I have been following the journalling pattern laid out by Bill Hybels in his book, Honest to God , which I reread parts of regularly.
When I say, "following," I use that term loosely, for the truth is that I have done it infrequently. But every time I do follow the pattern, I find it helpful and spiritually challenging.
The process starts with the word, "Yesterday...." and reflecting on a moment, a conversation or one thing that happened.
Next come Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving and then Supplication.
Here is my journal for today.
Yesterday...I entered the world of children at Pete and Sue's house.
While they prepared souvlaki, corn on the cob, tsatsiki and roasted miniature potatoes, my second eldest granddaughter took me to her room and introduced me to her hamster, Catnip, who recently lived up to her name in a near personal tragedy.
She escaped from a cage with a faulty latch and, after brief moments of heady freedom, she experienced horror.
A large furry beast, dark and with evil intent, sat on her. It was the cat, Shadowbox, hoping to keep her hidden while the frantic search for her whereabouts ensued.
It was Catnip's great good fortune to be discovered before disaster fell, and she was safely restored to her cage; none the worse for her ordeal; but perhaps less likely to bolt from the confines of the cage in future.
Warm rays of summer morning sun embrace my arms, and the air here outside is alive with buzzing and twittering and all manner of evidence of a world vibrantly alive.
The gentlest of zephyrs flows around me. How wonderfully pleasing to the senses is your creation, oh Lord. You have made all things well.
I confess that my taste for "the best," has dulled. Dear Lord. How crass that seems when written down so bluntly. I would like to dress it up and say something more euphemistic, like, "I have allowed my priorities to get out of wack. " But that hides the truth, which is that I have preferred other things: the internet; a book; a movie; or litterally anything else, to spending time with you. How hard it is to ask for forgiveness for such a bold admission of foolish neglect and idolizing of other attractions. But I do, and I must, ask forgiveness, for I know that you alone are my Centre; my Source; the Key to all that is real and true and good in my life.
Perhaps I have been too unguarded. Is that why you say:
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23 (New International Version)
Is there not an enemy within as well as without, that either by nature or design will oppose our connection spiritually with you?
Then Lord, I will guard my heart more diligently, and I repent of foolish wandering and distractions.
- For the support of family around me as it has been in the last few days when the engine on my car died, just after Paul left.
- Thank you for Pete's wise counsel; for his sacrificial, generous and ready gift of time. Bless him by making that time up to him and blessing his studies; making his mind absobent of the concepts he needs to understand and remember.
- For the orderliness that is emerging in our home as I slowly but surely declutter, drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard and pile by pile. Beauty, utility and ease of maintenance are the rewards.
- Lord, I pray for Paul and the team in Mishkeegogamang today. As they connect with the children and adults on that reserve, I pray for eternal impact. Only you can accomplish that. Please use them to accomplish your agenda in lives that need you.
- I pray for Irene Alexander, for a donor liver. It is hard to pray that, knowing that someone else must die for that to be, but if there is a liver, a small one, perfect for Irene, that someone no longer needs, please let it find it's way to her.