My Dad has always encouraged my sisters and me, “Dream BIG girls!” His words have given life to many of the dreams we are living today. As a bossy adolescent, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Daddy is the one who urged me to fill out the scholarship forms that lead to a Drama Scholarship to the junior college, that led to a Bachelor’s and finally to a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama. Along the way, he’d say, “You can do it!”
For years, I watched him, and my mother pursue their dreams as entertainers. They’ve always been and continue to be a well of inspiration and steadfast source of encouragement. So of course, they are at the top of the list of people I want to thank for making this-at-long-last-finally-it’s REAL-I-can’t-even-believe-it DREAM, a reality.
In May of 2012, after twelve years of loving and leading littles as a public school teacher, I locked the door for the last time and turned in my keys. I knew I had come home to teach my children, and yet I had so many questions for God: What will this next season of life look like for us? What about our bills? What does a homeschool mom do? What if I’ve messed up?
As the questions came, I jotted them down in my journal. Doubts. Fears. “What if’ scenarios, I wrote them down.
Scattered amidst all of the scary emotions were slivers of excitement. Hope. New ideas. Dreams. More questions. I wrote them down. Days and weeks passed. Funny thing, once I had written down the scary stuff, they weren’t quite as frightening, and the new ideas began to grow.
With new ideas came new questions: What do others do with fear and anxiety? What about their dreams? Do they write them down? I wonder if they wonder if God hears them when they pray? Is their journal as precious to them as mine is to me? Do they have a journal?
Journaling and Jesus kept me sane through our years of infertility and loss.
If my journals were unique then, they are beloved now. They are my evidence that God is real, and he is just to hear us when we pray.
People will argue and debate scripture. People, however, are not as likely to argue with our own stories. I have lived the stories and events written out in my journals. They are real. They affirm me when I doubt or forget that God is real. When it feels like God’s not there or doesn’t care, I can go back and read and remember:
Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes God says wait.
I have been waiting just over TWO YEARS to share this little gem with you. And because I think you should know -even as I type these preceding sentences: I have sweaty palms, my heart is racing, and I can’t keep my tapping feet still!!!!!!
Why? We want people to like us. We want people to approve of the things we say and do. We wonder how we will be perceived.
When others have come to me and asked what to do when they don’t know what to do, I say, “Do what you know.”
I don’t know how this is going to go. I don’t know what you will think. I don’t know how well received this project (that is so dear to me) will be. But I’m going to take my advice because this I know:
The idea was born in quiet times spent with the Lord. For two+ years, little glimpses of the end game would press upon my heart, wake me up at night, and tug at me throughout the days.
The process: One idea +prayer+ time in God’s Word+another idea+one page+more time with God+prayer+an AMAZING, gifted, generous designer friend+ more prayer+a few more pages+lots of days+edits+proofing+more prayer+more edits+friends & family prayers=
AT LONG LAST…………
The product~designed with YOU in mind.
A guided prayer journal, for which I have prayed and prayed and prayed will become dear to you. May it be the missing ingredient that will transform laundry lists of prayers into intimate conversations with The Savior!
A 6-week guided prayer journal designed with YOU in mind!
Pictures to inspire you to keep going!
Scriptures and quotes to challenge you to grow!
A place for you to talk with God.
It includes personal prayers from my journal from some of the best and worst days of my life.
In one week, Monday, Dec. 7th, I’m going to GIVE AWAY 3 JOURNALS before they are available in-store and online because you have been so kind and loyal to visit this place!! Here’s HOW TO ENTER the GIVEAWAY:
sign up to receive post via EMAIL (enter your address–>top right)
FOLLOW Blessings Beyond the Barnyard on Facebook
SHARE this post on YOUR Facebook page
STAY TUNED because there is going to be a VIDEO and we are going to journal TOGETHER!!! (because the Facebook family is loud and proud and had no trouble telling me most of them are not on Periscope) I promise to do my best, to have my hair color done, and keep my clammy hands in my lap for the love of the VIDEO. The VIDEO and all of the places the journal will be available will be announced in a blog post later this week.
Whether you are an avid journaler, a wannabe journaler or a not sure what you are-THIS JOURNAL IS FOR YOU!!
I pray it will be so much more than a lovely book on your nightstand.
More than a gift off of your Christmas list.
I pray it is a game changer for you and your closest family and friends!!
I believe down to my very bone marrow that prayer changes everything and, GOD IS REAL.
It’s with so much love for you and this journal and God how he weaves us all together that I invite you to SHARE the LOVE using hashtag #PrayBig as you share this post with your peeps!
So much LOVE!