Lately this has been my question for everyone I meet. It was part of my conversation while canoeing with my son, during lunch with a past roommate, while on a walk with a friend.
Do you journal?
If so, how did you get started?
What kind of situation makes you pick up your pen?
Where do you buy your journals?
How often do you write?
Does it help you?
I have been hyperfocused on the the act of journaling ever since I agreed to teach a mini class at House of Hope this summer called Writing from Within. My heart’s desire with this class was to encourage women to pay attention to what is happening in their hearts by listening and writing down the thoughts that come to them. I offered stories from people I know who journal. We shared our frustrations at the whole “time” thing, commitment, privacy and our inner critic. I offered them some new writing techniques to help generate ideas and a number of writing prompts. It was all great fun and I totally enjoyed pulling it all together.
So, today I’d like to share with you a piece out of my journal…the one I write in while meeting with God each morning. After reading a chapter, section or story from a book in the Bible, I pray and ask God what He wants me to hear from Him. Something always jumps out at me and I begin to write. Here’s a peek into my journal from June 26th.
In Isaiah 8 God is speaking to Isaiah with a strong hand upon him, telling him not to follow the way of the pagan people who lived in the land. He wanted Isaiah instead to draw near to Him. “The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear…and he will be a sanctuary…”
The word sanctuary interested me so I looked up what that word meant: a place of refuge or safety. Other words for sanctuary: haven, harbor, port in a storm, oasis, shelter, retreat, hideaway, hideout.
Lord Almighty, what do you want me to hear from you regarding you as a sanctuary?
I am your safe place. You need not fear. Rest in me. I am your hideaway from the sadness all around you. I will always provide shelter when the rains of despair swirl about you. Rest in the cove that is me. Keep your heart in mine. Keep your eyes looking to me and find your peace there. Breathe in my presence. Don’t worry over the hurting people you know. Bring them to me. I know them. They are mine and I am with them. Your concern should be to rest in my safe haven, trust me, and not be afraid. Your heart longs for me and I love that. I am your oasis – drink fully and deeply of all I offer. Jesus showed you the way. Come.
These were very comforting words. I realized that as God wanted Isaiah to run to Him as a sanctuary, He also wants me to know and trust Him that way. He wants me to bring my concerns to Him and then stay there with Him. I left my quiet place that morning filled and trusting, equipped to do the work He has called me to.
Do you journal?
If not and if you’d like to get started, just give me a call. I’d love to talk with you.