An invitation to a reunion! Yes! I really welcomed this! But the date was initially foggy, so I had to wait and see…
When I did see, I first thought the timing was… untimely—but before long, changed my mind entirely…
A little background: Once upon a time Dawn Paoletta of Enthusiastically, Dawn initiated an RJD (Random Journal Day) link-up to offer journal-keepers a chance to get together and share “random” exerpts from personal journals—first weekly, later monthly. Unfortunately I came on board a bit late in the game, and was just getting fully immersed in participating when time constraints and circumstances pushed Dawn into dropping the link-up.
So now her emailed invitation to regather naturally got me all excited!
Days later, however, she announced the reunion date as right at the start of Holy Week!
“How inconvenient!” I thought at first.
Then I surveyed my recent journals…
“How convenient!” I then decided.
Last year I began this pictured journal at the start of Lent. It’s a “different kind of” journal from any I’ve ever kept. You could almost call it a “creative workbook journal.” Since I’d bought the book, 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole, in Kindle form, I wanted some way to keep pertinent notes and quotes and thought-question answers in a handle-able, easily accessible form.
I’d also been reading about “altered books” at the time, and how to encase hand-bound books in old book covers. Out in the “storage shed” I found a book just the right size, a 1930’s (or 40’s?) how-to about… stage makeup!
Why did we ever buy such a book? Nevertheless it was just the right size and thickness. And in pretty good shape.
Keeping the book cover’s original blue color, I painted over the title box and spine in burnt sienna acrylic, and raided my scrapbooking paper stash for pages and trimmings, like the flower design and geometric band above.
Opening the journal again this week for RJD, how “coincidental” it felt to see two other “invitations” starting it! One contains copied excerpts from Alicia Chole’s introduction, inviting the reader not only to read and ponder, but to let God make soul changes through the process.
The second, pictured above and below, is from St. Clement’s letter to the Corinthians, inviting his readers to the peace of repentance.
What else would a true observance of Lent be?
After her introduction, Alicia Britt Chole launches into more invitations: one for each day of Lent, in fact—and every one of them an invitation to a different kind of fasting.
The first one: to fast “Lent as a project.”
Now, I know my whole altered-book “creative workbook journal” must seem to head exactly counter to this. But no. The journal is the project, not Lent. I made it to help me re-think Lent, to give me a place to record my answers and thoughts about her questions… like the one:
“In what ways have you thinned your life in order to thicken your communion with God in previous [Lenten] season?” A thought-provoking, and potentially Lent-changing query, isn’t it? (You can eaves-drop on my answer below by enlarging your screen view.)
And how would you answer, about this present year, or any Lenten observance you’ve been doing—or not-doing? Has it been “thinning your life” and “thickening your communion with God”?
This is the kind of thought-provoking questions that fill Chole’s book. I found it very worth the read, the ponder, the answer-writing, the related journal-making.
The selected scriptures provoke thoughts, too. And the journal gives adequate space to write them out thoroughly:
My journal “project” also gave me, on its unlined pages (my favorite for any kind of journaling), the opportunity to expand my reflections and express my reactions in other forms than writing. As, here below, with a word-and-phrase collage, mingled with pertinent verses from Day One’s suggested Scripture reading:
Here I was able to lay out graphically the vast difference between Judas and the Mary who broke the alabaster jar and wiped Christ’s spikenard-drenched feet with her hair.
It’s been a rich experience–to do all this last year, and to re-view it all now.
To read about others’ journaling experiences, go here.