Monday, September 29, 2008

Blessing Journal Challenge

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always!

Saturday began with a sense of discouragement for me. Even during worship team practice, I just felt "blah." There were some pressing concerns on my heart, some dark clouds over my head. No, nothing major - just enough to leave me feeling blue.

That afternoon, I was to meet with my online writing group for our weekly Bible Study. As I reviewed the week's lesson, I was challenged once again to consider the circumstances in my life which gave me reason to rejoice.

In past discussions, we talked about creating "blessing jars" or baskets. Each time God blessed us in some way, we were to write it on a slip of paper and place it in the basket or jar. Then when we felt down, we were to revisit those blessings. Of course, I had good intentions but hadn't created my own yet.

As I thought and prayed about the lesson, the Lord had me take out a clean spiral notebook from my stash and begin a blessings journal. I dated the page and began praying the Lord would show me what blessings He had given me that day. Not past blessings, but the immediate ones, right then and there. It didn't take long to have several written on the page. The blues lifted as my heart filled up with His presence and praise for His wonderful love and care.

I know this works. I've been a Christian for 47 years. But I don't always make spiritually heart healthy choices to do what I need to do to keep myself spiritually fit. I still spend way too much time wallowing in the problems rather than leaning into Him. It's a matter of spiritual discipline, just like exercising is a physical discipline to get and stay fit.

Like a willful child who clamps her mouth shut and won't eat the veggies that are good for her, I refuse to do the very thing that will lift my inner child out of her doldrums. But thankfully, once I open my heart to Him, He is right there to fill me and preserve me. I have to make the choice to accept His peace and joy.

If you're feeling blue, depressed or down today, make the choice to open your heart to Him. Begin a blessings jar, basket or journal. Write down the here and now things God has done for you or given to you. Take it out and reread them whenever you need to. In the distressing times in which we live, we need to have those written reminders every day to keep us strong in Him.

This week my project is to write down at least one blessing each day and to decorate my journal with my scrapbooking supplies to create an inviting place to visit when I need encouragemment and reminders of His love.

I'll post a photo whe I get it done, If you create a basket, jar or journal, why not share a photo of yours? I'd love to see it and hear what blessings God has given you this week!

1 comment:

LauraLee Shaw said...

As a person who struggles with mild depression swings, I can really say AMEN to this post. NOTHING gets one out of the pit faster than to count her blessings. And this sounds like a really tangible way to do so. Can't wait to see your pics!