Posted in Faith, Fitness

Do The Hard Things

Confession: It’s been really nice being on summer break.  I’ve had three days of uninterrupted, unlimited Bible study.  And snuggles.  And coffee that is still hot when I drink it!

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This is my runfie.  This is the hot mess I look like running 2 miles in 50F.

I finished calculating grades and putting together progress reports on Monday and since then I feel like I have nothing to do.  Everything for AK Exploring Studies is submitted and I’m just waiting on the Anchorage School District to get back to me.  There is nothing left for me to do but wait and rest and recover.

And in all this resting, my Bible reading and my devotionals have all been revolving around one common theme: Do the hard thing.

It doesn’t take a neurologist to see that we are creatures of habit (ok, maybe it actually does, but just follow me here for a moment).  We will always do that which we have always done – we will react the same way we reacted last time, we will drive down the same routes we drove down yesterday…  And this is what makes weight loss so painfully difficult!  If you crave salt and vinegar chips when you are stressed and you give in today, you will crave and possibly give in tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

Which is why Paul the apostle told us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize.  Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything.  However they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.

Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air.  Instead I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

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My daughter did a triathlon and I did the run part with her AND my youngest.

Bringing your body under strict control is not fun.  It’s hard.  But it’s the hard things that lead to the life God really envisioned for you!  We weren’t created to cruise on autopilot until we reach eternity.  We are told to do this life as if we were in the Olympics, going for the gold.  What does that look like?

  • Reading your Bible before reading your Facebook feed.
  • Putting away all the electronics and playing a board game with your kids.
  • Fasting and praying through decisions instead of making them on a whim.
  • Eating the handful of snap peas instead of the chocolate chip cookies.
  • Going for a run when you’d rather watch TV all day.
  • Listening to your spouse with the intention of understanding, instead of thinking of what you are going to respond because you are angry.
  • Working with your kid on a chore and guiding him until he gets it instead of just taking over and doing it yourself.
  • Bathing your own dog instead of paying someone else to do it when the money is tight.
  • Cutting out foods from your diet that cause inflammation if you are struggling with auto-immune issues!
  • Cutting cable when funds are tight or the family is on a spiritual low.

The hard things are not fun things.  But they are good things.  We know that doing the hard things now will plant seeds of victory that we will harvest later in the future.

img_1652My husband just went back to school.  He was faced with two options: Be a 40 year old C.M.A. or a 40 year old P.A.  It will take him that long to get there anyways and the time will pass either way.  But his career may be completely different if we all choose to do the hard thing now.

The good thing is that the hard things become easy things once they are a habit.  The tough part is making the decision to do it.  After doing it enough times, it won’t be an active decision to wrestle with any more, it will be a normal part of your life.  And that’s where it gets awesome!  Your mind, body and soul will be that much in tune with making the right choice the more we consistently do so when it is the hardest.

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Posted in Faith

Living From Rest


It is said that kids learn best if they are learning from rest.  But I have come to learn that LIFE is done best if we approach it from a position of rest.

I think it’s the world’s way to be always busy, always stressed, running from one thing to another.  Lysa TerKeurst says it well in her book, “The Best Yes”: An overwhelmed schedule is an indicator of an underwhelmed soul.

Disclosure: I do not receive compensation from the entities that I link to. I have not received anything from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries in exchange for my recommendation. This blog is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.


What does it mean to be underwhelmed? It means to lose the WOW factor of God in your life.  To be mundane and mechanical about your existence.  To feel purposeless or ineffective.  To have an “absent father” relationship with God.

Mind you I came from Florida to help with Hurricane Relief, attend court hearings, catch up on doctor’s visits and then move.  Even now I’m having to generate income to meet our new set of expenses.  God definitely provides, but I’m in no way feeling like I’m on “vacation”.

However I learned to live from a position of a rested soul.

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:5-6 NIV

A rested soul doesn’t panic.  Doesn’t worry.  A rested soul won’t anxiously berate their family members because they are not meeting expectations.  A rested soul finds joy even in difficult times.

