When starting something new, there is always this pressure to get it right. So here are a few starting rules for getting your journal habit started and set up.
No one is going to read your journal. If you are worried about it, find a safe place to keep it. However, you need to make sure to be honest with yourself so you can get to the root of whatever you are dealing with. Being dishonest will only hurt you.
Or pictures. It’s your journal. Pen to page how you want to. It doesn’t matter how much or how little. One word. One sketch. 3 pages. Pen to paper. Just do it.
Daily, weekly, monthly. If you skip a week, pick it back up where you left off. No one is counting how many days you missed. Simply pick it back up and start again.
Sometimes you pick out a journal, and things are going great for a little while, and then you fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes you can pick that same journal...
When it comes to journaling, most people’s first thought is “Dear Diary, today I went to the park…” Or at least, I assume that is your first thought. However, there are many types of journals, and that play by play through the day is only one type. I have never really kept that type of journal. My journals are all a mix of the different types of journals listed here. They aren’t pretty (definitely not Pinterest worthy), and they don’t follow any set rules. My journal, my rules, and rules were meant to be broken.
The first type of journal is similar to the Dear Diary format, and is simply a log of your prayers, thoughts, and feelings. This can help you trace your thoughts back to the root, and help you get to the bottom of why you are feeling the way you are. This type of journaling helps me realize when I am being irrational or selfish, and helps me make clearer decisions. I don’t do this every day, but only when I am...
If there is one thing that I am thankful to have done throughout the years, it is journal my prayers. I have a pretty awful memory, but going back through and being able to read what I prayed for and asked God about at different times in my life has been an invaluable tool for tracing God’s hand throughout my story. As I am reading through the Old Testament this year, I have been circling every time God told the Israelites to remember, and I have lost track of how many times He has commanded it up until this point. They have put all kinds of practices in place simply to help them remember who God is and what He has done for them.
Just like the Israelites, I am prone to forget. Using a journal has helped me to remember.
Being able to remember what God has done for me in the past has been crucial to my faith in God in the present. It has helped me to see no matter where I was in my life, God has never failed me. And since He is a God that does not change, He never will...
I regularly pray for you. If you have found your way to my site, you have been prayed for. It’s true.
Sometimes Mondays can be hard. So I wanted to give you a little prayer to pray today. There is nothing special about my words. You can change them. Make them your own words if you want. But I have found, the best way to start my week is in prayer. Try it out. Let me know how it goes!
As we walk through this day, this week, keep us with You. You are our safe place. You are our Rock. We don’t want anything that might take us away from you.
You guide us through life, and with You as our Guide, who can shake us? We are immovable in You.
Through You, we have Life. Life that we could get no other way. But you don’t settle for just giving us Life, you wanted to give us joy and happiness as well.
You are the giver of every good gift. Help us to delight in You.
Today is the day between Good Friday, and Easter. It’s the messy middle. Jesus is dead. Sin has appeared to conquer. But we know tomorrow will sing a different song. Maybe in life, you are in a messy middle. Maybe you can’t quite sing the song of hope while in the darkness.
I hope Psalm 34:18 can sing a little hope for you.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.
Today, try to carve out a little time with your journal and coffee. Write about what this verse means to you.
Maybe inside this messy middle, you want to feel God near to your broken heart.
Maybe you are just on the other side of that mess, and looking back at how God was there all along.
Maybe you are still searching, wondering about where God is in all of this.
Write in your journal like you are writing to God. Nothing is off limits. I promise He is big enough to handle whatever is on your heart.
When I was a kid, the church secretary would give you a piece of candy if you quoted a verse for her. To be honest, most of the time I would cheat and just use the same verse each time. There was always the one kid who would quote John 11:35, “Jesus wept” (also known as the shortest verse in the Bible). We would all roll our eyes, but were secretly jealous that he beat us to it.
I never really knew the context of that verse, but I assumed it had something to do with Jesus dying on the cross. If I could think of something in Jesus’s life that would have made Him cry, that would have been it. But that is not the case at all. Jesus cried because His friend died. He knew that in a few moments that He was going to raise His friend Lazarus from the dead, but for the time being, Jesus mourned his friend’s death. Jesus came into his friend’s pain, and was there with them in that. That is so much more powerful to me, than Jesus weeping over His own pain.
When I say you should be memorizing scripture, the number 1 response I hear is, “but I don’t have a good memory.” To be honest, my memory isn’t that great either. But I spend time on it. What you spend time doing is what you will get better at. Here are a few tips to help you get started with Scripture memory.
Don’t start off trying to memorize the whole book of Matthew. Start off trying to memorize your favorite verse. Chances are you know that one pretty well already, since it is your favorite. Start a habit of reading that verse out loud 10 times a day for a week, and then the next week, try to quote it 5-10 times per day. Over time, that verse will sink in.
Don’t start off trying to memorize a genealogy. Pick a verse you want to remember. Memorize that.
Memorizing Scripture is simply repetition over time. Work on one verse until you have it down. That could be a...
I absolutely love podcasts. They are a great way to learn while you are doing other things like gardening, walking, or cleaning the kitchen! These are a few of my favorites these days.
This podcast is about being lazy with the things that don’t matter, and a genius about the things that do. I have learned so many tips and tricks from Kendra, and I am trying her “change your life chicken” this week and can’t wait!
Emily P. Freeman is one of my absolute favorite people! If you listen to one of her podcasts, you are going to want to listen to them all. If I am ever overwhelmed, I know I can put on her podcast and her gentle voice will help me to process everything in my brain, and come away with a clear mind and a simple next right step. I want to be best friends with her. Someone introduce me.
This one is hilarious, although some episodes may not be child friendly (there are some weird stories in the...
Growing up, I was always told to memorize scripture, because you could need to know a part of the Bible, and not have a Bible near you. Well now, I have a Bible in my pocket on my smartphone 24/7. That reasoning doesn’t hold water anymore. But I feel like now, more than ever it is so important to memorize scripture. Why?
In Romans 12:1-2 it says:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
If we want to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” we need to be renewing our minds! And that comes by changing what you think about on a regular basis. The Old Testament refers to this as meditation. When the Old Testament was written, there wasn’t a way to order a copy...
Do you ever read your Bible and then think, so now what? It is easy to pick out something to apply to your life when you are reading James, or some of the New Testament books, but how do you read a story from the book of Judges and then get some sort of daily action step for your life?
What if the goal of reading the Bible wasn’t an action step?
Yes, like James says, we shouldn’t be hearers of the Word and not doers. But what if the end goal of studying our Bible was to know God instead of to wrap up our reading time with an application point?
Instead of looking for what to do, what if we looked for how we could know God?