“My life today will be lived in time, but it will involve eternal issues. The needs of my body will shout out, but it is for the needs of my soul that I must care the most. My business will be with material things, but let me be aware of spiritual things behind them. Let me always keep in mind that the things that matter are not money or possessions, not houses or property, not bodily comforts or pleasures, but truth and honor and gentleness and helpfulness and a pure love of you.” John Bailie, A Diary of Private Prayer
A few weeks ago a new bullet journal slid quietly through the mail slot in my front door, in a manila envelope from Amazon of course. Using it has made me feel like a full-fledged grown up ever since. Let me explain.
Almost every single time I read from The Diary of Private Prayer it’s as if God is filling in the blank spaces of my wandering thoughts with purpose and meaning. I jot a note in my bullet journal on June 12 to remind me of the quote above.
During the early morning hours, when I am still wearing bed head and pajamas, sipping tea while reading the daily lectionary, a verse or two or three stand out like identifying the back of my son’s head in a crowd. That one is mine!
Documenting those verses in the bullet journal results in a weekly blog post I now call Morning Meditation.
While reading a new book, a well-written sentence inspires a new tangent of thought. I transcribe what I read on a page in that same journal entitled Quotes. This particular page happens to be opposite a collection of new-to-me words that I hope will expand my writing vocabulary.
And sometimes while engulfed in a story, an item I need at the grocery store or an email awaiting reply invades the plot line. I’m sure that never happens to you if you aren’t an ENFP. Alas, I write those pesky invaders down as well.
The bullet journal provides a home for each one of those random but necessary thoughts in daily logs and unique collections holding page numbers for future reference. Organizing my disjointed but needful mental trails helps me to live into what John Bailie communicates through his beautiful prayer.
We live to the tic-tock of the hands on the clock, pulled toward the relentless needs of the body. And organizing thoughts in one place invites Kairos – God time, real time — to overcome distraction and allow what is most important to stand at the forefront.
Using the bullet journal helps my mind and soul rest well. It provides the scaffolding I need for life’s ever adapting rhythms without compromising the work God is doing on the inside.
If you’ve never heard of the bullet journal (it’s new to me too!) here are some practical links to get started.
Bullet Journal – the analog system for the digital age. The video tutorial by the creator of the bullet journal is by far the best resource to get started.
How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide by The Lazy Genius – so thorough your head might explode with all the new information but don’t worry, you’ll adapt your own rhythms in no time.
Two Words: Bullet Journal by Carrie Willard
Thorough Guide to the Bullet Journal System by Tiny Ray of Sunshine
My Favorite Tips and Tricks after Three Months with the Bullet Journal by Modern Mrs. Darcy
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. Psalm 45:1
If you use the bullet journal give us your best tips in the comments.
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I’m intrigued by bullet journaling and will be checking out those links. Thank you, Shelly. (P.S. LOVE that quote from Bailie’s “Diary of Prayer.” Copied that into my quote journal!
Love this! Thanks for all the great links to explore. I just started using a bullet-y type journal earlier this year and am hoping to expand what I am doing. Love the ideas about having a page for quotes.
I sent myself an email to check into this idea. It’s strange, but could be useful. Sending myself emails is one way I keep track of stuff I want to do. Then I save emails in categories. The journal might get me to actually read what is in each category list. Thanks for the idea!
I also use mine as a mini scrapbook. (Movie tickets, etc). And I record menus from special holiday/family events.