What to Journal: A Devotion That Connects

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I follow a blog called ilovemyshepherd.com by my friend, Heidi Goehmann. She writes spiritual thoughts about everyday situations - things that are wonderful, hard, and so-very-ordinary. Her honest writing often mirrors the words that run in a stream through my mind like a scrolling digital billboard as I make decisions throughout the day - words that I think to myself,  rarely share out loud, and often come and go too quickly for me to reflect and act upon.

So when I read Heidi's blog, there's often a slap-in-my-face recognition of some of my thought words. When this happens, it's a great time to get out my Bible, reflect on what God has to say, and respond in the margin so that I can remember and then reflect God's heart in my thoughts, words, and actions.

Maybe you will also relate to Heidi's words about "curds, milk, and cake" from her guest blog on meal planning at graftedheart.com (another great blog from Christian author Sarah Baughmann). I truly do love to cook, and meals together were a precious priority for our family of six - but my focus was often on the "why am I doing all this work?" rather than "why I'm doing all this work." Heidi made me laugh out loud with her words, "My husband occasional comes home and says, 'Quick! Knead it! Make cakes!'" We often shared our meal table - sometimes at the last moment - with guests, and that is often the case with the spontaneous schedules of our grown children today. Since I value cooking from scratch (which takes more prep & cooking time), meals sandwiched within busy schedules or last minute guest additions would often result in a stressed, grouchy, bad-attitude me.

To journal and connect my reality with Heidi's devotional thoughts,

  • I re-read Genesis 18:1-21 in my Bible, underlining words and phrases that stood out.

  • My biggest "a-ha" was the suggestion that feeding people is a spiritual practice, so I began with that at the top of my page along with some examples Heidi shared of when Jesus fed people.

  • Next is a prayer penned on the page, asking God to bring to mind "curds, milk, and cake" as a reminder of what I am serving.....

  • And the list of spiritual blessings to "serve" at my table

Making the word LORD larger and in a fun font draws my eyes to the prayer, and doing the same with the word SERVE reminds me that meals are a way I can serve God by serving up these spiritual opportunities - as well as good food! And because color and drawing brings me joy, I added a bit of color and ended with a simple drawing of trees around a campsite to conclude with my final take-away: to help me remember the joy of welcoming others to our family table.

 

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God bless you as you serve up curds, milk, and cakes and so much more to the dear hearts gathered around your family table!

-- Pat Maier