Do you have a stack of journals piled somewhere in your house, spines balanced on top of each other every which way?
Then, like me, you can appreciate a good journal when you see one.
I’ve been through about 30 journals in 19 years (my early pages were full of scintillating details like, “Eit PopTarts for breakfast. They were gud. They are my favurite.”) My journals range from cheap notebooks purchased out of boredom to more prized books given as gifts.
I was introduced to Life Lived Beautifully, an online shop run by Gretchen Saffles, via The Influence Network Podcast. If you want to be ridiculously encouraged in the Lord, listen to that episode. (Gretchen also was the inaugural interview of a new podcast called Project: On Purpose, if you can’t get enough of her!)
After hearing Gretchen talk so passionately about the Give Me Jesus Journal, I made a last second addition to my Christmas list. To my great delight, on Christmas morning it was waiting for me! (Thanks in-laws!!!)
This journal is perfect for a lot of reasons. For one, it’s beautiful. I’m not a designer, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate how good design affects the way we use products. I want to take my time working through this journal because it deserves a kind of special care. More than looks, I find the Give Me Jesus Journal to be highly functional.
The journal begins with a simple heart check exercise. I like that this portion isn’t too exhaustive but, rather, propels you forward to Bible study. I’ve never enjoyed highly interactive journals. To me, they block the words that I need to get on paper. Gretchen hits the right balance in asking just enough questions to set the mood, but no more.
The Give Me Jesus Journal isn’t completely free-form, though. The draw of the journal is that it directs you towards intentional Bible study. The pages are broken up into sections, the primary of which are: Drink Deep From The Well, Ask & Apply, and Pray BIG. Along the way are little moments to encourage slow, intentional Bible reading. I love how the Give Me Jesus Journal offers just enough direction to keep me focused, but not too much that I’m focusing on man’s words rather than God’s.
If you’re wondering about technical specs, I find the journal very well made and sturdy. The pages are nice and thick, which is great if you’re a scribbler like me. The journal is also a hearty size, you could easily read through a few smaller books of the Bible or one larger book with it.
Over the last several months, I’ve been challenged to study God’s word more seriously. Books like Women of the Word and blog posts like this one from Kristin Schmucker have been invaluable tools in teaching me how to approach the Bible responsibly. The Give Me Jesus Journal is a tool that has helped me put these sound Bible-study principles into practice.
Full disclosure, Gretchen didn’t ask me to write this post, nor am I receving any kind of compensation sharing her product. I really just wanted to tell you about this journal! I did, however, contact Gretchen to ask if I could mention anything specifically in this post, and she graciously answered. She wanted to give you a head’s up that you can expect much more from LLB in the coming months. Gretchen announced a hashtag that will chronicle a life-long pursuit of becoming Well-Watered Women (#wellwateredwomen). She says we can expect more from this movement in 2015. She also says that she’s praying through and developing a Bible study on Esther. And it looks like an update of the Give Me Jesus Journal is in the works for Spring with a new cover and verses on the inside. If these updates weren’t enough excitement, Gretchen is due to join the mommy club in May! (Welcome, friend!)
Like I mentioned, I’ve
destroyed loved many a journal in my time. I can’t recommend the Give Me Jesus Journal enough. This is a product that I would completely buy again for myself or for a friend. Studying God’s Word with thought and direction is vital to grasping the big picture of the Bible.
The Give Me Jesus Journal will help.
(FYI: This is the first in a new series of posts I’m calling Good Things. As you may have gathered, these posts will share products or services that I’m currently digging!)