Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Journaling About Life



[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Journal Delam├ętherie[/caption]


On Wednesday, June 1, 2005 I wrote this in my journal:

(I am sure I copied this from something but, I'm not sure where I got it from.)

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration.

God's Spirit continually reveals what human nature is like apart from His grace.

I am a "keeper of the journal". I always have been. I'm a writer in my heart. I've written my thoughts---and when inspired---the thoughts of others in my journals. I think the earliest journals I have are of the secrets of an 11 year old. I smile when I look back at the Dawn of yesteryear. In my adult years my journals have been a great source of peace for me. Many of my journal entries have turned into prayers. They have become my conversations with God. As I look back I realize that God, Himself ,has chosen to talk with me through my journals too. And yes, God does talk through the written Word. He has given us His own journal, of sorts. He tells us about Himself, His character and actions. He tells us how He interacted in this world, and what is to come.  His journal is called the Bible.

Many times in my journal entries I will write down scripture references that pertain to where I am at in my life at that time. I will copy snippets of pastor's sermons, or something I've read in an inspirational book. As I look back through my journals I am acutely aware of how God has chosen to work in my life. It is laid out before me like a map of words.  Even though I will probably never be famous, and my name will never be in lights... I'll most likely never travel to exotic ports, or invent  the newest electronic gadget, I still have had a good life. Not always an easy life...but a good one.

When reading my "life map" I realize that God was with me when, as a fresh faced, just out of college, young adult, I was searching for a job. Through a course of events, over miles, and across state lines He brought me to a tiny town in the Appalachian mountains to teach. I would have never found this place on my own. God's hand print was all over it. I wrote in my journal....." God, You know I want to teach. I believe You want me to teach. Doors to job opportunities, here in my home state, are closing. I'm giving my job situation over to You. I'll go where ever you want me."

When I found out that I was pregnant. What joy! I started journaling about it right away. Before my son even took his first breath, before he was fully formed, I took the opportunity to journal to him about how much he was loved. I thanked God and recognized that He knew my son even before I did. " I knit you together in your mother's womb....I know all your days before one of them even comes to be."

Or when at the age of 32 I was forced to walk "through the valley of the shadow of death". My late husband died just three weeks after his 34th birthday. In my journal I poured out my heart. There were days that all I could do was cry to Him. He replied with, " I am a Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows."  If God is my defender....well, that is saying a lot. God gave me opportunities even in widowhood. No, I have to be honest, this wasn't the road that I had planned for myself. Still, whatever road I found myself on God was already there.  There was peace in that.

I journaled/prayed my way into my new marriage. As I wrote I asked God to please not allow any man to be in my path that was not part of His plan. I didn't want anything to do with any man that would cause me heartache or pain.   There were nights when I was lonely. There were nights when I wanted to give in. God heard me. I wrote prayers, pouring out my heart to Him. He chose to have me in widowhood for five years before bringing Scott into my life.

Scott and I have been through a lot in our 4 years of marriage. Selling houses, building a new house, home schooling, moving out of state, making new friends, finding a new church, raising three children in a blended family, plus adult children. At times it is stressful. And frustrating.And happy. And crazy.  Sometimes I feel like I spend most of my time running around trying to get things done----and wondering if I am making any real difference. I recently wrote in my journal: "So many times I feel like Martha. Distracted by all she had to get done. (Luke 10:38-42) Things having to get done because no one else will do it!  Lord, You told Martha that Mary chose what was better--to be with You.   Help me Lord, to get proper perspective."

I have had people tell me that they could never journal or blog like I do. They'd be scared to "put it out there" for others to read. I know that God has given me a love of words. Sounds weird to think of that as a gift or talent, huh? I hope my journals are read by my children and grandchildren and their children one day. I hope that recording my personal walk will help them to not only understand me better, but more importantly to understand and know the Lord that I have a relationship with. I have many people that read my blog, from countries around the world. I have no idea whose life I am touching with my words.....but, if just one thing I write makes a difference than it is worth it.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Dawn! I was looking for my own new blog that my 16 year old helped me set up (aka set up for me) and landed on yours! I am "Dawn" as well. And was blessed by your post.
    We also homeschool (for 10 years now -- I had to count it up last night and was surprised). I really enjoyed your life story in a nutshell and the part about journalling. I have written prayer journals on and off for years, as well. Occasionally, when I look back on them it is very eye-opening, and a reminder of God's grace and blessings during those periods of time. I also often wish I had done more and not skipped so many days.
    My oldest daughter is a writer. She is now journaling because of some health issues. It has really helped her emotionally to feel like she has a handle on her situation. I think it helps her not get "lost" in any particularly tough day when she can look back and see that is is not always that tough, and have hope that it will be better. We are always prone to hyper-focus on the here and now rather than the big picture. My daughter and I were talking about her writing. I asked her what things have been the big motivators in her writing and she said that it was just that she had ideas that "bugged her to death" until she finally wrote them down!
    When we adopted our youngest three a couple of years ago, my husband began a blog and also e-mailed updates from out of the country to family and friends back home. He really got into it and continued the blog. I think it really is good for him to get his thoughts together like that and "journal" in that way. You have inspired me anew to my prayer journals, and to encourage the kids to do some, too.

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  2. Dawn (what a beautiful name:), Thanks for reading! So glad you were blessed by my blogging. I look forward to hearing from you again...

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