Author's Life · Morning Thoughts

The Dilemma of the Blank Notebook

Recently I was gifted a beautiful notebook. Just a notebook filled with lined pages. The cover is gorgeous and speaks to my love of color. The same picture is on the back cover as well. For a couple of months I’ve been debating what to use it for. I could use it as a daily journal, but I’ve only stuck with finishing a journal one time. That was a journal my youngest daughter gave me for Christmas. It had a scripture on the bottom of each page with my name inserted in the scripture. It took two years to fill it, and I didn’t write in it every day, but it is interesting to look back on the post during the pandemic and lockdown.

This journal is so pretty, so I’ve thought maybe I can turn it into a book I will relate to and want to write in. Maybe add a new scripture each day from my devotions. And then journal about it.

Or perhaps I can make it into a prayer journal. A place to keep the names I pray for and record answered prayers, plus a new page each day to write out my morning prayer. A wonderful Bible Journaler, Scribbling Grace, who paints beautiful watercolor pages in her Prayer Journals and her Bible, has a You Tube video showing how she created her journal. I’m not that artistic, but with this pretty cover, I don’t need to be. In her old journal she separated the pages into days of the week with each day concentrating on a specific topic. In her new one, she still has topics, different ones to correspond to her current life, and a more free-form structure for her daily prayers.

Armed with this information, I stare at my journal notebook. I don’t want to mess it up. What if I start preparing it and I don’t like it? When this happens, I know I need to pray about it. I still have that part of me that’s a perfectionist, a part of me that OCD. Do you know it took me almost five years to let myself color a leaf that isn’t green? Even when the picture is mystical? It stems from my childhood when my stepfather insisted on nothing but perfection from me. If I got a B+, it wasn’t an A, so it wasn’t good enough. Funny how those little things stick with us. I know I also made mistakes with my children, trying to bring their best out of them, so I don’t harbor any bad feeling toward my stepdad, and hope my children don’t hold my errors against me. Anyway, I digress. What am I going to do with this lovely notebook?

I thought about opening it to the first page and starting with a free flow prayer. I can include a daily scripture, add something I’m grateful for perhaps, and then the rest can be for my written prayer. BUT, I really like the idea of having different topics to concentrate my prayers on. That way my prayers won’t become monotonous, which they sometimes feel like when I’m in my prayer corner and talking to God. Since I can’t quite come to a decision, I’ll continue to think about it and pray about it. I think I need to include my creativity into this as well.

I’ve looked at other prayer journals to purchase which are very structured and leave little room for prayer. I’ve had several and used them, but I’m looking for something different now.

Thanks for sticking with me as I dumped my brain on the page this morning!