A Life in Ink {how intentional journaling keeps your life on track}

You’re here because you know something.  What you know you can’t explain.  But you feel it.  You’ve felt it your entire life.  That there’s something wrong with the world.  You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad.  It is this feeling that has brought you to me.  Do you know what I’m talking about?

~Morpheus in The Matrix

Year after year, there is page after page of thoughts, ideas, revelations.  Many are tear-stained, some coffee stained, and some have sketches of castles or ivy or whatever flows from the pen.  If laughter could be left on paper, there’s some entries that are joy-marked, too.journals

The baskets of journals around my desk are my life written down, my attempt at intentional journaling, describing how I learn to live, who God is and how to walk with Him.  My feelings about events and what they taught me.  Some pages were written with a glass of wine and are too honest for anyone but me.They aren’t for publication or even sharing, but many times I look back.

I look back to see what God said to me before.  It seems to keep my feet going in the right direction.  We tend to stray, following our gaze, and sometimes to our demise we find ourselves in a proverbial ditch.  I have learned much looking up from such places.

Other times, I have followed more closely, careful to submit as much of my soul as possible to the Lordship of Christ.  Whether I find myself in the valley or on the desired mountain top, each time I realize that I didn’t make it to either place on my own.  And whether it’s the ditch or the end of a long journey, there is a Shepherd who guides me.

The pages connected by lines of ink are written “to expose the unexposed.”  The words enable me to open doors, discover more honesty, to realize more of my voice for the truth wants to be expressed…I need to let it become words.  Maybe what I have written, the truest words, will help others along their way, like an unexpected lighthouse that shows the way forward, exposing dangerous rocks and shining on the smooth path like full moon.

This year has been very different.  I’ve journaled more and with more intention as God led me through a different path, my words spilling onto paper.  And some of this writing has surprised me.  My heart has been more opened in the last year, uncovered, and left vulnerable to more love than I can remember experiencing.  I’ve lived something like an adventure book with chapters that moved me with twists and turns from where I was to where I am going.

This year seems to have held more choices…or is it that I am learning to make more choices? The days fly off like pages out of the journal and if I don’t write the significant moments, will I remember? It’s like snapping photographs to capture a moment.  We think we can hold it again.  And we can look and remember, cherish what was and be ready to capture the next milestone.  The mind stores these days away on its hard drive and some files seem to get themselves lost, fragmented, but if written down, then they are kept for future access.  One has but to pick up the journal, find the page, and be thankful for what was given, realized, lived.

Always remembering that the rear view mirror is smaller than the windshield, a reminder not to linger there too long.

I have written down blessings and felt God’s love by reviewing that list composed of moments where God revealed Himself in the crunch of leaves underfoot in fall or the bread-smell of a granddaughter when she first wakes up and comes to cuddle.  These moments were captured in written pictures and I feel Him closer when I read them again, realizing that everything I experience is because He created it and said it was good.

“He is not far from any one of us.”  (Acts 17:27) 

Miles and years of ink are only good if they give testimony to real life lived out.  Fantasy, day dreams aren’t enough.  Planning, blue prints, outlines are nothing if the steps are never taken to complete the work, to finish the dream, to understand your significance. If you choose to join me in intentional journaling, write your thoughts, record your days, but especially write down what you want for your own life. In the writing and the speaking out of our dreams, there can come a new reality.

If you feel your life is not enough to write about, remember that small is not small in Heaven’s eyes. And look what Jesus can do with a bag lunch!  The Creator of Time blessed time.  So no matter what the remaining days of 2015 hold, remember that He is allowing you to choose how you will live them out.

What does your heart want?  What can you do to bring good for others?  Go for it, and record your journey, for Heaven is ready to help with love enough.  And at the end of this year, we can celebrate a life recorded, knowing God celebrates, too, for “He is not far from any one of us.”  (Acts 17:27)

Loads of grace,

Robin

(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, Feb. 2, 2015

At the desk by the window with a thankful heart.

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