Last year, my church bought new bibles and did a simple dedication of them. With the old bibles, we did three things. We gave as many of them away as possible, inviting worshippers to take them home with them, give them to a friend, or to another place. During Advent, we used some of the worn pages of the bible and upcycled them into ornaments. This idea came from MaryAnn McKibben Dana’s post on upcycling old hymnals. Lastly, we used the covers and turned them into journals.
Over one month, the 2nd-5th graders worked on turning the bible covers into journals: punching holes, binding them with ribbon, and stuffing with pages. They also organized and planned a bake sale to go along with selling the journals during Lent and picked the organization where they wanted the money to be donated. They chose the Heifer Project.
My son and I recently came across a journal called “Wreck This Journal” by Keri Smith. The tag line in the journal is “to create is to destroy.” The journal gives plenty of suggestions and opportunities to literally wreck and damage the pages of the journal in an attempt to break through the creative process.
During Lent, many participate in the Lenten Photo Challenge, where people take a photo for each day of Lent that corresponds to a certain lenten word. Marrying the journal idea with the Lenten Photo Challenge, I put together suggestions to wreck their lenten journal according to the lenten word of that day. The intent is that as we reflect on your relationship with God, we can encounter the broken, beautiful, wrecked, and restored ways God has been, continuously is, and forever will be with us.
Here are the instructions:
Keri Smith created “Wreck This Journal” as a way for people to get in touch with their creative side. Inspired by this journal, during the 40 days of Lent, you are invited to journal, using the following words and instructions for each page to focus your reflections.
1 dust – rub this page with dirt.
2 test – test page for pens, paints, markers, or art supplies.
3 faith – climb up high and drop this journal.
4 communion – chew on this page. warning: do not swallow.
5 reflection – write or draw with your least dominant hand.
6 purple – color this entire page purple.
7 forty – write one word forty times.
8 witness – glue a random page from a newspaper on this page.
9 adore – do some rubbings with a pencil.
10 solitude – document a boring event in detail.
11 humble – glue in a photo of yourself you dislike. deface.
12 vice – do a really ugly drawing. use ugly subject matter: mold, crud, badly drawn picture, etc.)
13 heaven – use this page to make a paper airplane.
14 strength – glue, staple, or tape these pages together.
15 water – bring this book in the shower with you.
16 walk – tie a string to the journal, go for a walk and drag it.
17 hope – a page for four-letter words.
18 path – draw lines while in motion, on the bus, on the train, while walking.
19 cross – find a way to wear this journal.
20 endurance – scribble wildly, violently, with reckless abandon.
21 sacrifice – lose this page. throw it out. accept the loss.
22 light – poke holes in the paper using a pencil so the light shines through.
23 worship – draw a circle. color outside the lines.
24 family – make a paper chain.
25 prayer – a page dedicated to your internal monologue.
26 wait – stand on page. wipe your feet and jump up and down.
27 kindness – make a mess and clean it up.
28 quiet – document time passing.
29 persevere – tear a page out. put it in your pocket. put it through the wash. stick it back in.
30 bread – document your dinner – rub, smear, splatter your food. use this page as a napkin.
31 suffering – scratch using a sharp object.
32 patience – fill this page with circles.
33 home – sample various substances found in your home. document what they are. create color themes.
34 alone – pick up this journal without using your hands.
35 restore – compost this journal and watch it deteriorate.
36 blessed – write only good thoughts.
37 rejoice – write carelessly now.
38 roots – press leaves and other found things.
39 help – ask a friend to do something destructive to this page. don’t look.
40 cup – make a funnel using this page. drink some water.
What I always find helpful when holding a bake sale is finding a way where everyone can participate, be involved, and not feel left out. The kids came up with suggested donations for both the journal ($5-$10) and baked goods ($1-$2). That way there is a range according to what you can afford. We also accepted IOU’s knowing that not everyone brings cash with them and it is an honor system on whether or not the IOU is fulfilled.
Both adults and kids bought the journals. It is something a family can do together. One woman who loves structure said that she was going to challenge herself to wreck the journal as an attempt to stretch herself this lenten season.