Journaling through the Book of John: A Journey for Lent and Beyond

Journal through the Book of John (1)thisone

 

 

It’s been a while since I have attempted any consistent blogging schedule. It’s been longer since I have done an online Bible study or devotional book group. I’ve pretty much felt like I have fallen into blog negligence over the past few years as I’ve juggled various other commitments, roles and opportunities.

BUT…I”M BACK!

 

I have been reordering my priorities once again, and as I considered what mattered most to me, I realized one of those things was this blog. This opportunity to fulfill so many different roles and goals through one small, consistent offerin

What does this mean for you? Well those of you who have been with me for awhile and are most familiar with my primary sharing of faith-based, inspired writing will probably be relieved to see me return to a former state of consistency in the days ahead with my next series of blog posts.

I am very excited to invite you along for this next journey- and I want to tell you- There’s no need to fear! I have had it on my heart for a few years to combine my love for journaling, passion for God’s Word and enthusiasm for following Jesus – especially in the ordinary moments and not so glorious days that make up most of our lives. Naturally, this sparked an IDEA…

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

I’ll answer for you – YES!

Have you ever wanted to JUST READ THE BIBLE more, but find yourself:

A) Feeling too overwhelmed to take on one more thing.

B) Believing the Bible is beyond your ability to understand.

C) Desiring to know more about Jesus, but unsure of where to start.

D) Making excuses and you’re not even sure why.

Because  I totally understand and have experienced all of these over the course of my faith journey, I have come up with an easy to follow Bible Reading Plan to begin for the season of Lent, which will carry you through until the start of Summer.

Why am I not just offering a forty-ish day challenge for Lent and having you try to squeeze in a whole lot of scripture and other spiritual hurdles ? Because I don’t desire that for myself, and I believe Jesus begs us to COME TO HIM, in an unhurried manner…

I believe He wants us to linger with Him regularly. Which is not to say He doesn’t abide with us, for He is with us always. YET, we, like sheep do wander, do get distracted, do so easily lose our ability to STAY with Him, in a way that is present to His presence. If you follow me?

I also believe that many of us have enough commitments with work, family, church and various obligations to fulfill. I don’t want to make one more To Do for you, but only share a way of marrying scripture and journaling which encourages fruitfulness and spiritual growth.

WAIT- Where Does the Journaling Come In? 

Hey, that’s a great question! Much of my intimacy with Jesus has been developed through, quiet mornings – hanging out trying to learn what it means to listen to Him. I am no holy roller, just a regular chick, looking for the One True Living God and trying to connect with Him. I’ll be honest, it’s not always Instagram pretty. But connecting with God on His terms through Jesus is definitely life altering. It’s also challenging in a myriad of unanticipated ways.

I hear him clearest when I surround myself with quietness, like a blanket and allow the Holy Scriptures to lead my writing, thinking, and honest questions. I wait in the silence of morning for answers I’ve yet to know.

I base my quiet time on simple presuppositions which support my faith life and my primary journaling journey:

1.) I believe God’s Word is living, active, powerful – this isn’t your everyday reading!

2.) You can’t know someone or have a relationship with someone unless you spend time getting to know them and their thoughts. If  you truly value someone, you want to spend time with them. To spend time with Jesus is to explore the words He spoke about Himself for YOURSELF.

3.) I believe that God is willing and able to make Himself and His will known to individuals through His Holy Spirit. Sensitivity to the Spirit is increased through yielding of self by faith through the ongoing work of grace in a disciple’s life.

You DO NOT have to agree with all of my presuppositions to join in on Journaling through the Book of John with me, but I just wanted to be clear about where I am coming from when I approach my personal quiet time. The thing is, if you are open to read one chapter at a time a week in the Gospel of John beginning this March, I can tell you one thing…by June YOU WILL KNOW GOD BETTER THAN YOU DO TODAY. How is that possible?

I know there are a lot of different ways people approach seeking God, quiet time and scripture study. I will share what I have been doing for a better part of twenty years. It’s no magic formula…but it’s what has been helpful for me to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. Despite some serious setbacks. Despite my own stubbornness and sin. Despite mistakes of bad judgement and wrong thinking. I’m still standing. Because of the One who makes me to stand!

The  general simple steps for this journey are as follows. There is no particular order, or script…these are more like movable components that seem to work together well.

BY ALL MEANS feel free to adjust as is good for you:

  1. Read Scripture – One chapter each week, except where noted, schedule below.
  2. Journal/Write it out- questions, praises, thanksgivings, conversation, throughout the week. Write out any verses that stand out to you for meditation.
  3. Pray it through – you can journal and speak your prayers as seems good to you. I tend to combine them. Again, as I feel led. Not in a fixed manner.
  4. Meditate- One chapter a week will allow for scripture to be read and re-read for meaning and depth.
  5. Explore/Extract- Personal application: Use other study helps as needed or desired to enrich your quiet time. Turn key verses that speak to you into prayer for personal growth and guidance.

I’ll elaborate further and hope to share how the components of quiet time vary and are more Spirit -led than humanly manipulated in my personal experience.

*Note- Although I am an advocate for the practice of journaling with pen and paper, I want to encourage you to do what is best for you. If tapping away on a keyboard feels easier for you to maintain a journaling practice, then do it. I have poured out tears of prayer writing with keys as well as with pen.

