First off, let me say that I have to do a weekend blog post this year and I never do those. I had all these great ideas for an end of the year blog post, and I can't do it today or tomorrow. So, I will see you back here this weekend at some point, or twice on Monday, depending on when you read my blog.
I had a friend ask me yesterday to share about journaling. I thought I'd do that today, and also share a bit (again) about studying the bible, because for me, the two go hand in hand.
I have to say that the way I've been reading in the bible since October is a way that I love. I use the SOAK method: Scripture, Observation, Application and Kneel in prayer.
I pick a book and I go through it one chapter at a time, for five days a week. I always, always, always begin with prayer. I ask God for wisdom and for understanding and for Him to speak to me that day through His word.
The scripture part is easy~I pick a verse that stands out to me and I write it out.
The observation part can be tricky, but I usually observe what's going on in the verses before and I write that out. For instance, yesterday I was in John three and in that whole chapter, Jesus is talking to His disciples. In the passage that I picked, He was talking to Nicodemus, a teacher of the Law. I just wrote all of that out in my journal.
The application part is where you take the passage and you apply it to your life. Yesterday, God brought to my mind a time when we were at the Navajo reservation last summer and an illustration He showed me with the mighty rushing wind one day. I simply wrote all of that out.
The kneel in prayer part is where I just write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to use that in my life, to remind me of what I read and for Him to teach me more and more about Him and help me to know Him better.
Here's what yesterday's pages looked like:
I use fun pens and some decorative tape to spice things up, because I love it when things are pleasing to the eye.
(I am being SUPER vulnerable here....I never usually show all that I write out, because it's so personal, so please know that I am sharing with you a bit of my heart.)
This was where my friend asked me to share about journaling.
Here's what I came up with.
First, this was inspired by a friend on Instagram, Amy Hale.
You can read what I wrote, but I'll write it out again, just in case.
I use one journal for all of my journaling needs. This means that this goes with me in public a lot. Mostly to church and on the occasional shopping trip. (I make lists in here.) Also if I travel, my bible and journal are the first things I pack.
Here is what can be found on the pages inside:
Quiet time notes. I keep up with where I read in the bible and write out the passages that stand out.
Scripture writing from my monthly plan. Speaking of, here is January's.
Sermon notes from church services, retreats or any conferences that I attend.
Personal writing. I write down all that we do most days. I like to remember.
Lists for shopping or things to do around home.
Ideas for my blog...because it's hard to maintain a blog everyday of the week.
Notes from reading the bible using the SOAK method above.
Needless to say, I fill a journal about every three months.
The key to journaling is to just jump in and start. Over a decade ago when I got serious about my relationship with God, He was doing so much in my life that I had to write it all down. I remember things better when I write, plus I write a lot because of my love for the art of handwriting. Writing it out and going back to look over it years later is faith building! My journals say, "Look at what all God has done!" Also, and I didn't write this down, I do this for my family. I credit Karen Kingsbury for this, partially. My first books I read by her were about a man who journaled and when he died, his wife was able to read them and be assured of his love for God, thus spurring her on in her relationship with Him.
I pray. A lot. A long time ago, I began to pray Psalm 42:1, and it goes something like this: "Lord, as a deer longs for streams of water, let my soul long for You." Well. God heard me and He answered. I long for Him and time spent with Him in prayer and in His word. I cannot get enough of Him. This means that I wear my bibles out. I get a new one every two or three years because I mark them all up. I also do this for my family. If something were to happen to me today, I'd want them to know how much of my heart is poured out to God on their behalf within the pages of my bible. I write their names down so I can pray scripture over them. I draw and use decorative tape in my bible to let them know how much I treasured God's word and how I love to study it.
I don't come to you with all of this to boast, my friends, but to boast on the Lord Jesus and how much He has done in my life. I would be NOTHING without Him and He is my priority. I cannot stress this enough: PRAY. A LOT. Read His word. Ask Him to make you LONG for Him. And then, sit back and wait and watch what all He does.
May God be praised! He is faithful.
I pray this helps someone today in their personal walk.
Love to all.