“things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”Romans 15:4 NLT
Welcome to the Word over World Series! Here we will discuss different ways to intentionally be in the Word before jumping into the world. Today we are discussing how to effectively use my favorite devotional tool! Please remember as you read that:
He doesn’t require ANYTHING but my best and my WHOLE heart. ⠀
We need to listen to Him and allow Him to convict our hearts about how He wants us to delight in Him. Your time in His Word may look different each season, and that’s okay.
If you have been following me for any length of time, you have probably seen me post and talk about my favorite devotional tool, the Write the Word journals! As we are ending the summer Write the Word challenge, I wanted to share some of the ways I use my WTW Journal to make the most of the time I have when I’m in the Word.
One of the biggest struggles I face living the chronic illness life is being consistent in my devotionals. I tackle my days one at a time, as I never know what each day will hold, but really struggle with guilt when I can’t keep up with a devotional and fall behind. One of the main reasons I initially tried out these journals in 2018 was because they are undated! This takes away the pressure I place on myself to keep up and helps me choose grace of guilt.
Most often I write the date, but sometimes I write what I hope the day will hold. As you can see in the photos below I showed one day with the date and one day with an affirmation/description by saying “today is: a gorgeous day.” Here are some prompts to start you off with:
Today is: full of grace, bright and beautiful, a quiet day, abounding in love, filled with joy, a gorgeous day, a fresh start, will hold good things, a new day, uncertain yet fruitful, in His control, full of new mercies, a magnificent day, a rest day, etc.
After I have filled in the “today is” box, I move to my favorite feature- the gratitude box. Practicing gratitude is hard, and some days when I don’t feel grateful, I will just sit and quiet my mind. This space allows me to hold myself accountable to opening my eyes to all He blesses me with.
Now each journal has a theme. I have been through Cultivate: Hope, Faith, Renewal, Joy, Worship, and am currently in the Confidence edition. Each verse picked out has to do with that subject. As I get closer to the end of each journal, I start praying over where God is leading my heart for the upcoming season and choose a new edition. Currently the editions available in the shop are: Cultivate Hope, Cultivate Joy, Cultivate Renewal, Cultivate Faith, Cultivate Contentment, Cultivate Confidence, Cultivate Forgiveness and a Blank Journal to pick out and write your own verses.
As you continue on, you get to write out the scripture for that day. I use a study Bible that I keep separate for notes, so when I am doing my WTW I typically use the Bible App. What I love about the app is that I can look up the verse in multiple translations using the compare button on the app. My favorite translation of the Bible is NLT (New Living Translation) but I shuffle between NLT, NIV, ESV, and occasionally the Message Bible (it is important to note that the Message Bible is not a translation but Eugene Peterson’s interpretation.) Then I choose which translation’s wording speaks to me the most that day, I would also highly suggest reading the entire chapter of whatever verse you are writing to gain context and insight. If you don’t understand the verse or chapters context or are struggling to see how that verse might pertain to the subject of your journal, google the book’s chapter with the word commentary after, and you get a more in-depth look into that Scripture- make the most of your time in the Word!
One of the great freedom’s that come with the WTW journals is that you can be a simple or intricate as you want. I love to hand letter scripture and use that as a way to meditate on His Word, but I have days where I keep it simple and just write in black ink.
Bible Journaling isn’t about your handwriting, it’s about your heart.
But if you are looking to learn to hand letter I suggest starting with erasable markers I use them daily in my WTW journals.
After completing the Scripture you have space to journal what’s on your heart. You can use this space for prayers, tracking His faithfulness, digging into the verse context- whatever is on your heart that day is meant for this space. The final part of these journal’s is choosing a word for the day. If I do my journaling at the start of my day, I typically choose a word that I want to focus on for the day; if I journal at the end of my day I choose a word to sum up my day. Occasionally I use this space to write a short phrase or the thought behind the word I chose.
I hope this helped you gain insight into my all time favorite devotional tool, and that it encourages you to get in the Word whether it’s with these journals or just time in the Word on your own. I can’t wait to continue this Write the Word Challenge with you, and post the next part of the Word before World Series!
Cassie Nolin is a married spoonie who lives the chronic illness life with EDS + Co. (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it’s comorbid conditions.) She challenges others to choose grace over guilt in goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through The Spoonie Study. She loves planting, hand lettering, and sharing the hope she has found in Jesus. Her blog, Living the Chronic Illness Life, is in the top 100 chronic illness blogs and her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, is produced by Speaking to the Heart Network. Cassie encourages women to live authentic and intentional lives through their diagnosis’ not in spite of them. You can learn more about her at www.livingthechronicillnesslife.com
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