It means I don’t have to nag my pre-teen into reading his Bible or attending church because I know that his soul belongs to God first.  I can take my concerns about his spiritual upbringing to my prayer closet and leave it there.  And I smile as I type this now because we’ve had some very spiritual conversations and his faith is growing.

I’m free from judgment and condemnation.  All I’m worth is held by God’s scales, not mine!  So my less-than-clean house or my less-than-perfect kids aren’t a source of friction for me.  I am His, and He is mine.  We can work on the rest together and little by little.

There’s no rush to keep up with appearances.  I don’t ever worry, “What will our Pastor think?” I figure if he’s ever truly concerned he’ll call us.  Transparency is a beautiful thing.

Our prayer closet is the greatest rejuvinating source for us – more than a nap or a spa day.  It gives us the strength and the peace that supernaturally helps us overcome each situation we face.  Prayer helps us approach battles from a position of rest.  The Bible gives us the wisdom to not put ourselves in battles we weren’t meant to fight in the first place.  A solid, gospel preaching church gives a spiritual refreshing in a corporate setting.  A small group or bible study setting helps us bear each other’s burdens so we don’t feel overwhelmed and alone.

And actually resting as God has commanded us releases the tension in our bodies, clears the brain fog, slows down the adrenaline, and keeps our emotions balanced!  I don’t know why Christians feel like they are always to be “doing” something for the Lord – maybe it’s that one proverb about the ants – but we can sure be a whole truck full of Martha’s in what is supposed to be a Mary walk.

The difficulty lies in that you can’t achieve rest without boundaries.  You have to set boundaries for your energy so you don’t spend yourself in meaningless pursuits.  You have to set boundaries from your children so you can have your prayer closet time.  You have to set boundaries from friends and family when you can’t keep up with all the activities that month.  The Bible says that boundary lines fall for us in pleasant places; they are designed to be our comfort, not our restraint.

I wish I knew all this before I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Now my body is a barometer of activity and like a vehicle with a busted fuel tank, I hit my limit more often than others.  I pray these words encourage you to find your rest in Him.  Together we can tackle this life with the optimism of a three year old who had a wonderful nap!  Let us not miss out on the blessing of living with our souls rested.



Posted in Faith

Pressing In

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Confession: I have not been able to read my Bible since the beginning of this year.

I can do short verses at church on my phone.  Opening my book Bible and reading through it makes me nauseous.  The words swirl on the pages.  But it’s not just the Bible.  I walk around with this headache and blurry vision that makes reading mac and cheese boxes difficult for me.

This is a side effect of all that is going on in my physical brain. I am serotonin-negative, which is also known as clinically depressed.  I also have ADHD, which can cause random episodes of dyslexia and trouble focusing the eyes.

worshipIt is not, however, a reflection of my faith.  I could not stand firmer on God then I do at this moment.  Let me tell you, we serve a beautiful and personal God.  He is faithful to reach out to me, to captivate my attention when little else in this world does right now. He breaks through the walls caused by my physical symptoms like the kool-aid man!

When I have a difficulty seeing, I tune my ears (spiritually and physically) to listen for Him.

There was one Sunday a while ago (when we still thought we would buy a house this summer) when I was on the worship team at church, singing “Always“.  The Spirit of God showed up that day and in a way I can not explain, He brought me down to my knees in a quiet sob.

I think to most people it would’ve looked like I was distraught.  I wasn’t.  All of me was fully overwhelmed by His love and in worship.  But His Spirit was working in me to express a prayer I didn’t yet know I would need.  It came from the pit of my stomach, this brokenness, this cry for comfort and strength I wasn’t originally asking for when we first started to sing.

prayingSee, I didn’t know my mom had breast cancer, and we would be denied the pre-approval for a mortgage, or that a chiropractor had sued me and was going to levy our entire bank account clean.  I don’t think I could’ve mentally prepared for all this to happen in one week had I been warned anyways.  But when I was standing there completely dumbstruck by all this, that feeling in the pit of my stomach came back and I realized: God in His mercy had interceded for me, calling down the comfort and strength I would need while – in His providence – not revealing to me the very immediate future.

