Thursday, October 8, 2015

morning invitations * journal


I gently pray myself awake most mornings.  

It sure beats worrying and imagining the upcoming day's worst scenarios before my eyes even peel open.

I pray as I inhale the sea's salty air on long solitary windswept walks.  As my hands immerse deep in hot soapy water at the big kitchen sink.  As I putter peacefully around the house.  As I run around town doing errands.

And yes, I sometimes weep desperate prayers that spring from a heart that overflows with a pain-filled sorrow and a fierce mama-bear concern for my family.

And then ... there's the delights of journaling cozy morning conversations with my Heavenly Father.  Sweet part and parcel of my quiet times for well over a decade.

These, the free-ing moments when I take the time to sit down with pen in hand and unpack the lurking mess and the questions, the fears and griefs, all my random observations to the One who knows me best.  No need to write names or give details. 

He already knows all that.

He's always welcoming as I settle in for our long chat.  Endlessly attentive, loving, and never too bored or busy to give me His full undivided attention.  So wise, too, as He whispers sacred responses to my oft' self-absorbed musings.

And after I sort through all that swirls within, His grace invites me to slowly but surely switch gears and launch into praise.  For when all is said and done, I absolutely adore my Redeemer.

And I've just gotta tell Him how deep and wide my love and gratitude flows ...

~

We're getting to the end of another journal. And these large, lined, spiral-bound ones are my favorites.  And there are more to come and more to fill.  Life goes on.  And this is an invitation that lets me review and process and learn and release all that enters my life. Thank You, God, for being a part of every line, every page.  You are the One who walks with me as I sort through events and feelings and thoughts.  You're the One who has given me comfort and perspective and a sharp kick when I've needed it.  You've collected my tears and have shared my smiles as I've written line after line.

You've integrated Your Word into my daily journey.  You've given me Scripture and You've given me songs in the night.  You've given me hope when all was hopeless, and wisdom and grace when I've had none.  You've allowed me to understand what forgiveness and peace look like.

And during these hours, You've reminded me through Your Word that You will never leave me, never forsake me.  You are my rock, my fortress, my calm in the storm.  You are the forgiver of sins and the giver of wisdom and strength.

And You have been safe for me.  You give me full permission to be authentic and real and transparent in our times together.  I feel accepted and loved and cherished.  I feel validated and affirmed in who I am in Jesus Christ.  You have convicted me, but not condemned me.  Firmly, but gently, You've pointed out my disobedience.  And graciously have granted forgiveness.

You've refreshed my soul and clarified my perspective.  Given me hope and joy and strength for the day.  You've stretched and molded, shaped and grown me, slowly but surely.  

And I am forever grateful for Your never ending love and Jesus' sacrifice that made it all possible.






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18 comments:

  1. Amen, Linda, a beautiful prayer to begin the day! I, too, enJOY writing out my thoughts to God, it helps me stay focused. I don't know why I don't do it more. Thank you for this sweet reminder, friend.

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  2. This is such a beautiful peek into your journal, Linda. I miss pen and paper. It's become a lost art with me that I need to return to soon. This is advice I desperately need: "I gently pray myself awake most mornings." Honestly, I hit the ground running these days. I really need to pray more throughout my entire morning. The whole day would go a lot smoother :). Thanks for the advice, my friend.

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    1. I hear ya' ... it can be really hard to carve out time for ourselves when we've got kids at home. I remember those days well. Trusting that you'll find pockets of space to fuel your soul, Candace ...

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  3. Beautiful words as always, Linda. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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    1. You're a sweetie, girl ...

      Have a restful weekend!

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  4. Love this invitation to journal, Linda. "an invitation that lets me review and process and learn and release all that enters my life." Writing it down helps me process and release it into God's hands.

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    1. Isn't it the coolest way to process AND release all that's swirling around us? If I stop for awhile, it's not long til I begin to feel that huge need to unpack. And who better to share the load with?

      Thanks, Crystal ...

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  5. I am so busy with these October posts that my pen and paper journal is getting neglected. I need to set a date with it this weekend for sure.

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    1. Will you blog about it?

      Would love to read what it's like for you, Lyli ...

      ;-}

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  6. Loved the excerpt from your journal. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of your conversation with the love of your life.
    Blessings, Sweet Friend!

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    1. The Love of my life. Yes, He is. Always and forever.

      Weekend joys to you, friend ...

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  7. Breathing in your sweet words tonight. Realizing my journal has a film of dust gathering. Reflecting on how this beautiful habit has all but disappeared.

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    1. I think it's fair to say that there's a heavy film of dust gathering on just about every surface around here, Mary ... maybe if I open the windows and let the wind blow through it would help?

      Sure beats dusting, huh?

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  8. That's a good way to wake up. My wake-up call is Bella the Miracle Dog yelling, "Dad? DAD! I have to GOOOO!!!!!"

    We found Bella in a ditch, with her back broken. Though the spine is displaced, the spinal cord was not cut, and she is learning to walk again, or atleast hop.

    But she needs help to 'go'. Me. 0500, without fail.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/10/reaching-for-god-blogbattle.html

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    1. If ever there was a morning invitation, I guess it would be Bella {or any other pet or small child!} who desperately needs what only we can offer!

      ;-}

      Woof ...

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  9. Hi Linda! I so much enjoyed this post. I resonate with the impact of journaling on my life. I am always richer for the time I spend doing it. A very busy season pulled me away from it for awhile and I am returning to what makes all the other time in my day better for having done it.
    Blessings and grace to you,
    Pam

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    1. I'm so delighted to share this rich interaction with you, Pam. I am happy that you are with us here. Blessings to you as we celebrate this Holy relationship!

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda