Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leather-Bound, Cloth-Woven Journal

For graduation one of my babysitting clients gave me an amazing journal to write in. Pretty much TOO amazing quite frankly. It's leather-bound, with cloth stitching woven in crazy flower patterns into the cover. On the inside, it's like old egyptian papyrus with no lines (you know something is creative and for artistic use when there are no lines). I've looked at that journal for a while wondering what's good enough to write in it, what sort of pen should I use, what kind of thoughts are good enough for this beautiful journal?

This is why when I'm journal shopping I never buy the ones that look like this. There's so much pressure to write the right things and the right way when I'm using it. I usually stand at the rack where the journals are lined and my eyes stop on the super-journal, but I keep going not even letting myself fall into the misconception that I have enough money for this one, or that I would even have anything to put into it. On an adventurous day I pick up the coveted journal and I run my fingers over the pages, feel the woven intricacies on my fingertips lightly and slide it right back into its spot. It's gorgeous, but expensive.

I feel like I look at my Lord as a beautiful journal. I don't want to write my life in Him because what I have to say is not deep enough, it's not good enough, or pretty enough. My words, they don't look fancy, they fall below what deserves to be written in that journal. So, I take a step to the side and I pick up the journal with the flimsy cover and lined notebook pages; the one that I feel like I deserve. I put His Sacrifice back on the shelf and say, I'm not worthy. I don't deserve the best, I haven't worked hard enough for it. I am not pretty enough or smart enough to be in His Presence. Hold on, wait just a few more years and I'll be better and we'll do this again, when I'm at my best, just wait, Lord, just wait.

The beauty of the Lord is that He says, "no, my Daughter. I want you right now. I want you broken. I want you when you're hurting. I want you when you doubt me because I love you." He never says, "no you are good enough," he never says, "you've worked hard enough," he never says, "you are strong enough." He simply says, "I AM good enough. I AM strong enough. I AM big enough."

God wants us to understand that someone has already paid for our leather-bound, cloth-woven journals. All we have to do is receive it and continue to receive it. For what good is our journal if it sits at home after we carried it back from the store and kept it closed because we were afraid that we might spoil it with our writing. God wants us to fill its pages with our lives, so that He may write back showing us how He's there. So, open your God-given journals and fill its pages with words, emotions, people, dreams, hopes, despairs, struggles, LIFE; for when He opens them to read them, He smiles at the chicken scratch that we have filled it with and He whispers "I love you" on every page. He touches them and let's forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and grace flow into every crevice and every ink spot, so that when we open them anew for a fresh day with the Lord, every blessing He placed in it the day before, and that moment then, and the day tomorrow comes flowing out into our lives so that we may see how GREAT our God is and how BEAUTIFUL His Promises and Fulfillments are.