This is just one example of how God is working in my life even though the chemical imbalances in my brain make it difficult to read the instructions on a box of mac and cheese, let alone my Bible.

But I’m not excused from my responsibility to press in to the Lord.  Anxiety still starts building walls around me that suffocate me at times.  My friend Lo Tanner wrote about her experience with anxiety on her blog a while back, and God brought her very post to mind when I was having a rough time with this issue just last week.

So how do I press in?

  1. I listen to my Bible.  I listen to guided meditations based on verses.  And AFTER this I listen to worship music.  I listen to my kids studying their Bibles.  I listen to people who are praying for me and the things God laid in their heart over me. And when I have messages from God through out the day, I try to listen to them too.
  2. I pray.  There’s a whole lot of talking on my part through out the day.  It feels a lot more conversational.  I’m now “that neighbor” who stays in her car, “talking to herself” while sipping a cup of coffee at around 9am.writing
  3. I take notes.  I can’t explain why writing is easier to me than reading except it must be a different process in the brain; I’m regurgitating information and not receiving it.  But I have a journal where I write any thought that is worthy and I try to let go of thoughts that aren’t.  I also write affirmations to declare out loud daily so my brain can hear me in charge and not the other way around.  And I write this blog.

If you look around this blog, you will quickly realize that I’m not an uber-spiritual person.  I’ve talked about parenting, frustrations, weight loss, and other things too.  But if God impresses upon my heart to share a spiritual word, I have to be obedient.  It may be that as a friend you are in a season to receive the instruction to press in and perceive what God is doing in your life right now, and that may have a higher priority than other things in your life right now too.

PS. As a disclaimer I should let you know that the links which lead away from my site are not affiliate links.  I am not paid to advertise for any of these services or music, and I will not receive a dime in commission if you click on the link.  I’m just an honest Christian mom, giving credit where credit is due, and sharing the resources that are helping me in this season of my life.

Posted in Faith

Unanswered Prayers

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Confession: My husband and I are fighting a battle against the Credit Bureu over our score and our history.  It has been a loooooong battle against years of unemployment/underemployment and identity theft.  And it feels uphill and unfair.

And by looong it means we have been living with our friends since last July, a family of five with a family of four in a three bedroom condo with three dogs and a bunny.  We have been paying a credit repair company AND a credit report monitoring company to help us fight this battle.

While I’m extremely thankful for our friends’ hospitality, it’s not something I want to abuse of.  It’s also not comfortable. I’ve been ready to move out since October 2016.  But our credit scores were still pretty bad and not climbing as fast as we hoped.

Then last month we were finally only 15 points away from the magic number!  We were so optimistic.  Things were just bound to turn a corner soon, right?

Wrong.

For reasons I still don’t understand as I’m writing this we lost 46 points.  It felt like a punch to the stomach while the referee called a time-out.  It’s like doing the cha-cha with someone who is actively trying to step on your already sore toes.

If I’m completely honest, at some point I was in the shower, asking God, “What kind of animal sacrifice do I need to offer You for me to get a little bit of favor?!  What more do You want from me?!?” And these are common reactions to unanswered prayers… Why? When?? How??? With a dash of bargaining and trying to bribe Him.

But then I chose to anchor myself on truths against a bombardment of lies from the enemy in response to these questions.  I said these truths to myself like a creed, over and over until my heart caught up to my brain:

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  1. God has surrounded me in a team of prayer warriors that are supporting me.  The friends that opened their home for us did so because they believed in the work that God will do in our families when we are able to stop renting and can afford a stable home.  For the same reason, they have asked us to stay: because they want to see the Lord bring this to completion as much as we do.  Our realtors are covering us in prayer.  Our church is covering us in prayer.  I am not alone.

