Daddy always said, “Dream BIG girls!” His words gave life to many of the dreams my sisters, and I are living today. As a bossy adolescent, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Daddy is the one who urged me to fill out the scholarship forms that lead to a Drama Scholarship to the junior college, on to JSU and finally to a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama.
I watched mother and daddy pursue their dreams as entertainers. They have always been and continue to be such an inspiration. So of course, they are at the top of the list of people I want to thank for their part in making this-at-long-last-finally-it’s REAL-I-can’t-even-believe-it DREAM, a reality.
In May of 2012, after twelve years of loving and leading littles as a public school teacher I locked the door for the last time. I knew I had come home to teach my children, and yet I had so many questions for God: What will this next season of life look life? What about our bills? What does a homeschool mom do? What if I’ve messed up?
As the questions came, I jotted them down in my journal. Doubts. Fears. “What if’ scenarios, I wrote them down.
Scattered amidst all of the scary emotions were slivers of excitement. Hope. New ideas. Dreams. More questions. I wrote them down. Days and weeks passed. Funny thing, once I had written down the scary things they weren’t quite as scary and the new ideas began to grow.
With new ideas came new questions: What do other people do with their fear and anxiety? What about their dreams? Do they wonder if God hears them when they pray? Is their journal as precious to them? Do they have a journal?
Journaling and Jesus kept me sane through our years of infertility and loss.
If my journals were special then, they are beloved now. They are my evidence that God is real, and he is just to hear us when we pray.
People will argue and debate scripture. People, however, are not as likely to argue with our stories. I have lived the stories and events written out in my journals. They are real. They affirm me when I doubt or forget that God is real. When it feels like God’s not there or doesn’t care, I can go back and read and remember:
Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes God says wait.
I have been waiting just over TWO YEARS to share this little gem with you. And because I think you should know -even as I type these preliminary sentences: I have sweaty palms, my heart is racing, and I can’t keep my tapping feet still!!!!!! We want people to like us. We want people to approve of the things we say and do. We wonder how we will be perceived.
When others have come to me and asked what to do when they don’t know what to do, I say, “Do what you know.”
I don’t know how this is going to go. I don’t know what you will think. I don’t know how well received this project (that is so dear to me) will be. But I’m going to take my advice because this I know:
The idea was born in quiet times spent with the Lord. For two+ years, little glimpses of the end game would press up my heart, wake me up at night, and tug at me throughout the days.
The process: One idea +prayer+ time in God’s Word+another idea+one page+more time with God+prayer+an AMAZING, gifted, generous designer friend+ more prayer+a few more pages+lots of days+edits+proofing+more prayer+more edits+friends & family prayers=
AT LONG LAST…………
The product~designed with YOU in mind….
A journal, for which I have prayed and prayed and prayed will become as dear to you as this journal, and you are dear to me!! May it be the missing ingredient that will transform laundry lists of prayers into intimate conversations with our Savior!
A 6-week prayer journal designed with YOU in mind!
Pictures to inspire you to keep going!
Scriptures and quotes to challenge you to grow!
A place for you to talk with God.
Personal prayers from my journal from some of the best and worst days of my life.
I may pass out. I still can’t.even.believe. I can FINALLY TELL YOU! & SHOW you!
And because my palms are clammy, and I can barely breathe and need to go outside for a gulp of fresh air let me give you the skinny on how this is going to unfold:
- In one week, Monday, Dec. 7th, I’m going to GIVE AWAY 3 JOURNALS before they are available in store and online because you have been so kind and loyal to visit this place!! Here’s HOW TO ENTER the GIVEAWAY:
- sign up to receive post via EMAIL (enter your address–>top right)
- FOLLOW Blessings Beyond the Barnyard on Facebook
- SHARE this post on YOUR Facebook page
- STAY TUNED because there is going to be a VIDEO and we are going to journal TOGETHER!!! (because the Facebook family is loud and proud and had no trouble telling me most of them are not on Periscope) I promise to do my best to have my roots done and keep my clammy hands in my lap for the love of the VIDEO. The VIDEO and all of the places the journal will be available will be announced in a blog post later this week.
Whether you are an avid journaler, a wannabe journaler or a not sure what you are-THIS JOURNAL IS FOR YOU!!
I pray it will be so much more than a lovely book on your nightstand.
More than a gift off of your Christmas list.
I pray it is a game changer for you and your closest family and friends!!
Because prayer is powerful and, GOD IS REAL.
It’s with so much love for you and this journal and God how he weaves us all together that I invite you to SHARE the LOVE using hashtag #PrayBig as you share this post with your peeps!
So much LOVE!