Panning for Gold: Random Reading, Rich Results

Collage 1a (1)

 

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.

 

540373_819355661448529_6033405683955820687_n

 

 

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”?
Good enough.
FOR WHOM?
Myself.
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!

 

 

***********************

 

517p4A0+9jL._SX428_BO1,204,203,200_

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: words@brick.net or https://www.facebook.com/lynn.morrissey.14

 

 

 

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lynndmorrissey
    Apr 01, 2018 @ 21:30:16

    Hi Dawn,
    Thanks so much for your generous invitation to participate in your RJD Reunion. Very grateful. I always love sharing random journal entries on purpose! 🙂
    Love you, and joyful journaling!
    Lynn

    Like

    Reply

  2. Pamela Mursch Steiner
    Apr 02, 2018 @ 07:08:15

    Thank you, Lynn, for your open and honest “random journal” regarding “decluttering”. This struck a chord with me, as it is a subject that continually haunts me. I look around my home and become distressed with the very thought of having to sift through so many “memories” and “treasures” and begin the process of “downsizing” so that we can be “free” to pursue further adventures in life… Much of my “clutter” is the accumulation of 49 years of marriage, many “gifts” received throughout the year from so many wonderful friends and loved ones that have added to my collections of “things”… and it is difficult to know where to begin. I would love to see your “Nehemiah 52 day plan”…maybe that would help spur me onward and upward. God bless you in your writing and decluttering adventures! Thank you for sharing with us. This was a wonderful way to start my Monday morning after Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • lynndmorrissey
      Apr 02, 2018 @ 14:07:29

      Pamela,

      Thank you so much for taking time to read here, and also for your transparency in sharing your own “clutter” struggle . . . though it sounds like ultimately for you, it’s treasure-and-memory mining. I truly understand this, not just from my own life, but my parents’. When Daddy died nearly eleven years ago, my mother was faced with moving, but quickly. What a burden for her to have to “unload” so many things he had collected for nearly sixty years of their married life. Thank goodness my husband was a good organizer and delegator. It was all hands on board to help Mother. But likely it would have been more desirable if my parents had done this earlier, in a less rushed and more deliberate way. Though Mother now lives in a much smaller condo, still she longs to sift through papers, cards, books, gifts, and memories. I hope to help her, and help myself at the same time. One thing that I have said to her, that I would to you now as well, is that the “thing” doesn’t connote the person or the memory. I’m encouraging her to gently let go objects that no longer serve a use, or say, cards, that don’t contain letters or longer messages, but are simply Hallmark greetings with a signature. She can bless the person as she thinks about how kind s/he was to have reached out at the time, but let go the paper itself. The books she no longer reads can be given away to bless someone else. She herself is talking about letting go certain “objects” of her affection too and letting them bless someone else now so she is present to witness their enjoyment!

      I’ve also read about people taking photos of gifts/treasures and perhaps writing down the memory about when they were given, and assembling it all in a pretty scrapbook to be enjoyed not just by them, but others. This would serve two purposes: 1) help you in the downsizing process; 2) honor the giver. I think additionally you have mentioned here some key things to remember as motivators to your need to do this: “This struck a chord with me, as it is a subject that continually haunts me. I look around my home and become distressed with the very thought of having to sift through so many “memories” and “treasures…” and “begin the process of “downsizing” so that we can be “free” to pursue further adventures in life…”

      Your stuff (and insert the words my stuff–I’m speaking to myself here as well, please believe that) is haunting you, distressing you, *continually* weighing you down, and also it is preventing you from further adventures with the Lord and loved ones. May I gently suggest that we both need to ask why we need this stuff, and why we don’t move forward when it is preventing us from living fully, freely, and adventurously in the Lord (and for me, maybe I’m afraid what a new adventure would entail… so I live with the burden of procrastination–not good! 🙂 ). Is the price we are paying for keeping things really worth it? For me, it has become more of a burden than a blessing.

      A simple journaling technique to evoke clarity is listing. You might consider making two separate lists: How Keeping Things Is Affecting me . . . and . . . How I Will Feel and Function When I Let Things Go. Another thing to consider is why you are procrastinating doing this (such as I demonstrated above). I also discovered part of the reason I procrastinate in the journal dialogue I shared with you here. Yes, when you write a dialogue, you do both the asking and the answering so it might feel silly, but I believe as you dialogue before the Lord in prayer, it will be similiar to Biblical examples of how King David spoke to his soul and answered back (like Ps.42), and where God was guiding the process and granting wisdom. I think you might be amazed at what evolves (always being certain that what you write does not contradict Scripture).

      Finally, I had sketched out the Nehemiah 52-Day Plan in an old journal with the intent of jumpstarting my project, thereby giving me encouragement. One day when I was reading about this ancient leader, and realized how truly overwhelming his task was and that he actually completed it, I sensed God showing me that, with His help, I could stick with anything for 52 days! 🙂 I would have to type this from my journal, which I need to do anyway, so if you would email me @ words@brick.net, when I’m finished with that process, I’d be pleased to send it to you.