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  2. God is FOR me.  I can look up and expect His help!  He doesn’t just mildly like me, and He’s not indifferent to these trials.  Just because He hasn’t released it to me in my timing, does not mean that His answer is “No.”  His heart is generous towards me and is more than able to provide!  So for all this time that He has not said “Yes”, I have to believe it’s because what He has in mind is better than what I am seeing right now. I will continue to look up and expect His help.
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  3. God is accomplishing something good in my heart through this trial.  It’s not a trial that will result in bitterness, or wedge distance between God and me.  This is a trial that has me fall onto the Rock of ages – and I will remember these times with fondness! I will recall how God held us, and sustained us, and did wonderful things in our family and all around us.  This may be a painful part of His plan, but it is still with the purpose of causing good in me and around me. So I will worship Him.

This faith-based perspective is by all means it’s not of this world.  It’s definitely not in my nature.  It is His Spirit working in me, comforting me, and giving me a hope I could not manufacture on my own through ‘positive thinking’.  So if you are going through a trial, the best I can encourage you to do is to dig deep into God’s Word and prayer.  He can lift your countenance better than any motivational phrase can!  If He has this strength available for me, He can do this in you too!

If you like the Bible verse images, go ahead and save them! They make great smart phone wallpapers, and I own the rights to the photos. 🙂

What is God revealing to you about your season of trials?  How can I align myself with God’s will for you in prayer? Share below.

Posted in Faith

Use It Or Lose It!

Confession: I lost my entire previous blog, with 3 years and 200 followers, because I forgot to pay for it one month.  I didn’t pay for it because I wasn’t using it.

Seems very irresponsible of me, I know, but welcome to my long laundry list of failures… potentially related to being ADHD myself.  It’s not the first mistake, and it probably won’t be my last.

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What reminded me that I had a blog in the first place (pathetic, I know) is that I heard this Bible passage some days ago:

Matthew 25:14-30 The Message (MSG)

The Story About Investment

14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.

19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’

26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

In older translations, the currency was known as a “talent”.  So the last verse in essence says that the talent was taken away from the servant who hid it underground and given to the one who had 10 talents…

My loved ones, there’s a “Use It Or Lose It” supernatural law at work here on Earth!

If you don’t fully articulate and bear weight on a joint, it will start to become brittle and weak, and you lose range of motion.

Coupons that you don’t redeem before their expiration date are worthless.

I’ve been sick this whole week, and I went to my medicine cabinet only to hopelessly discover that all my cold medication expired in 2015!  I had not used it in many years.  It all was useless now.

Our Heavenly Father is a “Give us Today” kind of God.  The manna in the desert was only for the day.  His provisions for us tend to be what we need for right now (how many of us have won the lottery and are financially set for the rest of our lives? I didn’t think so).  And the gifts and abilities He has blessed us with are for us to use them today – not in some future, potentially after retirement! Now!  Because when He suddenly returns, He will ask, “What did you do with the talents I invested in you?”

Let’s be good and faithful servants then.  If we put to use even the smallest things we have been blessed with, He is good and will bless us with more.

Let’s pay heed to the fact that just returning what was given is not enough for the Master.  He owns thousands of hills under which He can bury treasure to dig up later.  It is a disrespect to our Master to not even attempt to put His gifts to work.

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Do you have some talents lying kind of dormant right now?  What can you do to start activating them, even if just a little at a time?

Posted in Faith

Lessons From Within The Storm

I was in a situation recently where it all just felt icky and awful.  In it I was drowning in self-pity and despair! I couldn’t see my way through this or out of this.  I absolutely hate feeling stuck.

Confession: When I was about 5 years old, I was going down from the 9th floor of my grandma’s apartment via elevator with my uncle, when there was a quake that caused the elevator to malfunction, and then it dropped… and then it got stuck.  I remember my uncle injuring his arm trying to hold the doors open from within as my cousins and uncles were prying it open from the outside to get me out.

Irony would have it that about a year later I would be in Miami, FL during Hurricane Andrew (1992) spending the night in a walk-in closet with my family…

As a result, I have developed a phobia of small and tight spaces.  I’ve never let a phobia control my actions though, because I hate being manipulated by my emotions even more.  But I get uncomfortable if I feel squeezed.

And not just physically!  I hate feeling pressured, cornered, boxed in… I don’t like it when it seems others are putting me in a situation where my freedoms are restricted, I don’t like feeling tied down… and when I am, I tend to lash out.

