the following sentences:
     1.  I am surprised that _________.
     2.  I am surprised how _________.
     3.  I am surprised what _________.
     4.  I am surprised when _________.
     5.  I am surprised who ________.
     6.  I am surprised where _______.
F.  Have you ever given yourself a gift, present, or surprise?  Write about it and why you did.
G.  Did you ever receive a duplicate of a gift?  How did you handle it?  Have you ever returned a gift?  Have you ever put a gift in a yard sale and the person who gave it showed up for the sale?  Write about it and what happened. 
H.  Do you always get something from your family and friends for your birthday and Christmas?  Or do they neglect you during these times.  Write how this makes you feel.
I.  When you are watching someone else get a gift do you feel left out?  Do you covet it?  Do you act happy for her/him or can others tell you aren't as happy as you want to be about it? 
     My sisters are jealous of one another.  If I get one a surprise and the other one finds out it can make for an argument.  I have always had to spend the same amount on them and buy the same amount of items.  I got where I would just buy them the same identical thing to avoid any trouble.
J.  Are there times you want to give someone something but afraid it would not be received so well? 
    I learned how to crotchet lapkhans.  My first one was far from perfect.  My mother and I had not spoken for many years and the Lord impressed upon me to make amends with her because the gap of unforgiveness was keeping me from giving my whole heart to the Lord.  So, I decided to give my mother the first lapkhan

K.  Are you in a situation where you can't give someone a tangible gift?  Here is a list of ways you can give a gift without spending any money: 
    make a greeting card with left over craft material you have
    give your time, such as visit the person or do her dishes, etc.
    make a phone call
    send a thinking of you email note
    send a free ecard
    give an item from your own home or collection
    paint a picture
    make a craft such as needlework
    make a bookmarker for her Bible

and many other ways to give of yourself without spending money.  Write of the different times you have done something for someone and it did not cost anything.  For one of my secret sisters I gave her a gift that to this day she says is her most prized ones.  The year when the Gulf War started her brother was the sent over there and they had put his picture in the paper of the family waving good bye to him.  I was able to get the proof of that picture from the newspaper and gave it to her.  She cried and said it meant so much to her.

L.  Would you prefer a store bought gift or a treasure found from a yard sale or thrift store?
M.  Are you a benevolent card sender?  Do you send cards to people all the time?  Do you send birthday and thank you cards diligently?  Or are you lacking in the benevolence area?  Write about the type of card sender you are.
N.  Here is a unique way to give someone something special.  Give a gift of one to one of the event.  For example my friend and I turned 50 the same year.  For our birthdays we sent 50 items to one another.  I mailed all 50 of hers in time for her birthday.  And for mine she sent mine in 50 days.  That was so much fun.  A friend made me a nativity set of ceramic pieces that she painted herself.  But I got it all in a box on Dec 1.  And each piece was marked when to open.  There were 25 pieces.  And on Christmas the last piece I opened was of baby Jesus.  It was so special  and I still have it 27 years later.  You could send someone verses to match the event.  Like for a 16th birthday send 16 verses to the person.  There is so many ways you could do this type of gift giving.

O.  Write of a time you...
      gave as a random act of kindness.
      could not give at all.
      gave abundantly.
      received something you disliked.
      got exactly what you wanted.
      went into debt in order to give a gift.
      received more than you gave.
P.  At a special party write about it in terms of the scenery.  What was the event?  Where was it?  Who was all there?  Was there decorations?  Describe it in detail so if someone were to read it they would be able to "see" it through your eyes. 
Q.  Describe one of your favorite gifts.  Your least favorite.  Describe the paper or the bag.  Do you reuse the bags, bows, ribbon, or wrapping paper?
R.  Did you ever give a surprise party to someone?  Describe it.
S.  Write about your most memorable party you went to as a child.  As an adult. 
T.  Read in the Bible of the times someone was given a gift.  The most told event is when the wisemen brought gifts to Jesus.  Write as if you were there.  Describe it through the eyes of the wisemen, the shepherds, or even if you were one of the animals.
U.  The Bible speaks of the unspeakable gift.  Look up the verses that mention this.  Write them out. 
V.  The Bible is full of events when someone gave up something for someone or was the reason someone gave up something.  Tell of times you gave up something for someone as an ultimate gift. 
W.  There was the most sacrificial gift given to you and me.  It is mentioned in John 3:16.  Write how you felt when you first realized the true meaning of that verse.  Write of you salvation experience.
X.   Write of different ways you could give a gift to Jesus for His birthday celebration.
Y.   Write of the ways you were blessed this past year.
Z.  Describe how the presence of the Lord is in your life.

To wrap this prompt up, when you are wrapping a gift pray for the person it is for.  When unwrapping a gift someone has given you, pray for the person to receive a blessing too. 

May you be surprised at how this prompt has been a blessing to you.

Just for fun.

Let's play "Homonym Thinking Game"

This is just for fun and to keep your thinking skills fresh.  We journal our daily activities.  We journal using many prompts.  We write for many reasons.  Let's use this prompt to just write for fun.

I am giving you a list of words that sound the same or spelled the same but have different meanings.They are also used improperly at times.  You are to do the following with the words:

1) Write a sentence using each word separately. 
2) Write a sentence or paragraph using all three words.

List of words:

A.  to, too, two
B.  for, fore, four
C. hem, him, hymn
D. be, Bea, bee
E. dew, do, due
F. wait, weight
G. so, sew
H. sea, see
I.  read, reed
J.  knead, need
K. real, reel
L. your, you're
M. quiet, quite
N. bark, bark
O. live, live
P. read, read

Can you think of more words to fit the list?  This was just an exercise to keep your thinking skills fresh and a prompt that doesn't take too much time or too much writing.  You can even use the list of words to do other kind of writing.  Have fun.