About a year ago, a friend of mine shared something she had started called Scripture Journaling. It was a daily activity that involved journaling a passage of scripture that only took 10 minutes per day. The scriptures were from free downloads available at Sweet Blessings.
I never started. I was busy. I wasn't sure it was worth the time, but it sounded interesting.
Over the next several months, I couldn't let go of the fact that I had gotten away from reading my Bible. I was spiritually, emotionally, and physically sick. I had quit going to church, was deeply depressed, and had been suffering from mold in our HVAC system. I was going through a terrible time and couldn't even stand what I call "God Speak". However, the idea of spending just 10 minutes kept nagging at me and each month I downloaded the lesson thinking I could journal here and there, but it never happened.
Then, at the end of January of this year, I decided I would start journaling the scriptures. We replaced our HVAC system entirely in January, and my doctor started me on an antidepressant along with steroid inhalers and antibiotics. I still haven't set foot inside a church, but I have gotten back into my Bible with the lessons starting in February this year.
What a great month to get started! The month of Valentines inspired Shannon, I suppose, and the lessons throughout February were all about love. God's love, and our love for others, God's love expressed through us toward others … it was just what I needed.
Every day in February I spent the 10 minutes reading and copying the scriptures. I still have a hard time hearing someone doing the God-speak thing, but I can tell you that God did an amazing thing in my life that month. I call it my God Download. He gave me a purpose for living!
During the first five days in February, I gained clarity on using my natural gift of encouragement through handwritten notes sent through snail mail. That's right. Good old fashioned letters in the mail. Like a lot of us card makers, I had a LOT of cards that I had made but hadn't mailed. After the 10 minutes of copying the scriptures out of my Bible, I spent another half hour praying and listening and wrote down the names of people who were placed on my heart for one reason or another. I know so many wonderful people because of my attending Stampin' Up! events, and I've gotten to know some of them pretty well … well enough that God told me what they needed encouragement with. I started sending out cards by the handful, and by the end of the month, the boxes were empty. I had mailed them all and needed to make more.
Everything about Celia's Paper Garden and the "Handcrafting Keepsakes of Kindness" was born from those weeks spent quietly with God. I spent time reading the scriptures, journaling them, and reading the copious notes I had written in the margins of my Bible over a few years spent at Grace Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was a real teaching church, Bible-based, full of love and encouragement while Will McFarlane was on staff. The memories that came flooding back to me are priceless treasures I don't ever want to lose touch with again.
Funny thing, though … I progressed into March and April and May scriptures, but I never got anything out of them. Not like I had in February. Not like I had gotten through studying and acting on acts of love and encouragement. So, I'm working through February again, and I will stay right here in February for as long as He has me stay here. You see, this isn't the first time that God has taken me through a passage in the Bible where He's kept me for a year. I know that He has some kind of blessing He's working out through me, or for me, or whatever … but I know it's going to be fun!
If you'd like to start on a program of journaling too, you can go to Sweet Blessings and download whatever month you'd like. May was all about Fear and Anxiety, and June is all about Forgiveness.