Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Congratulations! To those of you who have been journaling with me since last December, you just completed journaling your way through the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical year starts with Advent and moves to Christmas, then to Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, and ends with the longest season of the year, Pentecost which spans from June to November. The purpose of following the Liturgical calendar was to “invite us to pattern our lives after the life of Jesus by participating in an ancient yearly rhythm of preparation and celebration, feasting and fasting, growth and renewal” (Jenn Giles Kemper).
And so we are back to Advent. The word advent means, the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The word Advent means, the coming of Christ at the Incarnation. It is derived from the Latin adventus, meaning arrival, appearance, from advenire, to arrive, to come. And so we prepare to celebrate the arrival of Christ through the Incarnation over 2000 years ago.
Many of you know the story of how I discovered Scripture journaling, but for those of you who are new here, I’ll tell it again. Near the end of 2017 I was feeling a familiar anxiety as the calendar was nearing the end of November. Christmas was coming and like so many years before, I was hoping to experience the season in a way that focused more on the spiritual gifts than the material. I seemed to start every Advent season the same way, special Advent devotional in one hand and my journal in the other with the goal of truly experiencing Christ in a way that kept me from getting all tangled up in the craziness of the season. I wanted to arrive at Christmas morning peaceful and calm, not harried and anxious and tired. I had been reading the same beloved Advent devotional for about 3 or 4 years and, although I still loved it and looked forward to getting it out again, I wanted something more.
While perusing Pinterest for holiday inspiration I saw an Advent scripture journal plan. I’d never heard of scripture journaling before but had always been a devoted journaler. It was pretty self-explanatory, you read the verses listed and write them out in your journal, easy enough. So I printed it off, bought a little Christmas notebook from Michael’s Craft store and got started. About 3 days in I was hooked! I loved the way that writing the verses in my own handwriting forced me to slow down and see words I otherwise skipped over or took for granted because I’d read them so many times before. I was so excited I went back to Michael’s and bought about 20 more notebooks, printed as many journal plans, and then took the whole lot to my Tuesday morning bible study and handed them out to every single woman there and excitedly invited them to join me. You know, I’m not sure if any of them did or not, but I’ve been scripture journaling ever since. In January of 2018 I printed another plan from Pinterest and then in February I decided to try writing my own. I had a couple of friends that seemed to really struggle with the concept of God’s love for them and so I thought I’d put together a plan to help them see the depth and the personal nature of His love. I’ve been writing Scripture Journaling plans ever since.
The December plan has always been particularly special to me because this is where it all began. Back in 2017, with a printed plan from Pinterest, I had no idea I would take the leap someday to create a website and social media accounts for the sole purpose of sharing scripture journaling with others. My social media presence is not vast, and honestly, I’m ok with that. When I felt like God was nudging me to go wider with this I spent time really looking inside to see how I would feel if the whole thing was an epic failure. In prayer I came to the place where I was able to say, “ok, I can handle that, what I can’t handle is being disobedient.” Of course I love to see you all share these plans with others but being human, I have to fight the desire to let number of followers be the goal. Because of this, and because of conviction from the Holy Spirit, I will be taking a fast from social media during Advent. If you would like to reach me you can message me, I will be checking messages via my social media administrator.
The true goal, the mission, if you will, of Lettering.HIs.Love is to help people engage with the Word of God in a way that makes a difference in their lives, not to create a following after me. Jesus Christ came to make a difference in the lives of all humanity. He came to bring light into the darkness and hope to the hurting. He came to ease the burden of the law, to set us free from it’s demands, He came to lighten our load. At a time of year that can quickly become more burdensome than beautiful I hope you will take the time to read these verses and journal them as a means of staying centered. I pray this practice brings you peace, and that you arrive at Christmas morning with the “good news of great joy for all people” made manifest in your life and relationships.
Some practical instructions for this months plan: You will be reading 2 passages a day, one from the Old Testament, a prophecy of the coming Christ, and a New Testament fulfillment of that prophecy. You may journal from either or both.