Untouched Treasure

IMG_3488I acquired some treasure around three years ago. That treasure? Two of my grandparents’ diaries—one of Grandpa Hoy’s and one of Grandma Barnes’s—along with two of Grandma’s travel journals.

The diaries and journals came into my possession after my parents decided to sell their house in Missouri and move to Tulsa. They started going through years of accumulated belongings and wanted to winnow down the amount of stuff they’d actually take with them. Of course, they naturally asked my sisters and me if we’d like to have certain things, and of course, we did indeed find things we wanted to hang on to. The grandparents’ diaries and journals were among those things. I took a few to keep and my sisters also took some.

Right away, I looked up certain important dates like wedding days, birthdays, etc., to see what my grandparents had written on those days. Since they were using those little five-year locking diaries that were so popular back in the 60s and 70s, they had only about four short lines to write the events of the day. Since they had to pick and choose what they’d record, it was especially interesting to see what they thought was important.

After that initial gander at the contents of the diaries, though, I’m sorry to admit that I let them sit untouched until just recently. Oh, I had every intention of going through them more thoroughly, but I let the busyness of life keep me from exploring and savoring these treasures like I should have.

But one day a couple of weeks ago as I was implementing my theme word for this year and resting from my work for a bit, I picked up one of my treasures again. And I’m so glad I did.

Without going into detail, I found an entry in Grandpa’s journal that gave me insight into an event that was quite upsetting to me at the time. I was a teenager, and like so many teenagers, I saw only one side of the story. But now a few precious words in Grandpa’s diary showed me another side. The new-found insight comforted me, even now so many years later.

Now I’m wondering what other gems I’ll find in my grandparents’ diaries and journals and am determined to not let this extraordinary treasure sit idle for so long again. I plan to make time to explore and savor my treasure as I should, knowing that other sweet moments and discoveries await me.

What other untouched treasures may be at my fingertips and yours just waiting to bless us when we’ll give them the time and attention they deserve? It’s a shame to let treasure go untouched, isn’t it? Let’s determine to open our treasures.

“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:3 NIV

*What are some other examples of untouched treasure? For many, the Word of God might fall into this category. What else comes to mind?

*My photo

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!


  1. For several years now, my dad has been sending out weekly ramblings via e-mail to his list of friends-followers. I’ve amassed quite a few. I need to print them all out and bind them in some way, so that I can relish them for years to come (so that my children might as well). Beyond that, there are boxes of photos untouched that need sorting, etc. I so enjoy sitting down with them and remembering. PS – I have one of those 4 line journals as well. It’s in my nightstand. Some of my other lengthier journals I had to burn … I’m just saying.

    • Elaine, I have one of those 4-line journals, too, from when I was young :) So neat about your dad’s emails and what a great idea to bind them in some way. A treasure indeed!

  2. Debbie Henry says

    You’ve motivated to take another look at the ones I have. I think I looked up special dates but can’t remember if I read them all.

  3. What a precious blessing! Another reminder that our written words can influence and encourage for generations to come. Thank you!

  4. Oh, this just gives me a happy jolt! What a treasure indeed! It is becoming more and more important to me to get the stories of our elders. Thank you for your post!

    • Miriam, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Love your thought about preserving the stories of our elders, too. Video can be a great way to do this now, too. We always take some video at family reunions and get some stories recorded that way. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  5. What a treasure. And, such a part of your grandparents to keep with you. I have stacks of journals and I have wondered if I would be better off burning them before I die…this makes me think, NO. Leave them something to dig through. The nuggets of treasure will be worth it.

  6. This post has me wondering once again about my own journal collection. When my mom passed a few years ago, a single line in one of her journals hurt my sis very much. It made me decide that my journals should not be left for my family, even though I never said anything awful that I can remember. If we are not here to explain, it is possible that our written inner thoughts could do damage. So I still wonder about it.
    Maybe I should start re-reading my own journals and see for myself. Thanks for this helpful post. Susie

    • Susie, you bring up an important point. I’ve tried to be careful not to write things in my journals that would hurt others who might one day read them. Re-reading yours to be sure is probably a good idea. Thanks for mentioning this aspect of journaling. So glad you stopped by!

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