Prayer Journaling

I got myself a journal for my birthday, and because I’m now more conservative in my use of resources than I was in my 20s, I invested in a leather refillable one.

Oh my goodness, the smell of leather, unbleached paper, and fresh ink is unequaled.

Nerdiness aside, I had done some deep thinking- something that hasn’t been given immense priority since baby bear was born- and it occurred to me that at my closest, deepest walk with Christ, I was journaling. I journaled my prayers, Scriptural insights, life applications, questions; something I had not done in YEARS.

Years, guys. I have not felt as close to God recently as I did in 2015-2016 and journaling trailed off little by little with each new baby as I had 4 kids in 5 years.

Forgivable? Probably so. But, realizing what I was missing, I prayed for God to equip me to pursue Him and to serve others with the fire I had 5 years ago, not the drained, tired, apathetic, inconsistent, high-lo, up-down, survival-mode mess I’ve been recently.

And God delivered. As always. Pulled me right up, and set my heart toward grateful service again.

He provided specific answer to a specific prayer that very afternoon. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say, God’s sovereignty never ceases to amaze me. And He is more than willing to prove Himself faithful and able. It’s almost as if He was just waiting for me to ask Him for encouragement, to seek Him. And I missed that sort of rapid-fire prayer-response relationship that I knew in the less harried days before children.

I tend toward perfectionism and I have been reminding myself lately that these gifts, my husband, my children, my home, my animals, are not the ends, but rather, the means of my lifestyle of worship to God. Many times, they’re my vehicle to sanctification, if I let them be. The daily grind is simply how I’m to serve God until Messiah returns!

I really let that thought sink in…that this life is how I wait well for Jesus.

Not working myself frazzled for the sake of the things themselves, but seeing every aspect of my life as a gift to be stewarded. That and the profundity of Christ’s work on the Cross have been my meditation this week.

I know I’m not the only mom who struggles with a lost sense of identity after childbirth. But, I feel like I’ve gotten my self back simply by focusing more on Christ and drawing my identity from Him. The more I think about Jesus, the more content I am with life in general. The more I focus on Him, the less I care about the toys on the floor, the spilled water, the messy bathroom. And letting go of those little imperfect annoyances has been freeing. Difficult for my inner perfectionist, let’s be honest. But freeing nonetheless.

But putting ink to paper and getting all of the jumbled thoughts, questions, and concerns out of my mind, off the endless repeating loop in my head has helped me to take them to Scripture.

Well, what if my husband loses his job?

What if my kids get sick?

What if our farm business fails?

What if _____________________?

What are your what-ifs?

Asking the “what-ifs” and following them to their Scriptural conclusions takes the fear out of them. And I’d stuffed a lot of really silly and baseless “whatifs” into the recesses of my mind simply for lack of time to think them through to their conclusions. I hadn’t been laying them at the feet of Jesus.

I struggle knowing what those “Christianese” terms like “lay it at his feet” or “give it to God” mean in terms of my responsibility or action. For me, it means writing it down, praying out my fears, and looking to Scripture to see how Jesus answers the fears of His people throughout history.

I’m so so so so thankful I picked up this discipline again. (It’s about time for another read-through of Don Whitney’s book) Because it has given me such peace. It meant that the laundry didn’t get put away, and the living room carpet wasn’t vacuumed, but I stopped and spent 30 minutes with Jesus. And part of me wasn’t content with that- I want like 8 straight hours! But, I put Him first; I gave him my first and best free time, and He gave me peace.

*sighs*

Yep. I now think I can get up and do this all again tomorrow. For God’s glory.

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