A little Notebook or Two...
During the past ten weeks, as I’ve been forced to lie on my back for hours on end, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time in thought, prayer and contemplation. The little table by my bed has held many treasures. I’ve often picked up a little book to gaze at, turn pages and reflect upon. Recently, I made an interesting discovery. Little notebooks and booklets must be very important to me. I possess lots of them.
There’s my little Australian women’s diary 2013. I haven’t had much need to fill its calendar dates so far this year. But I’ve still found plenty of of use for it. I’ve prayed through each of its blank pages –– offering my year to God. I’ve read the delightful quotes which decorate the bottom of each page. I’ve found joy in its pretty pictures. I’ve loved its glossy, smooth feel. I’ve used its calendar dates to plan my year. The little diary cost me only a few dollars. I believe I’ve already had a good return for the price I paid for it.
Then there’s a beautiful little booklet made by my friend Kate after my first book ‘Enjoying the Journey’ was launched in 2010. She has created a masterpiece. This small book encapsulates a writer’s hopes, dreams, joys and fulfillment. Bible verses, pictures, words, photographs, art-work - they all blend together to make a picturesque whole. What a labour of love! During my time in bed, I have had time to savour it over and over again. To understand the riches in my life through it. To meditate on God’s ways.
(Thank you Kate! Thank you.)
My current prayer diary is a little hardcover booklet painted in purple. I’ve written prayer requests in it as old as twenty two years and as new as today. Each time it gets filled up, I copy all the former requests into a new little booklet, leaving out the already answered prayer requests. I continue to add new requests till the new diary fills up. My prayer diary is precious. I’ve written scripture verses inside which I re-read. I carry it in my bag, so I’m able to pull it out to pray through - in the doctor’s waiting room; while having my lunch somewhere or when sitting in the car while my husband nips out to get something.
I found an old small crumpled grubby little notebook dated April 1975 which I’ve had time to explore this season. It contains poetry I had written as a teenager. The writing inside made me smile. It gladdened my heart to listen to my 17 year old self’s ramblings. To get to know the person I was 38 years ago! That notebook too is very precious.
I have a little navy blue hardcover notebook where I’ve written entries about my Sri Lankan holidays. Its pages hold interesting tidbits of information. A list of gifts I’ve bought for family and friends; things I hoped to do while in Sri Lanka; people I had to meet; foods to buy to take back home; telephone numbers of friends and more. It was a very useful little booklet and its size made it just right to carry around.
One of my newest notebooks is a happy pink with a few interesting patterns on its cover. What does it hold? I’ve called this one “Listening to God – January 2013” and that is exactly what it is. During my post operative period as I’ve tried my best to listen to God – I’ve written down words, sentences, phrases, quotes, Bible verses - all of which seemed important enough to take note of. I’ve drawn a few pictures inside. It is a book I will continue to dip into to remind myself what God requires of me. I consider it a treasure.
There’s more. I do love my little notebooks. And they each have a special use. In this day and age of smart phones, and pocket sized computers, of kindles and e-Readers, no doubt my enjoyment of little notebooks may sound very outdated. You may think I am rather old fashioned and perhaps I am. But the same commodity that makes those modern gadgets useful is the same commodity that makes my notebooks tick.
And what is that commodity? WORDS! (And pictures too) Words are the building blocks of a writer’s heart and writer’s life. Words for me are pretty significant. But then, words are significant not just for writers. For readers too. In fact, they are important to all of us human beings.
Words can be used in all kinds of ways, can’t they? Words could be used to simply express one’s thoughts. But mostly they are used to communicate. Communication is something very powerful you will agree. For words could build up but they could also break down.
I wonder how you and I use words? Do our words enhance or do they annoy? Do they make sense or are they drivel? Can others’ trust our words? Do the words we use edify or bring down? Do they hurt or do they heal? Do they build bridges or do they break them? Words are important. Words can be used for good or for evil. Which do I choose?
Today Lord (and every day), let me use words that:
Bless, help, create, love, reach out, build and heal.