As the years have gone by and I became a mother I continued this because early morning was often the only quiet time I could get.
I still do this because now this is what my body's clock is used to. I wake often before 5 a.m., but often I try to go back to sleep. In these cold months, the bed is so toasty warm and getting up to brave the cold air in my home isn't tempting.
Do you ever hear voices? Before you diagnose me with a mental disorder, I mean, do you ever get a thought that you wonder if it was from God or yourself? We humans are more alike than different so I know the answer must be yes. When I woke up at 5 today, I wanted to roll over and shut my eyes, but I heard, "Please get up. I miss you."
Was that me putting my words in God's mouth? Oh, that is a dangerous thing to do (something we often do so carelessly).
Even if it was me I got up because God does want to spend time with me. I know that. He wants to spend time with you too by the way. I pray throughout the day but there is something good and peaceful and right about having some time just with God and silence and His Word. If you're a night owl, maybe you can find it when the rest of the family goes to bed.
Last month I quit writing a daily journal as I have done for 30+ years. I still keep a sort of journal but it is mainly sketches. I do write scripture and people's names (when I pray for them) and have started some children's stories in it.
I quit my writing journal because I felt it was a challenge by God to get out of a rut. You know what -- I didn't know my journal keeping was a rut. I thought it was a spiritual exercise of mine.....at first long ago, it was. It was a safe haven, a place I met God.
I read a quote from C.S. Lewis about keeping journals. I tried to find it for you but couldn't. But the gist of it was that Lewis thought it was a waste of time, something not profitable. When I read this years ago I disagreed. I didn't like disagreeing with Lewis for I'm a big fan, but I did nonetheless. Maybe he just didn't know better, I thought. If he had my experience he would have agreed with me.
I am changing my mind. My journal keeping had become a series of prayer requests and worries and an avenue by which I shared my struggles. In itself, there's nothing wrong with this at all. And if you do this, keep doing it if works for you. But I think maybe where it used to be a place I met God it became a place I met myself talking to God.
I think for me by writing down what was in my head reinforced something that shouldn't have been reinforced. Putting something in words gives that something substance, good or bad.
It had become too much about Jane and not about Jesus. I wrote lots of scripture and prayer requests but it was filtered through an identity that was old and had worn out its usefulness. Like those old wineskins Jesus talked about. He can't put new wine into old wineskins -- the wineskins would break apart.
The first week or so without my journal writing I was lost. I felt adrift.
I have been changed.
Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the medication of my heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."
Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit."
And Proverbs 12:14 says, "A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man's hands will return to him."
We are what we think.
We are what we write.
We are what we talk about.
What is your main mode of communication? What way can you communicate effectively what you need to communicate?
For some it is speaking. For others, it is writing. Still others, it could be through music or ...I don't know. The answers are as varied as people are.
Is your communication, your expression of you, increasing your faith in God or fighting against your faith?
Maybe like me, you are operating within an old wineskin that needs to be put aside before God can do a new work.