I believe in the power of writing every day. It is my form of prayer and peace.
I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. One of the closets at my parents house has several of my journals from my childhood stored away. Writing has always been a way to get the over thought thoughts out of my head. It has been a way to express myself. Free myself. To pray.
Several years ago when life hit me really hard, my journal was really my only escape. No one knew the depths of the pain I was experiencing, or how deep the hurt had gone. No one knew just how close to breaking I really came....but my journals. As I look back over that time, being able to pour all of my emotions onto those pages rescued me. Journaling has rescued me over and over again. (Matthew 11:28).
When we think. We pray. When I write. I pray. It is such a powerful way to record our prayers and be able to look back at all the places God answered in our lives. It is revealing to look back to see those times when we thought God was being silent in our lives....and to discover He actually was answering our prayers..it just didn't look like what we were expecting.
At the start of 2013, I decided to issue a #365journalchallenge to encourage people to take time each day to write. For me, it is my prayer. For you it may be your creative outlet. Whatever it is for you, let it be.
Life is busy for so many of us. I can hardly count the days they seem to be going by so quickly. I have had to become extremely intentional about taking the time to connect with God, to be still, get quiet, and calm my spirit. I have an appointment set on my calendar every morning at 5:30am for coffee with Christ. I am in no way perfect, but I try to keep our appointments. This time sets my day straight, orders my steps, and gives me the confidence I need to face this life. It brings me joy.
I need to get alone with God and quiet my desire for the world's feedback and the crazy train thoughts that often play in my head in order to hear His voice.
So when I started the #365journalchallenge my desire was to inspire my circle of influence to slow down and take the time for themselves. It was also to help hold me accountable to journaling every day. My journaling time is rooted in my faith, because at the very essence it is who I am. There are days where I don't feel like doing it. There are days where I'm too busy, too tired, too this, too that to open that little notebook. I wanted to created this community so that on those days where we are seeking inspiration, we can glean from each other.
So how does the challenge work? You commit. Commit that for 365 days, you will stop to slow down and connect. Each day doesn't need to be 5 pages of journaling. Even if you just stop to simply say "thank You". There are several days in my journal where the only words written are "Lord, help" or "Your will". That is enough.
Once you commit, have a journal on hand. Preparation is key and without having a journal on hand, you're not going to keep your promise. I love pretty journals with inspiring sayings. It can be as simple as a notebook or you can go all out. Whatever you want.
I love to have devotional books and inspirational books on hand to prompt me. Some days I use them. Some days I honestly don't want to be bothered. Having thoughts to ponder and to reflect on helps focus me in my sometimes dizzying world on the One I am seeking to connect with most.
Finally, share. I will post prompts and inspirations on instagram using #365journalchallenge. If something you see during your day to day inspires you, please share with us there so others can glean from your inspiration. You can also see any prompts I post on pinterest and share.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and for being an accountability partner with me. I am excited about the many blessings that await you and watching the glory of the Lord revealed in your life!
The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still. Exodus 14:14