Hello Random Journal Day Friends!
I have been a bit busier than expected BUT I want you to know I am here and appreciating your posts, participation and presence between all of my real life adventures!
I have extended our Random Journal Day Reunion so we all have a bit more time to connect linger and follow through.
I pray your Easter weekend has been a blessing, and perhaps you might enjoy settling in for an inspirational perspective from a very special guest this Easter evening.
I am honored to have Lynn D. Morrissey on the blog and if you are not familiar with Lynn, you need to be! She is a gifted author, journal facilitator and creative soul.
Her book, Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer is listed in my Top Recommendations for Journal Keepers. It is beautiful and should only be bought as a hard copy, since the artwork is breathtaking, and Lynn’s prose is the kind you will want to pour over and page through again and again. Trust me on this! I also am grateful that Lynn will be giving a signed copy of her book for our RJD celebration! – stay tuned for details! Many of our participants are giving copies so I will share more on how YOU can win a great collection of books ASAP!
Since Lynn does not does not have a blog, she is sharing her writing as a guest post here on Enthusiastically, Dawn and it is truly an honor to have her here- please be sure and comment any thoughts or questions -and I am sure Lynn will respond as her schedule permits.
Greetings RJD aficionados in the Lord!
When dear Dawn invited me to participate in the RJD Reunion, I was delighted. I have long admired her work, and I know the benefits of journaling. But what many don’t realize is that sometimes the richest rewards of journaling are found in re-reading journal entries, what we pro journal facilitators call the process of “harvesting.” Of course, one gains insight and catharsis in the process of journaling itself; but often it’s in the re-reading that the deepest nuggets of wisdom are mined. Part of this phenomenon comes, I believe, through the perspective of time and life lived. We begin to see how God has used seemingly random thought-threads to weave a pattern for good ala Romans 8:28. Or to keep the gold metaphor, how this process of sifting through words reveals golden insights.
Confession: I had already prepared a piece for you today showing how even what we consider to be random readings in the Bible, poetry, etc., can be revelatory when they converge on our journal pages. But this particular essay, while extremely insightful and cathartic to me (as hopefully it would have been to you) is also very raw and real and current in my life. It is a painful experience and involves family members, who remained unnamed. Still, in deliberating about whether or not to publish this piece right now, I’ve decided against it.
So to keep my commitment to Dawn and you, it was back to the drawing board for me, and drawing randomly from an old journal. I hope that you will find what I’ve unearthed to be insightful, and the method I used to be one you might try for a fresh take in journaling. And unlike the other piece I’d composed for you, I will actually illustrate this one with a collage from my journal, contemporaneous with the following entry, which I wrote on a hot Monday in July 2012 at our cabin.
I began the entry by posing a question to my soul about something I felt preventing me from moving fully forward with the Lord and His purpose for me . . . that of decluttering my house. My home is presentable, but clutter lurks in closets and the basement and weighs me down. You will see through this exercise that I continued to pose questions to myself as I wrote (called a Journaling Dialogue), and I wrote them with my right, dominate hand. However, and I never had before tried this, I answered back in my left, non-dominate hand. The insights I gleaned were powerful.
So you can easily see the switch between question and response, I’ll post questions in caps (and no, I’m not shouting at you).
WHAT PREVENTS ME FROM DECLUTTERING MY HOUSE COMPLETELY?
I procrastinate because I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by something I feel is impossible to finish well.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “WELL”?
BUT WHY DOES DECLUTTERING NEED TO BE PERFECT OR OVERWHELMING? WHY DON’T YOU JUST DO IT? YOU ARE NOT CREATING SOMETHING—JUST RIDDING YOURSELF OF STUFF!
Maybe these things represent parts of *me* instead of just junk that I’m discarding. So maybe it’s like throwing away parts of me that never got a chance to fully develop, or else that I don’t want to face . . . like things that represent a mistake or failure in my life.
THEN WHAT COULD YOU DO ABOUT THIS?
Realize that it is being more of a failure not to deal with something and that there can be hidden gold in what the clutter is hiding, both in the objects themselves and in what they may be hiding about me!
