Remember the Wondrous Works

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered…
Psalms 105:1-5 (ESV)

For the past few years, I have tried in a number of ways to keep a gratitude journal. I have written them in my planner–I’ve tried the monthly calendar and then the weekly calendar. I have also made a dedicated journal for them. I have tried lists and cards. But it has not stuck.

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In my new year reflections, I had to reject the self-shaming in the back of my mind about this. You’re just not grateful. You don’t follow through. Disheartening whispers were growing about this.

Then, like in every great story, God stepped in!

In prayer and reflection, God revealed that I do have a regular gratitude habit–I always express my thanks when I pray and rarely do I Bible journal without thanking the Lord. It is just a natural part of our conversation. His presence infuses me with gratitude daily. He is the source of generosity and graciousness. I am not particularly special, but the closer I am to Him, the more His attributes rub off!

Armed with that understanding, I went at this gratitude journal issue from another angle.

What is it I really need?

How can I make this a more meaningful practice?

How can I connect it with what I am already doing?

Those questions brought me back to my Bible journaling and my OLW.

According to Max Lucado, “Fear creates a form of spiritual amnesia. It dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is” (from his book, Fearless). I realized a more meaningful practice for me is to exercise my memory. Recording and recalling what God has done–the things I am already thankful for–is the antidote to spiritual amnesia, and I want to actively fight that condition! So I am reframing gratitude journaling a bit to start my year. I hope to build a habit of daily remembrance. I think this will be a key practice to my fearless journey.

20190105_153119-01.jpegEach month, I will create a page in my Bible to keep track of what God is doing in my life. I decided one reason this did not work before was location. My Bible is the natural place for this because it is the one book I seek to open every day (even my planner doesn’t get opened every day as I switch between phone and hard copy often).

I want to especially track how He is moving me from a place of fear (and an over-reliance on control and security) to a place of freedom. I want to capture the heart of the psalmist on these pages–to see all of his wondrous works of the month in one place. As I seek His presence continually throughout my day, I pray I will note where He is moving–to remember and to rejoice.

The beauty of the Illustrating Bible is the space for one chart so I can easily review what I have already highlighted for the month. Although I can’t keep it on my workspace (remember the ninja), I have started keeping it open to this page on the top shelf that is right by my chair. It is about eye level so as soon as I come into my craft room, I see it! That seems to be helping me stay engaged with the page.

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The page started somewhat “light” in terms of what I was journaling, but now that I am more than a week in, I can clearly see where this is departing from the kind of gratitude logging I was doing before. I am also finding that it is making a change in my day. I am looking for more of Him. I am anticipating His movement. And I am more at the ready to move with Him, even in those moments when fear comes knocking at door.

Just last night, there was something I was hesitant to do because I was afraid of doing it wrong. Rather than focusing on the fear, I thought about the challenging thing that God had helped me through the day before! Isn’t God good?!

Do you keep track of answered prayers or what you are grateful to God for in an easily accessible way? What has helped you build good habits to fight spiritual amnesia?

2 thoughts on “Remember the Wondrous Works

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