Hello lovelies! Today I wanted to share a batch of encouragement with you.
As fellow brothers & sisters in Christ, we can all relate to the peaks + valleys that accompany this great adventure called LIFE. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy for us to want to dive in deep & spend gobs of hours painting our margins up with glorious praise when we are high up on those mountain tops — can I get an amen!?
But when the valleys hit…. it’s just difficult difficult lemon difficult, right? We spend less time lifting our hands up + lettering beautiful sentiments in our bibles or praise books & more time wondering why why why, God?
We all do it, it’s part of our human nature. But…. what if we prepared ourselves to proactively push back during those trench journeys that we occasionally find ourselves in and readied ourselves with the Word of God & a handful of ideas to journal through the hard times? I wonder what our journey would look like then?
5 Tips for Journaling through the Trenches
[ONE] Find a kickstarter….
If you’re feeling in a rut or you just don’t know where to turn…. let God guide you, friend. There are lots + lots of resources available throughout the IF community full of encouragements & “me too” moments!
Go all out with a big project like journaling through 100 Days of Bible Promises, find an online workshop to span the course of a few weeks or just download a single devotional from our digital shop to kickstart your day, week, month or life season.
God created us for community, y’all — so gather up as many words from those around you who have traveled the same tough road & be encouraged in knowing that God will provide & care for you during this hard time!
[TWO] Try something new….
It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, friends. But something small, fresh & inspiring can easily strike a new burst of creativity that we can intentionally & purposefully focus into our bibles!
When I’m really feeling the hardships of this earthly life, I find solace in repurposing, reorganizing & occasionally adding to my current stash of creative worship supplies. Just trying a little something new, a little something fresh can push me past the point of wallowing & into the arms of Jesus — just by wanting to try a new tool or a “once lost in the depths of my junk drawer” paint color!
[THREE] Crank up the tunes….
If you’re anything like me, music probably plays a big part in your creative life. From melodies to lyrics, God’s glory can be displayed so magnificently & we have an incredible opportunity to create a worship collision of song & art in our bibles!
I constantly have praise & worship music streaming in our house [have you seen our quarterly playlists?!] and God seriously shows up in those words & notes drifting about in the background of my day. Songs I may have memorized long ago & hum to myself absentmindedly now come to the forefront of my worshipful heart in a time of desperate need for Christ. Listen to those small God whispers, friends & journal your way through them!
[FOUR] Invite your kids in….
If you’re in a season of motherhood, this tip is for you & it has gotten me through many a hard time before. The courageous, simplistic faith of a child can be an incredible balm for our world weary adult souls. Sit & journal with your babes, let them describe to you what they dream heaven may be like [Amelia & I always ponder what types of scrapbooking supplies will be in heaven!] or have them color straight in your bible with you!
Just relishing the opportunity to sit back & watch a child focus so intentionally to this task & explaining to them what beauty there is in worshipping our King through art & color can help in pulling your own heart right back into the courts of Jesus Christ!
[FIVE] When all else fails…. let God.
There are times when nothing simple will fix the hard. I know this, friends. I myself have been heavily covered in such shame & guilt that I couldn’t bear to even walk in a church building, much less put paint to paper in a bible. But God is there, He always has been & He always will be! He knows our hurts, our hards, our hunger — even when we feel full of only the grit of the trench.
When all else fails, just do it. Press into God any which way you possible can. Cry out to Him in silent tears, heart wrenching sobs or paint splattered pages. Pray, color, repeat. And know that you are not alone — we’ve ALL been there in the valley at some point, and there IS a mountain top coming!