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.
13 thoughts on “RJD, Holy Week, Judas and Mary”
Sylvia-What a rich feast you offer here with your thoughts, questions-answers regarding Lent…always a joy to read your posts…also really love your altered book journal and word collage!!!
Yes! Hello Kel! Great seeing you both – my collage gals – here!
Thank you, Kel. You are always such an encouragement to me. The feast is rich because Alicia Chole’s book is rich with insights and thought-provokers. I’m going through it again and getting even more to chew on!
Oh! Happy Reunion and I am so grateful that despite the “inconvenience” you came!!! What an incredibly beautiful and appropriate to share journal for this week! I love it , and am so glad to see you here! Thank you for taking the time to join in. I actually looked for your blog and could not d=find it awhile back…it was weird. This is incredible and I will have to look into this book! Thanks again, great seeing you and I shared your post!
Happy Reunion it certainly is, Dawn! I’m so glad you put up the linky. I hope we can do this again! And the date you chose turned out to be highly “convenient,” didn’t it? Looks like a God-incident to me!—which has made this whole thing even more wonderful. And yes, do take a look at the book. It’s multi-faceted, so it gives you so many different tacks you can take. I ought to write up a review/synopsis and post it. Also glad we’ve all found each other again! A great get-together! Thanks again!
So much here to think about! So many questions to seek answers to! I really like your altered book. I’ve seen them before and find them lovely and such a feast for the eyes. Do you use the original pages of the book or just the cover with new pages inserted? Thank you for telling us about “40 Days of Decrease.” I plan to look for it.
Hi Stacy! Yes, there is so much to think about, and “40 Days…” made me more aware of that fact.
As for how I made my journal: Alhough I have often used an old book’s own pages to collage on (have a couple of altered books like that started but not finished at this time). But for the altered book featured here, I folded and sewed signatures of fresh, unused paper, then attached them, inside the book cover with end papers (I think that’s the right term). That process would be good to show and explain in some future post. I think I may do that.
Thanks so much for your visit and encouraging comment, Stacy. And Happy Journaling to you!
Oh Sylvie, this is so very beautiful… I love the deep insights and also your beautifully crafted book…. all unearthed by an invitation to randomness. 🙂 I find as I randomly pore over journals, I unearth things I’d forgotten I’d written and insights I never had in the writing process itself. A journal has depths we can mine repeatedly. Thank you so much for sharing! Always a joy to read what you have to say.
Hi Lynni! So good to “see” you again! I feel so blessed with such encouragement from such a journaling expert as yourself. I also am amazed at what I unearth in my old journals—things I not only forgot I’d written, but insights I’d forgotten I’d gained way back when. It’s interesting what you say about never having had the insights in the writing proess itself. I wonder if that’s how it was with me! Hmm…
You are too kind w/ your sweet words. Thank you so much. Of course, I don’t mean to imply that God doesn’t grant insights as we write, and yet, how much more we gain if we will go back and glean a rich harvest. I’m truly amazed at what we see with the passing of time, and we mature. Of course, God uses both the writing and reading to help this sanctification process. For this reason, I strongly encourage two things: never throw out your journals; always use quality, acid-free paper. Sadly, I have lost much of the writing, faded as it is, in old spiral-ring notebooks. The acid has literally devoured the ink. 🙁 No more cheap journals for me.
Sylvia: I reviewed “40 Days of Decrease” two years ago. I also used it for my Lenten devotional that year and last year. I enjoyed reading about your project of altering books.
I have that Chole book on my bookshelf in my living room. After Easter, I might read it again and use a separate notebook for my journaling of the sections.
Hi Cecelia! So glad for your visit here! Alicia Chole’s book would make a great one for a group exploration and discussion, wouldn’t it? I think I’ll be re-reading repeatedly, too! I hope you do journal your responses to “40 Days…” It really helped me to anchor some thoughts and not lose them!
Oh Sylvie, and I had meant to say, that I was so inspired by your graphic comparison/contrast of Judas and Mary. Extremely revelatory! Thank you!
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