Monthly Inspiration: April

After spending this last weekend finishing the last two books these collected quotes were used for, this quote stood out to me the most for where I am right now.

First off, I love that it's from a French book and it fittingly reminds me of my friend Amanda who not only provided this quote, but who is currently studying abroad in France (learn about the city she's staying in through the program's blog).

Second, I get really restless. And to solve this restlessness, I often look to changing my environment/surroundings. I was actually at dinner with my dad tonight and his relentless changing of cars (I think we counted nine or more within the last ten years?) seems to be the equivalent to my need to go on adventures and explore.

But I've realized lately that, while these things can be really fun and wonderful, and this urge to go and do as many things as possible pushes me to experience and have a continued curiosity for so many things – it can sometimes act as a temporary solution to this continued feeling. So instead, my focus should be – I think – finding peace and patience with where I am at in my life now, and focusing on things that have a long-term impact such as studying the gospel more, and serving more, than wondering where I'm going next.

Honestly, it's a hard balance for me – being so excited about exploring new places, finding fun events, and enjoying that time with friends and family; but also being completely ok with just resting and completely appreciating the now.

So those are my thoughts going into April.

And now for the


Read on to see how the books turned out and find out how to make your own.

The books!

Materials for one book:

  • Metallic gold and/or silver marker (I used this brand and got the 4mm and 2mm and loved it)
  • Black marker (also used Molotow – got the 4mm and 2mm as well)
  • 1 black cardstock sheet
  • 50* white sheets of paper (thicker than regular printer paper, a little less than thick cardstock – should be thick enough so person doesn't see their writing through the paper) *You'll be cutting these in half, so whatever amount of pages you want, divide by two

Background and Process:

About two months before Christmas, I started asking friends and family for their favorite quotes. Originally the idea was to design a journal and have all the quotes from everyone in these books. However, the quality of the books I received from the book publishing company turned out to be awful, so I returned them and had to think super quickly of how I was going to bring my vision together.

I went to a paper store, got the paper materials. I got all of my paper cut in half by the paper people since I gave it to about 27 people and figured it was cheaper and more accurate to have them slice it in half than me find someone else to do it.

After picking up the markers, I went home and I wrote out "Journal" on the front (as pictured below) and the selected person's quote I was giving it to on the back. (Excuse the off-writing of the "nature is beautiful" example – that one was mine and it was done with one of the extra journals I had that was already bound, so once I started writing, I couldn't redo it – which is why you should definitely write whatever you're putting on the front and back cover before you bind it.)

By simply looking up "wire-o binding" – which I love for some reason – I was able to find a place nearby to bind them all. I sorted the pages out (if you're doing one, you luckily can skip that step), and gave it to the binders.

Once I got it back, my ideal journal book still had all the quotes in it. So I started to write out a quote per every 4 or 5 pages. If I messed up, I could just tear the sheet out. In addition, I put a "This journal belongs to: _____________" at the very front so they could sign it themselves and officially make it theirs, and also put a little note on the inside of the front page (which made it so Christmas cards weren't necessary).

Writing out all the quotes really took a lot and I mean a lot longer than anticipated so I was unfortunately only able to do that for a couple of the books. But either way – the response to them was so positive. Everyone can use a journal. And to see their chosen quote on it that ideally inspires or motivates them in some way ... I guess I couldn't go too far wrong. If I had more time, I probably would have pre-printed the pages or added some kind of calendar. Maybe next year?

Overall, it really was a fun project. And to see my friends and family actually using them – some have already completely filled them – almost makes this a gift to myself.