Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thinking out loud

I've long been an avid journal-er.

It began when I could barely write, and my spelling was atrocious. I was trying everything I could to be "just like my big sisters." One thing they did was write in a little book they called their journal. So I did, too!

Terrible spelling, awful handwriting, and incomplete sentences can sum up those first entries, though I look back and treasure it all now, for it gives a small glimpse into my childhood.

As the years have passed, I've loved recording insights the Lord has given me, as well as special moments, quotes, family funnies, and anything else my mind feels inspired to write.

For fun tonight, I was skimming entries from 2003; four years ago. It is amazing how little has changed, and yet how much has, too. To be honest, I was struggling a little bit, my spirit discouraged.

As I continued flipping through pages, my eye fell on the entry from March 22, 2003.

"Hm-m-mm...exactly four years ago today. I wonder what I wrote."

And I don't think it was a coincidence that what I read tonight was exactly what I needed to hear! Isn't it funny -- words I recorded four years ago in my journal come back now and encourage my heart. And I quote an excerpt --

:: :: :: :: ::

"It is God who...makes my way perfect." Psalm 18:32

The Hebrew word 'perfect' means:
without blemish, complete, full, sincerely sound, without spot, whole, perfect

Wow! What a new meaning that opens up! No matter what I'm going through or facing, God's plan for me is without blemish, complete, full, perfect. With this thought in mind, it is easy to pray: "Here Lord, my life is completely in Your hands. Mold me, shape me, to be what You have for me. I put my complete trust in you."

:: :: :: :: ::

His plan for my life is complete.

His design for my life is to be full of Himself.

His purpose is sincerely sound...a perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.


Dustynne Noelle~ said...

Wow Bethany...
That is amazing! It's really interesting what you can come up with when you look at what the Hebrew words really mean. You this day in age with NIV and Living Bibles and all really have no idea what God meant. Sure, you can get a tiny glimpse, but...
when you look at the real words it's very thought-provoking. Very interesting. By the way...same here...I've been journaling since I was about six or seven...I took a long break for about two years only journaling a wee bit here and there, but when I turned nine, I got back on the ball and whew! look out! I'm already in my sixth journal since 2005!!! :)

Rachel Marie said...

Wow, Bethany, that was really beautiful!!!
Thank you for sharing this with us...
it blessed my heart!

Emily H. said...

Isn't is amazing how God can use the things that He taught us years ago to encourage us now? Funny, last night I was reading some of my previous journalings also, and was encouraged in the Lord. He is so faithful through everything, and even when our situations change, He never does! Thanks for sharing from your heart, it is a blessing!

Melanie said...

Wonderful thoughts Bethany! I love how God Word is so new and refreshing every never gets old. What an amazing book!

Tabby said...

Hi Bethany,
It's so much fun to go back and read old diaries, I like readying what I wrote exactly a year or two ago too, it's so much fun to watch myself mature and grow through my own old diaies. Tanks for posting,
~God Bless~
Love, Tabby

BrittLeigh said...

"God's plan for me is without blemish..."

Wow, how beautiful! Thanks for the encouragement, Bethany! His way is perfect!!

Love and miss you!

Suzanne said...

Wow, I am impressed by your journal entry. I tried to keep a journal several times, but always gave up. I had to force myself to write a few sentences. By the way, I took a picture just like the one you have posted. Are your feet in the ocean?

Anonymous said...

U dear Bathany! ur posts are soo encouaging to me, day be day i wait for a new post! and am more and more inspired by ur little stories about our God! i am sruggling greatly now to understand Gods way for my life and my family, we had such a beautiful family of eight, i am the oldest, and a week ago our older brother left us leaving a great big empty hole, i don't know what to do, i try hard to understand and trust in the lord, but am still struggling deeply!!! pray for my brother out there in the world, to return back home and for my family!

Hannah said...

Wow Bethany! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! It's funny, just last night, I was going back through my journals as well, and found a few entries that I really needed to read. :) Must be the time of year for going back through

Goldfish said...

Bethany, WOW, I wish I could keep a journal!!! (And be as articulate as you!) That was beautiful!! And I can definitely sympathize with you on the awful handwriting, but I think mine is the worst of anyone! Just ask Trisha, she would back me up on that one! :D Neat picture by the way. ;)

Anonymous said...

Bethany, what a neat post! Thank you for sharing! This past week the Lord has taken me back also to some of the promises He has given to me, and has one more time renewed them to my heart. How wonderful it is to know that the fulfillment of these promises does not depend upon my power nor my perception of the situation! They are based upon His limitless power and perfect understanding of everything that is happening and for His perfect plan for our lives.Our job is to simply trust and fully obey. I am currently reading Abandon to God, a biography on Oswald Chambers,and it is wonderful to see how God uses mere men when they completely give themselves to Him! Oh that I may love Him and trust Him more!
JConner Ps.138:8

Dustynne said...

Hey Bethany,
Do you mind if I take some of the quotes and stories, etc, and put them on my blog? They really encourage and inspired me and I would like to share them with others :)
P.S. I shared some of the stuff with my Dad and he told me to tell you he was really blessed by it! :)

hannah michelle said...

Just more proof that God has all the details lined up! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post! It was really encouraging....God's plan is perfect and complete -what a promise to rejoice over and rest in!

KarenW said...

Wow, praise the Lord for His working in our lives. His plan for us is perfect! We have this mentality sometimes that God is gonna make a mistake or that His will for us might be something we won't like. Christ's will if us is perfect! It is not always easy, believe me! Oh the sweetness, of resting in His care. I am sure you know and understand what I mean! :)
God bless

abi said...

What a encouraging post, Bethany! Isn't it so precious to see how our dear Savior leads us to those moments exactly when we need them? This post especially blessed my heart in light of all that I've been encountering with my rash. Your last 3 points are very similar to what God has been inpressing on me. So fitting, and such perfect timing, PTL!

Miss you!


micah noel said...

Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Bethany! Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to remember God's faithfulness and work in our lives. When we look back, often we see part of God's "big piture", which we never saw at the time.

Morgan said...

Thanks so much for this, Bethany! I have journaled for several years now, and love it! But sometimes when I read over my journals, more often than not I come away with a depressed feeling, because the last few years have been ones of great trial. But I have always found that Jesus was there and and will continue to be with me the whole way, planning everything out for my good, even if it is very painful. He is truly all we will ever need! I thank you for posting this, it has encouraged me so much! May God Bless you richly!