      May I also suggest a book that I think is excellent on the subject of procrastination, though the word isn’t in the title: Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer. It’s biblical and soul-searching.

      Pamela, I sense that though I was disappointed not to post the essay I’d intended for Dawn’s blog, there is ultimately nothing random about what I did post. If you are the only person who feels encouraged to move forward, then that is why the Lord changed my course. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you seek Him, your true Treasure, and His help in sifting through the other treasures and gifts that have blessed your life!
      Love
      Lynn

      Like

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Completion – soulPantry
  4. kelrohlf
    Apr 02, 2018 @ 21:23:11

    Lynni- I love your collage, and your journaling to overcome and jumpstart the de-cluttering process…I never thought of doing a dialogue write using right hand and left hand, I’m sure you taught us that idea, but I like how you used it for this exercise. I am honored that you may use the journal I gave you as a way to document your journey. Everything about this post seems to be just right for you and for us your readers. When I get back I have one last dominion to conquer …our basement storage area where I have “placed” the hard to sort items. I admire you for sticking to it, and remember how well organized you have your books and journals 🙂

    I look forward to catching up in person soon. Love and hugs-Kel

    Like

    Reply

  5. lynndmorrissey
    Apr 02, 2018 @ 21:38:18

    Kel, I always so much appreciate your encouragement and your journal creativity. I love how you have discovered you are a process artist, and how you use your journal as a part of that journey! (And how you have shared something you’ve created with me–thank you again for the journal). Ah . . . basements. I’d say anything above or below living spaces can be depositories of no return! I don’t think I ever told you, but on Linden Avenue we had both a basement and attic. The attic was huge, but rough and not insulated. We stored all manor of stuff up there, especially because we could walk around easily. [I told my poor grandmother we were going to turn it into a ballroom, and she called one day really worried that it would collapse on top of us! 🙂 I digress, as usual!] At any rate, I’m glad you are going to find out what is lurking in your basement and organize it. It will be freeing and per this post a chance to unearth treasure. You know, in your mentioning my books, it brings up another good point. Sometimes it is helpful to have organizing “implements.” Those shelves have been a godsend for books previously stored in boxes. I could never lift those heavy book-laden boxes. Now I can see what I have. And I’m thinking “organizing implement” is a great journal metaphor…. journals help us “process and organize” random thoughts that float through our minds and the deeper issues that need sorting out. I think you will enjoy the non-dominate hand-write. It takes longer to do, and summons up deeper insight in its awkwardness. It really was revelatory for me. I’d forgotten to give Dawn a photo of it from my actual journal. I will ask her if there is room to post that. Can’t wait to see my favorite booklover and boat captain upon your return!
    Love
    Lynni
    PS When we moved from Linden Ave., we called friends and family to come retrieve the junk they’d asked us to store in the attic. My favorite response was from Mike’s younger sister: “Oh! So that’s where I put my wedding gown!!!” 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  6. Cecelia L. Lester
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 10:08:42

    Lynn: I am a packrat. I have tried to get rid of “stuff” at different times. Alas, I run out of energy. I did get rid of paperwork pertaining to my dad and papers he had kept over the decades. He’s been deceased since 2009. I have a number of my late sister-in-law’s things at the bottom of the wardrobe where I have some of my clothes. I just have too much stuff. I am interested in that 52 Day Plan you have created. I will be e-mailing you for it. I need help.

    Like

    Reply

  7. lynndmorrissey
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 16:30:36

    Cecelia, I really appreciate your gracious response and your own transparency in sharing about your personal struggle. Thank you. It’s always good to know we are not alone! 🙂 Be gentle with yourself. Some of your things are not your things, but what you have “inherited.” Admittedly, that doesn’t seem quite fair to you (read my comment to Kel Rohlf above about my SIL’s wedding dress! :-)). But I know you still want to sort through others’ things, and I am inferring from your packrat comment, that you have your own things to sort out and your own decluttering to do. And boy do I get paper! Those and my books at this point are my worst areas of accumulation. I’m keeping clothes pretty much organized, though I should probably give my closet another pass at this juncture. but happily, because I’ve done that before, I hope it won’t take too much time. And I solved the jewelry dilemma. I got rid of all the big, junky earrings of another life, and wear just a few basics that are quality pieces (like wedding and engagement ring, Grandma’s pearl ring, pearl earrings (which I almost always have on), and a couple other rings (I wear a ring on my left index finger, always, in addition to my “wedding ensemble.”) I have a strand of pearls that I often wear in my Bach performance group and an antique cameo, my reward from Michael for giving birth! :-)), and that is it.

    I’m happy to pass along my 52-day plan. As I’d indicated, it’s sort of brainstormed in journal form, and I’d need to type and tweak it. So bear w/ me. But maybe the Lord will encourage us both through the wonderful example of Nehemiah. Onward!
    Love
    Lynn

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Disclosure Policy

%d bloggers like this: