The Art of Journaling

Kathy Bornarth is the founder of nacjw.com, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a published author who loves to journal!

In Kathy’s book titled, “Write Changes: Stories of Transformation Through Journal Writing”, you will find short essays addressing the benefits of journaling by ten different women including herself. Her published book was easy to read, informative and encouraging; it was 54 pages long. I highly recommend it for those who are considering journaling for the first time. Even though I have journaled in the past, Kathy’s book reminded me of the importance of self-examination and offered me fresh perspectives on the art of journaling.

0C07AA01-655C-4E2C-8A67-EF7A18E5F7A9

Are you considering journaling today?

Creative Bible journaling, prayer and gratitude journaling are three of my favorite styles. I love to be colorful, worship God and have fun coloring Scriptures too!

 

There are so many ways to journal. It all depends on your needs and focus.

I’m about to learn more about ‘verse mapping’; it will probably be an extension to bible and scripture journaling. Kristy Cambron offers Verse Mapping 101; her two new journals on the book of Luke and Acts will be released in May 2018.

I have found journaling to be quite therapeutic in nature. The exercise of writing down personal thoughts and emotions provides clarity, insight, and self-awareness over time. When I engage in creative bible, prayer and gratitude journaling, I deepen my relationship with the Lord.

Voila!

It’s an excellent way to interact with His Word at sunrise or at sunset if you’ve got a full-time job.

If consistency is an issue just know it takes approximately 28 days to establish a new habit.

‘Therapeutic writing’ was popular in 1960’s. In mid 1980’s, Dr. James Pennebaker researched the impact of ‘expressive writing’ on trauma, and Kathleen Adams (1999) published an article titled, ” Writing as Therapy” and acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of writing in the healing process.

2F6BF95A-8D05-41D1-A721-8ABDBD1FB1BA

Newman added space for journaling after each devotional. Yes! it was an excellent way to navigate thru grief and loss. I’m still in the process of healing.

If you are in need of a journal, try the ‘sheic’ journals at sheicjournals.com. The colors are bright and perfect for any season. The size of the journal is convenient for a purse or tote, and it’s comfortable to carry all day long.

I just love the color of my new journal!

B71060BB-66D0-4AB0-BCF2-EBEDF06E1131

 

Experiencing “Gethsemane” in modern times.

Throughout our lifetime, we will experience overwhelming circumstances even deep suffering that will bring us closer to God and strengthen the core of our souls and Faith.

In the book of Ecclesiastes 7: 14, Solomon reminded us how God created both adversity and prosperity in our lives. So, praise Him everyday regardless of our suffering or current state of mind. Today is a gift from God.

I view these harsh circumstances or adversity as life-altering “Gethsemane moments”.

Yes!

Adversity can be emotionally, intellectually and physically taxing. Uncertainties are stressful indeed.  These life experiences may be filled with agony, sorrow, grief, and/or despair.

In the book of Matthew 26, Jesus modeled a prayerful life. Jesus poured his soul to our Abba Father on a regular basis and maintained an intimate relationship. In His sorrow, He prayed not once but continually. He knew he was betrayed by Judas and was about to be apprehended by the enemy so he prayed with humility and surrendered heart for God’s will to be fulfilled.

He was a faithful servant!

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew‬ ‭26:42‬ ‭NIV‬‬
1B79C708-7E5A-409C-9E37-B358ABD87365

Have you ever experienced “Gethsemane”, life-altering moments? Have you recently been diagnosed with a terminal health condition? Have you recently lost employment and don’t know how to pay the mortgage? Are you hopeless and even contemplating ending it all?

In moments of anguish and sorrow, life is overwhelmingly painful, vulnerable and unpredictable!

If you would have asked me what I would have done in previous ‘Gethsemane’ circumstances, You would have heard me say, “I’m done with it… I’m ready to quit… give me an easier task to accomplish instead…”

In these controversial or conflicting moments, we might not be able to discern what’s best or act wisely. We might act like ‘fools’ at times if we get isolated and not seek God’s wisdom.

We can either face these challenging circumstances humbly, prayerfully and ’in’ community or ‘escape’ from it all with an intent to soothe the intensity of our distress and even isolate ourselves.

By the way, Satan would enjoy us being isolated and helpless.

Jesus is reminding us today to seek the Lord for wisdom, strength and discernment with a humble and surrendered heart before we proceed with our next steps.

God’s Grace is sufficient when we are weak.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lisa Bevere in her book titled, “Girls with Swords”, reminded us to ‘allow adversity to be a crucible in your life that tempers your strength’.

“Isn’t that the truth?!”

Every time I persevere thru life-altering Gethsemane moments, I develop effective strategies, establish new systems for both career and personal routine, build character and most importantly I witness God’s faithfulness, wisdom, unconditional  love and mercies thru it all.

Life gives us an opportunity to edify God in our good times as wells as in our Gethsemane moments, and share how much we adore Him in the midst of our deepest suffering…

 

Servanthood Leadership

A servant leader serves humbly, empowers others to take the lead and genuinely cares for the well-being of others. In servanthood leadership, there is no power differentiation just an opportunity to influence someone’s life and help the world be a better place.

Apostle Paul was a servant leader in mid-30s AD to mid-50s AD while he shared the gospel of Christ to the Jewish and Romans of his times and immediately forgave his executioner.

57B0E03E-6C24-4E81-BE9C-03E7776D5076

The movie, “Paul, the apostle of Christ”, was released at the end of March 2018. In the midst of trials, suffering and murder, Paul loved, and extended grace unconditionally.

As soon as I finished watching the movie and dried up my tears, I asked myself “do I forgive and extend grace to evil-spirited people in my network as well as Paul did for his persecutors?  Would I have Paul’s inner strength and spiritual maturity to persevere thru suffering, and even endure imprisonment?”

In Christ, anything is possible.

Paul focused on an eternal journey instead of instant, temporary outcomes.

Paul was just like a sheep among wolves; he recognized his vulnerabilities, shared his wisdom and intentionally, innocently and lovingly served others well. Paul was clear about the intentions of his headsman yet he loved like Christ on Earth.

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬ ‭

When persecuted by prideful, wicked or arrogant human beings, he was prayerful and didn’t overreact. If others hated him, he served  lovingly and compassionately one opportunity at a time and influenced others to think about what was noble, trustworthy and admirable.

As soon as the movie ended and I walked away from the leather-recliner seat at Malco, I asked myself, “How could I ever love my persecutors well? I don’t think I will ever be able to… help me love well”

By His Grace, my life has been transformed in the past decade.  All I know is to pray over my weaknesses. Prayer is powerful and God answers our prayers in His perfect time.

”Lord, hear my distress. It’s tough to deal with prideful or arrogant people who have all the answers or those who have slandered me in the past or are capable to do so in the future. Please, give me a heart to  serve them, the humility to forgive, an ability to trust them again and hope for reconciliation. If I ever act prideful, hateful or vindictive, convict me immediately so I can repent and change my motives right away, in Jesus name I pray, Amen”