On Jan 1st I decided to break out a journal I bought almost a year ago from one of my favorite artists, Gracelaced.
Seriously. Every single time I look at this cover, I want to pick up a paintbrush and pretend I can paint like that. It sat untouched under my desk for months, waiting on just the right time to write.
I’ve written in journals on and off through the years, but never truly consistently.
January 1st was the perfect day to give it a whirl. Could I go an entire month and write every singe day? Sure, why not??
After finishing Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, I was inspired to do something different with my journal writing.
Reading Ann’s thoughts on how gratitude shaped and actually rocked her life, I was reminded of my 11th grade English teacher that required us to keep a gratitude journal each day. As soon as the bell rang, we had 5 minutes to write 5 things we were grateful for in our journal. I’ve never forgotten that.
And honestly, haven’t consistently written about gratitude since the 11th grade…
So, the first thing I would do in my journal each day is to list 5 things I’m thankful for.
One rule: I couldn’t repeat anything I’ve written in a previous day. Each day must bring me finding new hidden things in my life to be grateful for.
Then, I decided the rest of my daily journal time would be a simple bullet prayer list. To keep from feeling pressured, I decided to limit each day’s journal entry to 1 sheet and 1 sheet only.
I started out just writing each night, my 1 simple page.
Then, something strange happened.
Instead of my journal being this thing on my list to do and trying my darn best to remember before I fall asleep, my journal became the thing I SOOO looked forward to doing at night!!
I absolutely loved reflecting on my day and finding the gratitude. It calmed my soul. And keeping a prayer list made me remember all those people in my life that have asked for prayer – hey, I gotcha!! Adding you to my list right now!!
I mean, how many times have you actually told someone you would pray for them and then you innocently don’t think about it ever again?? Just me?? Oh, ok.
Not anymore! I add people to my list because I’m sitting down each night thinking about who asked for prayer today!!
Before I knew it, this craving took over. About halfway through the month, I decided I wanted to start my day feeling as good as ending my day felt.
I added 1 more page.
AM journal page
PM journal page
Some days get crazy and I miss the morning entry, but it’s getting easier. Some days I grab my journal and throw it in my purse to write an entry in the middle of the day.
This is changing me.
And when a Bible verse crosses my path that seems just right for what I need in this moment of life – I add it to my journal page.
I even took a few pages to document my word of the year so I could go back often and remember what I want to focus on in 2017:
And then I found Bible verses to go along with my word of the year and added them into my journal as well.
And just like that – February came and I realized that it happened! One month of writing everyday – gratitude and prayers.
I’m gonna keep going. 2 months will be a breeze!
Want to join me? You can start anytime.
Lamentations 3 really can begin to come alive in your life, trust me!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
- Grab a notebook and a pen.
- Start your entry with today’s date on the top of your page.
- Write 5 things you’re thankful for.
- Write a bullet list of prayer requests.
- Stop at one page – use the margins if you need to.
- If you have a scripture on your mind for today, jot that down somewhere on the page too.
- Repeat tomorrow.
- And the next day.
- And the next.
You get the point 🙂
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