Tag Archives: journal

Put it in Writing

JusJoJan 25 January

I am somewhat socially inept. I don’t pick up the unspoken cues that other people notice, or perhaps I was never actively taught the art of conversation and what is and is not appropriate. (My Mother did teach me never to ask anybody how much money they earn though.)

My timing is out and whenever I ask a question at the dinner table, the person is stuck with a mouthful of food. I try to be caring and show an interest in other people’s concerns but somehow I don’t get it right. Appropriate words fail me just when I gather up enough courage to open my mouth. If I’m having a deep conversation about something that affects me emotionally, I normally cry which interferes with the message I’m trying to convey.

I have on occasion resorted to writing letters. Somehow the written word seems more weighty than the spoken. People can always deny having said something, but once you’ve written it, there is no turning back.

In my dealings with God I rely heavily on the written word. I’m so glad that nowadays we have the Bible in print form (and the electronic equivalent) and it’s not just word of mouth traditions handed down from generation to generation.

I keep a journal. In it I write verses that impact me and thoughts about what I am reading or studying at the moment. I find writing things down helps keep my mind from wandering. When I write my prayers I feel like I am serious about them. That doesn’t stop me from whispering SMS prayers during the day, however. It just feels more like a basic contract that I can build on. Another advantage of a journal is that I can keep a record of specific prayers for specific people so that when they are answered, I can note it and my faith grows because I might not otherwise even remember that I had prayed.

To cater for journal-writing-people like me, they now manufacture beautiful journals with appropriate scripture verses or beautiful scenes. That just makes it seem more special but there is actually nothing wrong with a plain school book. In fact, my earlier journals are just that, perhaps with the page of an old calendar or something pretty to cover them.

This is my journal for 2022

Not everybody is helped by journaling their journey with God but it works for me.

My Prayer

Thank You, Father God for the Bible. You have committed Your promises to writing and I can stand on them. Please help me in my everyday communication with people. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Amen.

Assignation

First thing in the morning, I am never at my best. Don’t ask me to make any decisions until at least 10am. My husband is the opposite. He’s a lark. I’m an owl.

The Bible says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35) If I did such a thing, I would fall asleep praying.

There have been books and sermons preached on what has come to be known as The Quiet Time. It is the time during which we read a portion of scripture, maybe with the help of a Bible-reading aid, we pray and possible meditate. I don’t like the term Quiet Time. I prefer to call it an assignation or a tryst. An appointment to meet Somebody at a specific time at a specific place.

This is not to say that we can’t pray at other times, and I do, mostly just SMS prayers or a quick word of thanks.

I believe it is an important habit for Christians to get into a routine of such an assignation. I have tried various methods and various guides during the years. They all work and at different times different ones are more meaningful. Sometimes I just go through the Psalms, one a day, or sometimes more than one if I find the first ones unhelpful for where I am at. At the moment I’m reading through the Bible in a year, thanks to my YouVersion Bible App.

One thing is almost indispensable and that is my journal. I write my thoughts, sometimes prayers, sometimes drawings. At the back I keep a prayer list so I can tick of prayers I have forgotten about when God answers. A journal doesn’t work for everybody though.

Another indispensable thing is a cup of coffee. Although it is not first thing in the morning, my assignation is usually before breakfast so a cup of coffee, or lately tea, helps in the gradual wake up process.

Then, after breakfast, I am ready for the day.

This post is part of SOC Saturday and JusJoJan.

Lockdown Day Seven, Attitude of Gratitude

Yesterday I made cards with the grandchildren during “Granny Time.” They were meant to be Easter cards, but mine turned out to be a Thank You card, mainly because I had Thank You stickers in my craft box.


It got me to thinking about 1 Thes 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

At the end of 2017 my best friend gave me a journal with pictures to colour for each entry. I already had a quiet time journal so I decided to use this one as a Thanks Diary. Every day I would try to list new things for which I was grateful. I got to 206 before my other journal finished and I had to use my Thanks Diary as my journal.

I think it is a good habit to try to get back into in this topsy turvy time so here are today’s ten items on my thanks list.

  1. That I can walk without pain. Some years ago I suffered from Sciatica and could barely walk ten steps without taking a break.
  2. That I can breathe freely. Normally I am only thankful for this for a short while after I have got over a cold.
  3. For a garden.
  4. For birds that visit my feeding stations.
  5. For eyes to see and contact lenses and reading glasses so I can see in focus.
  6. For a sewing machine so I can help my granddaughter make a dress for her sister’s birthday.
  7. For food in the house and enough energy to be creative in using tinned food so we don’t have to go shopping too often.
  8. For the growth of the seeds I planted two weeks ago. I only have to do the planting. God causes the growing.
  9. That all my children are well and confined in pleasant places.
  10. For our church who have organised weekly prayer meetings and daily devotions.

I’m sure you can all add your ten items to a Thank You list. Please feel free to share. We are not called on to give thanks for all circumstances, but rather in all circumstances.

Thank you, Lord, for all your gifts to us. Amen.