What you can expect from this  journey?

The opportunity to step back and develop a slow and steady meditative journaling practice grounded in Holy Scripture which encourages spiritual growth and development of Christian character. You can’t spend time with Jesus and remain unchanged. BUT, many avoid spending the time because they don’t want to risk change.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19 (NIV)

What you can expect here on the blog:

I will post a blog each Saturday , as shown below, to allow you the opportunity to share in the comments and have accountability or support along the way. There is no pressure to share, but just a chance to hopefully connect over the AMAZINGness of this Gospel and anything the Lord reveals to you if do you feel the desire to share.

The details I will be sharing on the blog posts are to be disclosed as we go…because just like you, I don’t know exactly what God will reveal to me during this season of Lent. BUT, I will be sharing some Bible Study supports, personal journal entries, Scripture Journaling, poetry ( if it comes) and anything else I think is worth sharing or potentially helpful.

I may be up for a live discussion, if there is interest, on the Enthusiastically, Dawn Facebook page.

Blog Post Schedule (Blog posts Linked)

Date Scripture
March 2 Chapter 1
March 8 Chapter 2
March 16 Chapter 3
March 23 Chapter 4
March 30 Chapter 5
April 6 Chapter 6
April 13 Chapter 7
April 20 Chapter 8
April 27 Chapter 9
May 4 Chapter 10
May 10 Chapter 11-12
May 18 Chapter 13
May 25 Chapter 14
June 1 Chapter 15
June 8 Chapter 16
June 15 Chapter 17
June 22 Chapter 18-20
June 29 Chapter 21 (Conclusion)


Will you consider joining in on this journey of Journaling through the Book of John?

Would you like to linger with the Lord longer, on a regular basis-not just through Lent, but beyond?

If you would like to sign up for my brand new Quarterly Newsletter – and be updated on my latest adventures and events GO HERE.

Join me on Instagram for daily journaling inspiration and the 200 Day Journal Prompt!

 


*All posts will be pinned to this Blog List for easy access.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bookjournaler
    Feb 25, 2019 @ 02:57:53

    This sounds great, and a wonderful way to prepare for Easter. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Lisa Capito
    Feb 25, 2019 @ 07:46:01

    This is exactly what I need! I’ve been struggling with having a consistent quiet time with the Lord for months (years??). Let’s see what God reveals to us, okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Karen Fetty
    Feb 25, 2019 @ 16:37:15

    Dawn, you are such a talented and engaging writer. I look forward to see your future writing and I’m so glad I signed up ❤️

    Like

    Reply

  4. Stacy
    Feb 25, 2019 @ 20:44:26

    I like this! Those dates are when you are posting? Are we supposed to post and link up or anything?

    Like

    Reply

    • enthusiasticallydawn
      Feb 26, 2019 @ 08:24:52

      Hi STacy, no linking up specifically, but you are always welcome to share your link in the comments. I will post weekly as stated and it’s just an opportunity to touch base (as I have done with other devotional and reading challenges ) in the comments. Hope that helps!

      Like

      Reply

  5. Sylvia R
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 18:55:03

    This really appeals to me at a deep level, Dawn! Count me in!
    I love the Gospel of John. Every time I read it it unfolds new insights and a deeper dimension.
    I especially like the idea of reading, soaking up, savoring, and meditating on one chapter each week. I think I would like to read that chapter slowly through, each of its particular week, just let it sink into my soul and see how my soul responds and expresses it in a journal dedicated just to this pursuit. So glad you’re doing this
    (However, as for Facebook, I saw fit to quit it several years ago, and don’t much want to start up again with it, so I’d just be left out of that part of it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Sylvia R
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 18:59:45

    “each day of its particular week” that should say…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. enthusiasticallydawn
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 19:10:04

    Hello, Sylvia! So nice to see you here- and I just read your latest post which is just fantastic. I get so bored and frustrated with the number of “teachers” who want to come into my life via a multitude of ways and sell me a bill of goods on how to do everything better… as if the Holy Spirit can’t coach us well enough…

    anyhooo…. hence also my own desire to sort of be a voice that directs toward the Greatest Coach who ever lived…and I know you will not take offense in this…but I am hoping that somehow this slower pace will allow for that “Upside Down” truth to take hold … of all of us.

    I am not committed to adding Facebook so don’t you worry about missing out!
    Thanks – I look forward to walking with you as we linger longer in His presence through John. AND same for me…this book is so rich- my favorite GOspel, for sure…and so unique in it’s content (compared to the others!)

    See you Saturday! Or whenever you can pop in to touch base!

    Like

    Reply

  8. lynn__
    Feb 27, 2019 @ 07:48:18

    Count me IN, Dawn! I just read through the book of John and am working at memorizing the first part of the first chapter. What great timing! I will look forward to meditating on it more deliberately. I’d like to keep my journaling private…between God and me but maybe we can share some insights/thoughts along the way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. enthusiasticallydawn
    Feb 27, 2019 @ 18:57:39

    Lynn, YAY! SO great to have you join in, and yes- the journaling is between you and our Great Savior- but sharing as appropriate is always welcome! Thanks for joining in !

    Like

    Reply

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