COULD YOU THINK OF DECLUTTERING AS AN ADVENTUROUS TREASURE HUNT TO DISCOVER THE TREASURE OF *YOU*??
But what if I don’t like what I find, or have to throw so many things away?
ATTITUDE! YOU ARE PANNING FOR GOLD!! NATURALLY, YOU WILL SIFT THROUGH SILT. LET IT GO AND KEEP THE LITERAL GEMS, AND ALSO THE GEMS OF INSIGHTS YOU DISCOVER IN YOUR JOURNAL FOR YOURSELF AND TO SHARE WITH OTHERS. DON’T BE AFRAID OF WHAT YOU FIND. THERE ARE ALWAYS TREASURES IN HIDDEN THINGS OF DARKNESS.
But practically speaking, how do I do this? I have put off this complete decluttering for many, many years.
IF YOU GO ON A TREASURE HUNT, THINK OF THIS AS A PLEASURE TRIP! COLLAGE A MAP OF POINTS OF INTERST. KEEP A DISCOVERY JOURNAL. MAYBE THE LITTLE “SMASH” JOURNAL THAT KEL ROHLF GAVE YOU. PLAY INSPIRING MUSIC. READ ABOUT CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS IN [the book] THE TRAVELER’S GIFT. SET AN ITINERARY. PLAN FOR PORTS OF CALL . . . LITTLE REWARDING BREAKS OR PLACES TO GO, WHERE YOU CAN JOURNAL THE DISCOVERIES. THINK OF THIS AS AN EXCITING DISCOVERY JOURNEY, RATHER THAN A DREADED DESTINATION AND BELIEVE THAT IT WILL PUT YOU IN FULL, CLEAR VIEW OF YOUR PROMISED LAND!!
Lynn again: Wow! As I was typing this, my “random” journal entry, I realize it isn’t random at all! God wanted me to read this and get serious about a task that I have never truly finished. I often get extremely far, but then don’t complete the job.
I’m reading Deuteronomy right now, and it’s all about the Israelites finally entering the Promised Land after a forty-year wandering wilderness trek. I realize now in the re-reading that the last line of my journal entry, “THINK OF THIS AS AN EXCITING DISCOVERY JOURNEY, RATHER THAN A DREADED DESTINATION AND BELIEVE THAT IT WILL PUT YOU IN FULL, CLEAR VIEW OF YOUR PROMISED LAND!!,” that it perfectly parallels my daily Bible reading! WOW!
Obedience was the price that the Israelites were required to pay for admittance to their Land of Milk and Honey. Partial obedience is disobedience. I’ve always known that, but sadly, I’ve not always *lived* it.
Besides this journal entry from 2012, I grabbed another 2012 journal and note that I had outlined a “Nehemiah 52-Day Plan” for accomplishing this full decluttering goal. As I share with you, here, quite literally as I type, I realize I can reinstate that plan and chart a 52-Day Decluttering Discovery Journey! All this randomness is giving me hope, intention, and a tangible way forward.
This is what I love about journaling. When we journal to the Lord, He rewards us with the gold of wisdom, with the gift of intimacy not just with Him, but with ourselves. I personally believe that with our sovereign God there is really nothing random in life, and especially in our journaling. He has a divine purpose in it if we will but pick up our pens and pour out our hearts. I promise you, you will richly rewarded!
Lynn D. Morrissey possesses the rare ability to probe beneath the surface, striking the heart of a subject, while sharing transparently from her own heart. She is passionate about journaling, through which God has healed her of suicidal depression, alcoholism, and guilt from an abortion. She empathizes greatly with those who endure pain. A poetic word stylist, Lynn sculpts beautiful language with her pen, and is the author of Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer and other books, contributor to numerous bestsellers, a Certified Journal Facilitator (CJF) for her ministry, Sacred Journaling, speaker, and member of a professional Bach chorus. She lives with her husband Michael and grown daughter Sheridan in Saint Louis, Missouri. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.facebook.com/lynn.morrissey.14