I hate journaling…

Let’s just get out of the way up front, I don’t like journaling.  It’s not that I don’t think that it is beneficial or helpful.  Nor do I think that it is a waste of time.  It is that journaling seems “unnatural” to me.  I have tried many times to undertake the discipline of journaling, each time abandoning the effort.  I think it is the completionism part of my personality.  I have a personality that needs to see things “done” and accomplished.  Journaling is never ending, ongoing and (gasp!) reflective.
That is another thing that I struggle with, personal reflection.  It drives my manager at work crazy when it comes to quarterly review time.  He wants to see reflection, and I often give him a list of accomplishments.  He wants to see how I have grown, how my customers have benefited by my work, not just a list of facts.My devotional time is something that I have struggled with as well.  Up until several years ago, I didn’t have a regular time of getting together with God – reading His Word and spending time in His presence.  But then a woman at the church where I was an Elder challenged all of us Elders to read through the Bible in a year.  The Holy Spirit spoke to me through that woman.  How was I to serve Jesus and the church if I was ignoring the basics of spending time with Him.  Since then I have spent the first moments of my day, just about every day, with God.

 My devotional time has taken many different flavors.  Always involving scripture, I have read through the Bible in many ways.  I begin each new year asking God how He wants me to engage Him over the year.  For 2017, He has called me to an intense reading of the New Testament (NT) and Proverbs.  So, I am reading through the NT every 60 days for the year.  That means 6 times I will go through the NT and each time a different Bible and a different version.  I am also reading the book of Proverbs through each month.
 Adding the Face to Face book into this time has been very natural.  I started adding it to my devotional time a week before the course began, therefore I am on the second week of the book.  I love the division of the readings.  By focusing on the Attributes of God, the works of God, my relationship with God, the character I want to cultivate, and my relationship with others, I have really been able to pray the scriptures and start thinking about scripture as more than a testimony of God and His relationship to creation.  I have started to think of Scripture as God speaking to me and helping me to be formed into the man Jesus wants me to be.
 Nothing specific has struck me in the readings over the past two weeks, but I do see the passages coming more to life as I pray them. I am focusing on integrating them into my life and to my day to day experiences.  This has been difficult.  As I have stated above, I am a task oriented completionism personality.  Integrating scripture and focusing on the 5 areas in the book has been tough because I can’t necessarily place them as accomplishments.  It is ongoing.  It is sustained work.  Worthy work to be sure, but tough for someone with my personality.  I will think about this more as I move through week 3 of the book.
Father give me the desire to journal.  Help me to meditate on your Word and let your Holy spirit guide me in my growth and transformation.  I desire to be in Christ, in your Spirit – lead me and guide me in my desire.  In the name of Jesus my Lord and Savior.

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