Although it is not the first Friday of the month at this posting, it will be VERY soon! The first Friday of the month is the time a few faithful journal keepers gather and enjoy peeking in one another’s journals. If you are new, feel free to check out the variety of offerings. Don’t be shy. Dig into your journal archives…or if you are BRAVE and CRAZY, go ahead and give us a peek into something current. The link usually goes live 12:01 AM on Friday, but since last month we did not gather due to my Planning for Purpose series with The Nester’s 31 day writing challenge, I thought we would allow the link to open earlier. Join us anytime from Thursday night @ 10-11 through Monday night to link, read and enjoy. For more information and if you want to see past posts and links, check out the Random Journal Day Page.
As for me, this month I am sharing a journal I began keeping in 2006 and stopped in 2011. Interestingly enough it started as a desire for the season of Lent. I think I started to miss the sense of holiness surrounding Easter. In my hope of capturing or reigniting my sense of the Lord’s holiness, I began “My Lenten Journal”. Well, the same year I decided I needed to fight the distractions of the Christmas season, and fix my eyes on Jesus and began an Advent journal. I was doing my best with my daughter, who was 6 years old, to keep our holiday grounded in Truth, and it was getting harder as she entered public school for first grade. Eventually these seasonal journals got longer and “Thanksgiving to Christmas Journal” might start as early mid November and over time reached right into the New Year!
As always, turning to the pen gives me focus, power and clarity. But this is what is most unique about this journal which spans 5 years of holidays. I exclusively wrote longhand in my journals in 2006. The experiment to adapt my writing to a keyboard was a huge leap. Ironically, I believe it prepared me for the day I would enter the world of blogging. This journal (or series of journals) was the precursor to my blogging. Initially I took the 40 days or so before Easter and began the journey. Then it seemed only reasonable to do the same thing for Advent. Before I knew it, I was stretching the length of time I would keep the journal. I called it my “online” journal, but it was not online at all. Only on the computer. Journaling on a computer was both odd and exciting to me. I could add graphics, colored and varied fonts and eventually pictures. I could correct spelling, and adjust text easily.
You have to understand, at this point I had never heard of blogging, or any Social Media. We had dial-up internet and no cable. Not such a bad thing in retrospect. Soon, My Advent journal stretched to New Years, at which point I would resume my longhand journaling. Once Spring came, and Easter was coming, I got ready to write on my “online” journal. HA! How innocent I was to the technological advances emerging beyond my door. It is a bit comical. In May of 2011, I began my first blog Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith. I do believe God used my little “online” practice to get me comfortable with journaling online for real. I believe that would be called Blogging!
This giant-sized Binder has the dated page at the front of each section to divide the years, and holidays. It is quite weighty. Entries vary from short to lengthy. So many rich details, prayer and special moments are captured in these pages.
So, without further adieu, here is my share for RJD this month…
* March 12, 2009:
I just returned from my morning walk with Banjo and want to thank you, Lord for the beautiful horses I got to see galloping around the horse farm up the road. As we were walking in the woods where we usually cut in from Hazard Road, just before the horse stables and pasture, I stopped in my tracks as I felt the ground beneath me rumble in an unusual way. Apparently the three horses had just been freed from their stables to pasture on this cold but clear day. I watched in awe at their beauty and grace, as well as appreciated the moment, Lord. You allowed me to experience and witness this moment as a gift. Lord, I praise you for your goodness. You are so good and know the things that bring me great joy. Thank you, Lord for this!
During this walk this morning I was free from grumbling and complaining. These, my two biggest sins of late, and of great offense to you, seem to have left me, as I have asked and I give you praise and thanksgiving, because I know I was unable on my own. Forgiveness is the way I am going. Lord, God I will walk softly and hold your hand, instead of a “big stick”! This is what you are showing me through my Bible reading- that you are holy, and I have sinned through disobedience, grumbling and complaining- in spite of your goodness- and that this sin, needs to be repented of. Thank you for your Word.
I thank you also for this thought: That every day I can forgive and release someone, praying for them and lifting them up to God. This has to be from you Lord, because I could not have the desire on my own. As I walked today and God, you continued to shine your light upon me, I realized that as I live my life free from grumbling, complaining, bitterness and anger toward others, I am freed to truly pray and have close fellowship with you. Close fellowship with you is my heart’s desire.
So Lord, my list is too long and I will trust you to lead me and reveal all the secret things to me that need to be released, as well as who I need to forgive and release to You from the heart.I choose to run to you, Lord. I choose to cling to You and Your goodness for the days ahead. Lord, though I am so much like those “stiff necked ” Israelites: I pray that a different spirit like Caleb’s is in me. Lord, that I might walk after your ways and ave faith that is pure and holy and good.
Lord, nothing like that is within me without you. I will not, CANNOT do this apart from You. Lord please, let your will be done in my life. Let me be full of joy that is abundant, everlasting and evident to others. Not to draw attention to myself, but that they might seek that very essence in me that resonates and is of You.
*These passages are excerpted from a three page journal entry.
Maybe you’d like to try keeping a Thanksgiving to New Years , Advent, or Lent journal during the holiday season! Give it a try, and be sure to let me know if you do. Happy Journaling!
I also did a video to share on You Tube for this journal. Coffee Chat/Journal Share- Click Here if video does not show.