It was precisely in this type of situation last month where I found myself really frustrated and, turning to God’s Word and prayer, came across this Scripture in Matthew 8:23-27:

“As He got into the[h] boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But He was sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke Him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!”

26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?—even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

stormIt struck a nerve how… odd Jesus’ response was.  Was it a lack of compassion?  Was the storm just not as bad as the disciples were making it out to be? Did He expect them to know the outcome the way He knew?

I found myself asking, “Jesus, how come You not only slept through the storm, but rebuked the disciples for waking you up?”

This is what I learned:

·        The presence of the storm does not equal the absence of God.  Likewise, God never promised us that His presence would result in the absence of storms either!

·        Jesus got in the boat first because it was the medium necessary to travel from point A to point B.  And if you want to get to point B with Jesus, the best thing for you to do is to get in the boat with Him.

·        Jesus had full confidence in the disciple’s abilities to navigate the boat through the storm.  Some of them were experienced fishermen.  He didn’t take over and start rowing, telling the disciples to move out of His way; He let them do their jobs.  Could it be that Jesus has full confidence in your ability to navigate through this storm too?

·        Jesus had taught the disciples that He was going to die on the cross.  Therefore, the disciples were expected to believe that they were going to make it to the cross!  Their panic that they would die at sea was not only a lack of belief in Jesus’ ability to care for them, but a lack of faith at His words.

I am so thankful that Jesus never told me, “Once you’re saved, you’ll never experience anxiety!”  Rather, He tells me in Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

So the lesson from the storm is to expect it, and get through it!  It is not pleasant, it is work… but you are not alone.  He is there with you.  And you are not going through the storm because of His incompetence, but rather because you are capable.  There’s something on the shore that you are uniquely equipped for!  But the only way to get there is to get in the boat!

Posted in Faith

The Yeast of the Pharisees

I believe most of us try to understand the unpleasant circumstances we’re in.  We think that if we can make sense of the valley, then it won’t be so dark.  Or we’ll get out that much faster.

My loved ones, I wish there was a “7 Step Program” to get out of the storms but the truth is, there really isn’t!  Unfortunately, we tend to make a few incorrect assumptions when we’re trying to figure this out:

  • If God was here, or if He loved me, I wouldn’t be in this mess.
  • If God was powerful enough in my life, He would pull me out or have me avoid this mess in the first place.
  • If I was more worthy of God’s love, things would go better for me.
  • If other people weren’t so mean to me, I would have better options now.

All of the above are not only dangerous mental pitfalls, but lies straight from hell.  Not one of the previous statements is even remotely Biblical.

Follow me to Matthew 16:1-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.

He answered them: “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You[a] know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times.[b] An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of[c] Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.

The disciples reached the other shore,[d] and they had forgotten to take bread.

Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the yeast[e] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

And they discussed among themselves, “We didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected? 10 Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected? 11 Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the yeast in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Alright, let’s break this down (and quite personally I’m glad I don’t have to know a lick about baking to understand how yeast works and how this Bible teaching applies to my life!):

The Pharisees were testing Jesus, demanding to see some sort of magic trick in order to believe that He was the Messiah.  Jesus did not entertain them because He had JUST fed 4,000 men (plus women and children) with left-overs out of seven loaves of bread and some small fish.  So it wasn’t a matter of Jesus not having proved Himself, it was a matter of them being stuck in unbelief.

Jesus, in essence, says, “If you guys can tell it’s going to rain by seeing dark clouds in the sky, you should be able to figure this one out guys!”  He chastises them because they cannot interpret the signs of the times.  I think we’d be wise to understand what kind of spiritual weather we are navigating in too!

But then He says that the only sign they are getting is that of Jonah: – As Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days and nights, so Jesus was to be dead and buried for three days and nights before His resurrection. – Jonah was thrown overboard in a storm because of his rebellion.  He was saved by the fish that swallowed him because Jonah did not know how to swim, and would’ve drowned. – Jonah had to repent and confess God in the belly of the fish.  THEN the fish puked him out on shore. So the sign of Jonah was more than ample in telling the Pharisees that they weren’t gonna get it unless they repented.  Even in His rebuke, Jesus is full of compassion – pleading with their hearts for repentance!

