Write The Word

Upside down / TiffanyAOlson.com

I don’t get the whole upside down tree thing…

Write The Word? What does this mean? What word? The Word. Think about it, what is your go to action when you know you have to rememember something? You write it down.

I have been reading a book called, Deeper Waters by Denise J. Hughes. To be honest it was a book club book for the month of September and I am still not quite finished. Maybe having 4 books going at one time is not the best idea but it is what it is. Anyway, there is a section of the book where the author is talking about the methods she uses to connect with and get to know God better. One thing she does is to write out scripture. I’m not talking about the fancy lettering of the Instagram variety but rather while she is reading and notices a verse or a passage that stands out, she writes it down.

I spend a lot of time putting information on paper. I am famous for letting others know that if the event is not on the calendar then it is not going to happen. I … most of the time… check my calendar at the beginning of the month, the beginning of the week and the beginning of each day to remind myself of what is coming up and to get prepared for what I need to do in advance of each event. If I am this meticioulous about my schedule then why did it feel like such a revelation to have someone tell me to write out scripture so I will remember it better?

Del Tree 2017 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Hotel Del… Please never do this again… 2017

This isn’t the 1st time I have heard about writing the word but it is the 1st time it has truly sunk in and made an impact on me. There are Write The Word Journals out there like the ones sold over at Cultivate What Matters. Or the bible studies in the Write The Word series offered by the author. I prefer my spiral notebook and the inspiration that comes from my daily reading but whatever you decide to do, give it a shot.

The new year is upon us and it is time to finish up with planning for what is coming and reminiscing what has passed. Along with my running goals and better scheduling of my time I am going to spend more time Writing The Word. Not only am I going to write it but I am going to go back and read what I have written. I want to remind myself of what I felt when it 1st inspired me to write it. Did I breathe a sigh of relief? Did I feel convicted of something I needed to change? Did I understand what I was reading?

The goal in all of this for me is at the end of 2018 I want to know God better. I want the words in the bible to translate from being great stories to pieces of history written down to help me understand where I have come from and where I am going. I want to be different and to live out what I am reading rather than just get up from my chair each morning and forget what I have just spent the last hour injesting into my heart.

I had an amazing Christmas holiday. I got to spend it with the people I love most in the world. But, as ususal I look back on a few choice words or decisions I made and wish I had spent less time trying to fit in by making people laugh and a bit more time focusing on why we celebrate Christmas in the 1st place.

In Phoenix, we got the opportunity to go to Hobby Lobby. The closest one to me at home is 2.5 hours away. On one of the signs I read, it said, “It’s a new year, you have 365 opportunities to wake up to new mercies.” I desperately need those mercies and am excited about 365 days of writing down some of the greatest words ever written.

Christmas Run / TiffanyAOlson.com

A Run on “The Rock” –

Happy New Year My Friends!

Let It Out…

Let it out / Tiffanyaolson.com

Filled Journals

When I was 15 we moved from Eugene, Oregon to San Diego, California. We had never made a major move before. I met all my friends in elementary school and church so each school switch or camp or event that I went to I always had my friends near and we experienced these new things together. I never had to walk into a room and not know anyone. There was always in any given situation, at least one familiar face.

This all changed when we moved to California and it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I realized that my outgoing self wasn’t quite as outgoing when I had to do it all alone. I was having a hard time processing all these new feelings and finding the courage to reach out and make new friends. My mom suggested that I try journaling. She said it was a way to get everything out and it was tangible so I could go back and read it and physically see the progress I had made in my new situation. That was the beginning. I have now been journaling for the better part of 30 years.

I wish I could say that all my words on paper were profound and meaningful but I am pretty sure that most of my teenage and college years had pages and pages and pages written about the boys I was interested in and rationalizations as to why they weren’t interested in me. I in fact distinctly remember laying in bed in college with my journal and thinking, “wow if anyone ever reads this, they are going to think I am pretty shallow.” So what did I do? I added in a few lines about the Gulf War which was being waged at that time just so some future reader would know that I had other thoughts in my head besides boys. Yes, it was that pathetic. I kind of want to go find that journal and I kind of don’t … I will keep you posted.

I started journals for both of my kids when I was pregnant with the hope of passing them along when they got older. There are a lot of time gaps at this point but they will know at various seasons of their life what I was thinking and how much I loved them. Having babies and then toddlers put quite a crimp in the personal journaling time so I set it aside for a bit. After Aimee passed away I found myself yet again in a place where I needed to express myself and not let my emotional state take over. So I began anew. These days my journaling is more like praying. I do it in the early morning and I start out each  entry with, “Good Morning, Lord!” I then proceed to pray, share thoughts, fears, things I’m thankful for and just what’s going on in my life in general.

My mind is constantly racing and journaling provides calmness and sanity to all that is running around in my brain. Once I get it all out on paper I feel relieved and unburdened. It doesn’t change my circumstances but rather helps me find some perspective in the midst of them. Journaling isn’t for everyone, but if  you find yourself in a place where you need clarity let me offer up some reasons to pick up a pen and let it all out.

Let it out - Tiffanyaolson.com

Journals yet to be filled…

Writing things down keeps you focused. When you are writing it’s hard for your mind to wander. Writing keeps your mind on the task at hand and allows you to stay with one thought until you have completed it. I don’t know about you but when I am praying my mind tends to wander into a million different places like what I’m going to make for dinner or my kid’s school project or the argument I got into with a family member. When I am writing all of those other distractions stay at bay and I get out on paper the stuff that really matters.

Writing things down helps you remember. This is a trick that I learned in college, yes I am a slow learner. I did so much better in all of my classes if I took notes. I find that things truly go in one ear and out the other unless I write it down. Even if I lose the slips of paper I can recall myself writing and remember better what was said than if I was just depending on my original hearing. With personal things or events in my life, its nice to go back and reflect on what was, what is and what will hopefully be. I reread parts of the journal I started when I was pregnant with Natalie. It was such a joy to be reminded of that truly special time in our lives. I also found the afore mentioned college journal. Let’s just say that I am glad to be reminded that I am not that person anymore and how much God has changed me since then and that I do not ever want to go back to those days.

Writing things down provides perspective. When things are left to just rattle around in your brain, life and all of its struggles seem so much bigger. When I got diagnosed with cancer one of the things that everyone suggested was to journal. I was glad that this was already a part of my life because there are just some thoughts, feelings, fears and struggles that are just too difficult to utter to another human being. Writing it all down helped me to breathe and unload some of the burdens I was carrying. Once on paper the mountains you are facing can be broken down more easily into steps that you are taking to get to the top.

I am thankful for all those books that I have filled and I am excited about the ones yet to come. My journals depict who I am in ways that nothing else can. The good the bad and the ugly, its all in there. I’m glad that God can handle it because I truly don’t think anyone else could.

What about you? Do you journal and if you do do you have a specific way to do it or is it more random like me?

Have a great day, All!