Firstly, let me assure you there is no perfect way to journal – one person’s perfection is another one’s nightmare. I for instance am a very busy headed, ‘something on the go all the time’ personality and if I feel I ‘have to’ sit somewhere and journal to be correct or proper…. I’d start feeling a little freaked out
I am a little envious of those people who are wonderfully organised and have everything in its place with their time accounted for and a neat and a well-oiled and dust free brain.
When I first got saved, oh gosh! that was an experience in itself. Who would have thought that Jesus would be interested in me? Of course, it goes without saying that
I was interested in me, I put ME first nearly all the time, but it wasn’t really working out for me. I had strife in my business, and I was a selfish wife to my lovely husband.
I was on the hit lists of many Christian friends. I think they were amazed and open mouthed when I finally turned up at church to “check it out”, there was a scurry of texts flying around “Jan’s coming to church” and it’s hilarious to find out afterwards just how well organised they were, they all had my salvation at heart.
I’ve learnt since then to understand that even if those we speak to don’t want to know God – Holy Spirit waters every single seed that we sow. I would be interested to see just how many seeds were following me around……it would have looked like the bottom of a very large and well populated budgie cage!
Anyhow, I was in tears all through the service, and I found myself on my knees at the front giving my life to Jesus as Pastor Royree led me through the salvation prayer. I remember feeling a massive sense of relief and I didn’t know why, but ever since then I have carried peace with me everywhere I go.
So off I go into this very wonderful and sometimes more than a little bit weird world of “being a Christian”
Before I got saved I did believe in God, I went to Sunday school as an army kid and I even went to church for a year in Wales after I married Philip, but that was just so that I could get our son enrolled into the church school (a very deliberate and not too honest strategy that worked a treat!)
However, I didn’t know that being a Christian means following the teachings of Jesus and living life the way He would have. I thought a Christian was someone who believed in God, but not so. Christian actually means ‘follower of Christ’
After about a week my mentor and friend Christine Gear (who has since gone to heaven) suggested that I journal. She said that I should write my questions, worries, ideas, thank you’s and just general chit chat in the journal and it would give me answers and bring me closer to God. I really liked Christine and even though I thought that was very weird to suggest chatting to God through a journal, I went and chose a very posh, velvety covered, gold embossed journal and started to meet with God every single morning for an hour, writing about everything that was in me.
To my amazement I was also writing the answers, but after a little while of feeling very clever, I started to believe that actually it was God that was conversing with me. I really wasn’t that smart!
That’s when the rhymes and poems started emerging. I would read back through my week and think I must have seen that somewhere before because it didn’t seem like I had written it. Even now, as I dip into a poem in my book I often think “wow – that’s so beautiful! Go God!”
So, at that time, I was writing my journal every day for an hour. Nowadays I don’t do that, seasons change, and I am more sporadic that I was then, I dip in and out and this is my point. There are no rules, what works for one person may not necessarily be something that someone else would do.
So here is a very loose list of my top ten tips for writing a journal.
Prepare your space
Invite the Holy Spirit in to sit with you, call on Him to bless your conversation, be very still and quiet and feel His presence. Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” Shut your eyes. He will come to you if you ask Him. I used to imagine Jesus standing behind me with his hands on my shoulders and would wonder what it would be like to feel His breath on my hair.
Pray, either out loud or under your breath, he hears all, show your gratitude for who He is.
Praise His name, show Him you love Him. Just worship Him – if it’s appropriate and you are alone, sing along with the music and imagine Him there looking into your eyes.
Also be aware that nothing you write will be a surprise to Him. He already knows you and understands your every need. He just wants you to give Him permission to help you. Having said all that, it is OK to just pick up your journal and write whenever the need arises.
I am so grateful that I had a mentor like Christine, and it was because of the journal that I have been able to share the poems that God dropped into my spirit on those wonderful mornings with Him over my first 7 years as a Christian.
I pray that you will find peace and joy in writing yours and that these poems will bless you.
Jan’s Top Ten Tips
"Heaven is all about Him" my book of prophetic poems from my Christian journal during time alone with God in the mornings. Each poem seems to have the ability to mean different things to different people depending on where they are in their life and what's going on for them.
Have you ever read something and thought it was all about you....that it was a word for you, though not written for you? Where you are, at a specific place in your journey, the things that you are asking, words you are waiting for, and messages that as far as you are concerned are coming to you from the throne room of heaven.
If you like a book that you can dive into whenever you feel you need a warm hug or an answer to a problem or just a feeling of peace, belonging and a touch from Holy Spirit, you will love this collection of prophetic poems.
