What’s up with the Pink Hippopotamus?
As God began to prepare us for this journey of Rehabilitation and Renewal, one of our members began to draw for the first time. She drew for her grandchildren who were infants at the time and one of the animals she drew was this pink hippopotamus. God spoke to her through the hippo explaining that she needed to forget all she believed to be true, and to become as a child willing to trust Him to show her Truth. For us the Pink Hippopotamus symbolizes the child inside who is willing to trust and obey our Heavenly Father.
Luke 10:21 – At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
What if I don’t like to or feel as if I can’t journal?
Journaling: either you love it or you hate it. Those who love to journal or at least are willing to make a practice of it, often find that a journal becomes a record of God’s activity in their lives. They also discover, by writing, truth they might not have otherwise have learned.
But maybe you don’t like to write, It feels to awkward or burdensome to write out your prayers, and you’re terrified of what would happen if another person read what you wrote.
Perhaps you think journaling means having to come up with profound thoughts to write in calligraphy in a beautiful blank book. Maybe you think of it as writing a letter to God, or organizing your prayers for various subjects in a loose-leaf binder. Yes, journaling can be all those things, but there are other creative ways to journal your thoughts and prayers.
If you think you simply can’t journal, if you feel intimated by it, or if you are looking for a way to expand your journaling horizons, here are some unconventional ways to journal outside the box, as it were. Careful: these can be habit forming, and might energize your prayer life!
Prayer cards: Index cards are perfect for prayer requests and concerns, or even for listing blessings. A card could simply read: “What will I do if I don’t drink?” prompting you to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and suggestions. Carry the cards in your purse or pocket, you never know when the Holy Spirit might get a word in…and you can record that prompting. When you see an answer to one of your prayers, make a note about how it was answered on the same card. Soon you’ll have a pile of encouraging answers to prayers. And in spite of yourself, you will have learned one way to journal.
Draw: Another way to write out your prayers is to draw. Drawing is one way to engage the right side of your brain, which unleashes creativity. From there, ideas begin to flow. I’ve heard of people who after coloring and sketching for a while started writing thoughts and ideas and prayers all around the drawing. Sometimes, using colored pencils and a sketchpad, instead of a pen and spiral notebook gets your creativity going, and prayers will flow out of that. You don’t have to be an artist, even stick figures or simple graphs can work. Some people have drawn something as simple as a circle, which represented their lives. Within the circle they answered questions with words, lists, or pictures: What lie is in my circle? What lie am I holding onto?
Life Review: This ancient practice of self-examination can be updated in this simple way. Take a large sheet of paper and some crayons or colored pencils. Draw a timeline of your life, dividing it into decades. In each decade, find a way to draw or represent an answer to these three questions; How did I see God? How did I see myself? What was the lie?
How am I growing: Many gardeners keep gardening notebooks, or journals. They note which plant they’ve grown in which beds. They take notes on the progress of seedlings, the effect of shade on certain plants. They make drawings to plot out what they planted where and what each plant looks like. They make lists of everything; plants they’d like to try, ones they have tried that didn’t work all kinds of landscaping possibilities. The notebook helps a gardener keep track of what has worked and what has not. It’s a way of organizing thoughts and learning from mistakes. Sometimes the seasons of our lives are like a garden. If the garden of your soul feels like a junkyard, get yourself a prayer notebook. It needn’t be anything fancy; in fact, it helps to have something small and sturdy that you can carry around. Use pictures, mind mapping with lines and circles, what worked and what didn’t … just like your garden.
What would I write about? Write scripture or quotes from books your reading and make them into a prayer. Listen to God, take notes on what God is saying and doing in your spiritual life and in your physical life too. Make lists of things you’re worried about and people you want to pray for. Write about what works and what doesn’t, what brought you peace and what keeps you awake at night. Write what makes you sad, disappointed. Write when you’re sad and disappointed with yourself. Make two columns; one for requests and one for answers. Write whatever comes to your mind!!
If all else fails… If you still think you can’t journal, try making a list of the reasons why you cannot manage to journal. Guess what? You just wrote your first journal entry! Pray over your list and ask God’s help in overcoming the barriers to journaling.
Finally… It’s an act of obedience. The entire Bible is a journal of what God was saying to each of the authors!! We have created customized journals for your Rehab/Renewal journey.
Habakkuk2:2 – And the Lord answered me: Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
Some last thoughts on journaling: Make sure you are free to be totally honest with yourself and God in your journaling. Also, be sure that others around you are willing to respect the privacy of your journal. Hide your journal in a safe place if you need to. It is important that you are able to write without worrying about who else might read it.
Choose a place for journaling that is comfortable and free of distractions. Your physical space can greatly affect your ability to hear and focus! (Journal ideas are from Keri Kent)
Who reads our daily comments?
The group member who writes the daily devotion reads each comment and prays for that person. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know who you are, where you live, or whether your post is true and accurate. God knows.
If you request a response she will respond after prayerfully seeking God and his wisdom.