If the RJD (Random Journal Day) link-up was still operating, I’d be posting some personal journal excerpt today. So, what a good time to share my first attempts at “creative” journaling, incorporating “art” of some kind to express the heart! The journal used is the complimentary one I received at the Silent Sanctuary Retreat I’ve been writing about. [Text accompanying scribbles and paste-ups is lightly edited in the transcription below.]

I’m considering “creative” journaling on the next few pages, incorporating art/collage/ color/found-words with writing…  I’m giving myself some prompts that might aid me:

  • Find and use a sticker or cut-out that seems to express your feelings or mental state now. Or…
  • Use word(s) or phrase(s) from magazines, newspaper, etc. [or…]
  • Color part of the page with whatever color strikes you as appropriate. [Or…]
  • If a shape represented your state right now, what would it be?

[“Creative journaling” text:]

I feel all over the place, kind of ADHD, kind of tense, even kind of shaky, though I don’t know why. It seems I’ve wasted my morning. Yet my afternoon remains—with quiet opportunity for silent solitude and all.

I start to write, cross out things, scribble over, feel loser-ish.

Picking a color from the markers—purple, but dark—I draw ragged lines [at the page’s edge]. I pick a second color, a brown. It’s running out of ink, I discover, as I echo purple[’s lines] with it.

Then I try drawing random lines through the page’s middle portion. Afterward, I sit back, scrutinize, consider… What came out of this looks remarkably like… a dragon! Well. That’s interesting…, isn’t it?

I pull out a couple of my “scraps and stickers” plastic mini-drawers I think might hold something appropriate—“Floral and Victorian” and “Nature.”

What’s on top grabs hold of my heart. It’s a [gutted] Hallmark card, evidently one sent me, here for recycle. But it’s so nice I think I shouldn’t “waste” it! Hm!

In defiance of this niggardliness toward myself, I quickly grab a glue stick and paste it down. It’s beautiful in a dark and somber way, and I love it, even love the black ribbon tied ’round it. As soon as I saw it, it brought to mind the page I’d ripped from a magazine to remind myself to look for a small dogwood tree to plant in my bounded garden come spring.

So I go fetch that page from a different room.

I see this card’s flower isn’t a dogwood, and I’m not sure what it is. Magnolia, perhaps? Nevertheless, it may be its reminding of the dogwood that made me want to use it here. So I cut out parts of dogwood blossom pictures, to place here in this journal…

…What was I “wasting” time on this morning? Watching garden programs and looking at garden files and magazines, to plan a fuller garden for this year—a garden intended, in part at least—and maybe in quite large part, at that—to be a meeting place with God, whose designing and planting honor Him.

Not such a waste of time after all, I see!



(Continuation/Sequel to previous two pages)

Boy, I can be hard on myself! Boy, I can become a mouthpiece for that old serpent-dragon, the accuser of the brethren (and “sistern”)—against my very self!

I wonder why that is. But rather than conjecture on that here, I peer into the plastic mini-drawer which held the card that “spoke” to me, and right there, beneath where it lay, I see roses. One on a Dayspring bookmark, the other two stamped metallic on manila cardstock.

With thoughts of the last journal page still on my heart/mind, I also recall just seeing two programs about roses this morning during my “time wasting,” one of which explained the symbolism of the rose, especially the red rose, as representative of love. So naturally I’m moved to color the bookmark’s rose a nice red. I retrieve my Caran D’Ache water color crayons, dip a fine paint brush into the jar of water I keep handy now on my art table, and dab away.

Once the rose is red, the leaves want to be green.

Meanwhile, the metallic roses, when moved about in the light, reveal red mixed with, or beneath, the gold. The stems are silver because I chose it to represent me as SylvR.

So it’s really odd and amazing how I’ve been hesitating to cut them out because—no kidding—I was thinking I ought to save, not waste them! This is perfectly ridiculous because I can easily duplicate them with materials I have.

Wow, I see why I chose “kind” as my 2016 “one word,” meant to practice on myself! Seems it would be good to carry it into 2017, at least for cases like today’s, where I am inclined to hold back from myself even tiny blessings I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to bestow on someone else.

But oh, how these roses, appearing when they have, speak to me of the great, kind love that Christ does not hold back from me! And now I am remembering what I once intended the stamped roses for: a Christmas card quoting from “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” which rose in the song indeed refers to Christ.

How appropriate the verse at the foot of this page! How wonderful and amazing the love of Christ, our ever-blooming rose of love!

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the (wo)man who takes refuge in Him.” -Psalm 34:8


And now I decide to add one more “creative journaling” page, because it follows through on the above. Its prompt, from some website I can’t remember, said to choose a word or phrase you want to remember and write it repeatedly over a page, but with different kinds of lettering fonts and styles. This is what I did:


A reminder for the weekend, and the coming week, to “Be kind to yourself,” and “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”