Every morning, if we wait for Him, ‘be still and know’ He shows up with beautiful words, warm kisses and wonderful encouragement for the day.
I never in a million years though that these little poems would be published.
We all have something that was deposited by God into our spirit and I believe that most of us know what it is and we just have to find the courage to get it out.
When I became a Christian, I was encouraged by my friend and mentor Christine Gear, to journal daily. It was a bit weird I thought, but soon got into it and really loved the connection that it gave me with God and noticed too that my writing began to rhyme. The poems were really lovely and as I got more into the deeper side of being a born again spirit filled Pentecostal Christian, I began to 'feel' that certain poems were for others.
My gorgeous friend Christine got really sick and the poems changed pace and were shared a lot amongst the group of friends who were praying for her.
She passed to Glory after a brave fight with MND and to honour her belief that they were to be shared (and with the constant nagging of the rest of the friends) I published the poems and called it "Heaven is all about Him"
Now when a feel God prompting I pass the poems to others and when someone purchases a book I give them a poem that God shows me is for them. There have been many, many wonderful stories of comfort, strength, revelation, hope and love that have been shared with me from those people as a result.
That's how my little prophetic ministry began. He always knows what to say when words fail us, He knows the answers to our constant questions, He is the breath in the breezes all around you, He is the soft touch on your cheek as you sleep, the warm caress or the deep hug as you go about your day and the whispered endearment in stressful times.
These are shared messages from Heaven where it's all about Him.
I hope you get pleasure from the messages as you delve into the book, either all at once or as a daily devotional.
During my daily journaling , I wrote a children’s rhyme about the Good Samaritan which was very random and popped up amongst the poems sent by the Holy Spirit.
When the children's teacher at our church was off sick, I loaned it to the lady who was replacing her for the day, as there was no lesson prepared.
The Good Samaritan was a hit, I was asked to read it to them, and the children discussed what it would be like to be like him today, and then they acted it out in small groups.
The suggestion after that was why not get it published and then once I had decided to do it, I had to find an illustrator.
Somehow, the illustrator that was found was me. I had done a year in Art College 40 years previously but had decided it wasn't for me as a career, and even though I could draw passably I had no secret desire to paint or illustrate professionally.
A friend gave me some watercolour paints and brushes and said she believed I was supposed to do it, she was very tuned in to the Holy Spirit and so I did.
The Good Samaritan was published on January 22nd 2018, my 60th birthday and The Good Samaritan Companion - puzzle and colouring book, was written in March 2018 to accompany the story.
I have finished the Prodigal Son and there will also be 2 more in the parable series.
As this became a part of my plan going forward I really felt during my quiet times that God was encouraging me to write about 4 things which He feels are important to today's modern technology swamped children.
These are being kind to others, acknowledging inner gifts and talents, forgiving others as well as themselves, and of course love. Specifically love of themselves, as well as love of others. The overriding message from God was that they should always believe, no matter their circumstances, that they are loved. Whether they might be in a situation where there is not much love in the family or somewhere that love had seemed to have disappeared, or died or taken from them, that it is still all around them and that they are always loved.
I want these books to be accepted in non Christian schools as well, because the messages behind them are timeless.
The Prodigal Son was released via a Kickstarter in March 2019 and is now in print
There are many more ideas in my ever-so crowded head and I am excited to see them all come to fruition and do a work in our gorgeous children, to give them a place to sit and read the rhymes and get a touch of God in their day.
When I became a Christian 8 years ago at the age of 52, I was encouraged to journal every morning. I thought this was a bit wierd because I was supposed to be talking to God and I couldn't imagine what I could possibly ask Him and didnt know how I would know if He had actually answered
However I started to notice that as I got into His presence the answers came and I was surprised to find that when I got the answers, it wasn't actually me that came up with them, although it was definitely me who was writing them.
The replies, suggestions and responses came as rhyming poetry, and these poems became a regular occurrence. They were words from God that would speak about what was going on in my life, and answered my questions and encourage me in my day. They also spoke of my deepest feeling's, my hurts, my disappointments as well as this overwhelming love for God that I hadn't acknowledged before.
These words have an effect on anyone who read them too, and I would pass them to friends when I knew the word was for them.
I had no idea that God sometimes talks to us in these amazing ways and I’m always excited when others get such pleasure from them.
My book of poems is called Heaven Is All About Him. I believe that one of these poems is specifically for you and I give a poem to everyone who buys the book.
I am known as Jan to most people but I write under my Christian names Janet Elizabeth.