Jesus barely walks away from this conversation and tells the disciples to beware of the yeast of these people, and then it’s made clear that the yeast means the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Was it the teachings of the law of Moses? Nope.  It was what the Pharisees taught through their UNBELIEF:

  • I’m going to wait ’till God shows me a sign before I believe in Him.
  • That person was born blind because both his parents were seeped in sin.
  • You can’t heal on the Sabbath, it’s a day of “rest”.
  • You’re making yourself impure by eating without washing your hands.
  • You shouldn’t let that woman touch you; you don’t know where she’s been.

You see, it was UNBELIEF that guided the Pharisees teachings in all these issues – because for all their religiosity, they didn’t know the heart of the God they followed and refused to believe that He is the compassionate, gracious God He reveals Himself to be in Scripture!

That Pharisaic yeast is a lot like those mental pitfalls I mentioned earlier – we need to avoid them at all cost!  No matter what our struggle, we’ve got to believe that God is love, full of grace and compassion!  The storms are a sign of the times, not a sign of His ability to care for you!  And like yeast, it only takes a small amount to make unbelief fester and grow!

Posted in Faith

The Roadmap Behind The Prayer Journal

The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. – Habakkuk 2:2

While I completely understand the hermeneutics behind this verse, since the day I first read it my heart has been affixed on it.


I’ve always been a writer, but over time God asked me to write down my prayers.  I went from writing down lists of things I was praying for to actually writing my prayers instead of speaking them, like a letter I was intending to send up to heaven some day.

Notebooks and journals later, I never understood quite how this system worked.  I wasn’t entirely sure it did for some things…  But this is what I have mapped over this process:

– God wanted more than a grocery bill or honey-do list.  While it’s ok to make these lists to pray over, that wasn’t what God was wanting for me when He told me to write it clearly, so that it’s easy to read. – I wrote down my emotions more than the items I was actually praying for.  I wrote down what I perceived was going on around me.  I wrote down how this prayer request was affecting what I believed about God.

I realize, looking back and reading over them, that God was always answering prayers.  It didn’t look the way I thought; but if He wasn’t doing what I asked Him to do, He was changing my heart so I could perceive His Word and His Character more clearly.

Have you read The Pilgrim’s Progress?  It’s a parable of our journey on this side of heaven.  Well my friends, writing our prayers down works like creating a road map.  I know this may sound unusual because ideally you look at maps to see where you are going, and journaling prayers seems more like a way to document where you’ve been…

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. – Habakkuk 2:3

When you write down your prayers, you are charting the course of your future.  It’s like creating a map of where you are as you discover it, but at the same time this map shows you where you need to go next!

You are also prophetically putting down a vision that will get you to your next step in this walk with God.

Artists  sometimes use graph paper to paint a masterpiece to scale.  When a project is too big, they will draw a smaller version of it on a blue print, then create bigger squares on the wall they want to work on.  Then they copy one square at a time, from the paper to the wall.

This is how prayer journaling works!  You take a situation so much bigger than you, and you break it down to one small, manageable square at a time.  Then God recreates the masterpiece as He answers it to scale!  But you would miss that, and you’d think the wall was just haphazardly painted from left to right, if you didn’t have the blue print.

You may be thinking right now: But I’m not a writer!  And that’s ok.  Draw it out.  Write single words that describe what you’re feeling or seeing.  It could be cartoon like pictures, or photographs.  It could be in a journal or on a cork board in your bedroom wall.  Write where you are now.  Write where you want to be.  Then watch God fill in the blanks in between.

It is rumored that when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, he started on the work around the borders and left the main part in the center of the roof for last.  Reason being that he was a sculptor, not a painter, but he figured (given the task to paint a ceiling, of all things) that by the time he got the main focal point of the masterpiece, he’d be that much more skilled at it and it would be closer to perfection.  And what was that centerpiece? The finger of God reaching out to touch man, known as the “Creation of Adam”.