God wants us to remember His faithfulness to us so we should document the times we see His gracious hands in our lives.
I am reading 1st Samuel right now and just came to the place where Samuel sets up an altar of stones calling it Ebenezer because “God has helped us this far” (chapter 7:12). Samuel recognized God’s hand allowing the Israelites to defeat the Philistines. This was a big deal as the and he correctly wanted to document God’s faithfulness with an altar, so people would stop an pray when they came upon these stones.
Most of us are familiar with Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickenson’s book, A Christmas Carol. I always thought he just made up the name, but it turns out he so cleverly took the name straight out of 1 Samuel. Ebenezer had to go on a journey to help him recount all the blessings in his life. So as he remembered he changed his outlook on life and he became grateful for all his blessings.
We can of course pile some rocks in our back yard to build an altar, but today we can still remember all God’s faithfulness by documenting life events. Journaling is probably an easier way to document God’s faithfulness
This is a page from my gratitude journal where I document God’s faithfulness when my son was very sick. He was 7 and it was a terrifying year. He’s now a grown man who is very healthy. I want to create a journal that my children will consider keeping and refer to it to remember God’s faithfulness in our lives.
Heritage or Life journal
We have been talking about prayer cards and documenting events on a prayer card will work fine. You can punch a hole and keep them together with a book ring.
I have been in the habit of keeping a sketchbook where I can draw and doodle and journal a bit. This page above is unusual in that I had a lot to write about. Normally I draw and doodle more than I write. This page came from a recent event we had with the Baker side of the family. I am so thankful to be part of this family. This is a family that prays first and then deals with everything else. We have a family member with Glioblastoma, a very aggressive and nasty from of brain cancer. They have been through chemo and radiation and the tumor is back. So after getting that news we had a prayer meeting and singing.
This was a big event I wanted to remember forever so I decided to dedicate a whole page to the day. But I also document the little things, like when God helps me find my lost keys (which happens often). I use a blank sketchbook because it will help me draw and doodle more and write less. If you use a lined notebook you will write more and draw less and you and your peeps will be highly unlikely to go back and look at that journal in years to come.
Right now I am using an 8″ x 8″ Flexisketch Sketchbook. I like it because it opens flat so you can get to all of the page. I tend to just use a sharpie pen and then color later as I have time. Normally, I use a 2-page spread to document the week which will include prayers, prayers answered, gratitudes, and life events.
The beautiful thing about journaling is that there is no right way or wrong way to do it. I suppose the wrong way might be not to journal at all, but other than that, it is up to you to decide what works best for you and what is most meaningful for you. This is no stress here. For me personally, I try to document my week on a two page spread, but that doesn’t always happen so I do it when I can. I try to capture big live events and try to remember the little moments where I see God’s gracious hand in my life. Do your journal as it makes sense and as you have time. The main thing is just to use it as a tool for God’s faithfulness.
Got Questions? (n.d.) Retrieved from: https://www.gotquestions.org/Ebenezer.html
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