sweet words 5-16

Words matter.

Big time.

I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. I would start one and write feverishly for a week or two (that’s about as long as my consistency lasted) and then it would dwindle down to every once in a while for a  vomiting  venting session between my pen and I.

The thing was, whenever I would go back and read what I wrote, my cheeks burned with embarrassment. I would rip the pages out and start over. But the same thing kept happening.

I threw a lot of garbage away. So I would quit journalling, but then I would start up again and the same cycle would continue. I would write nonsense about the weather and the weeds growing and doing the dishes and my angst with people and my insecurities and it would turn into another vomit/venting session. Time would pass and I would take a trip down memory lane and flush with embarrassment as I considered my words. I would either hide the evidence or rip the pages out and start again.

Until one day I started thinking: ‘Do I want my kids reading this garbage when I am dead?’ The answer was a resounding ‘no!’  I didn’t want my kids to just know about the ugliness in my heart. I wanted them to know how my garbage met Jesus and changed me for the better.

How could I turn my rambling journal thoughts about the messiness of my heart into an honest portrayal of a woman bent on living and loving and serving God while staying true about my struggles, but not staying in the struggle?

This became my quest.

I decided to be a ‘life-giver journaller’. I wasn’t sure what that looked like, but I wanted to be able to leave my journals as a life-giving gift to my lovelies after I died. So I bought a pretty journal because beauty inspires me. It was lavender pseudo-suede that I found on the end-cap of a discount store. I dated it and the blank page sat there, staring at me, mocking me, daring me to fall into the same ugly writing habit.

That blank page turned into a fledgling attempt at turning all my garbage and brokenness into an offering of praise. I would write verses that spoke to me and then an application for my life in my present season.

Yes, I wrote about the ugliness of my heart and the garbage would spill out, but this time I laid God’s word over my words and saw things through his lens. I said my truth and then I covered it with his Truth. 

And for the first time, my words became life-giving.

I wrote as a gift to my kids, but I also wrote to myself.

Encouraging my heart. Examining my heart. Exercising my heart.

Now, when I take a walk down memory lane, I see remembrances of the evidence of God in my life. I see how he showed up in my ugliness and messiness and insecurities and emotional brokenness and brought healing and life. Through his word in my words.

I don’t hide my journals anymore. I have one on a bookshelf, a couple others are kept on a side table by my favorite chair. They are there for me to leaf through and be encouraged. The current one is with my bible and comes out each time I open God’s word.

I write about the nitty-gritty stuff of my heart and life. I also write about the joys and triumphs. I write quotes from books that affect my heart. But mostly I write those books to be a gift to my lovelies to give life to their hearts and for them to see into their flawed mama’s heart as she struggled along loving them well.

Proverbs 16:24: ‘Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.’

How do you use your words to bring life? Is this an area you struggle in? If you are a journaller, do you have hidden journals that need to see the truth of God laid over them?


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I write to encourage you that you can experience a vibrant, transformative relationship with God even if your past or your shame tells you otherwise. God invites you upward and onward, will you join me? You'll receive weekly devotionals straight to your inbox. By subscribing you'll receive my 7-Day Devotional, Kicking Perfect, as a thank-you gift from me!

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