Image credit: the road to 31
The year was 2012, the program was ‘When Women Worship’ organised by David’s Christian Centre, aka DCC, Lagos, my sister’s church and mine whenever I was in Nigeria. If I have remembered correctly, Nathaniel Bassey, Pita and a few other great worship leaders led us to worship GOD. I think it was the same year my sister got married and was on her honeymoon during this event. So I attended alone and to be honest, even though there were worship leaders, I was not following in worship. I was not in the praising mood; I tried to dance, it felt stale; I tried to sing, it was rather ‘meh’. I tried to shout, it was ‘don’t embarrass thyself’, it just didn’t feel real. Anyway, I stayed till the end and one of the souvenirs from the programme was a Gratitude journal.
Image credit: Paige Yelle
I did not use it immediately, I don’t think. I travelled back to the UK with it though. I can almost swear it’s harder to be thankful in the Lagos than in London #justsaying. Anyway, I eventually started using it and rather consistently. If you know anything about me, I can be military and routinised in my ways. So it became a habit for me and part of my morning devotion/quiet times. After a while I decided that I had to reduce the size of my writing, write the dates in short form, list more than one day’s worth of things I was grateful to GOD for on one page to make sure it lasted for as long as possible. I did this for over a year till over a year ago.
As life happened and got in the way, I stopped for a long while but glory to God after a rather difficult and trying 2015, rounded up at the new year crossover service with Christ Embassy, I resumed. My own Word I sensed GOD say to me during the programme was to be more GOD-conscious in 2016 than ever before. So I decided that everyday, I’ll look back on the day and list how GOD turnt up! To be honest, I didn’t just want to write cheesy ‘small’ things like ‘Safe journey to work and back’ (not that those were small, but you get? I hope you do!). I wanted ‘more serious’ displays of GOD and HIS goodness. So it meant I had to be on the lookout during the day and really think about it during the daily reviews, trying to remember how the Holy Spirit helped me during the day. Some days have been more obvious than others. In fact, due to leaving for work quite early, I’ve had to reschedule my daily Bible reading to after work, which meant I could wash my mind and soul by the Word of GOD from all the crap I heard during the day. It also meant I could easily review the day and lay all my burdens and thanks and crowns at HIS feet before bed.
Image credit: OnePartJoyOnePartCircus
I recently felt led earlier this month to look over the write-ups and encourage myself and see how GOD has helped me. I realised I’d missed a few days and had to lump it all together. And whilst drafting this post, I am reminded how sometimes the writers of the Psalms will have been discouraged and would almost force themselves to remember GOD’s goodness (Psalms 20, 42). And I now see why GOD wanted me to read them. I was getting overwhelmed by the many things that seemed to have sprung up with my moving house and changing address and was almost always 1 minute away from deep discouragement and despair, and my prayer life had become ‘meh’, I could barely speak during my prayer time. I read my-HIS-story with GOD yesterday and this morning, my prayer time was a lot better, my attitude was better.
My point? (I always have a point!…lol) If you’ve never chronicled God’s goodness and kindness and mercies and favour and faithfulness to you, I beg you, start with IMMEDIATE ALACRITY (believe me, that’s a legit word!!) Shaa, start with immediate effect! Buy a nice notebook that is durable and friendly, and make it a point to list what you’re grateful to GOD for. Make sure it’s separate to your personal Bible study or church notebooks (If you don’t have one, is your brain a hard disk?! Abeg oh, rearrange thyself!). Don’t be generic, be as specific as possible, chronicle the details. Believe me, your memory is not as great without some reminders. Write down exactly how you felt, did you shout? Did you share a testimony? Did you cry? Write it all down.
Image credit: Alberni Project
I see this journalling as building an altar of memorial, like a monument before GOD just like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did whenever they encountered GOD. Remember the Lord appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18:1 where Abraham had previously built an altar in Genesis 13:18. GOD asked the Israelites to take 12 stones from the Jordan river after HE’d parted it for them to cross over cleanly, as a reminder of what GOD did for them (Joshua 4:19-24).
To your stronger and deeper memorials of GOD,….
You’re more likely to remember what you write. Check this post out on Life Hack. Do you journal? Share and let’s encourage each other.