Yep, that’s right, it’s noon-thirty and I’ve just finished up my Time With God and here I am. I’m going slow (still dealing with my bipolar flare-up), but I did spend some time this morning creating my November bullet journal layouts. I’m constantly changing how I do things. It’s amazing that I get anything done at all. Yesterday, I decided to just get rid of the hardbound journals for each month (I wasn’t using all of the pages and it felt wasteful to just leave them blank) and create one similar to a traveler’s notebook, just not as narrow. So, I made copies of the blank handwritten page I had made. It looked okay then, but today, it didn’t. I’m not that fond of my handwriting, so I decided I didn’t want to look at it all month and redid the pages using Arial Narrow. It looks much cleaner, for sure.
I like using typefaces much more than my own handwriting. It must be my graphic design degree coming out. So, this is for November. I hope it works well; I don’t want to have to redo it again. In case you are wondering, that whole blank area up there in the right-hand corner is for the weather. Generally, it’s a big yellow full sun, but once in a while, I get to draw a cloud or some rain. One thing I want to do more this month is draw in my bullet journal. I like what I see on Pinterest, I just haven’t slowed down enough to take time to do it. Well, I participate in those two journaling challenges, but that’s more like practice to me.
Speaking of practice, Kelly (Praying Upside Down) has some good points about the practice of prayer. I already read chapters one through four. I enjoyed them a lot. It was something I felt I was missing with the workbook – the stories of how she got to her ideas about prayer. So, that’s what those first chapters were about. Now, starting in chapter five, I’m noticing that one thing she keeps bringing up is the idea that God is already there, we just need to contact Him. She says it in a lot of different ways, but it’s the basic point she is making. God is always there – when I don’t feel like it (like today) or when I’m in bed (like last night). It’s amazing to think about. He’s always there. Just waiting. For me. And you. Kelly says,
The good news is that God always shows up when you look for Him.
I’ve actually never thought of prayer as a way to “look” for God, but it truly is. We can look around and see what He’s done, but to look for Him? Well, I suppose she’s right. It would require some conversation. I want God in my life. I want to find Him there and not just because I see what He’s been up to. I want to just see Him here, patiently watching and waiting and blessing and guiding. I want to be able to pay enough attention that I do see Him in my life. I get so busy and I guess I take His blessings for granted.
You’ve got to keep your eyes wide open to see what God is doing.
So true. That’s me for today – eyes wide open, watching for God, and hoping He’ll get me through the trials and challenges I’m experiencing right now.
I’m starting the Book of Mormon over again. From the title page. I took time to read all of the introductory pages while sitting in the chapel at the temple on Saturday. It was a nice, quiet place to spend some time with God in His word. The first page in the Book of Mormon is the title page. I just want to show you it because I love to draw in my scriptures. I know there’s a whole movement right now for Bible illustrating, but I use it as cues to help me remember what’s on the page, not just to decorate them. Sometimes, there are difficult concepts (like the seeds and the various types of soil) – there is so much symbolism! – it can be hard to keep track of what’s really being talked about. So, I draw pictures. A few years ago, when I wanted to really start drawing in them more, I found a pdf file online of the scriptures that had extra wide margins. I really needed that, so I had the file printed and spiral bound. It has made all the difference!
You can tell what the passage is about just by what I’ve drawn – the tower of Babel, the hill Cumorah in Palmyra, (upstate New York), a boat ride to the promised land, some tablets (presumably with writing on them), and guy with a bunch of books. And that is a good summation of the entire book. It’s about two families who leave Jerusalem before it is destroyed (on a boat), who are taken through the waves and wind to the promised land (the Americas), and who keep records down through the years of their struggles and growth in the their relationship with God and each other. Pretty simple. In the process, they find records of an earlier people who were also brought out of the area at the time of the Tower of Babel. In the end, Mormon (heh, get it? The Book of Mormon) takes all of those records that have been kept and added to all of those years and abridges them. There’s no way we could read it all, I’m sure. It’s a good story, like those of the Bible, but it’s full of symbolism and teachings of God and His relationship to us and our relationship to Him.
The highlight of the entire book is about two-thirds of the way through – Jesus Christ comes to visit the people during those three days after He is crucified in Jerusalem (“other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” – John 10:16) and before He shows Himself again as a resurrected being back in Jerusalem.
As I begin my journey again through the writings in this book, I can’t help but put myself in their shoes. Prophets are warning them of the soon-to-come destruction of their beloved city (can you imagine?) and their father wants to know if it’s true. He cries out to God and is answered. God is just waiting for Lehi to ask. He has an experience that then changes his entire family’s life and that of another family as well. Lehi asked. Kelly says to ask. We are told to ask. I need to ask and know and learn and study and grow in my belief and knowledge of God and His Son, my Savior. All it takes is a bit of prayer, yes? I can do that and I know you can too. Even on days when I don’t feel like it.